A New Chapter

Hello Beautiful Creatures,

Connecting with Nature by Anushka Dhanapala

Connecting with Nature by Anushka Dhanapala

Just a quick post to let you all know that I have moved over to my new website http://www.anushkadhanapala.com I’m looking forward to getting into my blogging grove and seeing where this new space might lead.

I’m still in the process of perfecting it. But lets be honest, there is no such thing as perfection. At least in my world.

Finding my Creature still sings to my soul and you will see a lot of elements of it in my new online time capsule. As for my old space, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets revamped and reshaped into a something new. You never know where the magic of finding ones creature will lead.

Please come and say hi. I look forward to hearing about your journey and discovering new blogs along the way.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

A Lovely Goodbye

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
– William Faulkner

Image: She's Like The Wind

Image: She’s Like The Wind

2014.

When I reflect back on the year that has been, I am surprised by how much 2014 has meant to me. Sometimes it takes coming out the other end of a long and endless tunnel to truly understand the value of the lessons that come disguised as life experience.
At times, 2014 was frustrating, busy, creatively stunting and chaotic. At others times, it instilled a burning desire to do more, be more and feel more. It was the year that really tested me and who I wanted to become as a person.

Compared to previous years I found myself blogging less and feeling creatively depleted. I found myself overwhelmed by how much I wanted to accomplish and achieve, and in turn, lost the drive and razor-sharp focus I needed in order to execute everything to the best of my abilities. I was restless, confused and inundated with so many obligations I felt stuck.

Luckily, I was once again introduced to the outer boundary of my comfort zone – where mediocre and magic collide. It was thrilling and terrifying. I connected with the missing piece- my unfailing desire to throw myself headfirst into the unknown and know I could fly. Once I took that step, a spark ignited within.

Sometimes it takes being honest with yourself and where you are in the moment to get the creative juices and zest for life flowing. I played team sport voluntarily for the first time ever, made new friends, ran my first 10k in less than hour, conquered my fear of heights in an obstacle race with friends, read close to 100 books, became the healthiest I’ve ever been, found clarity in my vision for my business and fell back in love with the world of Dancing Peregrine. It’s almost that I needed to lose my passion to truly appreciate the joy and value that comes with it.

I credit Elise Joy’s creative podcast On Focus, and what to do when you have “too many ideas.” It really helped me whittle down all my ideas and rediscover, that not all ideas are equal or give me great joy. Once I realised this and saw it clear as day on pen and paper…the heaviness I had been feeling lifted. I had been prioritising the wrong things.

It feels liberating!

So what did I discover?

  1. I need to write. It’s a compulsion. I must finish my revision for Dancing Peregrine because it matters to me so much words cannot even explain. I will not put my writing on the back burner because this is important.
  2. Blogging. I LOVE it. I want to do more, I want to connect with fellow creative creatures and follow their journeys too. I’m in the process of moving my blog to a new domain. So keep at eye out for that change in the New Year. This transition has already given me a creative lease.
  3. Running. I don’t know how this happened, considering I actually hated it until I discovered the thrill of running outdoors. I want to make this a part of my lifestyle and do a half marathon next year. I need to do this because it will push me in a way I have never dared to physically before. Plus, I’m craving this challenge.

So that’s where I am right now in this moment.

I look forward to seeing you in my new space and sharing the crazy journey that is creating stories.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas,

Love and Light,

Anushka xx

Hello July ::

 We are spiritual beings living a human experience

– Oprah Winfrey

The call to return has become stronger. Maybe it’s true my creativity is seasonal, something about cold-for-Australia weather ignites a spark in me that remains dormant in the warmer months. Now that I am here, I have to say I’ve missed every single second of being away from this blog and the people I have met through it.

My creative side has been neglected as I navigated my way through a lot of change and self development. But the compulsion to create and tell stories can never be silenced for long, that much is crystal clear.

This year has been incredibly busy, but I am so happy to be back.

Love and light xx

 

January so far ::

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future, it is something you design for the present
– Jim Rohn

Photo Credit: Joel Robison

Photo Credit: Joel Robison

January so far has been filled to the brim with family time, sunshine, rain (Australia has such random summers in some places), new car, books, new authors, a lot of blog reading, tea drinking and fruit eating bliss.

2014 is a blank slate, filled with untouched pages. Ever since I can remember, there has always been something big happening each year and this is the first year where the path remains unwritten. Not just with my creative life, but also with life in general. It’s exciting.

The reason I haven’t blogged yet this year is because I have really been thinking about what I want this year to mean for me and what I want to achieve, experience and breathe. I want to come to the end of this year experiencing wholeness in all the major areas of my life – health, creative, love, spiritual, financial & business.

A great tip for those of you who haven’t had the chance to sit down to envision and plan for the year ahead, remember to write down everything you have achieved and accomplished in 2013 before starting. It’s so easy to be hard on yourself and feel like you aren’t doing enough, or you aren’t enough, but that simply is not true. Doing this made me realise how hard I can be on myself. 

Instead of boring you all with the goals I have set for myself and step-by-step plan of action (with room for the unexpected of course), I decided to do it differently this year and write down the lifestyle changes I want to integrate into my daily life instead.

