During my coffee + joy ride excursion today, I experienced multiple waves of gratitude and awe. Granted, whenever I have caffeine in my system, life just looks a bit more beautiful and tolerable after the first two intense hours of caffeine consumption. And once my latte disperses through my body and the high ultimately fades, I typically come back down to earth feeling more in touch with the lows of life, as well as the highs. Today was no different. However, now that I’ve settled in at home, caffeine processed and dulled, I still feel gratitude. So, that must mean those caffeine-induced emotions were real, right?

I feel gratitude for how supported I feel in my life right now. And please don’t even begin to assume for a sec that my life is super easy and awesome. But, it’s also not too terrible. It’s a mix of both yay and not-so-yay, and there are ups and downs at all times. And because this is generally just how life operates and flows, I think any one of us could easily get swept away by the drama of any single life circumstance. So, how do we stay on track during the yay and nay fluctuations? How do we keep growing and flourishing, even when we fall backwards at times?

For me, there are a few core things that I always come back to, that I feel ever so grateful for. And I would absolutely love if any one of these items inspired you, even just a little, to keep on trucking, even and especially if you are having a not-so-yay time in life right now.


I understand not everyone is an artist. I’ve been making art since I was a child, and it’s just what I’ve always done. However, I think creative energy is similar to sexual energy. It’s just kind of there at all times. We can bury it if we want, or release the fury and hope we don’t frighten the world with our expressiveness. Either way, I don’t want you to feel excluded if you don’t define yourself as an “artist,” because what I’m talking about isn’t high art. I’m talking about expressing yourself in a way that ultimately pulls in a bit of your subconscious. Or, if you have disturbing thoughts, feelings and emotions that are very intense in feeling and rather conscious in nature, then finding a way to channel it into a different form. Ultimately, I think creative expression is about transmuting. It’s about taking something gunky, being courageous enough to feel the intensity of that gunk as it moves through you, and then getting it out into the world so it’s no longer in your system, robbing you of your peace.

If you’ve never tried this, how about giving it a try? No one has to see your art. But let yourself feel how it feels to dump your gunky emotions from within your body and mind out into tangible form. Imagine this process as a method of expulsion. And don’t worry about the end result. Just get it out and use your body to move it. You can do this by writing, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, smashing glass and turning it into a mosaic…the possibilities are truly endless.

I’m working on some deep, childhood, self-esteem stuff right now and below is a piece of gunk that really, really wanted to come out of me last week. It ain’t so pretty, but that’s okay. It’s no longer inside of me, and that has made room for more gunk to arise, process, and free myself from.

little girl with a crow speaking to her

Untitled, mixed media on paper, 11″ x 15″ 2023 © Libby Saylor


In general, I believe we all need loved ones in order to flourish and grow. Any love will do, be it from a friend, a co-worker, a stranger’s kindness, a spouse or partner, a pet, or someone from our spiritual community. Kindness and loving exchanges are what fuel us all, especially when we are down. And we all need that, always. However, I think in order to really keep GROWING, we need those folks who tell us what we need to hear at key moments in our evolution.

The more refined my loving relationships get, the more I realize the importance of the way this information is delivered. There is a huge difference between a loved one telling me, “Lib, you’re being a jerk,” and “Lib, I understand why you reacted that way, but remember this person loves you very much, and they were just trying to help, so you might need to apologize and be more compassionate next time.” Granted, this example is very specific to me. You might be thinking of a similar situation, but in your case, the loving thing for you to hear would be, “Girl, that person is abusive and you don’t owe them an apology, you need to walk away.” So, the loving advice you receive must be from trusted humans who know you very well, who know your strengths and weaknesses, and who 99% of the time are supporting you in everything you do (the other 1% is made up of gentle but honest feedback, in case that wasn’t clear). A good way to judge this is to also pay attention to how you feel when you receive this loving feedback. For me, that instance above made me feel more relaxed, my heart humbled and more open. I was so grateful to hear it, and felt unchained and more free from needless anger and tension.

