Lift Up Moment #2: Amber Bryce

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In the latest The Lift Up Project newsletter, I interviewed the lovely Amber Bryce. If you want to sign up to the newsletter, you can do here!

Amber Bryce – Social media journalist & freelance writer
I know Amber as a (ex) colleague and as a friend and I can say hand-on-heart, she shines at both. She’s a whizz-kid when it comes to social media and has a wonderful imagination and creative flare. She’s also a skilled writer and has contributed to the likes of Broadly and The Debrief.
Read: When You’re Pathologically Terrified of Giving Birth
Follow: @Amberlouiseb
Amber’s mantra: “Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.” – Patti Smith

Who do you admire and why?
Leona from Lucky Dip Club – Creative business owner
Follow: @luckydipclub

Amber: “I’m very inspired by creative women from the past, such as Nikki Giovanni for her poem “Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day”, Mary Quant for creating the mini skirt, and Stevie Nicks for, well, just being Stevie Nicks!

If I had to choose a woman that’s inspired me more recently though, it would be Leona from Lucky Dip Club. About two years ago she set up her own business, collaborating with various independent artists to create super cute monthly themed boxes. I’ve followed her on Instagram since the business began; so have watched the journey of this small idea flourishing into a success, which in turn has brought together a community of wonderfully creative women.

The fact Leona quit her job and took a leap of faith to make something she loves happen has really motivated me to be braver, and reminded me that it’s ok to achieve things in your own time. She also loves unicorns and rainbow-coloured foods and vintage cat tins, which makes me love her all the more.”

Lift Up Moment #1: Bianca Bass

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For those of you who are signed up to my newsletter, you’ll already be familiar with the Lift Up Moment. If you haven’t signed up (you can do that here) and have no idea what I’m talking about, then the Lift Up Moment is the part of the newsletter where I interview a woman I admire and ask her to introduce one of her creative inspirations. The idea is when we life up one woman, she then lifts up another and we climb together.

The second newsletter will be hitting your inboxes this Wednesday (3rd). But first, I wanted to share the Lift Up Moment from newsletter #1 where I interviewed the wonderful, Bianca Bass.

Lift Up Moment: Bianca Bass – Writer & editor
I first met Bianca on Twitter a few years ago. Since then we’ve met IRL and she’s become one of my sources of inspiration and motivation, as well as my friend. She’s a talented writer and skilful editor and has a knack for writing pieces that really resonate with her audience.
Read: Why I’m Bored of Being Told to “Hustle Hard”
Follow: @BiancaBass
Bianca’s mantra: “Nobody’s built like you, you design yourself.” – Jay Z

Who do you admire and why?
Jen Carrington – Content coach & creative mentor
Follow: @Jen_Carrington

Bianca: “There are so many creative women who motivate me every day. Emma Gannon for her vision and perseverance, Laura Jane Williams for her honesty, and Elizabeth Gilbert for her book, Big Magic, which continues to change my life.

Recently, I’ve been feeling particularly inspired by Jen Carrington. Jen is a creative coach, podcast host, and all-round content pro. Simply visiting her website inspires me to be better. I think it’s important to engage with content that makes you want to up your game, and Jen is exactly that for me. She has created a business on her own terms, been remarkably honest about her struggles with mental health, and has inspired me to lead a more impactful life.

She doesn’t preach unrealistic advice, but actually tangible, sustainable things to help you become your best creative self. Her words, all complemented by amazing design, are so on-point. I can’t thank her enough for all that she does. Through her brilliant work and bravery, she’s given so many people a voice.”

 

Really Listening To Yourself

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I’ve had a tough few days. Actually, I think I’ve had a tough few weeks. I’ve been getting up later, wearing less make up and only really leaving the flat to either go for a morning run, or to hunt down some coffee or lunch.

At first, I gave myself a bit of a hard time over my sudden hermit-like-state. But you’re in New York! You need to be making the most of life! But then I remembered why I’m here, and why I needed to be here – to rebuild myself. And a big part of that is really listening to what my mind and body needs right now.

It’s a lesson I learnt a few years ago – when times are a bit tough, always listen to yourself. I don’t mean listening to your own advice (that would be shit because mine sucks), but really getting in-tune with what your body is telling you. Understanding and accepting how you’re feeling and what emotions are flowing through your veins.

For example, when it comes to listening to my body – I know my limits, and I know when and when not to push them. I know I have a dodgy ankle (all thanks to Lady Marmalade – a story for another time). I know that I can run 5k before the pain sets in and I end up waddling home in a limp, regardless of how much I’ve stretched it or wrapped it up. For me, every run is a blessing, given that 14 years ago I was in a wheelchair for 12 months of my life.

But since moving here, I haven’t run. So, when I started back this week I listened to how my body was feeling and instead of pushing for those 5k runs again, I settled for 3 and took it slow.

When it comes to my mind, I have the same mentality. When I’ve had a tough few weeks, I really try to take a step back and look at what I’m feeling. I stay present and accept that what I’m feeling is absolutely fine to feel. It’s just an emotion. Over the years, this way of thinking has allowed me to heal and rebuild.

If my ankle hurts – I simply don’t push it to the point it breaks. If I’m feeling a bit emotionally shit, I don’t force myself to go somewhere or do something I don’t want to go or do. And that’s absolutely fine.

If your mind is telling you it doesn’t want to go exploring today, it’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself. Instead go for a walk or take a hot bath/shower (hydrotherapy is great for lifting moods) – even when I’m feeling at my lowest, I always try to get up and go out.

The important thing is to be kind to yourself – don’t shut yourself away, just take it easy and listen to what your mind and body is telling you.