  • Eat clean and drink 3L of water a day
  • Work on projects that give me joy on a daily basis, even for 15minutes
  • Surprise the people I care about with unexpected gestures
  • Take up yoga
  • Restrict internet/phone time
  • Look at my goals first thing in the morning and last thing at night so I don’t lose track. Where focus goes, energy follows after all.

I struggled to come up with a  ‘WORD’ for 2014,  some kind of beacon to the keep me on track throughout the year. Two years ago it was REINVENT. It was the year I said bye to the corporate job, relocated to Vancouver and went to acting school. 2013 was CREATE. It was the year I got married and got serious with my Dancing Peregrine revisions and became self-employed.  This year, the word that seems to have the right fit is NOURISH. I want to feel more connected to my life in mind, body and spirit, and something about the word NOURISH seems perfect.

How about you, do you have a word? What goals and lifestyle changes do you hope to embody in 2014?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Dear 2013

Dear 2013,

Valley Lake, Mt Gambier

Valley Lake, Mt Gambier

Thank you for the magic and incredible learning curve…

2013 has been a big year for me personally and professionally. I cannot wait for the unexpected journeys 2014 will bring.

Have a great start to the New Year everyone. Make 2014 yours in every way possible and discipline your disappointments if things don’t always go according to plan. They never do, but you have the power to control your attitude. Always.

As for what I’ll be doing to see 2013 off? Think of me rock climbing into the sunset with great friends.

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Ps: I would like to give a shout out to Amanda Martin fromWriterMummy. She has almost completed her 365 day blogging challenge – which is insane since she has two young kiddies! x

Around Here ::

2013

I kill succulents. I really do.

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s crazy how busy the last couple of months have been and then, BAM, Christmas. This time last year I was planning for a wedding and it’s crazy to sit back and reflect how full this year has been.

The 3rd draft of Dancing Peregrine has been completed after much procrastination, dead ends and stalling. The last few days included 14-16hour days and 35,000-40,000 revised/rewritten words… which is completely insane looking back! On the plus side, I have fallen back in love with the revision process  since becoming more ruthless with my work and tearing everything to shreds. Everything. I’ll blog more about my WIP next year and fingers crossed 2014 will be the year this baby gets submitted and sent out into the wild.

As for the remaining few days of 2013, I’ll be filling it with things I love, reflecting and remembering the things I am grateful for. I’ll also be wrapping up beta reading for a writer friend, trying in vain to have a clean house for 2014 (revision madness does not include housework unfortunately) and squeezing in a quick road trip to the land of volcanic lakes.

Would love to hear how you will be spending the last few days of 2013🙂

Love and light,

Anushka xx

GUEST POST: Now, here.

Copyright: The Soul SearchI am really excited to introduce this travelling creature to the blog. Sloan and I were introduced by a mutual friend while she was travelling around Thailand – even though I wasn’t in the same country. Mutual friend just knew we would get along and he was right! It’s amazing the connections you make by simply living in the moment and being open to new friendships and opportunities. 

Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to share a part of your journey here on Finding My Creature. I look forward to the day out paths cross! No doubt it will be somewhere off the beaten track.

***

I’m glad I remembered to set my alarm. The bus to Laos leaves at 7am and I’ve just hardly gone to bed. My t-shirt smells like cheap vodka and the tropic rainstorm we danced in last night. Chalk paints my hands from the countless games of pool we played.  My alarm cuts through the dorm room again as I stuff my life into a 55-liter bag and other travelers roll over groaning and cursing me. I sleepily brush the fuzz off my teeth and pray that I have an instant coffee packet left to stave off the inevitable headache.

Stumbling downstairs the Dutch boy I met is still awake, sipping a warm Honoi Beer and playing pool. My lips are still swollen, his still in a little smile, as we make knowing eye contact. It’s already 86 degrees and my curls have sprung into true SE Asian fashion of a large, frizzy fro that I have learned to not bother taming and have grown to love.

Unmanageable. Just like my life.

 Copyright: The Soul SearchThe idea of having to look ‘put together,’ the idea of wearing something other that a tank top and a flip flops is overwhelming. The idea of America and impressing anyone is far away and undesired. Laos is next: Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are behind me. I’m no longer somewhere; I’m everywhere and nowhere—I’m now, here.

 

Disconnected:

I don’t have a cell phone that rings with text messages, I go days without checking my email or Facebook. My blog is ignored and has been almost completely replaced by a tattered notebook that I bought for the equivalent of 10 cents on the street. I write when I’m sitting and people watching. While sipping a beer out of a 40 oz bottle, or coffee that drips from a silver canister, I chose my beverage based on my mood not the clock. My watch has broken. I answer to my hunger pangs. I respond to my heavy eyelids. I’m free. I have myself, and a backpack. My only ‘need’ is to be in Bangkok for my flight in May.

