Partnering With Others

Ready for a creative boost and a fun way to grow as a blogger? To continue with my blog trends column (#20blogtrends), for this 5th installment I want to talk about partnering with others and why it's so valuable to more than just a small business, but to our mental health/emotional well-being too.

I had such a positive and wonderful experience lately and want to share it with all of you. (That's me above working on Monday with local photographer, .) You know how sometimes you wonder if you are meant to be living where you live? I moved a lot in my life which has resulted in always feeling at home no matter where I am because I don't attach "home" to a specific space or location. It's always inside of me and with my family and friends. I've had homes all over and I never complained when my family moved, I felt excited and couldn't wait for the next adventure. Some kids have no problem with moving around a lot and lucky for me, I was one of those kids and continue to love the new adventures that come with relocating to this day. Because I love to move, I am always up for trying something new, especially if the current location is no longer working for whatever reason.

If you've followed this blog for some time, you know I'm American and we relocated here to northern Germany from Boston in August 2009. Lately I've been starting to wonder if this is the place for me to stay ultimately. As in, until I die. My husband has said he wouldn't mind living in southern California, especially since it appears as though I have  (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and I often wonder if I'd feel better being in a sunny place despite my love for four seasons. I also have a lot of friends in California and the west coast in general and am a beach fanatic so I could absolutely get into living somewhere in the OC near the coast. My husband is also happy to relocate to the UK because we both adore London. But that almost makes me scared as the weather there is much worse than in Germany - it rains about twice as much in London...

So all of this wondering lately about where to live, or if we should just stay in Germany,  has also made me think about why. As in WHY am I even thinking about moving and it mostly comes down to weather, the general energy where I live (how ambitious and creative people are, or not) and feeling like I cannot find others like me who want to work together on fun, creative projects. Then I thought about if where I live is really SO BAD. Because there is so much good here, my husband loves this city (he was born and raised here) and his family is here, I have lovely friends, the cost of living is great and my work is really respected and valued here - my books sell extremely well and I have a lot of great opportunities offered to me on a regular basis because of my books and online presence. Which is why I did what I always do when I'm having a hard time sorting ideas and embarked on some mind mapping and list making, both of which are critical when my brain feels like it cannot find the right answer.

After filling many pages, I discovered that the most important thing right now, since I cannot move today, is to take positive action on what I can change. My mindfulness professional life coach , is helping me with this too so I cannot take all of the credit. She is an amazing resource and I love our weekly sessions via Skype. What could I do in my own local area to improve my mood and feel more creative despite the fact that we've had hailstorms for several days now?

All of the writing and listing and mapping made me think about a project that I needed to do for work and how, instead of working alone or with my husband to produce the photos that I need for the assignment, that I'd hire help to see if the creativity of others could somehow brighten my day and bring in sunshine to a place where there is currently none. So I hired a photographer, two models and a makeup artist. I started to brainstorm on how I wanted the photos to look and how I'd be using them. This past Sunday was day one and on Monday, was day two - the final day - and I am now flying high! I'm happy with the work, I'm excited to work with Susanne to do more work in the future together, and everyone involved was also inspired and felt the magic in return, so the goal was met - good work was produced and a positive, happy vibe for all!

I took control and feel better because of it!

When you are feeling down or affected by the weather, or people, or whatever else or you just need a creative boost, think of partnering with others and see what comes from it. Lots of bloggers are doing this and it makes a huge difference. It may also help you to get your mojo back like it has always done for me in the past, including the most recent past just a few days ago.

If you've missed my other Blog Trends post in this series of 20, here are the ones we've discussed so far:

What do you think, have your partnered with others? What has been your personal experience? Do you have any questions for me or anyone else about how to partner with others or tips to share?

(Photograph: Susanne Irmer)