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All of the cards, layouts, handmade items and art work displayed on this website are copyright to me, Lynne Mizera. Of course I hope to inspire and encourage you and would be morethan happy for you to use any of my work to that end; however, please respect me and my work and do not directly copy any of my projects without crediting me or enter any of my work into any magazines or competitions without my express written permission. All my cards, layouts, projects and art work are not to be used by any commercial enterprise for any financial, marketing or commercial gain.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Empowering My World, One Woman At A Time... Blogging Along With Effy Wild, #17

Effy's blog post today was all about how she tried to start a weekly "show off our Shiney" group and it totally failed because it seems (here in Canada, anyway) that it is frowned upon to to talk about yourself or to promote the things you make or accomplishments you are proud of OUT LOUD (Go HERE to read her entire post).  But many of need to do just that because there is no one else in our world that is there to do it for us... AND making lists of all the good we are and we do is so empowering!   So back in 2012 I decided to try a little experiment along these lines not only did work way beyond anything I had hoped for but it also changed how I saw myself and did the same for nine other women along the way.
The Back Story: In 2010 I was invited to join a small group of ten women in something called a "Circle Journal".  The idea was simple: create a small journal or mini album; choose a theme and add some instructions/guidelines; create a page in the journal based on your theme; AND THEN... send it out into the world to be returned in about six months, hopefully fat and full of wonderful pages.  And every two weeks you would receive a journal in the mail from one of the group to complete and send along.  I loved this idea, joined up and sent off the first of my circle journals.  For me it's all about the theme, and after agonizing for weeks over WHAT to choose, I received the address list of our group and realized that every single one of us lived in a small town or city with less than 10,000 people... So my theme was born,
"Why You Love Where You Live".  And I sent it off into the world.  When my album was returned to me six months later, it looked like a well used suitcase covered in evidence its many travels and just like I had hoped and FAT with pages full of  photos and journalling about the area where these women lived.  Now over that six month period I felt like I had gotten to know these women through the journals that would arrive every two weeks, each one with more pages completed by others than the last.
Themes like, "your Favorite Recipe" or "Your Christmas Traditions" or "Share Your Favorite Trip" gave me the surface of their lives, 
and other themes like "Where Did Your Creativity Come From" and "Share A Piece of Motherly Advice For An Adult Child" (from a member who lost her mother when she was young) allowed me to see deeper into their souls.

It was an incredible experience and one that I repeated two more times, culminating with this last journal... (Please bare with me and keep reading, because I am coming to the point and it is a Wonderful Story!) 
So After two years of sharing my life with these women and reading about theirs, I decided that I wanted this next journal to have some real emotional Meat to it!  I had spent the last year working on healing myself and had just finished my first Brave Girls Soul Restoration course, and I wanted to share some of that with my group, but did I dare? It is SO PERSONAL, and how could I share this without sounding creepy or worse, like and how could I get these women to see the good and the beauty in each of them? And then it came to me!
Here It Is:  My Theme is "Uniquely ME" and I am re-typing my Instructions to our little group and then  I will share the incredible experience I lived when I received back my completed book.  Even now, five years later the memory of that event still brings happy tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat, and I Feel GRATEFUL for being Me!  
The Instructions: (retyped for easier reading)
Do you have a "Voice"? I Do.  I can usually ignore it and I certainly don't believe it until I have a weak moment.  And it's when I'm having that weak moment when that mean little voice whispers NASTY lies right into my Soul and it SUCKS all the joy right out of my life.  So I have decided I need something to remind me of all my good qualities... I don't know if it's a British influence or just the "Canadian Way" but have you noticed that we have a difficult time accepting compliments or even talking about our good qualities, our strengths?  We seem to have NO problem magnifying our weaknesses or the the things we don't like about ourselves. So I have decided to use this journal to list all the COMPLIMENTS people have given me over the years; the good things about myself, My STRENGTHS, My GIFTS, and all the special things I KNOW to be TRUE that make me ~Uniquely Me~
And Here Is My "SELL":
...So that's it.. you get to create two pages All About You, with at least one photo you like of yourself... Just YOU.  I know it is personal, and it will probably be hard at first, but if you allow yourself to embrace this experience, you will find it EMPOWERING! I want you to experience the amazingness I did as you start to list ALL the wonderful things about YOU!
Now Don't let yourself get side tracked by listing your Family's great qualities... we do that you know.. hide behind them.. and in our minds it's Okay to brag about them, (Smile) but I want you to list all YOUR good stuff... and if it's just too personal feel free to hide your journalling, glue something over it, or write it on the back of your photos... just WRITE IT OUT, because I promise it will start a Change in how you feel about yourself!  And my final request is for each of you to add a comment to my last page about the experience.

