Posts in Professional
WORK | Writers I am Inspired By
writers.inspiration.byamygrace

We grab our inspiration in various places, here is a sampling of where mine has come from:

Sarah Polley

I think it’s safe to say there is nothing that I have taken in by Sarah Polley that hasn’t moved me. Most notably, Stories We Tell and Take This Waltz. Both of these pieces, one documentary and one fiction, has left me in awe about the complexities of life. I found peace and solidarity with the concept behind ‘Take This Waltz’ as it shows the process of a woman coming to terms with her choices in life, finding out her why’s, her how’s and how maybe life is not as simple as we thought it was. Stories We Tell gave me a deep dive as a human and storyteller how perspective and personality is everything. We are marked by our families, our DNA and our circumstances, no matter how we may fight it all.

Diana Gabaldon

This year I have been quite literally taken by Diana’s Outlander Series. I have only read four out of the eight already published in the series. (apparently there is to be 10 books in total.) What grabbed me with Diana’s writing, is her ability to weave together a time travel concept into history, romance, adventure, and so many more genres. She writes her characters deeper than three dimensional and has a way of making everything mundane in a persons life an integral part of the story. You believe in the characters as much as you believe in yourself, because that is how much she is able to give you in her writing.

Maya Angelou

Although I read ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ when I was a teenager, I fell in love with Maya’s words as I listened to her in various interviews. Interviews such as these: ‘Power of Words’, ‘Be a Rainbow in Someone Else’s Cloud’ , Best Advice Given, captivate me & still does. Her words are timeless, empowering and insightful and I turn to them when I need reminders to come back to myself, my values and my worthiness as a human. I will always hold her brevity, sincerity and intolerance for inhumanity close to my heart.

Elizabeth Gilbert

What I love about Elizabeth Gilbert is that not one of her works is remotely the same. Every book she has ever written is a complete departure from the last. It’s as if she shows up for the project and let’s it speak and if anything, the only thing that I can put my finger on about her, is that her own personal physical voice has a distinct soul to it that speaks of raw unashamed re-learned childlike abandon. My favourite of her works: ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’, ‘City of Girls’ and various of her clippings of words captured on the internet.

This short list didn’t even touch on ‘Anne Lamott, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Shonda Rhimes, The Brontë Sisters, Liv Constantine’…. it’s an endless list.

What writers or people inspire your work?

SPOTLIGHT | Kaitlyn Adair
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Kaitlyn Adair

Nurse & Filmmaker

Kaitlyn can be found teaching yoga, running two film companies which focus on feminism and social justice, community empowerment and mentorship, while also working as a nurse

Kaitlyn is a woman who sees beyond the surface and reaches deep to create spaces for those she works with and the broader community to feel empowered, safe and inspired.

She also happens to maintain a personal self awareness that moves those around her to become more self aware and in turn, become more aware of others.

MORE KAITLYN ADAIR

WEBSITE

http://kaitlynadair.com

FEAST MEDIA

https://www.facebook.com/feastmediainc/?ref=profile_intro_card

FACEBOOK PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/creativewellnessandyoga/?ref=profile_intro_card

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/creativewellnessandyoga/

WORK | Summer Write Nights
summer.write.nights.byamygrace

Creative writing lends itself well for me to write in the evenings.

In particular, I find there is something magical about writing in the summer evenings. The window by my desk open, allowing any small breeze to come in, a train rumbling by and shaking everything including my heart, the light dimming slowly as the summer sun relents to bed…

I light a candle, put on my twinkle lights, pour some white wine and turn on some music to enter into a state that can only be explained by writers.

If I could, I would stay in that state forever. It is a lot like bliss and ecstasy mixed with a bit of earth to meet you where your feet are. Somewhere in that state you are both high and grounded at the same time.

An excerpt from my write nights:

“Words are like rain.  They pour out of us and seek to cover the dry parts of our lives.  Like rain, words can come in a pitter patter, or a flood.  Like rain, words can be a deluge or a storm or even a simple dewy soft and tender pattern of affection.”

SPOTLIGHT | Élana Camille
elana.camille.brilliansea.

Élana Camille

Illustrator, Artist & Creative Content Producer

Élana can be found collaborating with brands, media publications and various companies, while also embracing and finding new ways to honour the evolution and change in her own unique journey as a creative entrepreneur.

