When A Passion Led To A Path (And Details Of A Speaking Engagement)

Like every young child, I asked a lot of questions. My curiosity was particularly piqued by relationships among people and groups. Further along in childhood and adolescence, when I learned more about discrimination on a personal level I questioned why prejudice existed. And as a practicing woman of faith, I wondered why there were barriers – and wars – between different religions. Some of the answers were found in history; there was usually an event or circumstance that ‘explained’ why things were the way they were…but on a soul level, I am still searching for that answer.

I think that’s because, as a soul, I know that prejudice, discrimination, and inequality shouldn’t exist. They are human constructs rooted in the way we choose to see the world. I guess that part of me wonders why it’s so difficult to take a step back, objectively look at a situation and see that there could be another side to it. I wonder why it’s so difficult to accept that another viewpoint, though different from our own, is just as valid.

I’ve had a lifetime of experience caught in the middle of various viewpoints. Growing up South Asian-Canadian meant I had the tricky task of interpreting one culture for the other, constantly explaining to someone (whether my parents or my peers) why I do the things I do, why I think the way I do, why I want the things I want. Though I resented this role of interpreter many times as an adolescent, I can now see that it gave me the cultural sensitivity that is the antidote to things like discrimination.

A year and a bit ago, I accidentally turned this passion into a path. I wrote an article for Huffington Post on a bit of a whim,  not expecting anyone to read it. Well, many people did: 23K people ‘liked’ it on Facebook and it gathered just over 700 comments. The comments were shocking and the hate that exuded from them made me wonder if I had not made a great mistake.

From that article, though, I ended up on CBC Radio and in a couple of churches, with the intention of building bridges amongst communities. The speaking engagements were beyond my expectations, and I was truly uplifted by the positive feedback I received from the congregations.

And I’m thrilled to be doing it again on a larger stage, this time at a women’s interfaith conference held on Saturday March 5, 2016 in Surrey B.C! This will be a space for women of faith to come together and bridge gaps, embrace their commonalities and contemplate on how we can move forward as people with a great impact on the next generation. My talk will include some basics on Islam with a heavy emphasis on celebrating what we have in common and using that to build a happier, healthier, safer future.

The details and tickets are available here – if there is chance you will be there, please let me know because I’d love to look out for you.

Whether this talk or this topic is something that interests you or not, I hope that this post made you think of your own passions. What is it you were always curious about as a child, an adolescent? How about now? Where can that curiosity lead you if you just let it? Perhaps on a path you never would have even dreamed of.

Thanks for reading!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Coming To Terms

This post is going to be short (I hope) because I am starting it dangerously close to school pick-up time!

Today I’m thinking about ‘coming to terms’ with things that change or change our world…events, people, situations. So, I’m wondering if maybe that’s something you’re thinking about too?

Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we can mentally, logically come to a realization and accept it, but that doesn’t mean our heart completely follows suit.

Stuff happens to us, right? There’s loss (either through death or separation or disconnect). Friendships change. Kids move on to the next phase. People we think will be around forever, aren’t. And situations that we long for don’t necessarily come to fruition. So then we come to a point where we have to grab hold of the present, take stock of what we do have, what we have not lost, who is still part of our lives.

For me, it always helps to talk about it. Ask my husband. I can Talk. About. It. And then I talk about it some more with a couple trusted girl friends. But what helps me to take that next step in the healing process is always picking up my pen and writing.

I’ve been journaling since I was 10; I never knew it would become what it has. I didn’t know how well it would serve me. Or maybe some part of me did know and the rest of me is still in a bit of happy shock 🙂

What do YOU do? When you need to come to terms with something. What do you turn to? What’s your ‘go-to’ when it comes to taking the next step in the healing process?

I always love reading your comments.