Copyright: The Soul Search

Returned, reconnected:

It’s now September. Bundled in a sweatshirt I sip coffee from an automatic coffee maker, the air is so dry my lips are cracked, my hair is tame, I have to get dressed soon to go to work. I sleep in the same bed every night. I dream of meeting attractive Dutchmen but instead I serve rum and Cokes to Frat boy tourists and depressed bar flies. I want to throw my I-phone out the window, Facebook blares at me and I, unfortunately, always find myself answering back. I talk to my parents daily and drama from my job bleeds into my home life.

Home.

While I was traveling in SE Asia I craved regularity. I wanted to nest. I actually used that word, nest. I wanted a home, I wanted a bedroom, I wanted to decorate and make a life for myself. Now—back in America I want to spread my wings again. I miss being nowhere. I miss my backpack, my tank tops, flip flops and losing track of time.Sloan2

You have to roll with the punches and, pardon the cliché, go with the flow. You have to say YES when that cute Brit offers interesting conversation and wants to show you the most amazing beach on the Island at sunset. You jump on the back of his motorbike and sip the whiskey when he passes it back. Or you have to say NO when a Thai-ger wants buy you beer and dance a little too close…you use your judgment, your instinct and you LIVE.

Being somewhere else is a rush. It’s scary but invigorating. It’s something I crave when I have too much normalcy, too much drama, too much unnecessary [un]certainty in my life. The idea of being here today and tomorrow is overwhelming and boring.

A pint of beer seems too small. A shot of espresso too elaborate. Eating at a table in a restaurant with a knife and fork feels mundane and average compared to sitting on the street with the ‘chef’ that speaks no English but smiles and nods as she hands you chopsticks, a spoon and shows you which herbs to add to your soup. American boys in America are less interesting. Shopping looses it’s purpose when there is no story to how you got that piece of jewelry—I didn’t spend the day hiking with the daughter of the craftsman so it doesn’t seem as beautiful or worth as much. I don’t need it.

Copyright: The Soul Search

Travel stretches you thin. Wears you weak and dizzy. It’s lonely, it’s hard, it takes effort. I cried—a lot. I wanted to come ‘home’ many days. But then I laughed as the sun melted into a pool of pink sherbert. I played Marco Polo as the sun crested the mountains and got kicked out of the pool by a security guard at sunrise. I learned how to react. I believed in myself as I successfully got from point A to point B—it may have taken some trial and error and long ass bus trips, but I grew.

Growth is what we crave and strive for every day no matter where you are. Travel is being present and ready for whatever is going to be tossed, pitched or thrown your way. Meeting and trusting the road, trusting that the path you take may not be the easiest but it’s what’s going to show you an amazing waterfall or bring you to a town that seems to have never moved into the 21st century. Trust in yourself comes from the growth of being now and here.

Copyright: The Soul Search

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

Sloan DorrSloan is currently living in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. She’s swimming, running, riding and yoga-ing through life. Sloan’s about to start a new job that will get people outside, exploring and playing in the woods. She is seeking more international opportunities, is in a constant state of learning new skills and loving life. She throws words and thoughts down on her blog www.thesolesearch.com and would love for you to check it out!

 

 

 

 

Timers Give You Wings

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living

-Soren Kierkegaard

Somewhere over the last few months I started doing 90 minute ‘Power Jams.’

During November, I discovered the thrill of the 10 minute sprint.

Timers create magic.

Magic create words.

It’s unbelievable how much you get done.

Try it.

 

Love and light,

Anushka xx

 

NaNoWriMo

If you work at it hard enough, you can grind an iron rod into a needle

– Chinese Proverb

Image

Day 1: NaNoWriMo

 

It’s DAY TWO of NaNoWriMo in Australia. The sun is shining, the air feels  like spring and I am aware that many of you have easy access to spice pumpkin lattes going into fall – and I don’t.

I will be documenting my writing space in photographs on instagram everyday. At the moment the desk isn’t too cluttered,  but I  already spy accumulating cups of tea from the corner of my eye. Once I pull out my Dancing Peregrine edits, there is no saving this space!  If anyone else would like to join me in documenting the process in pictures, let me know, and I’ll have a sneak peak during the obligatory procrastination session.

So what did I do in preparation for NaNoWriMo?

*insert guilty panster silence here*

That said, I did have a beautiful spark for an idea which has captured my sweet black heart involving cyborgs, assassins and pirates. I am quite curious and excited to see where this NaNo adventure takes me since it is very different from my current WIP which is about all things haunted, ballerinas and dark magic. Love.

I have found Pinterest to be a great inspiration tool in my outlining  ‘pretend plotting’ stage. Before every session I open up the boards, drink in the visual essence and seeds of inspiration  and dive straight in. I know the plotters out there are cringing a little bit, but I know the magic happens in the revision stages for me.

For those of you doing NaNo, my username is findingmycreature. Would love to connect with you there too  – always exciting to see everyone’s progress – especially since it’s easy to forget real people actually exist outside of your head.

What did you do to prepare for NaNo?

Love and light,

Anushka xx

Blog Tour: Inspiration Behind “Hope For Another Day”

Hi everyone! Finding My Creature is excited to be hosting one of the stops for Devin Berglund’s Hope for Another Day  blog tour. I know she has been doing some serious behind the scenes hours in preparation for her Halloween Launch … Continue reading