celebrating the inspired life - Ana from Live & Enliven

For today's meet and greet, I'm so happy to share with you one of my favorite people, Ana Degenaar from Live and Enliven. Celebrating an inspired life is a huge focus of my blog and I have learned that it isn't a solo endeavor.  Celebrating an inspired life involves true connections and ties to others who provide and share some of the inspiration that comes onto our path.  Ana is one of those friends that I glean inspiration from through the beautiful thoughts and imagery that she shares through her blog daily.....

First of all, I just want to thank Michelle for inviting me to share on her blog. I am about to rant about what inspires me and yet Michelle is one of my main online sources of inspiration. Being in contact with people who want to be inspired and to inspire others is simply amazing.
There are so many things that inspire me in life but I have to admit I am most inspired by my daughter. Even before she was born she brought so much more color and purpose to my life. I find that the small things in life have the biggest effect in the way I do things. I love nature, colors and shapes but mostly things that money can’t buy, like a sunset walk on the promenade or experiencing the changes of each season.
I try to surround myself with as much inspiration as I can, not only to create or be creative but to look at my every day with more expectation and happiness.  I collect quotes, mostly Biblical ones or deep thoughts that relate to my life at a certain stage. I read as if there was no tomorrow and I try to live out those words as closely as I can. 

I also find people in general to be inspiring, even some that are not in the least bit interested in art.  I admire the way people talk, the way they nurture others, the way they smile and most of all the way they live, trying to make their lives as beautiful as they can, with whatever they have at hand.
Some days are tough… and I feel completely drained of inspiration. I know then that I need to stop and take time out for myself, even if it is just to read a few pages of a book or sit on the floor to play with my daughter.
I get through those uninspiring days by looking at the boards I've hung all over my house, in the kitchen, in the office, on my closet's door... And I succeed most of the time, except when I am so physically tired that my brain needs a real break to jumpstart again.
I usually post quotes, photos, magazine scraps or bring items that inspire me to my office… which is basically a wooden box with a woven mat and two comfortable pillows. I sit on the floor because I like it this way and I try to keep things related to what I need inspiration for close. These days it's been difficult to get into the kitchen and plan something creative, so I brought in some cook books… and diaries (in case of a sudden and miraculous flow of new recipes), food related magazine scraps and my little plant that I love.
I have a guitar that I can see through the corner of my eye because I want to learn to play. I also want to get back to painting and so I have a piece of “modern art” that Emma-Pearl made when she was only a year and 9 months old (As I said my daughter is my biggest inspiration).  Sometimes I just have Emma there and it's fun because she loves what I do, especially if it has to do with illustrations.
Having all these things there remind me that one can always make time for all the things you love in life.
I celebrate the inspired life by creating beautiful things to the best of my ability, whether it is a birthday party for Emma, a handmade gift for a friend or just a nice supper for me and my two loves (hubby and Emma).  I love to get inspiration from all kinds of sources and interpret it my own way, with a bit of latin spice and a ton of love.
I always wonder what people find inspiring? How do you celebrate the inspired life?... Do share!
Thanks again, Michelle!

{images by Ana Degenaar}

If you haven't already, be sure to stop by Ana's blog.  Like me, I think you'll find it a quick favorite and a place of inspiration.


Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

Wow, Ana's inspiration board is fantastic! Off to check out her blog, now!

Sort of Pink said...

I too love Ana's blog!!!! Very inspiring! This was a nice post =)

Suzie @ cupcake monkey said...

I love this...and love Ana! :)

Have a great week, Michelle!

I'm Danielle said...

Reading this was really lovely. Thank you!

Torrie said...

Having been following Ana's blog for the past couple of months, I have learned how much Ana loves to surround herself with constant inspiration... and share this inspiration with others.

This post gave me a clearer view into just how she does this on a daily basis! And I hope she knows how much *she inspires all of us in turn:).

...Hope your birthday weekend was a good one, Michelle!

Happenstance said...

Yay! I love Ana and her blog! Great choice Michelle. And Ana, I too have an awesome guitar that I love to look at and wish I knew how to play. If we lived closer I would suggest taking lessons together!

Estelle said...

Oh boy did I need this tonight. Her words and photos were filled with quiet inspiration. I've been feeling so depleted lately and I know I need some time for myself. Hearing her talk about how she is inspired gave me a little re-charge. Hope this is becoming a series, as I always love to learn about creative people's motivation and inspiration.

Ana Degenaar said...

Thank so much for your lovely comments I just read them all and I am extremely happy because I have seen and read your blogs and I find all of you inspiring. Thanks you for inviting me, again!

P.S. Haydee, I too wish we lived closer! Taking lessons will be on my New Year's resolution list.

Have a lovely day Michelle!

Natália Rosin said...

Ana is such a grrrreat person! I love her!
And I loved to see photos of a corner of your house and Emma, Ana! Amazing!
kisses, natz

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