Élana is motivated to create illustrations that connect with her clients intentions and also finds an ability to be inspired and refreshed through her love for travel.

She also happens to have a tenacious spirit that has carried her through each new step of her personal and professional life and is a carrier of enthusiasm for anyone who wants to step out and try something new.

More Elana

Website

https://www.elanacamillecreates.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/elanacamillecreates/

WORK | Mama, Writer, Producer etc.
On set with mama. 2019

On set with mama. 2019

Over the past year I have been on a journey on what it means ‘for me’ to be both my daughters primary care giver and to be active in my chosen career.

What I have found thus far:

I schedule around the time with my daughter.

Before a new work week begins, I sit down and see where the windows of time will be where she is on a visit to a grandparents, will be doing activities with her father or anyone else. Then I schedule in my work after that. (notwithstanding, previously arranged meetings, appointments or filming shoots.)

I honour the work and my daughter.

There are days I would rather just kick it around the house or goof off with a friend, but I realize if I don’t show up for both my daughter and my work I become resentful to whatever has distracted or is keeping me from either.

I grow at my own right pace.

As I grew into this motherhood thing, I realized that I valued my work and wanted to grow and mature professionally in a manner that was steady, healthy and challenging in all the right ways. My pace and someone else’s pace will be different and that’s okay.

What I wish others knew

I work really hard to be present.

I give you and my life 100% of me, which is naturally just a part of who I am as a person. It also means I can drain my reserves quickly if I am not managing myself properly and keeping margin in my daily life.

I love being there for both my daughter and my work.

There is nothing that makes me happier than having a day with a meaningful activity with my daughter and getting some work done amidst it all.

I need you to reach out to me too.

I take maintaining relationships seriously, and I have realized that although I am the driving force in many relationships, I need someone else to take the drivers seat off and on.

*A Note on ‘Being Busy’ & Celebrating the Exhaustion…

There is this unfortunate celebration of the woman who is balancing everything and continues to take on more and more. We like to enjoy saying ‘look at her, she does it all!’ We don’t take the time to look at how all of those things are affecting her personal and professional life in ways that are unseen. We just see the list of tasks and roles and celebrate , like it’s a ticket to success to be run into the ground with nothing but a few hours to sleep at night.

fyi: that’s not long lasting success. That’s a fast ticket to a burn out. I won’t be boarding that train ya’ll.

SPOTLIGHT | Kirstin Howell
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Kirstin Howell | “Kiki”

Actor & Teacher

Kiki can be found acting in theatre, film and television, while also coaching and teaching a variety of students in their projects and performance skills.

Kiki is motivated by bringing humour to the table in her work and life and finds a unique way to create and share in unity and abundance for not just the experienced performamce artist, but the new and up and coming.

She also happens to have a way of carrying a gracious, encouraging and uplifting spirit while also leaving you with incredibly constructive feedback and advice that leave you inspired and wanting to strive further in your life and work.

More Kiki

The L.A. Technique

https://www.facebook.com/TheL.A.Technique/

The Insta

https://www.instagram.com/auntiekiki/

WORK | Spotlight Series - Summer 2019 Update
Making the last day of filming happen in heat & with little in tow.

Making the last day of filming happen in heat & with little in tow.

Two weeks ago we wrapped up our last set of Spotlight Interviews until the Fall. Right now our studio is in an attic which quickly becomes an oven during the warmer seasons, so we are forced to take a mini but much needed filming hiatus.

In many ways, this is a great opportunity for us to review our series so far, catch up on editing and implement a few more items into our series that we haven’t had time to do.

During this break

We want to create a proper intake and documentation of those interviews we have done and those we have on our ever running docket list.

Up until now everything we have done has been very ‘on the ground’ and informal. We started by reaching out to the women we believed would be interested and an asset to pushing the series forward and then we began asking for recommendations. For the fall we hope to be able to better keep track of the women on our various ‘lists’ and our aim is to make sure we curate and produce a series with various ages, mediums of work, backgrounds and diversity.

Creating an opportunity for funding.

Now that we have 20 interviews under our belt we are going to be seeking support and funding so that we can continue to create this series in the ways that will better honour the project and ourselves. We recognize that in order to continue serving and creating in a way that develops this series to it’s fullest potential, we need the financial freedom in order to give it that attention.

Until then, keep watching as we continue to drop two interviews monthly!