And now I’m off into the gray, wet afternoon to pick up my kids and spend the rest of the day with them!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Don’t Just Dream It – Do It! Guest Post By Bianca Bujan @bitsofbee

I have another guest today – the final one in this series around guiding words for the year. I met Bianca Bujan in 2012, during the same dinner I met Natalia who shared her words here last week. Since then I’ve only had the opportunity to see Bianca a handful of times at various events, but have followed her business journey and family life online. Actually, when it comes to family, Bianca and I call each other ‘twinsies’: we have the same number of children, the same gender order, born practically at the same time! In fact, our older two kids are born within a month of each other and our youngest tykes are about 6 months apart. And from the stories she shares about each of her kids, it seems their personalities are quite a match. It’s actually a really cool experience to know there is a mom out there who ‘gets’ so much of my own family dynamic. And who knows that having 3 kids does NOT suck! 🙂

Bianca is a marketing maven with a flair for storytelling, and I truly admire her. So, I was really pleased she was willing to take some time and share her guiding words for 2016 with you. And, after I read her post, I have to admit, it made me feel like we have even more in common. After reading her words, I invite you to check out Bianca via the links below.

I’ve only recently realized the importance of self confidence. For many years I allowed myself to get lost in trying to impress others. I liked the pizzazz of having a flashy job title, and focused all of my energy on trying to make my family happy. I didn’t lose sight of my own dreams, but at the time, I thought they would remain just that – dreams.

I knew that I loved to write, but I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think that I could actually write something that others would want to read, so I continued to write privately, as a hobby. I had friends who were leaving their corporate jobs to pursue their passions – who were getting published and recognized for their writing, and getting paid to do something that they loved to do. And while I was happy for them, I was overtaken by feelings of envy and self doubt.

I’m often inspired by quotes, so when this quote on envy came to my attention, I realized that I was wasting valuable energy on being envious of others, instead of directing that energy towards finding my own unique capabilities.

 “Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth.  Each of us has something to give that no one else has.” 

– Elizabeth O’Connor

Over the past 3 years, I’ve built up my confidence. I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone, swallowed my pride and tossed my insecurities aside to pursue my dreams. And because of that, I’m now one of those people – I’m earning an income doing what I love to do.

And I’m not done! I still have more dreams to achieve. So this year, my guiding words are these: DON’T JUST DREAM IT, DO IT! Instead of talking about the things I wish I could one day accomplish, I’m going to dive in and start working towards achieving those dreams today. And I encourage you to do the same.  Toss those insecurities aside and pursue your passion. This is your year.

bianca bujan, bits of bee, beecomms, bee communications, don't just dream it do it, writer, columnist 24 hours vancouver

Connect with Bianca on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

 

 

 

 

Ignoring What I Think They Are Saying About Me And Giving Myself Permission To Create

I’ve renewed my vows with Creativity. I’ve given myself permission to love It and spend time with It and do the whole give-and-take thing with It. Simply because I am in love, and have always been in love, with creating.

Not everyone who loves creating chooses to make a career out of it, and of course, it’s not necessary to do so. But things aligned for me in a way that made it possible for me to at least try.

My primary role which I have had to learn to love over the last few years is Domestic Goddess. Ten years ago, I would have said, What? That’s what you ‘do’? That’s your primary role in life – to cook and clean? I probably would have been a little disheartened. So, it was a struggle to embrace this role and it’s really just been in the last year that I have fully come to love it. Never have I had to grow more as a person than in this role of Domestic Goddess.

But on the side, I’ve done all kinds of writing: some paid and some to ‘build my portfolio.’ I’ve dabbled in everything from writing magazine articles to contributing chapters in anthologies, to developing my own personal development workbooks, to creating web and social media content. Last year, Creativity boldly stepped in and presented an opportunity to teach a poetry workshop at a drug treatment centre. I grabbed that opportunity and it set me on a more authentic, defined path that incorporates my love of writing and my passion for teaching. This has led to a new chapter in my journey that I will be sharing with you in time to come.

And that is all well and good, professionally.

But to create for the sake of creating…I was bumping up against some issues with that. I had started ‘writing for fun’ on my first maternity leave which is how I remembered how important writing is to my sense of relief in this human form. But then once I decided to take my creativity and turn it into a career, the focus became the career, and not the creating. Suddenly, creating for the sake of creating became frivolous. What would the end gain be? With my limited time, did it make sense to write stories that I didn’t know would publish? Bottom line: did it make business sense?

