finding inspiration

When I first started planning my Happiness Project, I was very intentional about the themes for each month. I wanted my goals to flow into each other in a way that made sense. After I spent January working on pushing myself to grow, I knew that all that boundary-pushing would put me in a great position to dream even bigger. I decided that February should be all about getting inspired and finding inspiration in the world around me. With my new-found confidence in my ability to face some challenging goals, I knew focusing on inspiration would only help me even further. Plus, aren't we all a lot happier when we feel inspired? Here were my goals last month:

Goals for February

Read more memoir
Appreciate nature
Visit new museums
Start journaling

1. Read more memoir. I've been trying to read more books in general since the beginning of the year (have you read up on the reading challenge I'm doing with my husband?). In December, I was so moved by hearing stories from my own parents that I felt the strong desire to find more inspiration in the stories of others. I went to my local library and checked out some fairly popular memoir/non-fiction books: Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The Audacity of Hope by President Barack Obama, and Night by Elie Wiesel. 

As of today, I've only finished Committed, which is Gilbert's (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) account of getting married when she had long stopped believing in marriage. I couldn't get enough of it and it definitely inspired me when it came to thinking about love, relationships, and what my own marriage means to me (read more of what I thought about the book here). Currently I'm three chapters into Wild, which is a memoir chronicling the author's hike of the Pacific Crest Trail by herself when she was in her 20's after going through a really rough time in her life. So far, the book is excellent and I'm excited to keep reading further. 

2. Appreciate nature. In retrospect, this goal should have been "Appreciate your Environment," because I'm not really much of a nature gal. When I made this goal, I had some grandiose idea that I would be one with Mother Earth and find some truly special inspiration from flowers or trees or something. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying that can't happen. I love being inspired by the natural world, but this month taught me that there's not one specific place or setting that is the source for all inspiration. You can find inspiration wherever you are and most of the time I'm not roaming about in nature. 

In February, we went on a day trip to downtown Los Angeles with my in-laws and even though it's never new to me, it always excites me. LA is my favorite place in the whole world and it never fails to take my breath away. I realized that inspiration comes to people in so many different ways and that sometimes you can't help what truly inspires you. 

3. Visit new museums. Yeah, I totally failed on this one. After visiting two major museums in January, maybe I grew tired of them by the time February came around. I still want to explore all the great museums that LA has to offer, but it just didn't happen last month. 

4. Start journaling. I spent way too long in Target trying to find the perfect journal so that I could start writing down things that inspire me. I used to journal all the time when I was younger and fell out of habit when high school came around. Blogging is definitely a way that I virtually journal but I missed the feeling of just handwriting thoughts that are for my eyes only. But journaling was harder to get back into than I thought because blogging has trained me to streamline and filter my thoughts in a way. I'm not used to just word vomiting onto a page without considering who is going to read it, so I almost feel pressure to journal the "right way" and make it all pretty and cohesive. I definitely need to let loose and just let the words spill out onto the page if I'm going to really feel inspired.

My month of seeking inspiration was just that: inspirational. And now that I've found ways to get inspired in the everyday, I'm ready to put that inspiration to good use. My happiness theme for March is Creativity and here's what I have planned for this month:

Goals for March

Be an artist
Write a children's book
Design my next tattoo
Beautify my home

Considering it's almost halfway through March, I should probably get started on these, huh? Thanks to everyone who follows along with my Happiness Project updates! Let me know in the comments section what's making you happy these days!