SPOTLIGHT | Gwyneth Christoffel
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Gwyneth Christoffel

Animator, Illustrator & Film Editor

Gwyneth can be found working during the day as an editor and illustrator while also bringing smiles to faces with her creative outlet ‘Gwyneth Draws’, on instagram.

Gwyneth is driven to create inspiring, quippy and impactful work and has fully embraced her own unique way to inspire a sense of solidarity and joy through what she does.

She also happens to have a calm and joyful presence that surrounds her that makes it easy to see where all those quippy and light hearted illustrations flow from.

More Gwyneth

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/gwynethdraws/

Store

https://society6.com/gwynethdraws

WORK | 5 Things to Do to Start Anything
At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

A creative entrepreneur’s reality is that they are often creating things from nothing that are not always easy to communicate to their audience or even, to themselves.

When starting anything here are 5 things to do.

Have an Anchor Point

In any concept an anchor point to the project is what you can keep coming back to & it becomes something that others who are your consumers understand to be uniquely you. Be it a symbol, a mascot, a specific action you do within your ‘making’, make sure it’s there and you know why you do it.

Use What You Have

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to have the right set up, the right products etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. All good things come in time, so use what you have and make do. Podcasts, vlogs, film makers, artists of any medium learn to use what they have and build on that over time.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. You will never improve or gain traction if you are spotty in consistency. Maintain a consistency that works for you. Once a week or once a day is better than here and there.

Do it For You (& one other person)

Never do anything to impress others. Do the thing to bring satisfaction to yourself and to at least one other person. That one other person doesn’t need a name, it could just be the ‘you’ out there you wish it would have been available for.

Aim To Improve Each Time You Do It

Every time you produce or create or bring forth whatever it is you do, aim to improve it. Ever piece of work you make has a new perspective from something you learned along the way.

When starting anything these five things are not only essential but they are also life rafts when you are unsure of where to go next or how things are going. It’s not always clear where the ‘motivation’ comes from to start things and continue them and circling back around to these foundational things can help remind, refresh and bring revelation to your doing.

WORK | Spring 2019 Work Reflection
spring.2019.

Spring was jam packed with personal endeavours.

Birthday parties, our first home renovation and many regular/additional ‘spring cleaning’ items on the list. I was able to give that heavy and long list of personal items a lot of my attention, while also leaving my creative self longing for more luxurious time at my desk.

This spring I have been learning the art of ‘curating time’.

I would say I had already learned this, since anyone who has a baby knows that the time between the ages of 0-3 years of age are years that one looses their hold on ‘having control of their own time’. That being said, I am on a new journey of what it means to take on more, handle bigger projects both personally and professionally and enter into them acknowledging the potential of overwhelm while also creating boundaries for my own mind and spirit to maintain and curate peace in all that I do.

I have learned

when tackling big projects I need to stick to the matter at hand, stop myself and even at times, my partners in crime from wondering too far ahead so as not to feel the weight of what has yet to be done.

I have learned that unplugging for 24 hours once a week is exactly what I need to monitor my anxiety as well as give my every fast paced mind a forced break.

I have learned that I do extremely well when my expectations for myself and from others are clear and I have prepared a bit in advance to meet them.

Overall, this Spring has been full personally, and professionally I have gained a lot of strategies to handle the projects and work that lies ahead.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

SPOTLIGHT | Kayla Short
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Kayla Short

Lifestyle Blogger

Kayla can be found documenting her journey on her personal social media platforms, exploring the corners of Halifax and beyond while also sharing with others that staying true to who you are both inwardly and outwardly is not only of value, but possible.

Kayla is grounded by finding a well rounded wholeness in life and maintains that wholeness in everything she shares allowing us to take part in the discovery of self, others and the world around us.

She also happens to have a lovely way of skimming past the surface and taking you into the deep of life that is full of insight and celebration.

More Kayla

Website

http://shortpresents.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/shortpresents/

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewIEH9yFK_li-5J_Ev3Gyw

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/shortpresents

WORK | Brilliansea Updates
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Branding

Five months out from launching Brilliansea we are enjoying refining our values and our vision for this platform. What we are coming back to again and again is ‘the voice of a woman’ is to be treasured. Making space for that one voice is an important and integral part of our vision. Yes, we are also focused on the ‘brilliance’ in all women, but we want to bring them all out to celebrate their unique voice.