Because who has time to be a Domestic Goddess with 3 children (2 in school, 1 in daycare twice a week), who cooks from scratch at least 5 days a week, has kids in activities, volunteers sporadically at the school, blogs, and has a writing business? Well, after looking at my schedule, I realized, I do have time to create for the sake of creating. I simply had to take out my two biggest time-suckers: T.V. and mindless Internet surfing.

Now I have a chunk of time in my day (rather, night) at my disposal. It means no T.V. And I hide my phone (I already have the notifications turned off during the day). Yes, sometimes that time gets invaded by piddly things like filling out book order forms or field trip forms. Or those other miscellaneous life things that I can’t think of right now because I just want to get this out to you! But mostly this time is for me to write that story, research that book, practice my handlettering, read an article on creativity etc.

Basically, I have given myself permission to create just because I am not a whole person without it. Away from the burden of it needing to make money. Oh, like a hobby! Yes, creating is also my hobby.

So here’s what I bump up against – which is not as easy to work out as the ‘where do I find the time’ factor: I think that people who know I am writing for fun, or practicing handlettering without having an end financial goal with it, must think I am lucky. And why is it a problem to be lucky? Because lucky people don’t have it rough. And why is it a problem to not have it rough? Because people who don’t have it rough aren’t grateful. They’re child-like, they’re ‘takers’, they’re simply lazy.

I think, they must think I’m mooching off my husband who is basically the sole income provider right now. I think, they must think I’m not ambitious because I’m not some kind of big decision-maker in a very important company. I think, they must think I’m not intelligent enough to be doing whatever it is they’re doing.

You know what else I think? I think I am going to just focus on my commitment to Creativity and stop caring what other people think. (They are probably not even thinking about me at all anyway).

When I’m 90-something years old on my deathbed, if I look back on a life of not creating simply for the sake of creating, I will leave this world a very sad person.

It sounds dramatic (isn’t that a sign of a creative person?) but it is so incredibly true that along with eliminating T.V. and mindless Internet surfing, I think I’ll also take off ‘care what people think about my creating for fun’ from my list of time-suckers.

Yeah. That’s what I’ll do.

If you struggle with the same sort of inner dialogue, or are looking for permission to create for the sake of creating, here it is. And I’d like to give a huge shout-out to one of my favourite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, who recently did the same for me through her book, Big Magic.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

 

 

 

“Radical Honesty” – Guest Post By Natalia Sanyal

I’m starting with this week off with a guest post from a woman who never ceases to amaze me. I met Natalia in the fall of 2012 at a dinner with several other top mom bloggers for that year. She ended up sitting next to me, and we did not stop talking to each other the whole evening. I felt as though I had known her forever, yet still had that excitement of meeting a significant person for the first time.

When she agreed to share about her guiding phrase for 2016, I knew she’d write something raw, something many of us can relate to. Her post, Radical Honesty, is one of my favourite things I’ve ever read from her. And I call her my Word Maven, so that says a lot.

Please take some time to connect with Natalia on Instagram where she describes herself perfectly as Adventurer, Yogi, Wild Woman, Girl Boss and Tribal Queen.

My guiding phrase for 2016 is: radical honesty, which for me, means, I get to choose to be myself—a decision I had always avoided. Although it was out of fear, disguised as good intentions, I used to lie compulsively. I’m pretty sure my filipino genes were the only thing that saved me from Pinocchio nose.

Growing up, I was always the “good kid” at home; the teacher’s pet in school; the one who was friends with everyone—from the cool kids to the outsiders.

I had perfected the art of being lovable. I followed my formula to a tee and it worked every time.

There wasn’t much to it.

Smile a lot. Tell them what they want to hear. Do what is expected of you. And don’t ever, EVER, ruffle any feathers.

That’s it. That’s all I had to do. And they all loved “me”.

I thought I was winning at life.

I remember having many conversations with the more honest friends and siblings of mine who were often confronted or rejected—what I considered to be a death sentence—for telling the truth.

Why would anyone put themselves through that? Just lie about it. If you’re not physically hurting anyone, what’s the big deal? You’re saving everyone from a lot of unnecessary pain. At the least, you steer clear from awkward moments—which I believed, should be avoided at all costs.

Sure I felt slight pangs of guilt and shame from time to time, but hey, the discomfort wasn’t unbearable.