You must be the judge here, and luckily you get to decide what feels like “loving feedback” and what feels like everything else.


There’s no way to sugar coat this one. There are two ways of being uncomfortable that I think serve our growth as human beings. One is being uncomfortable facing our emotions. And the other is literally putting our body out into the world, taking chances and being vulnerable (obviously, I’m not referring to anything unsafe, reckless, our anything that would put our physical health in danger).

It’s difficult to talk about this one abstractly, so I’ll just give you a little list of some ways that I allow myself to feel uncomfortable in the name of my growth.

  • I go on dates (I don’t care who you are, dating takes guts and courage, every single time, and it never gets easier!).
  • Instead of going home to drink my latte, I will take my journal and sit in a coffee shop, surrounding myself with other humans, even if I feel self-conscious, which I always do.
  • I will have that uncomfortable, but much-needed conversation with someone I care about, for the health of the relationship, even if I don’t know how it will go, what they will say, or what will happen.
  • If I’ve behaved in a way that makes me feel ashamed or confused, I sit with those feelings, journal about them, examine them, and try to understand them (this is 100% the least fun thing ever, but still worth doing!).
  • I make art, which for me, is never enjoyable or comfortable, because it requires that I lean into my darkness. But something beautiful always comes from it, so how is that not worth it?!
  • I say yes to things even if I’m feeling anxious or nervous about doing them. In general, as long as it’s safe, only good things can come from doing things you’ve never done before, or haven’t done in a really long time.
pink rosebud

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash


This one is so personal, so I might just leave this for you to contemplate. But I do think it’s important to have something within your belief structure that creates a bit of buoyancy. We all need resilience to keep going after life’s blows, and it helps to believe that this world is not just made up of negativity, disappointments, and evil forces.

Where do you find your faith and belief in goodness?


Ok, so we’re working hard here, right? We’re taking chances, we’re having those hard conversations, we’re making art, and we’re doing the work! And I don’t know about you, but I tend to take my growth super seriously. However, we still need to have fun! We need to balance out all that work with a bit of relaxation and pure pleasure. And I do believe that even our play and rest are super spiritual and important parts of our growth. I think it’s important to remember to take play and rest as importantly as our intense growth work. So, what do you do for fun? Here is what I’ve been doing lately. And I’m telling you, none of it is full of high integrity or honorable acts. It’s all pretty indulgent. But I don’t judge myself, because if it makes me happy, I’m gonna do it!!

  • Binging trash reality shows like The Kardashians and Selling Sunset. These shows make me so happy and I don’t need to question it. I just need to enjoy.
  • Watching my favorite beauty influencers on YouTube. I just love watching nice and pretty women apply makeup and talk! My favorites are Allana Davison and Caroline Barnes if you’re curious.
  • Grabbing my iced latte and going for a drive, listening to music, and singing loudly.
  • Taking the time once a week to go slow with my beauty regimen, masking, and using that gua sha thingy.
  • Watching baseball (go Phillies!), eating a healthy meal, and drinking a glass of wine.


So loves, did you glean any inspiration from this post? What is your go-to fun indulgence when you need to take a break from all that growing? And what have you done lately that made you a bit uncomfortable, but you did it anyway? Finally, what creative outlet do you use to dump all the gunk? I can’t wait to read your beautiful comments! xoxo


