morganharpernichols morganharpernichols

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Morgan Harper Nichols  Every day, I make art and write words for free as a daily practice of generosity. Submit your name or story via my site ✨

“So many things are changing around you...and you are changing, too...” I’m so honored to be featured on @VSCO for #worldpoetryday! Head to their page or visit the VSCO Journal (link in the bio) if you’d like to see more of it. I started using #vsco years ago and it has become a go-to for editing, and also inspiration. I’ve also started sharing there more (username is morganharpernichols). For the longest time, I struggled with figuring out how, where, and if I should even share poetry and art on social platforms. I remember memes and comments about how certain social media platforms weren’t “made” for these kind of things. But I can honestly say I am so glad that the amazing community I have found here has proven otherwise. There are so many ways to connect with others, and words + art is just one way. There is a place for what I’m making and there is a place for what you’re making. Make what is honest and true. Share what is honest and true. Whether it’s “in” or not. Because one day you’re going to look back and be so glad you chose to write, sing, paint, photograph, and dance to rhythm of what you believed in. Even when it wasn’t popular. Even when it didn’t get “likes.” Keep making your art. Keep telling your story with the things you make. Happy #WorldPoetryDay

No matter what has or has not bloomed in your life, I hope that you can continue to sow seeds. I hope you can choose to believe that the time you spent watering and waiting for your plants to grow was not wasted time, no matter the outcome. You learned something new. You challenged yourself to go deeper, sowing life into the bed of the earth. You learned that the end result did not have to be perfect in order for it to be meaningful and worth the time invested.

And one day you will look back and see how the act of sowing seeds has made a significant difference in your life. You will find that more than you spend time wondering about how things are going to work out, you spend time digging deep into the process of all you are learning now...and no matter what lies ahead, you are finding that this is where the life is.

Let this be the kind of life you live: a life that is lived in the now. Let yourself become just as excited about planting seeds as you are about watching them grow. You may feel discouraged at times when you think back on the seeds you have sown that did not grow according to plan, and that’s okay. You might look back on a failed relationship, an unexpected shift in your career, or a health diagnosis that changed your life forever, and it’s hard not to think about how much it grieves you that you can’t make up for lost time. You might reflect on how you loved someone with everything you had only to have them leave you. Or how you worked so hard to get where you are, only to be setback by a situation out of your control. (Continued in comments)...

I am honored to have collaborated with @Coach on this piece for #IWD2019. I wrote these words thinking about 1 woman’s story, and also, my own. Yesterday this page reached 400k followers (!) and wow...thank you. It’s made me reflect on a lot, and inspired to share a little bit of the story of what led to days like today:

Photo #3: One night in late 2016, I was feeling like a failure. It was the result of a lot of things all falling down on me at once. It was like I had been keeping my head in the clouds, trying to stay afloat up there in my illusions of what I thought “confidence” was and then on one night, it felt like my head fell from the clouds and crashed right into my heart, and everything fell apart. These are the words I wrote that night. I shared it on Pinterest, just as a way of giving a little closure to a hard night, and I didn’t put much effort into “trying to get it out there.” What happened next was beyond me.

Till this day, I haven’t still haven’t been able to figure out how that particular poem “got out there.” It’s been pinned over 100k times and I still don’t know how it happened. But I do know it taught me this: in one of my lowest place, I created something that connected with others who felt the same way.

Photo #4: This photo represents 2017. I spent 2017 creating like I was a kid again. I started painting again. I started writing short poems with permanent markers. Things I had given up for more “grown up” artistic endeavors. I found hope in the simple things. In late 2017, the self-doubt and feelings of failure were kicking in again. I began to realize that something in me had to change. I had to do something that would remind me that making art wasn’t about popularity or success. It was about connecting with people, one on one.

Photo #5: So In October 2017, I started making art like this: art and words based on the stories that people sent me. I still deal with self-doubt and other limiting beliefs but making art for other people has humbled and reminded me: all along, this has been about something bigger. All along, by grace, I am not limited by my fears and failures. (continued in the comments)

Tag a woman who is beautiful not because of how she appears or what she has achieved, but because of who she truly is, and the Light that runs wild within her ✨
#iwd2019 #internationalwomensday

There’s a typo in the 5th one, but I put the correct one on my story!