…Until, life taught me that the refusal of my truth would come back to haunt me. Not because Karma’s a bitch. Because the root of the issue, was some serious lack of self love.

For four years, I was pulling all-nighters “studying hard for university” when I was actually out partying with pimps and con artists. Yeah…ask me about that some other time.

I chose partners who cheated on me so many times that I couldn’t meet a new female in my city without wondering if he had slept with her.

My jaw muscles were so tight from biting down to hold my truth in, that many days, I couldn’t open my mouth more than a few millimetres.

I suffered a LOT before I let life break through my armour. That’s when it hit me: everybody loved “me”— but I didn’t love myself.

My whole life I had been so worried about my truth making me unworthy of love from others. What I didn’t realize was, that every truth I chose not to express, was reinforcing the biggest lie of all time: that love comes from somewhere outside of me.

I finally got it on one unsuspecting sunny day in June of 2015. I experienced freedom. It’s hard to put into words. Every cell in my body was vibrating with one message: I AM love. I have nothing to protect, nothing to lose and nothing to hide.

Ironically, in that moment, I felt so alone. But it was so #*@$!ing beautiful.

So if it takes being alone, with just me and my truth, I’m definitely down with that. I’d rather have you hate me for my truth than love “me” for my lies.

So now, 2016 is for training—so that I rewire my brain to express truth with every chance I get, without a moment’s hesitation. So far, I’ve noticed that with every radically truthful expression, I become more and more brutally beautifully honest.

Here’s to all the stunningly awkward moments in 2016 and onward.

I’d love your support. Go ahead. Ask me the most uncomfortable question you can come up with about anything: me, you, sex, drugs, religion…etc.  I promise to be radically honest.

natalia sanyal, the uncommoners club, nat nanton, ami sanyal

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

A Message To My 11 Year Old Self – Plus Ticket Giveaway to the Love Your Body Summit!

I think we were 11 when my best friend and I decided it would be a good idea to go on a diet together. Sipping Orange Julius at the mall, this was a casual conversation – as though we were deciding what movie to go to, or whose house to hang out at. I don’t remember the rest of what we said, or the diet for that matter; when I look back on that memory it’s as though I am floating above us, watching these two young children who had this idea that their bodies needed to be changed. I’m disconnected from those them in one way, but in another way there’s a part of me that still houses that little girl.

Four pregnancies, 3 children and a quarter of a century later, life has changed my body for me. I have been all kinds of sizes in my last 8 years of motherhood: an entire range from underweight at the time I conceived my first baby, to the heaviest I’d ever been in my life after eating my grief when I lost my third baby. I started my 4th pregnancy at that I-can’t-believe-this-is-me weight and the numbers on the scale went up from there. Two years post-partum, I still look in the mirror some days and ask, what the heck happened? I have a couple pairs of jeans in my closet that I hang on to…just in case my renewed commitment to Zumba and smaller portion sizes allows me to slip those on. Maybe that will happen. Maybe it won’t. I’ve come a long way from thinking a diet is the answer to the perfect life.

If I were to see that petite, long-haired beautiful soul nibbling on the straw in her smoothie, sitting with her bestie on a Sunday afternoon at the mall, I’d walk straight over and throw my arms around her. I’d probably frighten her with my intensity, and she’d probably think I was overreacting (it’s just a diet…everyone goes on diets) but I would hold her until the words came. And this is what I’d say:

I know how much you hear about diets and that big bodies are not beautiful. I know how nervous you are that you are going to explode one day into this enormous size even though right now you look in the mirror and think with relief, my legs are long and thin. I know people remarking about how skinny you are freaks you out because one day this whole thing could backfire and you could end up being the opposite of all those comments. It’s hard when you look at all those models in the YM magazines and read about blonde haired, blue-eyed twins who are 5’6″ and slim. You look in the mirror and you see a dark-haired, brown-skinned girl with hair growing in places you don’t want it to. I understand.

