• A Little Advice…Or Not!
    Glennon Doyle Melton

    My latest experiment is with woodcutting. I’ve always loved woodcuts but never tried one myself. I designed this as a repeating pattern at a size suitable for homewares and interiors. The finished piece will appear in my next post.


    Irecently listened to the audio version of Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. My favourite excerpt is this small piece about advice. It stands out to me because I know that I need to be more mindful in this area with my friends and family. I think Glennon makes a point beautifully and succinctly about what people really need:

    “I don’t believe in advice. Everybody has the answers right inside her since we are all made up of the same amount of God. So when a friend says, “I need some advice”, I switch it to, “I need some love”, and I try to offer that. Offering love usually looks like being quiet, listening hard, and letting my friend talk until she discovers that she already has the answers. Since I don’t offer advice Craig and I find it funny that people ask me for it every single day. Craig once asked what I make of that and I told him that I think friends ask me for advice because they know I won’t offer any. People need a safe place and some time to discover what they already know, so I just try to hold space and time for folks.”

    Glennon Doyle Melton

    I know I have a tendency to offer advice, but I think Glennon is absolutely right. In our hearts I think we do know the answer, and we just need the place and space to connect with it. What do you think? I welcome your feedback.
    Have a good weekend,
    Bren X

    Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. At the time of writing this does not appear to be available through Audible. I listened to it via the Auckland Library on the Overdrive app.

    Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.
    If you are interested in reading more of Glennon’s writing, she is famous for her blog Momastery and has recently released a memoir called Love Warrior.

    This will form the backdrop of my design, but this is not repeating. I will show the completed piece in my next post.

  • A Quote to Remember in Every Situation
    Charles R. Swindoll

    Attitude is everything! Today I would like to share another wonderful quote, one that can be applied to absolutely every situation. Scroll down to read…

    This is my second lino-cut experiment. It really is a lot harder than I expected. There were a couple of areas where my hand slipped and I accidentally cut out pieces I wanted to keep. Shhh, don’t tell but I might have, well…photoshopped them back in. Linocutting is not a medium for perfectionists!


    Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

    Charles R. Swindoll


    Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl

  • Daring Greatly:
    Brene Brown & Theodore Roosevelt

    Most people will be familiar with the work of researcher-storyteller Brene Brown. If I had to name one person whose ideas I most admire and wish to integrate into my everyday life it is Brene’s. Why? Because her ideas come from years of research – thousands upon thousands of pieces of data. She’s also extremely likable, very funny, down to earth, and her findings just make so much sense to me.

    My featured creation this week is a pattern I put together in Photoshop using three separate linocut prints I made recently (see previous post).

    Through reading Brene Brown’s excellent book Daring Greatly I was introduced to a wonderful passage from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt called “Citizenship in a Republic”, sometimes also referred to as “The Man in the Arena”. It evokes powerful imagery and has an inspiring message. I think it’s also a great follow-on from the last post – supporting the idea that it’s the showing up that counts, not the result. Here is the famous passage:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….

    Theodore Roosevelt


    A lot of Brene’s work examines vulnerability. She took a lot of inspiration from the passage above and teaches that we must dare to show up and let ourselves been seen. Her TED talks are among the most watched, and I guarantee it’s time well spent. If you haven’t already seen them I hope you will enjoy them now. Scroll down to find the famous talks.
    Have a good week everyone,
    Bren xxx

    The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown. This is a Sounds True Recording available on Audible.

    The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong – all excellent books by Brene Brown,

    Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

    Brene Brown: Listening to Shame

  • Measure Yourself on Your Effort:
    Brooke Castillo & Stephen Cope

    Istarted this blog and immediately life got busy again. I didn’t get past the first post! It hurts to abandon it though, so I am going to try to find the time going forward even if, at times, the text and visuals will be brief or simple. For today’s post I want to share some ideas that I heard on Brooke Castillo’s brilliant podcast The Life Coach Schoolit is what inspired me to rejuvenate this project.

    The card pictured is one of my first attempts at lino-cutting. It was more challenging than I expected to control the cutter but I loved getting away from the computer and getting my hands on real art equipment.

    In Episode 80 Brooke Castillo discusses the lessons she has learned from Stephen Cope – author of The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling. She says – and she is referring to Stephen and his teachings here:

    “The point of the work of your life is not what you accomplish. It’s not the body of work. It’s not how many people you touch. It’s not the books you write or the product you create. It is the effort that you put into it that matters. It’s the work, it’s the showing up that matters…
    He taught me to measure myself based on my effort, not my struggle, not my resistance, not my angst but my effort, my genuine effort.”


    Brooke claims that the teaching enabled her to shift her focus from what it is she is creating to the effort she is bringing forth to the creative process. In The Great Work of Your Life Stephen teaches that people feel most happy and fulfilled while meeting the challenge of their work or goals, not on completion of them. Courageous action should be measured, not the result.

    Courageous action should be measured, not the result.

    He quotes Krishna ” Success or failure are not your concern… Your task is only to bring as much life force as you can muster to the execution of your dharma”.
    I find this teaching enormously liberating, and a powerful value to teach my children. Removing the pressure to succeed, and the anxiety of possible failure, certainly brings more enjoyment to the creative process. It probably improves the likelihood of success too – the creative juices can flow uninhibited and the added pleasure in the process may fuel a greater commitment. For children it must be hugely reassuring to believe that it is not important how good they are at something so long as they make an honest effort. The way I see it is that sometimes the effort required is our very best, and at other times that will be pushing beyond our fear to try something or to simply show up.
    There are sooooo many gems within Brooke’s Lessons from Stephen Cope podcast, so check out the full episode over at The Life Coach School. The transcript is also available for download.I hope you enjoy.
    Bren xxx

     The Life Coach School Episode 80 Lessons from Stephen Cope by Brooke Castillo

    The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling by Stephen Cope (I haven’t read this but this is the book that Brooke references in her podcast.)