And as always, you are free repost or share anything you find on my page 😌✨

You are not a burden because of what you are going though. And you are worthy of being surrounded by people who are willing to travel this path with you. I am so sorry if that hasn’t been your experience. I am sorry if you ever been made to feel that you should be further along right now. May you know that even here, you can still know peace. Even here, you can take the time breathe. You can still go sit by the window and let the Light pour in, reminding it it’s okay if takes time to find the strength to start again. ⠀

All of these pieces were written with stories in my mind that submitted via my site.

Why I do this:

1. As a daily practice of generosity.

2. To stay grounded, and remind myself why I do what do as an artist and writer, and also just as human being.

3. I have been writing and creating all of my life, and I have always been inspired by the world and the people around me. I’ve been doing this particular project since October 2017 and it’s taught me so much about the importance of writing in a meaningful, personal way instead of trying to write for the whole world all at once.

How it works

1. Submit who or what you’d like to have something written about below. It could be an upcoming birthday, a new season you’re in, or “just because.” You can submit yourself or someone else. Your submission can be long or short, detailed or broad. There are no “rules” for this part.

2. Throughout the week, I randomly select people to write for. Unfortunately, with thousands of submissions I am not able to get to everyone. I do as many as I can, on top of my work schedule!

3. If selected, you will receive an email from me with “For [Your Name]” in the subject line. I always send what I created before I share it on social media or anyone else, so you’ll always know who it’s for!

5 short words for the one with a broken heart:

1. I hope the very best for you. I hope you are able to meet people and go places that speak to your heart and remind you: there is an endless depth to you, and you are worthy of being known. You are worthy of walking this earth knowing you do not walk alone.

2. Your heart has been broken,
but it has not been broken beyond beyond repair
And it is worthy of sunlight and attention,
gentleness and care.

3. This season is asking more of you than expected but you are still free to take this day by day, moment by moment, and allow your body and mind to rest when you need to.

4. This was not the life she planned, but she is choosing to exhale. She is still believing that beautiful things can spring to life from this broken, splintered ground.

5. It is okay if “strength” is nothing more than slow and careful breaths that you bravely draw forth from one moment to the next.

As always, each of these pieces were written with someone in mind who shared their story with me on my site. Different people, different stories, and it is my hope that all together, they can remind each of us we are not alone. I randomly select people to write for, for free, and the names and stories are kept anonymous. Visit the link in my bio to submit your story or a topic for me to write about (names are randomly selected weekly).

This is for The Creative. For the one who wonders if what she “has to offer” is good enough. I wrote this in hopes to encourage her that what she makes should be less about what’s perfect for the market, or for her Instagram feed, and much more about what’s beautiful, and honest, and comes from the depths of her.

I truly believe when we start at that place we are able to make the kind of work that matters no matter how “successful” it is. Every time I sit down to write or paint, I try to imagine that I am five years old again. Five year old Morgan didn’t know about Instagram. She didn’t even know about the internet. All she knew was that when she was given a notebook and colored pencils, it was time to make something. It was time to fill the page without worrying about the outcome.

Dearest Creative, I hope that today is the kind of day you can create in this way. I hope you can approach the page like you’re five years old again. Even if turns into a more “serious” grownup project later, I hope the heart of it is true to you, and what your heart is longing to say, and get back to.