But let me tell you what your life is going to be like when the number on the scale reaches a point you had no idea it could get to: you will be 35 years old and have just given birth to your third child. You have 3 kids: girl, boy, girl – exactly how you’ve imagined your whole life. You’re married to your best friend who thinks you’re the end all be all. Together you have weathered parent deaths, a miscarriage, career changes, cross-country moves and many more great adventures. And you laugh (at each other, at life) every day. And you’re the heaviest you’ve ever been. You’re a writer. Holy crap – a writer! And now that you have your 3 babies you can consider new directions for the future, while you stay home and become this domestic goddess. (Don’t laugh – it’s a work in progress, but you’re actually enjoying it.) And you’re the heaviest you’ve ever been. And you get up on stage, you love the microphone, and you talk about all those important things that you tried to talk to your friends about but they looked at you strange. Like cultural-bridge building, connecting with yourself through writing and all these other ideas that made you feel like the odd one out all the time. That’s your work. And you’re the heaviest you’ve ever been.

Do you understand? The number on the scale, the fact that your thighs brush together and wear out your jeans…that changes nothing about your beautiful soul. And it doesn’t stop you from letting yourself shine. You should make healthy choices as often as you can so that you can do what you love for as long as you’ve been given the time, but at 37 you have no qualms about drinking a hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle right after a Zumba workout. You find such gratitude in these pleasures. If you’ve learned nothing else, you’ve learned that life is short.

Your size and shape changes nothing about who you are.

So, finish up your Orange Julius and get to your movie. Keep swimming and playing the piano and reading and writing and thinking and talking about current affairs with your dad. Keep caring about humanity the way you do. That’s what the world needs from you. That’s it.

My friend, Joyelle Brandt, calls herself an ‘artivist’. I LOVE that word. It’s the core of my conviction that art is necessary for civilization – because art creates change. Art shines light on different perspectives that make you think, that challenge how you see things now, and inspire you to be a part of the solution.

When I met Joyelle for lunch last summer she was practically glowing when she told me about founding the Love Your Body Summit. Joyelle is a singer, songwriter, guitar player, author and a mother; there’s literally nothing she can’t do with her creativity. I was excited to learn how she was using creativity to make social impact in her areas of passion. Here’s a quick but wonderful interview of Joyelle which will give you a taste of what she’s about, what motivates her to speak up about body image and why you might want to check out the summit:

As an ambassador for the summit, I’m happy to share this information with you.

As well, I’m giving away one ticket to the event – and it’s so simple to enter to win! Just leave a comment with one phrase or key message that you would tell your younger self about body image or self-love. I will randomly pick a winner; the winner will have 24 hours to reply to my email before another winner is selected. 

The contest ends one week from today: Tuesday January 19 at 8 pm PST.

The Love Your Body Summit

Feb 6, 9am to 4pm

What: An inspiring day of speakers, joyful movement, music, art, and self reflection designed to empower girls and women to love their bodies!

Where: Inlet Theatre, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody

Tickets: $70 available at http://bit.ly/1O8OCJK

 taslim jaffer, let me out creative

“Do Less, Focus More” ~ Guest Post By Jamie Dunlop Khau @jamiekhau

Good morning and happy Monday! Yes, Mondays can be happy – especially when on my to-do list this morning I have ‘share Jamie’s guest post.’ I’ve decided to ask some of my favourite people and bloggers to visit Let ME Out!! this month and talk about their intentions for 2016. I know there’s been a lot about intentions and guiding words all over the internet for the past few weeks, but as you know, in the Let ME Out!! community it’s always a good time to talk about creating joyful lives. 

I started this blog to provide you with insight and suggestions for a more creative, authentic and kind way of living. And today’s guest, Jamie Khau of Styling the Inside, is a shining example of authenticity. She is currently a Notable.ca nominee for best blog in B.C. for her work around creating a life that ‘feels good on the inside.’ I hope you take a moment to visit her blog or say hi to her on social media via the links provided after her post.

And now…here’s Jamie!

Making resolutions can oftentimes lead to disappointment, especially if the resolution is unrealistic. For this reason, I’m setting intentions rather than resolutions for 2016. One of my biggest intentions for this year is to do less and focus more. Last year I spent a great amount of time ‘doing’ however, because I became so busy with everything I was ‘doing’, I ended up feeling distracted, overwhelmed, and ultimately depleted.

In order to instigate this change in my life I’ve been saying the phrase DO LESS FOCUS MORE. A mentor of mine texted these words to me one day; they immediately resonated and have now become my mantra.