This is what we have been driven by and finding even more clarity in.

Spotlight Interviews

Spotlight interviews have been and are life giving. These sessions, for us, are full of joy, celebrating the woman we have in front of us and finding the depth in the simplest of moments. We have enjoyed creating the spotlight series so much that we are going to be releasing them bi-monthly starting May and we are so pleased to be able to do that.

Documentary

Pulling together a short is multi-purposed for us. It allows us to play with the narrative we are beginning to see, gives us a bit of face time with the footage we have accumulated, puts an action behind our filming and gives us something we can share.

Other

We have begun to start giving ourselves permission to explore what other projects and ideas might fit well under our platform and as we are doing so, it becomes more obvious how much we are LOVING running this platform and it’s presence in our life is one of our greatest sources of fulfillment.

SPOTLIGHT | Lizane Tan
lizane.quote.brilliansea

Lizane Tan

Graphic Designer & Part Time Seasonal Flight Attendant 

Lizane can be found using her graphic design skills in freelance projects, working as a part time seasonal flight attendant, while also connecting with others and being inspired by the world when traveling.

Lizane is richly inspired by the creativity in the world that she explores and uses that inspiration to connect us deeper to the stories we are trying to tell with the work she creates.

She also happens to have a grounding presence that allows space for learning, inspiration and a celebration for the unique self within.

More Lizane

Website:

https://lizanetan.com/projects

Instas:

https://www.instagram.com/lizanecrna/

https://www.instagram.com/narrativeincidents/




WORK | A One Woman Show
aonewoman.show.byamygrace

Everything in stages

After spending a day story boarding her life, I took another step into the direction of writing a one woman show about my grandmother, Joan Francis Goodday Lugar by beginning that first draft.

Because of her importance in my life and the weight she carries, I have found myself caught between the urge to see this fantastic, complex and very straight forward woman characterized on stage in her many facets and the anxiety that I will get it all wrong and not serve her story properly.

I press on.

Baby steps have been taken to start taking the storyboard onto paper and I have given myself this year to meander in pulling it together. I trust that I will be able to see that final first draft by late autumn of this year and begin to hone it after.

What I see when I look at the photos of her, is a strong capable, woman who was beyond her time. She was sharp as she was tender and quippy as she was also observant.

SPOTLIGHT | Bethany Dunn
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Bethany Dunn

Comedian & Teacher

Bethany can be found improvising and working with the improv troupe Hello City, helping to connect others with their passions through Skills Canada while also sharing her love for improv in teaching classes through Halifax’s Neptune Theatre.

Beth is highly focused on her work and delivers a passion and excellence that ripple affects into those who are privileged to learn through her.

She also happens to have an ability to keep you captive while she acts, talks ad communicates through her intensely engaging and stunning eyes.

More Bethany

Websites:

https://www.facebook.com/hellocityimprov/

https://www.facebook.com/SkillsWithBeth/

Hello City Insta:

https://www.instagram.com/hellocityimprov/

Personal Insta:

https://www.instagram.com/sarabethanydunn/

WORK | Wellness & Work
wellness.mbs.byamygrace

mind.body.soul.

I have noticed during this season of my life, as new things begin and momentum grows, that I am coming up against an anxious mind. 

the night hours like to whisper self doubt. 
the lack of sleep likes to drain and agitate.
the decisions like to stack up to mirror impossible obstacles. .

& yet I realize that these are the moments that require an extra dose of welcoming peace to come in and sit with me. To set aside a moment to nourish despite the world around me & despite what I think I should or shouldn’t be doing.  That it’s all being held for me while I take a moment in the chaos of my mind to be still.

To serve others and the work one is called to do, one must respect themselves enough to take a step back and assess their own ways. We affect each other and to be mindful of our wellness, means we are also mindful of others in return.

Mind

Seek to sort the tasks in a way that brings clarity.
Avoid overlap in responsibilities.
Allow that unplugging / disconnecting from the world to allow the mind to reset.
Encourage a healthy sleep pattern whenever possible.
Tickle your fancy in interests…it does wonders for actively seeing things in new lights.