You have this way of seeing the Light in others. You have this way of noticing what is beautiful and unique about those around you. And I just hope you know, the same Light you see within others is shining within you too. You have this way of holding up a mirror to others and making sure they feel seen, and that is a very valuable thing. But sometimes, that can make you feel a little less seen yourself... a little less valuable, and less important than everyone else. So in case no one has told you lately, it’s okay to turn that mirror around and see you for you, too. And know that no matter who does or does not notice you, Light is running wild within you. It shows up in your laughter. Your stories. Your honesty. Your presence. And I am sorry for all the times no one has taken the time to let you know this, in the same way that you have done this for so many others. I just wanted to remind you this is true: the same Light you see in others is shining within you, too.
- Morgan Harper Nichols

I’m not sure if the person I wrote the above quote for was an Enneagram 2 or not, but I definitely had 2’s on my heart when writing this. Visit the link in the bio if you’d Iike to be a part of an Enneagram series I am doing! I am by no means an expert, but I personally have learned a lot through the Enneagram and it has inspired my writing in many ways. I also have been getting a lot of requests about this. Yesterday, when I asked for suggestions for upcoming series on my Instagram story, I lost count of the times I read “Enneagram!” as a suggestion! So here’s to me overcoming my Enneagram 5-ness of feeling that I need to keep researching before I get started, and actually...well, getting started! Thank you for all the encouragement to do something like this. I honestly still get nervous every single time I post anything anywhere online, so writing around the Enneagram is no exception to this. But here’s to doing it afraid! Link is in the bio!

Note: sorry about the double negative typo in the 5th post 🤦🏽‍♀️

I do not know what your past looks like, but I do know it does not define you 💙

Each of these pieces were written with someone in mind who shared their story with me here. Different people, different stories, and it is my hope that all together, they can remind each of us we are not alone. I randomly select people to write for, for free, and the names and stories are kept anonymous. The link is in the bio if you would like submit a story!

Take heart. Breathe deep. Continue to take this day by day. You may be in the betweens but you are growing while you wait.

And I hope you can know what the gardener knows. I hope you can know that beautiful things take time. I hope you can look out on your garden that is not quite what you thought it would be and still believe that these things will grow in the way they are meant to. I hope you can trust what is happening beneath the surface. I hope you can choose to believe that even though you cannot see it, Life is being shaped beneath the soil and season after season, things will spring into their bloom.

Thanks for reading <3 All of these images are free for personal use (wallpapers, sharing on social media, art journaling, etc.). Each of these pieces were written with someone in mind who shared their story with me here. Different people, different stories, and it is my hope that all together, they can remind each of us we are not alone. I randomly select people to write for, for free, and the names and stories are kept anonymous. Visit the link in the bio to download these as free owl lads or to submit your story or a topic for me to write about. ✨🙏

Just in case no one has told you lately, it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out. It’s okay if you are still learning how to breathe while making it through the wilderness of things.

I’m not sure what things you have been told lately or what pressure you have been made to feel, but above all of that, there is room for you to still find peace in knowing: it’s okay it’s if you’re not where you thought you would be right now. It’s okay if you’re still figuring things out when everyone else already seems to have their plans in place. The reason why this is okay is because no matter how far productivity takes you, it does not equal joy and fulfillment in life.

There’s nothing wrong with getting things done, but may it never become the way to measure your growth in life. Instead, take a look at your inner life. Take a look at the ways you have grown in patience. Notice the ways you have learned to be gentle and extend grace...even when it seemed impossible. Remember the time you did something kind and didn’t take the credit? Remember the season where you made a conscious decision to begin the journey of letting something go? No matter what things you don’t have figured out, it’s those inner things that make all of the difference, no matter what lies ahead.

Keep giving your all and making the most of everyday, but don’t think less of yourself when you have to be still and wait. It’s okay to not have it all figured out, and to still be growing in wisdom and in grace at the same time.

Morgan Harper Nichols

This is an excerpt from my daily mailing list the other day and I hope it encourages you today, too! If you would like a message like this in your inbox, you can subscribe at the link in the bio.

Also, I am so honored to be on the @oftenambitious podcast this week! It was such an honor to chat with Lindsey and Erika and I’m glad to share that conversation with you, too. Visit their page for details on how to listen!

Today is my 29th birthday and now more than ever, I am learning to delight in the present. I am learning that this new year of life will look different than every other year and that is a beautiful thing. I cannot compare year 29 to year 28. I cannot spend year 29 wondering how it will compare to year 30. Every year is different. Every day is different. Every moment is different, and there is something to be learned within them all. Praying for grace and strength in this year to remember that. 🙏

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