Blogger with Heart: Stephanie of Heart-Piercing Life
For any new readers,Bloggers with Heart is a series of interviews with bloggers whose voices resonate with authenticity, sparkle, and soul. You can read past interviews here.
I am so excited to share this Blogger with Heart interview with y'all. It was only in the past few months that I "met" Stephanie, who blogs over at Heart-Piercing Life. Yet through her blog and twitter, I have quickly come to feel that I've known her for years. Her musings on creativity, personal growth, and wellness constantly inspire me to push myself in these areas. And, if you know Stephanie, you'll know what I mean when I say this girl simply radiates warmth. Her big heart and generous spirit just leap right off the screen. Plus, she's got talent in spades - check out her lovely Etsy shop, Heart-Piercing Cards. Sunny personality, serious crafting skills, killer hair...and did I mention killer hair? I know you'll agree that Stephanie is a total gem and a true Blogger with Heart. (I'm especially loving her answer to question 13...yup, pretty sure that's my new life mantra!)
1. Why do you blog?
The combination of personal pleasure and shared expression keeps me writing. Though I must say, I started off blogging for one reason (myself) and it has gently evolved into something more. While I may be a blogger with heart, thankyouverymuchanaliese, I am really just your everyday person. My hair is just probably a bit bigger than yours.
2. How do you come up with ideas for posts?
Bus rides. Long days. Sunshine. Bicycles. Everything I do and touch and see and smell inspires me. (I seriously have animal senses!) I try to keep my blog deep, inspiring, and relevant. Most of my blog posts are written as a way to archive my days. Whether it be an event, a remarkable meal, or an art project, I want to use my blog to capture the true essence of the experience. Ultimately, I aim to communicate my experiences authentically, but I do try and share what I share with a smile and whispers of love. We all need more love.
3. What does "Heart-Piercing Life" mean to you?
This is such a good question, because honestly, I have no record of what I was thinking when I conceived that name for my blog. However, after years of writing from the heart and making art from that central place, it just makes sense.
I sold my handmade paper goods, Heart Piercing Cards, at a craft fair over 4th of July weekend, and this young girl, maybe a 10 year old, was shopping with her grandmother. She was really hip. Her grandmother purchased a card and the girl looked me straight in the eyes and said: “I like your stuff. The Heart Piercing Cards. I get it.”
That really took me aback. If this ten year old girl could “get” living from your heart, from that sacred space deep within your chest, even when that means it isn’t all mountaintop experiences, and expressing that life with authenticity, than I could, too.
The mountains, the valleys, and celebrating every step; that’s what Heart Piercing Life is all about.
4. What is the best thing about blogging?
It’s a serious toss up between the outlet and the community. Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring women through blogging (and twitter)… That sense of an online community is new for me, AND I LOVE IT! However, I’ve just been blogging to blog for 2+ years (thankgodforarchives!), so that outlet piece is really important to me, too. I need somewhere to write about what is holding me and some way to send my thoughts out into the Universe.
5. What is the hardest part about blogging?
Finding the balance. Sometimes I really want to TELL ALL, or say what I really need to say. However, I also want to be perceived as a force for love & positivity…so telling all can be done in a way that builds you up or in a way that breaks you down. I choose UP.
I have always been a purveyor of this principal: what you do in the dark you should be able to speak about in the light. When shame builds force, it can be extremely dangerous. So I try to display my courage right alongside my questions. But that balance isn’t always easy to find.
7. Your creative spirit and big heart are so apparent in your posts. How do you cultivate such a positive outlook on life?
In the recent past, I’ve been practicing positivity, but when I was a little girl, I was a firecracker for sure. My grandmother’s maiden name is Lala and I’d like to think I was spunky from the start. The creativity has been cultivated over many years. Confidence hasn’t been my strong suite as an adult, but I’m gaining some momentum these days…declaring my strengths and counting myself blessed to know my vulnerabilities. I lean towards sunshine, positivity & grace, because, um, what’s the alternative? Didn’t think so!
8. Which bloggers inspire you and why?
When I set out for inspiration, I end up at these fountains… I’m always reading:
* Brook at Inchmark: she pairs up creative ideas with real heart, and a solid love for her family & good design.
* kaileenelise: she is consistently posting some of the best content I read.
* Kristen gardner’s photography blog: her photography captures the essence of love & togetherness & wonder.
9. What else is inspiring you right now?
Holistic, responsible wellness; my boyfriend’s handsome, classic style; Austin, Texas; my gratitude journal; all things spring!
10. What advice would you give to someone just getting started as a blogger?
Don’t ever hesitate to express what you’re authentically experiencing. If you love food, write about it. If you love trees, tell us all you know. Hang on to your stories, tell them as honestly as you know how to, and applaud the people who, by sharing theirs, inspired you to do the same. That goes for new bloggers and the rest of us, too!
11. Five by five. Tell us your five favorite: books, movies, albums, foods, and simple pleasures in life.
Books: Fortunes (Jen Lee), I Thought It was Just Me (Bréne Brown, PhD), Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard), Gilead (Marilynne Robinson) and Dream Work (Mary Oliver).
Movies: Tristan & Isolde; WALL-E; Persepolis; The Visitor; Elizabeth.
Albums: The Tallest Man on Earth; Regina Spektor; Vampire Weekend; The Be Good Tanyas; Iron & Wine (those are artists, not albums! sorry!)
Foods: Miche (a French country loaf); Kale; Coconut; Organic Apples; Salmon
Simple Pleasures: back-scratching, dark chocolate, fresh air, good jeans, bike riding.
12. If you had the opportunity to create "the perfect space" space for blogging and other creative pursuits, what would yours look like?(How would it be decorated, what objects would surround you, how would it sound, feel, smell, etc.?)
O-la-la, I am so craving a change of living space and have had PLENTY of time to dream about its details! I would have the perfect combination of art space and work space. I would upgrade to a MacBook Pro and my work space would be clutter free! My art space, while organized, would be granted the permission to be as cluttered as (temporarily) need be! Paul (my beau) always says: “You have to make a great mess to make greatness.”
The space would be naturally lit, with inspiring prints and soft turquoise painted walls. Antiqued wooden furniture with white and resin desk accessories. I would always have a Lucia soy candle burning, music playing, and a huge bottle of water nearby. Hot tea & dark chocolate, too!
13. In five words or less: what is the meaning of life?
Don’t hold back your gold.
Stephanie lives in Louisville, KY and works at the University. She is pursuing a career in wellness coaching, and makes fanciful handmade paper goods on the side. She is currently on a quest to live out her golden year.
Thanks, Stephanie, for sharing your thoughts with us! You rock!