Oftentimes we get so caught up in being busy. This busyness in many ways makes us feel like we’re on top of our game and conquering the world. Consequently, this “I’m doing everything” status can create distraction, loss of focus, and unwanted stress.

Moving into 2016 I’ll be using these guiding words to ultimately help me stay focused on my top priorities which align with my values. Using this “Do less, Focus More” mantra will help me stay positive, and keep things in perspective when I feel pulled to do more.

My top priorities this year include putting my self and self-care above anything else. Saying no to things without making a long excuse as to why I’m saying no, and trying to avoid the guilt that comes along with this. In addition, I’ll be working on managing my time more effectively.

All of these things will help me de-clutter and calm my mind, which will in turn help me feel good on the inside. At the end of the day, this is my number one intention: to create a life that feels good within. If what I’m doing isn’t making me feel good on the inside, then it’s probably time to re-evaluate. 

That said, I highly recommend using a guiding word, mantra, or phrase to help you instigate the changes and intentions you’ve set for 2016. Meditate on these words, write them down, hang them up, heck you can even “Instaqoute them!”

These powerful intentional guiding words can be impactful, and using these words to help us shift our thoughts can lead to positive change in our lives.

Wishing you all the best for 2016.

jamie dunlop khau, notable.ca, award nominee, writer, blogger, styling the inside, do less focus more

Visit Jamie on:
taslim jaffer, let me out creative

 

Do You Honestly Believe You Are Worthy?

Are you worthy of the goals you have set? Are you worthy of the dreams that give you butterflies in your tummy? Are you worthy of the love you seek? Are you worthy of the time to take care of yourself and do what makes you happy?

How you answer these questions is important. I know you know what you are supposed to say (that would be ‘yes’), but does that ‘yes’ resound in your core? Do you say ‘yes’ with certainty or do you hesitate a bit? Do you say ‘yes’ but then somehow sabotage situations so that you remain distant from your goals, dreams, time and love?

It’s the new year and like everyone else, you’ve probably thought about how this year is going to be different. You say that January mantra of ‘new year, new me’ or ‘this will be my BEST year yet.’ Maybe this will be the year you launch your career or business. Maybe this will be the year you find someone who treats you well. Maybe this will be the year you get your health back on track.

The thing is, believing you are worth it is that piece of the puzzle that needs to be there for the whole picture to fall into place.

My friend, Dr. Saira Sabzaali, is transformational when it comes to unearthing your beliefs and shifting them so that they serve you better. I know that because she’s not just my friend but also my counsellor. I’ve sat with her 1:1 and worked through blocks that kept me from feeling present in my relationships, and she helped me work through fears that were preventing me from feeling peace within myself. 

I also attended a workshop she held on Passions; it was just the right amount of structured introspection and spontaneous discussion that came out of the group interaction. She’s an engaging speaker with powerful messages and so many people have benefited from her work. That workshop allowed me to see the role of following my passions in my life and I still apply the tools she gave me. I feel really lucky to have her in my life!

Being a mom of 2 young kids, Dr. Saira can also empathize with many of us who struggle to find balance between ‘doing’ for the family and ‘being’ who we are outside of parenthood. She brings that empathy to all of our conversations and I know her clients and workshop participants appreciate being understood.

So, I’m really glad she is starting her workshops up again now that her youngest is a little lady, and she is bringing everything she has learnt and experienced to her new workshop series: The Journey to Wholeness.

Here’s a blurb from her brochure that best explains the upcoming workshop on Worthiness.

“How can you change a situation where you feel small?

How can you feel ‘worth it’ in the midst of world change, community upheaval and family discontent? Is strong personal value and high self-esteem even attainable when things around you are changing so quickly and constantly? We know intellectually the importance of worthiness, yet so often we doubt, ignore or belittle ourselves and our own inner compass. No matter what your story or the challenge you are looking to overcome, an answer is here!

Join us for a day of learning about worthiness and its impact on healthy human development. Come ready to learn and challenge your assumptions about why you are how you are!”

The workshop is going to take place at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, B.C. on Saturday February 6, 2016 from 9 am to 5 pm.

