Blogger with Heart: Robyn Michelle-Lee

Hello lovelies,

emember the Bloggers with Heart series I began some months ago?  I must confess - I've been feeling terribly guilty about allowing it to lapse into oblivion.  I suppose I could make some excuse about being too busy, planning the wedding, blah, blah, blah.  But I kind of hate excuses like that, and you wanna know why?  It's because I believe that, consciously or subconsciously, we make time for the things that are important to us

nd so the truth is this:  These past four or five months have been a time of intense growth for me.  I haven't really shared very much of this here (aside from the changes I've been making on a physical level), but I've had some really significant realizations about what I want in life and, as a result, my journey toward personal fulfillment is taking some unexpected and exciting turns.

What does this have to do with Bloggers with Heart?  While I've kept up a fairly regular schedule of posting here, my thoughts have often been elsewhere, musing about things on which I'm not quite ready to elaborate.  Blogging has, quite frankly, moved down a rung or two in my life's priorities.  I've taken some much-needed time and space to retreat a bit - to move into my own head and heart and to build up my internal reserve.  As the incomparable Julie Cameron writes in The Artist's Way, it's difficult - almost impossible - to simultaneously honor our own creative energy while entwined in the creative lives of others, as inspiring as they may be.  I've taken a purposeful step back from my interactions with others, both online and off, and I've found that my own voice - my authentic wants and needs - is more clear to me when it's not competing with so much "background noise."

esterday I was delighted to hear from one of the bloggers I'd originally wanted to feature as a Blogger with Heart.  I felt that her words were coming to me afresh, reaching me at a different place than they would've just a few months ago when I was feeling overwhelmed by the enormous variety of creative possibility in this world.  Having had a bit of distance from it all, I'm feeling inspired in a new way, and I'm suddenly recognizing kindred creative spirits everywhere.

he aforementioned blogger is most definitely one such spirit.  Since first reading her guest posts on Tranquility du Jour and subsequently finding her beautiful blog, I have continually been enamored with her lush descriptions of life's simple pleasures.  In fact, I believe her beautiful lifestyle - good food, an appreciation of beauty in the natural world, and a focus on friends and family - is partially what prompted my own introspection as to what I want my life to look like and how I'll make it happen.

ithout further ado, I am excited to present this week's Blogger with Heart: Robyn Michelle-Lee of This is Life.  

1. why did you start blogging?
a couple of years ago i began to read blogs and found them so inspirational that i wanted to join in! i began 
a travel and lifestyle blog a month before my husband and i moved to the uk for one year. i thought it would be a wonderful way to stay connected with our communities, and while it certainly was a wonderful way to keep it touch, it became so much more. for me, blogging became a journey of discovering my own voice in my writing and in my photography, as well as a source of new community! when we returned from the uk in september, blogging faded away for a few months, but i missed having that creative outlet so much that i decided to continue writing about lifestyle - and this is life. was born!
2.  how do you decide what to share in your blog?
i want my blog to be a place of inspiration - not only for others, but also for myself. occasionally, i will go back and read what i wrote over the past year and will be brought to a place of wonderful nostalgia through the description of details. that's how i decide what to write - what i think will inspire others today, and what i think will inspire myself tomorrow.
3. the subtitle for your blog is "a documentary of lifestyle and inspiration in words and photographs."  how would you describe this lifestyle?  i titled the blog this is life. because of my reflections on the following quote: i don't know exactly what a prayer is.
i do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be 
idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what i have been doing all day.
tell me, what else should i have done?
doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one 
wild and precious life?
mary oliver, from the summer day

i think this poem so eloquently captures the sentiment of how fleeting this moment is and how we have this one wild and precious lifetime. so, in a sense, 
this is life. could refer to any lifestyle that inspires you!
6.  you have such a unique way with words.  instead of just writing "i ate this" or "i did this," you really describe your experiences on a multi-sensory level and in gorgeous detail.    at times, it feels more akin to reading poetry.  can you describe your writing process?  
my process is all about experience and appreciation. i really do think the way that i write. as i live, i notice my heart tingling at the beauty around me, and i make a point to notice what details are inspiring me. the words simply come.
7. besides blogging at this is life and guest-blogging for tranquility du jour, what other projects (blogging-related or otherwise) are you working on right now? 
i'm in the final months of finish a degree in literature, as well as teaching english as a second language. i'm exploring paths of where my career will take me one day. i am growing my little photography business and booking sessions for this summer, as well as planning to open an etsy shop for photography prints. we will also be moving to a new flat soon, so i'll be creating a cosy little home!
8. which bloggers inspire you? 
so, so many! here are just a few...
style notes, {this is glamorous}, canelle et vanille, sunday suppers, coco+kelley, elements of style, la dolce vita, pure style home, the city sage, the style files, a cup of jo, everything fabulous, curls and coffee, a diary of lovely, brunch at saks, enjoying the small things, from portland to peonies, la tartine gourmande, merci new york, snippet and ink, haute design, the sartorialist, urban grace interiors
9. what else is inspiring you right now?
inspiration is truly everywhere! it is about opening our eyes to see.

10. what advice would you give to bloggers who wish to develop their unique voice?
read, read, read a wide variety of writing. always live in a way that seeks to appreciate the beauty around you - let it strike you, and write about what it is that you find beautiful. don't study your own writing - your voice will simply come when you write freely.

11.  five by five.  tell us your five favorite: books, movies, albums, foods, and simple pleasures in life.
books: fugitive pieces by anne michaels. persuasion by jane austen. home baking: the artful mix of flour and traditions from around the world by jeffery alford and naomi duguid. the fountainhead by ayn rand. les miserables by victor hugo. 
movies: manderlay. roman holiday. coco avant chanel. atonement. vicky cristina barcelona.
albums:anouar brahem - conte de l'incroyable amour. john mayer - continuum. vicky cristina barcelona
soundtrack. paris saint germain. jacob & lily - the cathedral.

foods: crab cakes. dark chocolate. sushi. macarons. pad thai.

imple pleasures:
provence rooibos tea. facials. prosecco. picnics. fresh cut flowers.

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.?)
in a paris apartment. macbook. white ranunculus in vases everywhere. bright sunlight streaming through windows. dark, hardwood floors. beautiful vintage moldings. it is warm. scented candles fill the space with the aromas of soft vanilla pods and basmati rice. an elegant white orchid. soft instrumental music fills the air. my own photography and paintings are on the walls. a tall book shelf of my favorite literature, all in vintage hardcovers. neutral color palette of linen and bone and hazelnut. a thick chocolate brown yoga mat. a cashmere blanket. late afternoon. a bowl of provence rooibos tea.
13.  in five words or less: what is the meaning of life?
the appreciation of beauty.

obyn is... twentysomething. an ashtanga yogini. a literature student. so, so in love with her husband. a freelance writer and photographer. an english teacher. a guest blogger for 
kimberly wilson. living in a tiny apartment on the pacific ocean. fluent in french. a seeker of inspiration.


Cat said...

What a wonderful feature! It is so very special to get a glimpse into the woman behind the blog :)

shelly said...

i have been going through the same thing over the past year. i have called it "growing myself" - yoga, gardening and food/cooking have been such a huge part of that.

i discovered RML on Kimberly's blog also. adore her. and i love this post. great questions! xoxo


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