A creative and inspirational blog dedicated to busy and burnt out creative entrepreneurs.

The Element Blog

pay attention

Life moves at such an interesting pace. So quickly nowadays. Information moves faster, we move faster, sometimes not even peeking up from under the visor of our everyday routine, shrouding us in more of the same.

And we wonder why we aren’t happy.

I went to get groceries today. I went down the same aisles, dropping the same foods in my cart, without even looking up to meet another eye of a human other than the cashier.

Head down, keep moving.

Zipping from one end of the store to the other, having forgotten certain items that never made it to my actual list but popped up in the moment.

Head down, keep moving.

Dragging plastic bag after plastic bag from the cart to my car and running to drop the cart in the right place where they’re collected, thank you very much.

Head down, keep moving.

Loading as many bags as I can onto my arms when I get home—sometimes 8 at a time—from my car into the house, winding around an overly eager pup’s squeals.

Head down, keep moving.

And then I started putting the food into the fridge, which had to be put on pause because I hadn’t emptied the fridge of leftovers and such for over two weeks, and there was no waiting for that.

I grabbed a new garbage bag from under the sink. I knew the garbage was already a bit too full for what I’d need.

Head down, keep moving.

I started grabbing plastic fruit bins and tossing them into the bag. Some leftovers were too far gone to even care about the completely reusable plastic tupperware containers they were stored in.

So I just tossed those into the garbage bag too—I have plenty more.

Head down, keep moving.

I found some spoiled yogurt, grabbed it, and looked down at the bag’s bulging sides, tossing it in and turning back to the fridge.

Head down, — wait.

I looked back at the bag.


I not only threw away a ridiculous amount of plastic without even really…noticing, but I also wasted a lot of food. There was a large container of meat that I made and just…didn’t want to eat for several days, a bowl of at least 3 more serving sizes (maybe 2) of mixed salad.

A bowl of rice with beef and onion from two weeks ago when I ordered chinese food.

Several pieces of fruit from the bin on my counter.

And I didn’t even realize I was wasting so much.

Because the truth is that I do care about the environment. I care about wasting food, and I had in fact told someone close to me that I was making an effort to waste less food not two weeks before today.

But I was throwing away a big bag full of it.

I hadn’t even been paying attention.

I move move move, so quickly, all the time, that I don’t even realize that I am not living up to who I really want to be—to who I truly am.

And I can’t help but think a lot of the rest of the world is probably doing the same thing.

Who would we be if we just…paid attention?

If we caught ourselves in the moment of awareness and stopped ourselves from doing something that was against our morals or values or even just our goals?

If we instead chose what we wanted, intentionally, and lived up to that?


Who could we be?

What if we looked up more often in life? The Art Of Paying Attention

responsilibity to influence

Who’s responsibility is it to change the mindset of your family?

On that: is it a “responsibility” or a privilege?

I mentioned earlier to a friend how difficult it is to be around my family sometimes. The conversation went a little something like…

Him: “You’re such an optimist”

Me: “It’s a learned habit, 5 years in the making lol. Lil depressed Bella was like ‘if I have a choice in being optimistic or pessimistic…who the fuck would choose pessimism.’ And now it’s automatic! Changes your life making those small changes, but it was work. Everyone else in my family leans super pessimistic. Makes it hard to be around them often”

And then I got to thinking on that…

I’m avoidant. It’s a result of needing self preservation. I lean away from the things that make me uncomfortable, that trigger issues within myself. But in doing this…am I only prolonging my own healing?

What if, instead of avoiding family (that I love and miss and want to be closer to), I leaned into them with my optimism. What if I shared that with them, challenged their own pessimism, with the intent of it rubbing off on them?

Would this come off as me being on my “high horse,” or could it really change the habits of how they choose to operate on their day-to-day?

Responsibility vs privilege when it comes to influencing others

I grapple with the idea of responsibility vs privilege because one is pessimistic and the other is optimistic, but that’s not all…

When I was in therapy, my therapist pointed out that I take responsibility for…everything. Anything that might need it, or even doesn’t need it, I step in. Which is a result of needing to do this in order to make sure shit got done as a kid. If I just did things, then I didn’t have to worry over whether or not they’d be done.

And she challenged me, and really reminded me, that not everything is my responsibility.

It’s not all up to me to change the way those around me think. But if I could do it, without being so far into it I felt it as a responsibility…what impact could that really have?

It always brings me back to when my cousin visited me in Colorado shortly after I moved here.

She let me know that my lifestyle, really, just inspired her. The fresh produce in my fridge, my love for my job, really what I had created by leaning into what I loved and truly enjoyed.

Shortly after she went back home to Wisconsin, she quit her job (the one she’d went to college for), and started at a daycare working with children. And even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, she told me she was still inspired by the fresh foods I had and ate, and she even made a lot for her now-pregnant self and her man.

And all I did…was nothing. I just opened my life to her and she gained something from it.

Just opening your life can create an impact in someone else’s

As someone who’s avoidant, how many people am I keeping at a distance who could react the same way my cousin did?

My little sisters?

My brothers?

Other cousins?

..my mom? Who struggles with alcoholism and is trying to right her life again (edit: she is sober for a few months now, so proud of her!!!)?

I want to try to be more open. And hopefully with some therapy and intentionality, I can make that happen.

Those who know me well and are a part of my daily life (coworkers, friends), tell me I’m super positive, that I have a way of shining. Which I find interesting because it’s not how I usually feel, but that doesn’t matter, right?

If it impacts people, just being myself no matter how I perceive myself to be, then that’s a benefit to them.

Here’s to being more open.

Responsibility VS Privilege When it Comes to Positive Influence