I'm A Bad Blogger

Hey y'all!

I'm a bad blogger, by conventional standards anyways. I've been neglecting this one for months and when I do post, it's sporadic and the topics are all over the place. I don't post on a regular schedule and I can't stay on a single topic or niche. And I refuse to use Oxford commas. (SUCH superfluous punctuation.) 

Been there, blogged that. This is maybe my 5th or 6th blog since those first fledgeling livejournal days in college. I've tried being like those popular, successful blogs that are consistently scheduled and perfectly curated. But it's not for me. I often get distracted by shiny things, doubt myself, excessively edit and often put too much on my to-do list. So I'm going to try being more Miranda. What does that mean? I don't even know but I'm excited to figure it out. 

I've had a lot of life changes the past few months and although none of it has been reflected here, I have been writing almost daily in my private offline journal. Yep a real old-fashioned book with blank pages now filled with words written by my hand. (My right hand to be exact but I wish it was my left hand. I am oddly and unexplainably envious of left-handed people.) 

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Let's see, I enjoyed an amazing family trip to Montana in June, started working as a creative consultant at the Earth Fare corporate office, moved to West Asheville, went to Switzerland to meet my new nephew and started a side business called Namaste in Nature for which I lead meditation, hiking and yoga for people around these beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. 

Yep, life is pretty good except for a couple recent wrecks.

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The first wreck is literal and my beloved Mirazda literally saved my life and sustained all the damage. I was commuting home from work a bit jet lagged with a slowed reaction time and collided at an intersection with an SUV. This was the first real car wreck I've ever been in so I was distraught. Everyone that's seen pictures says something along the lines of "It's a miracle that neither of you were injured" and I'm incredibly grateful for that. However, I had to say goodbye to my perpetually excited-looking Mirazda with the Cheshire cat grill (total loss) and had less than a week to find a replacement. Say hello to Rocky Red, who somewhat resembles a disgruntled hamster. 

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The second wreck is emotional and I did actually get hurt. I started dating a guy here that I really liked and we were having a great time but he was all like "Monogamy's not my jam right now so let's be friends while I bang random girls from tinder and bumble." ...a few weeks later... "JK, actually I do want a monogamous relationship now, just not with you. Oops." (This is clearly the abridged version.) 

Lessons learned: Don't waste precious time, energy, emotion and sacred creativity on anyone who doesn't truly want and appreciate them. And don't drive jet-lagged. 

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But back to the bloggings. I have so many thoughts, ideas and ramblings to share on a variety of things that interest me like minimalism, creativity, sustainability, entrepreneurship, yoga, eating plant strong (somewhere between vegetarian and vegan), nature & outside things, travel, books, happiness, mindfulness and life's variety of adventures.

I guess the common thread is that it's all part of my journey and I'm trying my best to enjoy every bit of it. 

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So stay tuned if I've piqued your interest. Or move on to one of the other (approximately) bazillion and one blogs out there. (How many zeros are in a bazillion?) I've decided to keep writing whether anyone reads it or not. And also, this website ain't free so I should invest some time in it to justify the money invested. 

Enjoy the Journey! 

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A Perfect Day To Paint

Hey y'all!

After months of design and planning, my buddies at BannanBlasko are starting on another beautiful mural for a local University in dowtown Spartanburg, SC. And I get to help! 

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[Start]

Public Art has been a side passion of mine for a while now. 

I was on detail duty. 

This is our fourth project together. Seriously, these guys are so great to work with.

I'm so grateful to get away from the computer for a bit and spend time painting and socializing in the sunshine.

The weather was perfection; a pleasant temperature and cloudy skies. And scaffolding shade is always nice! But don't get me wrong - I still got plenty sweaty.

We spent seven hours today start to finish. We got a lot done, but there's still lots left to do! 

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[Finish]

Enjoy the journey!

100 Ideas Without Fear

I recently stumbled upon this incredibly inspiring youtube video of a TedX talk by a lady named Michelle Poler who decided to challenge herself and live 100 days without fear. And it got me thinking about my own fears that I've been avoiding, putting off and generally denying their existence.

Physical fear has not ever been particularly challenging for me. I wanted to ride all the big kid roller coasters before I was tall enough. I've bungee jumped, sky dived, zip lined, hiked to the tops of mountains snorkeled in the open ocean, competed in triathlons, etc. I've traveled around the world by myself for the better part of the past two years; terrifying before I started but not so much now. 

I mostly suffer from psychologically-rooted cultural fears: pain, embarrassment & control. I've conquered a few fears under this category: cutting my hair, donating blood, teaching yoga. (Interesting how much my fears overlap with Michelle's and I'm sure many other people.) 

I guess I'm more afraid of rejection than I thought because I'm petrified at the thought of cold calling or driving around and recruiting new clients. However, it's incredibly essential if I am going to maintain my business. 

