Helena Woods in yellow dress in Corsica, France

Hello dear reader! It is May, the New Moon in Taurus, and I am feeling inspired. Inspired by life and reinspired to blog. I recently watched this Studio Ghibli film called Whisper of the Heart.  This film was so deliberate in its sharing of the small simple joys of the main character’s daily life, that I felt inspired to write and record my own little film, write my own little post. Some days it can be extra challenging to notice the simple joys, but inspiration can be found everywhere – a mystery novel, a painting, a noir film, nature, the salty air of the sea, a brief encounter with an old friend, a casual conversation with a stranger.

Finding beauty in the mundane is our job. Because deeply appreciating the small wonders is just as, if not more important, than celebrating the big ones.  

Romanticizing our lives is so easily overlooked…and yet it’s actually quite simple. Without taking charge of our lives and appreciating the small delights of our ordinary day to day, life would be dreary and dull, meaningless, and void of inspiration. Noticing the simple joys gets us excited to wake up: what mysteries will be unveiled to us, what tiny blessings may be bestowed upon us today? Will there be challenges and growth? Or simplicity and leisure? The unknown mystery creates interest. The simple joys bring light to the humdrum of our daily existence. 

So today I thought I’d share 5 simple but profound ways that you can romanticize your life….

Exist loudly.

When I say exist loudly, I mean, really commit to yourself, have brazen integrity and shine bright as the vibrant, multifaceted person you are. Laugh boldly at every little thing that makes you chuckle. Smile wide at the little things. Be so fully you that people have to do a double-take. Perhaps it’s having the gumption to dance in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store when your favorite sing plays overhead. Maybe it’s just getting unabashedly excited by the sight of a snail on a rainy day. Be shameless and brazen and commit to your unique dream – no matter how grand or simple it is. Be honest about your dreams in life – write them down, say them to yourself in the mirror when putting your makeup on, tell the world proudly about it. Whether your dreams are simple or grand, make no apologies for your heart’s yearnings.

Get Curious.

When you get up in the morning, look at the world as if it’s the first day on Earth. Or even, approach the day as if it were your final day on Earth. What tiny, curious things would catch your eye?

One thing that brings a lot of joy and romance to my own life is approaching life as a playful experiment. Sometimes I’ll spontaneously change my evening plans. Ask people questions about themselves. View life as a massive experiment and you, the leading scientist, paving the way. Begin to ask “why” with the innocence and honesty of a child.  Contemplate the big issues, ponder the small. When faced with challenges, notice how interesting and complicated life can be – wonder what you can learn from it, how you can grow. Learn to thrive with the challenges that inevitably come with life, and you will know no limits to the magic you already hold. 

One of the things I love to think to myself when something unexpected happens is, “hmmm isn’t that interesting...”

Ponder your day with curiosity and life will instantly become more interesting.

Fully Commit

When I wake up in the morning and fully commit to taking 1 small action on a dream of mine, life feels infinitely more colorful and hopeful. Committing to something, and having the discipline and follow-through to finish a task can give us an unexpected high – an enthusiastic spring in our step! Checking off little items on our daily to-do lists – whether it’s making the bed, tidying the kitchen, or picking up groceries – can make us feel accomplished. And accomplishment in even the smallest of things can feel joyous and wonderful!

Find ways to take pleasure in the small daily tasks. Put on music and dance full out while cleaning the bedroom. Pick up a pleasurable hobby and try something new. Learn a new skill and go all in! Stop by the library and peruse books of interest to you. Even just wearing a complete outfit when you’re working from home and won’t be seeing anyone. Pull out the mismatched teacups and saucers – for just a simple sip of water. Play with bold colors, silly accessories, and purple lipstick. Wear bright hats and use the fine china on the daily.  Throw dinner parties for your neighbors, birthday parties for your cats. Pick wildflowers for your home every week and never forget to smell the roses as you pass them by. Fully commit to your part. 

Be True to You

So many of us lose touch with ourselves because of other people’s expectations. We follow fear and avoid taking risks instead of trusting our intuition that is urging us to leap. And when we ignore the callings of our heart, when we ignore listening to ourselves, eventually we lack that joy and sparkle for life. We lose that excitement. In fact, I spent a chunk of my own life people-pleasing and avoiding taking action on my own quiet dreams because of what other people expected of me. I stayed in a profession I didn’t love much longer than I should have because I was afraid of what my peers and parents would say. But simply being honest with ourselves and asking the harder questions – about our beliefs, our dreams, our values, our priorities, our desires, our vision for our lives – will save us so much time and heartache. Be true to yourself and life will open up for you in the most dazzling of ways.

Treat Each Moment as a Gift.

Each second of your life is a treasure, a treat, a mystical present from who knows where. When you appreciate time, you appreciate life. Notice how the wind moves the leaves. The way the shadows dance on the building. The lone flower sprouting from the concrete. Tomatoes in the sun. Messy ink scrawls in the margins of your favorite novel. The baby blue sky, the smell of the freshly mowed lawn. Enjoy the delicate feel of a foamy sponge and the warm water as you wash a dish right after using it. Appreciate the simplicity of stirring pasta in a boiling pot of water. Milk in the feel of freshly cleaned sheets. These little things are what makeup life. These small delights are what give us meaning and joy. Notice them, appreciate them – and you will never go hungry. 

I’m sending you a warm hug and plenty of simple joys on this beautiful spring day…

Big hugs,

Helena!

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Be the Main Character – 5 Simple Ways to Romanticize Your Life

May 12, 2021

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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