  1. I like your list and relate to your points. And that makes me feel happy.
    What is your go-to fun indulgence when you need to take a break from all that growing? I play video games.
    What have you done lately that made you a bit uncomfortable, but you did it anyway? I’ve been reaching out more bloggers leaving comments on their posts, which for an introvert like me is doable but doesn’t come easily.
    Finally, what creative outlet do you use to dump all the gunk? I garden.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What a fabulous depiction of your gunky self—your artwork says it all! In a fit of fury, my sister once used her “creative” energy to clean out the trunk of her car. A friend who saw the result asked, “Is this a new trunk?” My fail-safe fix for when life threatens my peace of mind is gratitude. Heartfelt gratitude, especially for the things I take for granted, like water, electricity, and breathing, trumps a troubled heart every time. Right now, I’m grateful for your eye-opening post and your willingness to be vulnerable. In the end, it’s all about growth, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, those caffeine-induced emotions were very real! Love your suggestions. I can very much relate, say yes to things that make us uncomfortable, enjoy life (yes, go Phillies), dump the gunk or as I like to say, the junk that loads me down, and say thank you to all that’s around us. I’ve been anxious the past two days over silly stuff, it was great to read your post this morning and remember to trust my gut and my own caffeine induced emotions. Have a wonderful Thursday!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So much to love in your post, Libby! And for the record, I can’t figure out for the life of me how to use that “gua sha thingy” either. 😎 When you get the hang of it, let me know!
    Thank you so much for sharing your artwork and for your vulnerability in encapsulating the “core things” that you come back to — to keep growing and moving forward. I can get revved up about pesky stuff and need to remember to slow down and (speaking to myself) shut up. It works every time…especially when I’m getting too twisty about something. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to get comfy talking about my book when I’d rather hide out somewhere…but I’m doing it anyhow! 🥰 xo!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for sharing all of this!! So beautifully vulnerable indeed. And omg you can start with talking about your book with me!! I’d love to hear more 💖 You know I’m a “safe” person to practice on! Send me an email or our next chat maybe! xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are all fantastic things to have in the toolbox–thanks for sharing, Libby! My go-to indulgences are probably walks in nature, K-dramas, and reading silly/trivial knowledge blogs (did you know the 1-cm pumpkin toadlet is a terrible jumper?). As for discomfort, I think I’m stretching beyond my comfort zone in blogging (like a coffee shop, the discomfort doesn’t feel unsafe). My primary creative outlet is writing, though (even though I lack talent) I have pencils, paint, charcoals, markers, collage materials, etc. and will sometimes have a grand time creating someone ugly. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your indulgences! I love how everyone’s responses are so different and so personal and beautiful. Love that froggy 🐸 factoid 🤣🤣💖💖 Thank you for sharing and keep up all the creativity it sounds amazing

      Liked by 1 person

  6. All good points. Been trying to get out of my comfort zone myself, age brings a certain unwillingness to do that and I’m trying to change it. Doing little things I’m not used to ar are not part of a routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My daily routine from “The Artist’s Way” help me each day. A three-page morning brain dump in a journal, a morning walk and prayer. After my work and to do list is done, I love to sit outside and read a movel.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. I didn’t have a blog before I started the Artist’s Way. Next, I got a weekly parenting advice column for five years. I gave that up after realizing why would anyone want to hear what I have to say about parenting!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great honest, open and revealing post Libby! Thank you for sharing all your ‘stuff’ with us. I often wish I had a few of those honest folks telling me what I want to hear, but I am not at all afraid to ask outright for their opinions either. My common one tends to be “So am I really making more out of this than I need to?”

    My indulgence would be an online puzzle game, my out-of-comfort zone experience is getting involved in a new volunteer setting, and my gunk-remover is walking without distraction- always my go to.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this, Libby! Especially the sentence, “There are two ways of being uncomfortable that I think serve our growth as human beings. One is being uncomfortable facing our emotions. And the other is literally putting our body out into the world, taking chances and being vulnerable.”

    I think writing, podcasting and publishing continue to be my vulnerable space. And luckily, I get to spend time with my kids at the end of every day – going for walks, looking for rocks, drawing with chalk in the sidewalk and all those things ground me and restore me in ways I couldn’t predict.

    Thanks for a great post, Libby!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m laughing about your endorsement of looking for rocks. Little D has loading up the car with them so that we can BRING them to the beach to throw in the water. He says, “this is a rock for vacation water.” Isn’t that fun?

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a great list and I agree with you that we grow through putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations that eventually become situations that feel comfortable.

    And I’m all here for trashy reality tv shows too. Selling Sunset is great although I feel it’s not as fun without Christine now.

    Liked by 1 person

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