My mom told me stories of the best and only salesman she ever worked with and my dad had to generate leads, network and establish/maintain working relationships with clients all the time in banking. So I soaked up their sage advice and committed to some cognitive reframing. 

I'm not soliciting a bunch of random businesses - I'm carefully selecting those that align with my values and offering to help. An active imagination is critical to creativity but I think it works to my disadvantage when it spirals out of control into the worst possible scenarios. Here are a few examples of what I fantasized to be the worst case scenario and then what actually happened. 

Before teaching my first yoga workshop, I imagined someone falling and injuring herself and me having to call an ambulance and her being loaded into the back of it on a stretcher with a neck brace. Reality: Everyone got a little sweatier than usual. The first time I flew my drone I imagined it spinning out of control, crashing and exploding on the side of the mountain. Reality: I safely flew and landed my drone without so much as a scratch. 

So is it more likely that I'll be escorted from an establishment by security or police and banned from ever returning to within 100 feet of the premises? Or is the worst case that someone will say "No thank you."

I have countless notebooks, spreadsheets and iPhone notes full of ideas that I have been too scared to pursue. From this day forward, I am no longer letting my fear strangle my creativity.

So the point of this post is that I'm writing a list of 100 ideas that I am actually going to put out into the universe. I'm only expecting about 1 out of every 5 of them to come to fruition based on the good old 80/20 rule but that's what it takes on the journey of success. (Oh, and that's another insight I had yesterday: that success is a journey, not a destination.)

Silly pre-historic lizard brain; always confusing actual threats with imagined ones. Bad, bad lizard brain! You're officially in time out and have lost most of your influence over my decision making. 

Another fear I'm conquering is to publish a blog post without obsessively editing and re-editing and overthinking the content of it. Mission accomplished. 

The Hardest Thing To Brand Is Yourself

I would consider myself pretty good at branding and design considering I've been practicing it for my whole educational and professional career. I have so much fun designing logos and developing the look of new brands. 

Until, of course, I quit my full-time job to freelance instead and had to develop my own brand. Only then does it become a massive struggle. 

It's like this insane little voice in your head saying "YOU are a designer, your brand has to be the best thing ever in the history of things! It has to appeal to the masses, yet stand out and be different, it has to perfectly capture your personality and all of your expertise & experience, it has to be versatile and simple yet different from every other creative person and it has to convince clients to pay you money to do work for them." No pressure, right?

My logo and branding looks incredible simple now, but it's taken at least two years to get there. Unless you're a creative yourself, you may not realize that for every finished product you see, there are bazillions of unfinished, rough drafts, sketches, scribbles, hidden layers, alternate versions and countless abandoned thoughts and ideas. 

I feel like I finally had the breakthrough for my current logo when I stopped trying so hard. I was literally doodling in the dirt with a stick in Nepal or India or somewhere when I made this M shape the looked like a rune. And I've committed it ever since then. 

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to look back at the evolution of my Mirambling brand. It's both humbling and hilarious. 

Moral of the story: Keep doing, learning and growing, y'all. 

I'm happy with where I am now, but it was and still is a journey of personal development. 

Which of these is your favorite? How would you brand yourself? 

Much Love,

South Carolina's First Food Cooperative

There's kind of an adrenaline-fueled feeling of pure ecstasy when you finally finish and release a project you've been working on for a while. I got that rush yesterday when I posted this video that I conceived, produced, filmed and edited for Hub City Co-op in Spartanburg. 

This is South Carolina's first food cooperative so this video will be integral in educating people about how and why it's important to shop local and support smaller farms and businesses. 

Have a look and let me know what you think in the comments below and/or like/comment on youtube and of course I always appreciate new channel subscribers. 

New Tee & Bag Designs for Hub City Co-op (200 Words)

Just wanted to share my latest design project for Hub City Co-op.

I designed these t-shirts and tote bags based on the original mural I painted inside the store. They came out so great and hopefully they are gonna fly off the shelves. 

I put a lot of thought and research into sourcing these.

The tees are super soft polyblend material that people will actually love to wear. They are manufactured in Nicaragua by Next Level, a socially and environmentally responsible and WRAP certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) which means no sweat shops, no child labor and environmentally responsibility. 

The 100% organic cotton tote bags by econscious donate a portion of sales to non-profit Partners like 1% for the Planet, the Rodale Institute the Organic Trade Association and Green America. 

They were printed and delivered by a local business, Carolina Headwear

Not only are they fun & functional merchandise, but they also serve as grassroots marketing, as long as customers wear and use them in public. My focus here has been ideas and promotions that are win-win-win and benefit all parties involved, especially the local community. 

So thankful that these peeps let me keep experimenting with and expressing my creativity!