My Page And The Comment I Wrote:
"Even though this is my journal this was a really hard one to start.  I was surprised how many times I almost QUIT... almost changed this to a Recipe Journal! But once I started it was truly an empowering experience! and now that I'm done, every time I look at my page I FEEL WONDERFUL and I can't STOP SMILING!"
Lynne - August 31, 2012

I waited seven months for that journal to make its way back to me.  I had no idea if these women would risk it and do "the work" or if they would just "fake it", you know, only touch the surface of their souls. Occasionally a comment would be made to the group about MY Journal (and they were NOT thanking me! Grin) but no details... And then it arrived!  and it was FAT beyond belief!!  And as I started flipping through the pages, and looking at what they  had created and the compliments they had received over the years I realized that every single one of them DID IT!  But it was the comments section brought me to tears!  And then I had to go back and match the pages with the comments, seeing those pages and those women in an entirely different light.  Now I don't free comfortable making these private pages public, but I think I can share the comments left by my group:
#1."I love, love, love the idea! I too had a hard time making a page about  myself.  I couldn't find pictures of me because I'm always taking the pictures.  I would love to see the finished product." Sept. 14, 2012 - from the first person who received my journal

#2: When I received this journal I spent some time admiring the beautiful art work, then I opened the cover and froze like a deer in the headlights!  With out hesitation the quote from Pretty Women went through my head "The bad stuff is easier to believe."  I was quick to kibosh the negative thought and proclaimed "YES!" in my loudest voice!  Let's Celebrate all that we REALLY ARE!  Thank you Lynne for such a wonderful journal topic! It was a Challenge but so Rewarding!
Sept. 20, 2012

#3: The only thing to do when the theme is hard is to Just Start.  I picked pretty paper and just let my mood take over.  I made notes as I went and soon saw some different (faces) to my good qualities, so I went in that directions with my page.  I had a hard time with this theme but your cover inspired me and the words came through the process of creating.

#4.   This journal was the best therapy I needed.  Going thru a "bump in the road" this allowed me to re-see the true me and the re-assure myself that what I am dong is the right thing. THANKS!!

#5. This journal was exactly what I needed and came into my hands at the Right time!  Many times I have to stop and remind myself how awesome I am!  This gave me the opportunity to reflect on my awesomeness!!  I really enjoyed the "She Art", very fitting!
Nov. 10, 2012
#6. Hi Lynne... such an awesome journal idea.  For my pages I defined the 10 words that I choose to describe me.  Some people may perceive the words naive and realist to be negative words to describe me, they are not! 
Dec. 5, 2012

#7. This journal was so much fun to do.  I don't think of my positive parts too often.  I really enjoyed creating "my Pages" tho.  Thanks
Dec 14, 2012

#8. Thanks for "making" me take time to appreciate the words people have gifted me along the way and help me to own some of them.  Maybe I will learn to believe and own all of them.  You did a absolutely beautiful job of this journal!
Dec. 31, 2012

#9. I saved my best for last.  This journal was extra special and had I not had an open mind from exploring new art I wouldn't have been able to do this. thank you for making us think
Jan. 13, 2013

So you can see why I was brought to tears!  These women really stepped up to the plate and you can really feel the positive energy and delight that comes through some of these comments.  I agree with you Effy, we do not celebrate ourselves nearly enough and if you start up an on-line "Sunday Swoon" I will be there!!

Lynne Mizera, One Woman of the World
I am Blogging Along With Effy Wild all this month, come Join Us!   





  1. I really enjoyed reading about your traveling journals. I loved that you chose "Uniquely Me" as your final journal topic and so happy that it had the results for you and your journal circle that it did. I did feature interviews with artists on my blog for a few years and the one question that I asked them all was to use 10 words to describe themselves.. more than 95% of them found that to be the most difficult question and some spent hours on it. We do need to celebrate ourselves more and to focus more on the positive. (I too will jump into Effy's Sunday Swoon)

  2. What an incredibly beautiful project! <3 I'm moved to tears.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, it is beautiful and moving <3


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