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Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration Journal – August 11, 2015
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“A must read”
“Meera Lee Patel's uplifting book presents open-ended, supportive prompts and exercises along with inspirational quotes from writers, artists, and visionaries to encourage reflection through writing, drawing, chart-making, and more. With plenty of room for writing and reflecting, this appealing full-color book will make a perfect gift and keepsake, as well as being a powerful tool for positive change.”
"Remarkable, endearing, and absolutely gorgeous. A brilliant travel guide for navigating the nooks and crannies of imagination.”
—Jessica Hagy, author of How to Be Interesting
"I am obsessed with Meera Lee Patel's work. It's bright, calm, zen and botanical. All the things I love."
"Meera Lee Patel is an absolute gem!"
“This interactive journal will keep its users mindful, self-motivated, and creative in our world which can so often push us towards unproductive habits and downright chaos. Pick up a copy for those in your life who may not make it to yoga or their therapist quite as often as they’ve been meaning to.”
About the Author
Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist whose lines of stationery and textiles are sold in boutiques across the country. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her next book is My Friend Fear, now available for preorder.
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We just got done looking at Goldie Hawn’s “10 Mindful Minutes: A Journal” and here I am back, BAM, with “Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration” by Meera Lee Patel. Trust me, these two journals are totally different from one another, so you’re going to want to keep reading.
Patel’s journal comes from a unique, but familiar perspective. How often have you put change on hold because things weren’t where you thought they should be for you to make that change? I’ve done. Patel, the author, has done. Odds are good that you’ve done, or maybe you’re doing it now. “Start Where You Are” encourages you to stop looking, and waiting, for that other day, and to instead start where you are. Her journal asks probing, thought provoking questions to help you find out more about yourself: what you really love, your motivations, how see yourself and how you feel others perceive you, and more. However she does mix it up. Sometimes the journal will just ask a question for you to answer, but other times you’re drawing pictures, or filling in circles or other shapes, or coloring in a drawing.
Along with her journaling exercises, Patel includes inspiring quotes from a variety of sources. Since she’s an accomplished artist, with lines of stationary sold in boutiques, the quotes are presented in colorful, whimsical fonts, suitable for framing (if you’re willing to cut them out of the book).
It can be difficult to think about yourself and your desires, particularly if you think they’re unattainable. Artist and author Meera Lee Patel does her best to make the journey a painless and playful one.
Now on to the book itself - first off, the artwork is gorgeous. Some of the drawings (they're more like paintings) are absolutely frame-worthy. They appeal to both adult women and teens because they're somewhat whimsical while still giving off a modern feel. The colors are so vivid and bright, they almost jump out at you. The quotes are all very thought-provoking. And the prompt questions really got me thinking myself... so often in life, we forget to explore ourselves, to ask ourselves important questions. We get caught in the rat race, in our everyday hectic schedules and we lose ourselves. Even though I bought this journal for my teenage nieces, it's certainly something that I'd consider purchasing for myself as well. It really does appeal to women of all ages.
It would also make a great meditation companion. As a writer, I find writing to be very meditative. It really assists me in my daily breathing exercises and meditation sessions. It helps me to clear my head, to focus on nothing but myself for a few minutes. I usually use a blank notebook, but this journal would be even more helpful.
Buy this for all the women in your life who need a little bit of inspiration or encouragement, and then treat yourself to one as well!
Diving into the book, each page has gorgeous pinterest-worthy quotations. The opposite page has a prompt, usually asking for a list. Such as "list 10 things that make you happy." As whimsical as this sounds, I once again didn't love it. I want space to draw and write...but I have a tiny space to work. Not to mention I have terrible handwriting (now i feel I need to go buy a book on lettering just to complete this book!). I simply do not want to write next to those wonderfully pretty quotes. I want to take them out and frame them, but then I would have my chicken-scratch lists scrawled on the back of each quote. I found myself wanting to take out the quotes, take out of lists, and paste them in my art journal. It all comes back to the tiny size of this book, and the binding. Really I would give this book 1 star for functionality, but it is really gorgeous.
My suggestions are
-Spiral bound book, 8 x11 sized
-Make the quotes on thicker paper, maybe even perforated edges for easy removal
-Make some of the quotes almost like an "adult coloring book." Leave them uncolored for zentangling or coloring. This will be nice for days when you just want to create, not list.
-Make the pages that need to be completed separate from the quotes pages.
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