Body

Aim for a balanced diet daily.
Indulge mindfully. & with joy.
Move more than once a day.
Fresh air is good.
Invest in one thing a month to improve yourself physically. (spf moistrizer counts)
Celebrate the body that holds your spirit in ways that is natural for you. (selfies are not selfish)

Soul

Pursue the still small voice inside.
Seek whatever is true, right, pure and love.
Seek out one deep conversation weekly.
Let go of what is distracting you.
Watch the words around you. What you say and what is being said.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” - psalm 18:19

WORK | Dare to Lead
daretolead.byamygreace

I do my best every season to pick a book to read that will inspire and develop me both personally and professionally.

Dare to Lead being Brené Browns latest book was fitting as I adore her work, words and insight on what it means to live a full and meaningful life.

What Struck Me about Dare to Lead

This book takes her work on vulnerability, courage and fear and brings it into the professional arena. As I step into co-leading Brilliansea with Claire Fraser, I want to be able to ‘rumble’ (a word Brené uses to identify the process of processing through tough conversations / topics) with the work, my colleague and stay open and honest in the process.

What I learned

Vulnerability is not just for my personal life.

Taking time to identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths will allow room and space for you to recognize when perhaps, your own work methods or ways of being are conflicting with the matter at hand. To address that, may mean facing that you are not skilled in one aspect of your work and you may need to set up boundaries for yourself and others to partner with you in that weakness to create a better work flow and life.

Recognize one’s nature and profession.

I have also found that it has given me more compassions and insight for why my partner in life, often sees problems before he sees solutions. His nature, work and training has taught him to find every problem before ever seeing something successful. Where as my line of training and work has taught me that there are multiple ways to perceive something (none of which are wrong) and also, hundreds of ways to reach the final destination.

*I am still in the process of reading this book but I am taking it slowly and ‘rumbling’ with it.

SPOTLIGHT | Ruth McMullen
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Ruth McMullen

Founder, Podcast Host of Optimistically Depressed & Team Member of The Halifax Social Network team

Ruth can be found making impactful sound waves on her podcast ‘Optimistically Depressed’, working with the Halifax Social Network team to create community, while also being present for those she loves and cares about.

Ruth is deeply passionate about creating space for and bringing the internal journey into the light so we can all feel a little less alone.

She also happens to have a way of speaking directly into your soul that makes you feel heard, understood and cherished.

MORE RUTH

Website:
https://optimisticallydepressed.com

Listen:
https://open.spotify.com/show/3f0CQ0HWvGeUeArY4Y7MsX

Personal Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/ruthhailstone/

Optimistically Depressed Insta:
https://www.instagram.com/optimisticallydepressed/

Halifax Social Network Insta:
https://www.instagram.com/halifaxsocialnetwork/

WORK | Everything is Progress
newbyamygrace.

As work and projects have shifted,

it became very clear that I needed new business cards.

Here is what blew me away about looking at past cards I have had for byamygrace until now:

Every year I become more and more who I am supposed to be.
Every year is a refinement and these little cards are a testament to the journey.

Looking at this business card I feel truly connected to what I am presenting more so than ever before.
That is me and it clearly states what I am about.

It is hard in the moment of the slog of ones own work and creative pursuits to see the story that is being woven together with every action, every day, season and year… but when you pan back and see the progression over years, you begin to see that you have been growing, changing and becoming.

It has led me to the realization that every little thing is progress and there is room for just a bit more growth in every small and simple thing we do.

*“Baby steps and short breaths. Anything is progress. You sustain my every moment.” - Steffany Gretzinger

WORK | Brilliansea Documentary
Photo taken by:  Carter Hutton

Photo taken by: Carter Hutton

This year began

the process of putting together a documentary via Brilliansea with a working title “Young Female Entrepreneur”. This documentary is seeking to showcase various women who have started a unique business concept, who are either young, or ‘young in business’.

While filming these interviews and capturing these women in their work environments, we are also documenting ourselves starting our own media platform and finding out first hand what it means to start something new and unique from the ground up.

Women we have filmed thus far:

Korayne Romanchuk | Owner and Founder of KoKo Mod Flower Shop

Sharlene Loveless | Owner and Founder of The Glo Barre

Kate Pepler | Owner and Founder of The Tare Shop

Our next steps

To pull together what footage we have to create a short that shows a sampling of what we are doing.

Continue seeking out unique women and their businesses to feature in this process.

Continue documenting our journey.

Our goal in it all

To find the brilliance that is unique in each woman we encounter.