Tickets are regularly $150 but for my readers, Dr. Saira has offered a discount of $25. Simply call 604-339-7862 or email connect@talktosaira.com and mention you are a Let ME Out!! reader.

This offer is valid until Wednesday Jan. 6 at 9 pm PST.

Dr. Saira would be a great tool in your journey to wholeness!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Let’s Not Make It A ‘Season’ Of Giving

I’m happy to have my first post live on Hello Creative Family – and it’s all about one of my favourite topics! Right now we are being bombarded by messages of this ‘giving season’ which is GREAT because, yes, it’s a good time of year to give. But so is the rest of the calendar year.

So, how do we make it a lifestyle? And what about when we can’t afford to give? How do we get our kids in on it? I answer all these questions in my contributing post, and I really would love it if you would have a click-through. I’m always happy to share posts I write on other sites with my Let ME Out!! readers; you will love the content on Hello Creative Family so take a look around while you are there.

Have a read and leave a comment – I’ll be checking in to see your thoughts. Thanks for all your support!

Creative-Voices-Giving-Isnt-a-Season-Teach-Kids-Charitable-Giving

taslim jaffer, let me out creative

10 Gifts To Make The Writer In Your Life Love You Even More

Make the writer in your life speechless this Christmas by gifting him or her with these awesome ideas. Then leave them alone so they can wear stretchy pants, curl up under a blanket and get back to the novel they’re reading (or writing).

One: A shirt with words on it.

It’s pretty much a given that writers love words. We like our words on everything, especially if they’re empowering and make people say….yeah, that’s awesome. May I suggest a shirt or two from West + Wind? I have this one that says Like A Boss, but I could always use another.

like a boss, west + wind, local shop, vancouver, buy local, t shirt, writers gifts

Two: A notepad for when the ideas strike!

But not just any notepad, because we have too many of those. How about a waterproof one? You know we get our BEST ideas at the most inconvenient times, showering being one of them. With Aqua Notes, you can’t go wrong.

Three: Scrabble, but not Scrabble…Bananagrams!

We writers already have Scrabble, but would love a word game that we can take anywhere and not have to worry about a playing board. Look at this awesomeness in a banana-shaped bag! We can grab a word-nerd friend and shut the world out for hours.

bananagrams, amazon, let me out creative, writers gifts, scrabble, word nerd

Four: A book…about writing!

I personally recommend Stephen King’s On Writing awhile back because it’s totally inspiring. It’s the kind of book that makes a writer kick back into gear, or offers a novice tips on getting started. Intertwined with King’s memoirs, this book will be a hit with any writer (if they haven’t already read it yet, that is. Get a gift receipt – we love those, too, because then we can go back and choose any book we haven’t read).

Five: A gift card to a local bookstore.

This is ALWAYS on my list. The only problem with it is there are so many choices! But I do love the flexibility of buying something off my long list. Never a bad idea.

Six: Writing-related jewelry.

I can’t wait to finish this post so I can resume drooling over this Pinterest board FULL of jewelry ideas for writers. Holy smokes.

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Seven: A gift card to a healthy, gourmet frozen food joint.

Writing can be very engrossing. It can take us away from activities like sleeping, eating and wearing appropriate clothing. Don’t let the writer in your life wither away – get them a gift card to a place like batch. They can order meals ahead of time to store in their freezer and then when they realize it’s dinner time, they will thank you while their meal warms up!

Eight: Inspiration…via dice!

Here’s a little something I found while snooping around on Etsy. (Writers call that research). For those moments when writer’s block creates a vast void (and a blank page), all your writer friend has to do is roll the dice and have a story prompted right out of them.

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Nine: Tea.

Or coffee, I suppose. But, say, if you were buying for THIS writer, you’d buy tea. Like DAVIDsTEA or Tea India. It just pairs well with all things literary: reading, writing, wearing shirts with words on them.

Ten: Tickets to a play.

Just like we like reading other people’s words, we also like seeing them played out on stage. So drag your writer friend out from behind their computer screen or away from their notebook and treat them to a night on the town.

There you have it! My personal wish list  holiday guide for your favourite writer makes your shopping easy and your writer friend’s eyes light right up!

Happy shopping – and don’t forget to grab a little something for yourself.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative