Thoughts On Being Honestly Happy

August 29, 2012

Well hello there! I thought I’d pop in quickly to see how you’re doing. This post is a bit personal but I’m just going to go there because I really miss you guys and want to talk and what better place? I’ve been writing a bit on my personal blog, Haus Maus, in case you feel like checking out some of my more recent posts so we can play catch up. I listed a bunch of things that I’ve been up to over the past few months here because it’s nice to be open and give mini updates so I can connect with you. But today I’m thinking to just spill some feelings here on decor8 to see what comes back. Maybe some of you need to hear this, feel the same, or simply have comments to leave. Encouragement and support would be nice.

Thoughts On Being Honestly Happy

Lately I’ve been really stressed because despite taking a month off, I don’t feel much more refreshed or better than I did when I began. This concerns me. I eat well, I exercise regularly, I do things that I love, I have friends and go dancing, shopping, paint my nails neon pink(!)… You know, all of the things that usually perk a girl up. But this summer has been different.

It’s not been a normal summer. It’s not been much of anything really, just time passing. And this concerns me.

I wonder if I need new projects or quite possibly a vacation away from home, as in faraway for several weeks? I keep wanting to go to India or Bali, I think those places would be most restorative for my soul and heart. In the end, I think it’s really my heart and soul that needs a safe place to rest right now. I need new experiences, new sounds, sights, things to capture with my lens, colors, patterns and most of all, I need to feel alive again because this has been a hard and challenging year for me in ways I cannot begin to describe. I don’t feel ‘dead’ or clinically depressed, but I do feel like there has to be something more for me – that I need to identify what it is and somehow capture it, place it into my nearly complete puzzle, and finally feel like that space has been filled.

I didn’t feel like I was missing anything for years but suddenly I do and I’m not sure where this springs from. Or maybe I’ve been missing it for years and used my workaholic/over-achiever-ness to mask it and now that I’ve paused a bit, I have had enough quiet in my life to hear that little hollow space that I had no clue ever existed. I just thought I was all cool and “A” type and that it was something to be proud of. Perhaps in some ways working hard and trying to prove our talent and value is how we avoid thinking about the real stuff. I have many workaholic girlfriends who, the minute they really stop and think, feel like stuff is missing in their life but they quickly wash that feeling down with wine and a ‘girls night out’ thinking that will cure it. For the moment it does. I am ready to face whatever this empty spot is and finally heal it. I’m ready.

But how do I get started? This is what I will explore in the next month of my life. I have a new journal, a sharpened pencil, and a park behind my house where me and my blanket will spend the final days of this beautiful summer to write stuff. Lots of stuff. And to think.

It’s scary to think about those ugly bits, isn’t it? But it’s exhilarating because change is in the wind. I smell it stronger than ever before. This is good.

I am thinking more and more lately about the importance of being happy. How you really have to be happy in your heart and with yourself and in your skin and well, just honestly happy. Maybe age does this to us. We stop trying to fit the form that others want us to be and instead, work at being really, truly, 100% true to self. I often think about, “To Thine Own Self Be True”, which when really considered is quite a strong statement not to be swiftly uttered but to be sifted, felt, the sands of the truth from those words falling gracefully upon the floor leaving traces of glimmering hope on our fingertips.

I don’t always write so openly on decor8 because this is a design blog, a place of pretty things and inspiration. But then I thought that it can be quite inspirational to read about how others feel because we can sometimes relate to those feelings and be somehow inspired that someone else ‘gets’ us. Well if you understand any of what I’ve written above, then hopefully my words have inspired you to consider your feelings too, take them seriously, examine them and evaluate next steps. This is what I’m currently doing.

I wonder what you are thinking about lately? I wonder if you often think about the puzzle of your life and whether there is a piece that needs to be refit elsewhere or perhaps one that is missing altogether? I wonder if you have ever gone through a time when you felt an authentic shifting inside, a need to truly find your ‘happy’ place like never before and then grab it and hold onto it for awhile?


Photos: Holly Becker


  • Reply Eleny August 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    India, yes, go to India! This is such a pregnant moment.. India is perfect for such phases in our lives.
    Wishing you best of luck!

  • Reply Arch August 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Holly~
    You have been such an inspiration to everyone around you:-) I for one have always checked out decor8 for those lovely moments.

    I really wish I was in India, I would have loved to take you to see the treasures of Art * Crafts and just to take in the vibrancy of the country:-)

    I have moved to Minnesota, but hope to create a home that reflects the India that is in me.

    Take some time off and enjoy just doing NOTHING.

  • Reply Leslie August 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I am a big fan of sabbaticals, even if they are short, and of course, vacations are always good! Everyone needs time to refresh and recoup–and I think that’s especially essential when you need to be creative.

    I appreciate this post from you, because you always post such “happy” stuff (not that this is unhappy), and sometimes, I read your posts and think “Geez! What’s wrong with me that I can’t always be so positive!”

  • Reply Jennifer Sanderson August 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Holly:
    I totally get where you are coming from. Maybe time away would give you a tremendous amount of perspective that you need to find where it is you want to go from here on in. Extremly creative people get in a rut just as other types!

    Sounds like you are thinking in terms of ‘Eat Pray Love’. Follow your instincts! I picked up and found a temp job in TX (from NY) just to try to break the cycle. My family supported me, but it turned it that it just wasn’t meant to be. I am back in NY for the time being, but things have changed somewhat. I was able to see new opportunities with fresh eyes. Give yourself 6 weeks away. I think it will work wonders.

  • Reply decor8 August 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @Eleny: I love that expression, “Pregnant Moment”, makes me recall Gotthold Ephraim-Lessing. That moment that leads to everything else revealing itself…

  • Reply Trina August 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Holly!

    I too find myself going through kind of the same thing. A book was recommended to me awhile ago titled “The Artist’s Way”, i’m sure you’ve heard of it? It’s by Julia Cameron.

    One of the big exercises in the book is the suggestion of writing in your journal every morning (called Morning Pages), as soon as you wake up. Every. Single. Day. Unedited writing, even if you write; “Today is Monday. Today is Monday. Today is Monday” over and over and over again, you just need to write. About 3 full pages of longhand writing.

    I find this exercise has helped me significantly unlock some subconscious thoughts and feelings about my life, my art, and just “stuff” in general.

    I totally suggest the read if you haven’t already!


  • Reply Kathy Anne August 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Beautiful post, Holly. I am a 42 year old mom of 4 and have felt the same feelings this summer. A need to shift, expand, escape, and care for myself. It sounds like you may be in need of a trip to India or Bali -possibly to teach your talent to women who may benefit? I have a friend going to India to teach women how to sew so they can give their family a better life.
    Below is a link to Pixie Campbell’s Summer Soul Lodge PDF that she is giving away for the Blue Moon. It goes deep and is wonderful.
    Joy and light,
    Kathy Anne

  • Reply Ariana {And Here We Are...} August 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Holly, this post really resonates with me. I think about these issues a lot. Lately, I have found myself with no reason *not* to be really happy, but there is this bit lurking in my heart– I guess a fear that everything will change, that something awful might happen– and that I will not have enjoyed the peaceful moments. Kind of a catch-22, right? I love the idea of journaling regularly– have you read The Artist’s Way? I have started the discipline of writing morning pages (three full long-hand pages, first thing in the morning, about whatever comes to mind) and it has been really helpful for me. The other thing I wanted to mention is getting bodywork. I think our experiences often take root within our bodies, and getting our bodies worked on can be extremely helpful when we are ready to face things and make changes. In particular, I would like to recommend cranio sacral therapy. I practice this modality myself as a massage therapist, and some of my favorite clients to work with are women in the midst of transition– it can be extremely healing and enlightening, not to mention very nurturing. There are many very talented practicioners in Germany.

    I love your honesty, and your call to hear what other people are thinking about these issues. I will look forward to reading what others have to say. I wish you the best in this stage, Holly!

  • Reply Ivy August 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    This is absolutely normal. I get this way, often.
    Have you heard of the Cool Whip Diet? Where you can eat and eat and eat but never feel full or satisfied. I believe we fill our lives with things that can not satisfy us even though they seem good. Social Media being a big one.
    You know how to make real connections, you do it in your personal life, online and through your business. It sounds like you are going to journal your way to an answer and that you are taking a much needed break from the fast paced life you’ve created.
    What an opportunity, a time to think and regroup and start anew.
    I wish you luck.
    I wish you peace.
    I wish you sincere happiness.
    Cheers and Love

  • Reply Margot Madison August 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    How is it that I’m the first to comment on such an honest and interesting topic??

    Three thoughts:
    1. I don’t recommend finding your peace on vacation, extended or otherwise. Peace needs to be found in the spaces where you exist every day or it is not authentic and lasting.

    2. From what I can tell, the pace you’ve been going for the past several years has been at break-neck speed, even for a Type A personality. Slowing down sometimes feels like a void. It will take practice and patience to be comfortable.

    3. There is nothing wrong with wanting a new challenge (that drive is what’s great about your personality!). Maybe the challenge is in watching the discovery of it. Be kind to yourself in the process. Today has everything you need.

    Good luck!

  • Reply Goldens Love August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I don’t usually post any comments…just read and enjoy, or ponder what is said, what ever fits at that time. With that said, I felt a need to comment here… As I am typing I can’t clearly see all the letters due to the tears. I felt like you were writing my story. Not sure what is different right now, but like you just out of sorts. I’ll ponder the pieces of my puzzle and look forward to your posts from the park! Thanks for opening that door!

  • Reply Suzanne August 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Although I have followed your work for a while, this is the first time I have left a comment on your blog…I know you have so many fans that I just thought that my little notes would get lost.

    However, I had to say hello today…

    I understand what you are saying. I am not going to say that I know how you feel, because I do not. But, I was going through a sort of “funk” earlier this year similar to what you are telling us. As a designer, like you, I felt that I needed to find a way to reinvent myself and my work, not just for more business but also for contentment. Anyway, I do not need to go into details, but before I knew it, things started happening in a positive way and I have worked hard all year to keep up the positive pace…

    When I am not busy with creative projects I try to use that time to re-evaluate everything and fit the pieces into my puzzle of life.

    You are a great inspiration to a lot of us out here. Thank you.


  • Reply Laura August 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    This may be a little off since I do not know you personally and as you said, this is a design blog. But since you seem to be asking, maybe you are seeking Faith? I just read a book that was very valuable to me as I try to figure out that journey.

    Take care

  • Reply Brooke August 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Coming from a complete stranger this may be completely off, so feel free to ignore me. But I don’t think the answer is vacation or locale or even different wok. I think when one reaches an impasse like this, the goal is to get outside yourself. Do something bigger. Make an impact where it counts. I’d encourage you to look into charity work or volunteering. Or if you do desire to get out of the familiar, look into foreign missions. Not necessarily religious, but maybe you could give a few weeks of your time digging wells in Africa or aiding orphans in India. A friend of mine spent six months studying Spanish by volunteering at a Mexican orphanage. It was a profound life experience for her. Doing something worthwhile to truly make a difference in the lives of others is extremely restorative for the soul.

  • Reply Tina Ramchandani August 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to express these feelings. It’s funny right, to us, your readers, you have it all going for you, A second book coming out, a successful blog, a supportive husband. I too have been trying to figure out what is lacking in my life, and what changes I should make, and I hear similar from others, you have a fantastic job, what else could you want? When something is lacking, and you take the time to notice, there is really no denying it or pushing it away any longer.
    I’ve been to India and I love it. Haven’t been to Bali. If you are feeling an urge for one of these places, and you feel they may heal you or give you what you need, then do it. I always say go with your instincts. Although going away on vacation may make you feel rested, I feel it may be a temporary feeling. When you come back, you will still need to figure out what’s missing. I hope you find what you’re looking for, Holly.

  • Reply Clare S August 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    You have articulated so well the confusion i feel too. I am always seen as one of lifes happy people, the person to lead the charge, always smiling always, giddy. After some major changes in my life I too find that it is all not enough i need fresh inspiration and challenges i need to feel alive. I divorced last year after 10 years of marriage and whilst that was a really positive thing it has led to huge change. I spent a long time wondering what the point of me was but i know now that being passionate about people is the point of me.

    I had my first proper holiday for a couple of years in June and I slept and read all day (i never sleep) and danced on bars at night. I sailed round the Greek Islands with family and friends and had the most magical holiday ever however…. in stopping and sleeping and resting i came back lost. I dont feel lost all the time but i feel anxious and the thought i control my own future and that I do not really know what that is…..well troubles me.

    What you should know is you are not alone. It is not only your creativity, passion and zest for life that inspires people, it is also your honestly and bravery too.

    I know things will be alright in the end, for both of us but this time in search of self will ultimatly lead to a more fulfilled and happy life.


  • Reply grace August 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    hey beautiful,
    i can totally relate with where you are coming from… especially living in NYC. you are constantly on the go, go, go and working all the time. time passes by so quickly and you wonder, what is going on? it’s sooo important to pause (seriously pause) and enjoy the journey. this really was the premise of my 3rd venture (which you obviously know about :).

    i think us creative women want to feel inspired every day… it’s in our genes :). i hope you know that *you* inspire so many women around the world with your work and it’s ok for you to do the same.

    with that said, if you ever want to hop on a plane and go to india let me know! india has been on my list FOR-ever and i will go in a heartbeat :)


  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente August 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Oh, Holly…..see, this is why I love you & this space so much. You do whatever feels right in your beautiful heart and it DOES make such a difference to all of us that adore & are inspired by you. All the time, hun. ALL the time….I think if it matters to you, how authentically you live your life, you are ALWAYS trying to improve upon that. It matters a great deal to me, especially because I want to set the best example possible for my girls. I want to be honest, I want to be happy( in my soul). I strive for that, really look into my heart and try to see what is registered there. Ultimately, I don’t give two flying f*cks what others expect me to do with my life. That hole you feel is just growth & searching. Good for YOU, seriously. It is only that you are on a path, moving somewhere that you feel a slight ache, and I have no doubts that you will figure it out. Everything will be ok, I promise. I love this “To Thine Own Self Be True”, which when really considered is quite a strong statement not to be swiftly uttered but to be sifted, felt, the sands of the truth from those words falling gracefully upon the floor leaving traces of glimmering hope on our fingertips.” You do have to take your time with these thoughts, no? You are striving & striving is good. In all honesty, sometimes I wish I DIDN’T think things through so much, that things didn’t weigh so heavily on me all the time. But, it makes me who I am I guess. Good and bad. Don’t feel lost or anxious, it will all work itself out with time, I know. It always does. I think you are amazing and amazing for sharing this.
    ps along these lines, I finally made a decision to go back to learn a new skill. I have always wanted to be able to make my own jewelry, not just design it so, I am headed back to learn metal smithing and I could not be more scared and excited. :)

  • Reply Louise August 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm


    I was quite inspired the other day reading what you have been up to on Haus Maus :)
    I myself am writing up my thesis at the moment, this and my studies have consumed me the past year,although I am so happy to have had this opportunity, it evacuated any other opportunities for me. So I look forward to having my ‘life’ back.

    I think it is about recognising the small things that make you happy. I like challenges, new adventures and ambition too is important. But I know that at the end of the day it is talking to my dad on the phone, getting hugs from nephew, pottering round my garden, a random conversation on the bus, all these small things that make me happy and keep me present….I think being present in the moment, not racing to the next one that is important.
    I have felt quite disconnected emotionally this past year (new city, away from those I hold close etc), but it was a means to an end, which happily is ending and I can start to fill my life again with all the treasures that make me really happy and even go treasure hunting for some more :)

    Btw you are in inspiration but maybe you don’t slow done enough and when you do it is so alien for you. In any case you always come across as being true to yourself so I have no doubt some personal reflection will help :)

  • Reply Sandra August 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    There must be something in the air this summer. I have spoken in person with and read on many blogs over the past few months about people feeling tired, burnt out, uninspired, missing something. You are not alone in this.

    You know, you’ve had an amazing, wild, busy, fulfilling, stimulating, inspiring ride with Decor8 and everything that it has brought you. Perhaps now is time (however long that is – you’ll know) for a bit of pulling back and recharging and like you note, journalling and really thinking about where to go next. How to be happy. What DOES make you happy.

    It’s a little scary to go there, eh? At least for me – what if I come up with something that turns the world upside down???!!!

    I have aging parents and aging in-laws and also was seriously ill last year and ended up in hospital for three weeks. All those together inspired a paring down, a winnowing away of the excess of things and stuff and activities that weren’t making me or my husband or my daughter very happy. I know it’s SUCH a cliche, but life is short and as the years go by, you have less and less time to do what you need to do.

    I KNOW that you will figure this out. Taking that first step of even recognizing the need to figure it out is HUGE. I hope that you will feel comfortable sharing along the road of this journey. But if not, know that we’ll be thinking of you.

  • Reply Laura August 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Holly, am sorry to hear you have been having a difficult time. I think, when you scratch the service, most people would probably say that they felt very similarly at certain periods in their life. I know I have (and quite often!!!). You have written about it so eloquently and honestly though. I find the things which help me are beautiful music (Meditation by Thais is my favourite piece – I find it so restful), candles (which of course I know you love already) and yoga/meditation. Yoga really does help realign your body and put you in a more positive space. Well it helps me.. And then just being surrounded by all the people who love you. Time helps too. Sometimes you just feel a shift in your emotions and realise that you are starting to feel happy again. Gosh have waffled on longer than I thought I would. Sending you lots of love anyway xxx

  • Reply Gretchen August 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hello sweet friend,
    Wow, how I wish that I was close by to give you a big hug! I think everything that you are feeling is a normal part of life, discovering ourselves, and what makes us happy. I know that my points of happiness have changed over the years. And as I creep closer to the big 40, I often question if I have accomplished what I thought I would? My goals and desires have certainly shifted over the past few years, and I think I have changed along with them. I think you are such an amazing and inspiring person, and I really do wish we lived in the same country. :) Maybe instead of Bali, you could just plan a trip to KY ;) And thank you for sharing this, because at the end of the day design is personal. xo~your soul sister(because you don’t have to be related to be family!)

  • Reply Lucia August 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Hola Holly!
    I think we all have a moment like this in our life. Some people will continue working and doing things giving no time to real listen to them self. Others will stop and listen, and from there things will change. Maybe not a big change but anything that need to be changed.
    I was feeling the same way some years ago when I was as expat and still working in IT. Then we move overseas, back home, and had a child. Then I said, I can’t come back to my old job, I need something different and my hobby became my profession and I’m a photographer now. But that’s my story, not all need such a big change in their life. All my university peers are still doing the same, with much or less happiness.
    In my case it was a result of not truly listening to my self for years, and instead doing what I though was the perfect thing to do (have a university degree and work hard).
    I heard that when we are in a calm period of our life, those hidden thoughts and needs appear and make us uncomfortable and we don’t understand why, if everything is perfect!!
    Take your time, do nothing for a while, clean your mind and things will be much clear to you. Don’t be scared!!! Everything will be for the better!!

  • Reply Estelle August 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I completely understand what you’re talking about. Although it manifests differently for every person, I think if we are honest, we all come to this point in life sooner or later. It’s like the deepest part of us requires some type of connection to something a little more…deep, I guess. Perhaps you are on the cusp of an awakening in your spirit (not to be confused with heart or soul). It’s that spiritual side of us that often gets neglected or over-looked because we throw it into the same pot as our mind, will, emotions, heart, and soul. You seem like a very open-minded person, so I’m sure you will have your answer in the right time. Ask, stay open, and be ready for that awakening and answer.

  • Reply Morgan August 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I really loved reading this and knowing I’m not the only one who has random down moments. The one thing I do know that helps me when I get in a funk is to help someone. Doing service for others is always so wonderful because we step back from thinking about ourselves and help others who may even be in worse situations then we realize, ok maybe things aren’t so bad and I truly am blessed. I also find religion to be such a wonderful blessing in my life, I’m not sure if you are religious or not but knowing what really matters in life always helps put life in a greater light and it helps me to know what matters and what doesn’t. Hope you find your happy place or whatever it may be. I am glad I read this today…needed it!

  • Reply Briana August 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm


    Thanks for sharing this personal post! I loved what you said about deliberately not diving into work or a glass of wine or girls night out, but facing the empty spot and working towards healing it. Realizing this is such an important first step–you have to stare that emptiness in the face to figure it out. This feels scary, but it’s actually a really brave thing to acknowledge and do, and there are lot’s people that won’t let themselves slow down to do it. So, be proud of yourself in this moment! I have been going through a similar season lately, so know that you aren’t alone. Wishing you the best :)


  • Reply kelly August 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Holly- I could’ve written this post almost word for word. I met you in Minneapolis when you did your book signing at the anthropologie there and I “hear” your voice when I read your posts now. ;) I hope you find a quiet spot to restore your heart and soul. It’s important!

  • Reply Bea August 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I have been following your blog for years, with more or less interest depending on what situation Im in. I dont have my own place yet so I find frustrating looking at design ideas, blogs, website because I cant change the decor in my house. (Im spanish but live in Ireland)

    This post is actually exactly what Im going through. What surprises me is that someone like you, who has her own famous blog, career, book, who has travelled so much, who has so many experiences, still gets this “empty” feeling.

    My empty feelings have been there for a good while but they have been much more present in the last few weeks. I ask myself what is my purpose in life, how can I feel fulfilled? I am thinking this empty feeling comes from the problems in my work life, as I’m working in a company I don’t like, doing something useless for too long. I am trying now to run my own business and this gives me a bit a pleasure, but is very hard to take it off the ground.

    )n the other hand, I have a great partner whom I love and we have a beautiful, unique, marvellous 4 year old son. SO why do I feel this way?

    Im not religious at all, but I wonder the lack of spirituality might have something to do with these feelings. As you say, busying with work and achieving things is kind of a way of masquerading those questions like “what is it all this for? What is the point?

    Anyway, I joined a meditation class a couple of months ago and I have to say it really does help me. It is nice to learn to slow down and I love to hear about metaphysics and other ways to see our world. My meditation teacher was saying that a lot of people was feeling low and feeling like they are lost and they dont know what to do with themselves anymore, and she said it is because the 2012 shift, which is not the end of the world physically, but there is some change on the spiritual level of things, and these feelings are a side effect of this.

    Im very sceptic of all these type of things, but I also have an open mind, because the only thing we know is that we know very little about our world.

    Hugs XX


  • Reply decor8 August 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Hello friends – For those who encouraged me to volunteer – I’ve been thinking about this for three months now… In fact, I keep asking around – friends and such, to see what I can find here in Germany in my city. Ideally, I’d love to read children’s books to kids’ in the hospital – a cancer ward since my auntie Patty died of cancer and I always try to volunteer for anything cancer-related that I possibly can. I spent over 10 years in the USA doing cancer walks, hunger walks, building homes for Habitat for Humanity and leading volunteer groups for two of the big companies that I worked for. Today, I volunteer to speak at conferences, workshops, etc. In fact, I am speaking in November in Hamburg at Blogst. So I do try to go outside of my box and volunteer and look for ways to help others. I think in many ways, I’ve helped others too much in my life and now I really NEED to look inward. xo

  • Reply jac August 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you, Holly, for such an honest post. I am really struggling right now, so to hear someone as accomplished and together as you is also going through some of these things, makes me feel a little less alone. I too am an American living in Europe but things just haven’t worked out as I had planned. I am currently in the process of trying to decide whether I should stay here in Denmark, or head back home to the States. It is a heartbreaking decision, one that has left a general feeling of emptiness that haunts me too – and as I examine my friendships, work, and dreams, I feel no closer really to any concrete answer. I keep thinking that if I just *think* hard enough the answer will come and I will be happy! But, it doesn’t work like that I guess. If you have the chance to do some traveling, I am sure that would help you find your way… maybe not completely, but perhaps it will at least activate your compass. Admiration and hugs from Denmark!

  • Reply shereen August 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Holly – you’ve been such an inspiration to me over the years, and I love these personal posts you do every now and again.

    I recently went through something similar. Everything was looking good on the outside, but I felt like something was missing. In my case I was pretty sure that missing puzzle piece was related to my job. I decided to start volunteering in an area that interested me, which helped a lot. Long story short – this past spring I ended up losing my job, which forced me to get into that space where I had to really focus on what I wanted to do next. I also took some time and went on a 5 week get away to Morocco, Spain and Portugal which helped to get me out of my negative space and re-energize me for the next phase of my life. While I was away on my holiday, I was offered an amazing job and just started a few weeks ago. I believe this career change is what I needed, but didn’t realize until I was forced to think about it! Good luck and stay positive! :)

  • Reply Ali August 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    The only time I ever really felt the things you’ve been describing was just before I had my first son. Everything in my life was good, financially, career, marriage, social life. But somehow it still felt so incredibly empty. I think it was my subconscious way of making space in my life for a baby and all the turning upside down it does of your world. It took a while for me to fall pregnant and the empty feelings were hard.

    But looking back on it, that time was one of mental de-cluttering. Of re-establishing what was truly important to me for my personal happiness. Rest up, be kind to yourself. Life has a way of filling a space if you create one.

    And I applaud your honesty. Not easy when you have a blog readership as huge as yours.

  • Reply Shayna SteelPetalPress August 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    There are so many ways to get perspective and breath new life into your old one. Travel is one, volunteering is another. Sense of purpose is key. What I have learned over the years is nothing is permanent.

    Everyone needs different things at different times in their lives. You may have to take a few different paths before you find one that works for you..

  • Reply MelanieO August 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Holly – maybe some charity work will help fill in what is missing? Sometimes leaving ourselves behind and escaping into service to others is exactly what the soul needs. Just a thought :)

  • Reply Lisa August 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    My best friend gave me the book _Happiness Project_ for my birthday because it changed her life. She wants us to start a happiness project together. Some friend I am, there is sits on my night stands waiting for me to crack it open. My birthday is in February. Fail!

    Not sure if you have heard of the book but maybe it can help change your life too (I think there’s also a website).

    I hope you find what makes you happy. I try and look at dark times as ways of helping me better appreciate truly happy times.

    Best wishes on your journey.

  • Reply Jen @ Lita's World August 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I love your openness! Thank you so much for sharing this post as I do think a lot of women have these thoughts at time – until, like yourself, they get to a point where they are more than just thoughts, the thoughts become more consuming. Bringing about a need for change.

    I view these times as times of growth – times when “the way it is” just isn’t where you want it to stay anymore. A time of contemplation, bringing up new ideas, and then embracing the new adventure that surely your mind will come up with.

    I have definitely been known to keep myself hyper busy all the time – consumed with work, projects, family just doing, doing, doing. I came across this writer and his blog and I am amazed at how much what he writes resonates in me – he writes about simplifying and being calm. His name is Leo Babauta and his blog is and the book I’m reading is “The Power of Less”. I’m not sure this will speak to you, but since you were so open to sharing above, I thought I’d share this information back just in case.

    This year, my husband and I are heading off to Thailand and Cambodia – places I never thought I’d want to travel to, but suddenly the desire to go there became intense. I hope you are able to make your travels to India and Bali too – go with these feelings. Since we’ve planned our trip, I feel calmer and more than ready for the experience.

    I hope your search into this phase of your life finds you peace, joy and happiness. Thanks again for sharing – you are certainly inspirational to so many in so many ways.

  • Reply Isette August 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I’d suggest a Sabbatical! Ever since I saw this Ted Talk, the idea has been stuck in my mind…

  • Reply Amy Prior August 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t know if people ever arrive at ‘happy’ and stay there permanently…. but consciously choosing to do the complete opposite to what you ordinarily do can be exciting and refreshing and offer a new perspective, possibly new paths and connections you hadn’t thought of.

  • Reply Esther August 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    In order to be geniunly happy you sometimes need to do things that you hate or don’t like, or things that may hurt you. Last year I was diagnosed with a burnout, very job related ’cause I was in a horrible job for 6 years. Then whenI left for a new job… instantly something happened at this job and pah, that was it for me. Now I am taking deep breaths and have finally made a decision: I want to be a freelance writer again. Bam! There goes my secure income, there comes the insecurity. But the thing is…. it doesn’t scare me, this makes me feel excited!! And guess what: 2 freelance gigs have opened up to me!

    Well that’s the one. The other one was remerkubly tougher. I ‘broke up’ with my best friend. Someone who was like a sister to me. I felt something was knawing at me about her, but didn’t know quite what it was. Then during my burnout she turned out to be the most unsupportive person, calling my burnout ‘my drama’. And that was it for me… I needed to cut her out of my life. It was tough, but ever since then I started to realise how much energy she sucked from me!! She was maid of honour at my wedding so it was a tough thing to do, but I feel like I can breathe again.

    So… maybe something or someone that you haven’t thought about (yet??) is knawing at you? Maybe in the back of your head somewhere? Maybe you feel like there’s some part of your job you don’t like anymore and you’d like to explore new parts of your job?

    Anyway, good luck and keep us posted!

  • Reply Cheyenne August 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Holly,
    You know why I love this world of blogs so much? Sometimes, I come across a post that tells me I’m not so alone in this world. It’s a connection to people across the miles that makes me feel closer to humanity. You’re not alone in how you’re feeling. It’s brave and vulnerable and inspiring. Do what you need to do for you. As far as I can say for sure, we get one shot at this thing called life and I believe from the depths of my soul that we need fulfillment indifferent places at different times. I hope you find what you need where ever you may go!

  • Reply amy August 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I think anyone who spends as much time at a computer and involved in social media to the degree that you and so many other creative and digitally bound people do (myself included), you run the risk of floating away a bit. I appreciate that you shared your experience – you take such beautiful photos of your environment, it’s easy to assume that life outside the frame is just as beautiful all the time. Best of luck on your journey!

  • Reply Cora August 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Sorry to hear you are feeling a little at sea. I endured a similar impasse 7 years ago just before my 30th birthday. I started to feel a little ‘off’ – (I knew enough to know I wasn’t depressed – more a case of feeling unfulfilled) despite having built (and thrived on) a very successful business. I started to read around the subject and May Sarton’s words (from ‘Journal of a solitude’) ..”Hope ..but for what?!’ really resonated with me. I just felt stuck – and guilty for feeling so as I was enormously fortunate.

    A friend asked if I had one year to live how would I spend it – and I knew I had to change. I packed up my business and my life and moved to New Zealand (from London). I told EVERYONE I was going to write a book (I was a copywriter so thought it would be a synch!) – that was a disaster. I soon realised I couldn’t write fiction for toffee and felt like an enormous fraud. Anyhoo – long story short – I joined a group who were reading ‘The Artists’ Way’ and as Trina recommends – the morning pages were really helpful. As an exercise I started painting and knew instantly that it was the form of expression that made my soul sing and the stuff in my head make sense – even if the about-turn did make me feel like a giant flakey -fraud!

    Seven years later I am a full time artist. I live on a fraction of my previous heady income, but I am successful (I’ve never written that before- but it’s true!) and I have never been happier. The road from there to here has been strewn with challenges, joy and doubts (all my own!) – but i knew i was on the right path (finally!). I still have anxious moments – but they are just that – moments. When I felt ‘at sea’ as you do, I would not have thought it possible, but it is.

    To that end, I have a few bits of advice – stuff that worked for me (and others I have spoken with – I’m writing a book . on the process but that’s another post!):

    Firstly: Let Go & Hold On: i.e let go of the bad stuff (the anxiety, doubt, darkness, fear & despair) and Hold on for the good stuff. It WILL happen.
    All of us nuts have to crack a little to let the light in!

    Secondly: Pick up a copy of The Artists’ Way – I’m not sure I became a painter because of it but the morning pages and exercises were definitely a catalyst.

    Lastly, take great care of yourself, spend your energy wisely, practice self love daily, eat your greens, drink water, sleep, breathe and don’t panic – ’tis all before you – I promise. You have nothing to loose – everything you need is inside you.

    Sorry this is a bit long – but I hope it helps.. Your post really resonated with me as I clearly remember feeling the way you do. For what’s it worth I think it’s really great to pull the rug out from your life every now and then as it will lead you to the next exciting chapter which is probably titled ‘Peace’.
    Fingers crossed for you x

    Sending love and warm wishes your way,

  • Reply Leigh Viner August 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Holly! Yes I can relate, and it seems to be this summer stronger then ever. I wasn’t feeling this way just this past spring, but I have had an anxious feeling like something is pushing me to make some sort of change as well. It was the hottest summer ever here in Denver so most of my time was spent indoors and working non-stop at that, so it might be like you said a need to find time away and just get out of my zone. As even with all of the work, I am trying to do all of the stuff that makes me happy, but it is not quite cutting it.

    I think I need to pick up my journal and find time to also just listen and see what becomes.

    Thank you for such an open honest post today and inspiring me to listen to that empty spot that needs some attending.


  • Reply Heather August 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for being so open and vulnerable Holly…..I have felt this way myself before. A number of years ago I too felt a hole in my life like the one you described……..and what was frustrating was that there was no reason for me to feel empty inside. I had everything going for me, nothing to complain about. This might be off since this is a design blog…..but for me it went away when I found Jesus (or He found me?). Being a good person and being moral didn’t fill that void…..nor accomplishing dreams or goals. In the end, rules and religion were empty……until I found that I could know and have a relationship with God. I know technically it’s religion…..but it’s so much more than that because it’s not a code of ethics or based on me working hard to be a good person. It’s based on a relationship. That was when the emptiness went away……when I (or my dreams and ambitions, or even the people I love in my life- all good things) was not at the center of my life. When that relationship came, I found complete peace……I think we all have an inner feeling that “there has to be something more than just this life” and there is. Tim Keller’s book “The Reason for God” is very helpful and has a wonderful philosophical approach that I appreciate. Now that’s a little personal, but I felt inclined to respond for the first time on your blog. Thank you for your honesty, the world needs more of that.

  • Reply Sarah @ Mocha August 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I think ultimately we find the happiness within. But sometimes travelling to new horizons is great for the mind, body and soul. It gives you a clear space to rejuvenate and reflect.

    And you never know what opportunities or paths it may lead to.

    So go and take that trip. You’ve worked so hard these past few months, you really deserve it!

  • Reply Kaho August 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Hi, Holly- I am your BYW alumnus.

    Your writing is beautiful, honest and personal. I was quite surprised to read this post because knowing that you’re intelligent, talented and successful and has achieved so many things which many bloggers kill to have, I would’ve never imagined you have felt that way.

    Going away would be restorative as you put. It will help you have a new perspective and refresh your mind. If you decide to go to Bali in Indonesia you might want to look into Ubud area in Bali as it is more traditional and suitable for your type of trip rather than some very commercialized areas such as Jimbaran, Seminyak or Nusa Dua.

    I live in Jakarta, Indonesia (Jakarta is 1.5-hour flight away from Bali) and strange enough, I met your friend, karey of mackin inc, recently. Such a small world.

  • Reply Heather B August 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Happiness is one of those elusive & tricky things. No one can will themselves to be happy, and I think that the more you search for it, the harder it is to find. Happiness sneaks up on me when I’m not thinking about it. It’s usually in the context of something simple and mundane: I’m sitting by a lake, talking to old friends, my daughter is snuggling with me on a Saturday morning, I’m looking at autumn leaves against a bright blue sky, I’m getting a bear-hug from my husband. My happiness is nearly always in the context of being with people I love and always in the context of deep, deep gratitude and the contentment that flows from that place. For me, it happens when I’m content to “be” not do, and when I allow those around me to simply “be” too.

  • Reply Liz August 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Holly
    I spent the first 6 months of this year not working, after working non stop for 3 1/2 years in a show. The transition was initially very unsettling. I found this great organization in NYC called Jumpstart that brings reading and vocabulary to inner city schools and under privileged kids. I went once a week to a school in East Harlem for an hour and read a story to the children and lead them through two activities with a lesson plan. I loved it and the children loved it too and responded with such enthusiasm. It helped me feel useful during my period of unemployment and gave me sense of accomplishment and happiness. I only mention all this because you seemed to be interested in reading to children too. Jumpstart is a nationwide organization here in the States, but maybe you can find something similar in Germany? I hope you feel better soon. I love your website and your book Decoration is proudly placed on my coffee table!!! You are an inspiration to me!
    Liz, NYC

  • Reply Elaine August 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Holly,
    This sentence you wrote seems to be at the crux of the matter, “It’s scary to think about those ugly bits, isn’t it?” I would say, no it isn’t. It’s part of life. Nothing negative. Just part of it. Negative/positive, all part of a whole. Just let it be. Take your time to sift through thoughts. Don’t give yourself a time limit. (A month is not enough time. And you’ll just stress yourself.) Don’t try to distract yourself away from the thoughts. Just sit with them. For however long you need to. Like the rest of your life. Happy/sad. It’s all part of a whole.

  • Reply Rachel R. August 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm


    I’ve most definitely gone through phases like this–some more prolonged than others. One thing that helps tremendously during these downswings is setting aside 10 minutes each day to meditate, or even just sit quietly while trying to still my mind. I feel much more grounded after doing this for a while, even if it’s sometimes frustrating in the moment.

    Thanks for the honesty and openness; it’s refreshing!

  • Reply Mirjam August 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Holly… You are such an inspiration, and I admire your honesty and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing, even those personal thoughts!
    I can relate on some level to your ‘struggles’ … Life can seem empty amid all those beautiful things and the fun stuff we do. And I truly believe that God created us to enjoy these things to the fullest, but I also believe that there is this ‘one spot’ in all of us that only Jesus can fulfill. I would encourage you to buy a Bible and just give it a try….
    You are beautiful and wonderful inside and out, and I have been enjoying your blog for 5 years now. I found you while I was google-imaging a picture of a blue sky (with white clouds) for one of my projects…:) so glad I did!

  • Reply kareen August 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    You’ve captured my heart Holly. In the past few years I’ve gone through some personal tragedies,which have pulled the ground from under my feet. I have felt like l’ve been falling trying to grasp on to anything along the way, all the while knowing what i truely want from life. I have discovered that getting what you truely want from life can sometimes be the most difficult thing.
    life is full of valleys and peaks. Sometimes you just need to hang on tight and see where it takes you.
    I appreciate your honesty. Just want you to know that you are not alone.

  • Reply Ursula August 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    OMG! I love this post! Seriously!!!
    And yes, you are definitely not the only one thinking and feeling like this! :-) And if this helps at all – I think you should be proud of the fact that you feel like this and that you actually let it happen and want to explore it and do not wash it away, like so many others do (if they do feel it at all).
    I am not sure – but somehow this “being happy” is something that here in Germany does not seem to be important and I find it so so so so sad!!!

    I realized only during the last years that all I always wanted in life really is not at all what I want. This shifting … it started a while back, basically when my kids were born (or a bit later). But obviously you do not have to have kids to start thinking about those things … I guess for me it just made it easier to see more clearly, to value differently, to understand deeper …

    ALOT has changed in my life. Most things are of a kind that others do not see them – they are more internal shifts if that makes any sense at all. :-) But those changes influence how I think, how I perceive … and that makes such a huge difference.

    I love your question – where to start. I am certainly not in a place to answer it. I guess life coaches and such would be way more suited to give answers – or ask the right questions. So I am just going to share what was most important to me: to figure out what are my priorities in life!

    And I am not even saying that I am done with it. :-) I am still working on myself, my life, changing and shifting … I know this sounds cheezy, but I do often ask myself what would be so important to me that I would have not wanted to miss out on it if I would have to die soon. What are the things that are most dear to me! Or even, what would I regret when I die if I would have not done them or done them differently. And also – what are the things that make me truly happy. If pink nails do not do it for you (anymore) – you have to find other things! :-) And there ARE other things for sure. It sometimes is just hard to find them cause you might just be used to the “old” things that used to make you happy …

    And about traveling .. I totally understand that longing for traveling. But to be honest – ask yourself whether this would truly be what you WANT or be something (like work) to hide behind and help to ease those odd feeling for now. You know what I mean?

    I LOVE traveling. And I missed it immensly when I had my kids … but to be honest, now that I get more clear on what it is that makes me happy and what I want in life that NEED to travel has died down ALOT. I am not saying I would not want to travel. I still love it and still miss it in a way. But it is not that “I can not stand this anymore I NEED to see something different right now” kinda feeling anymore but rather a “it would be quite nice to see something different – but if now is not the right time later is fine, too”. I think traveling CAN be a great way to find out things about yourself and life … but it can also be a great way to distract yourself from all those questions. You just gotta figure it out – and in your heart I am sure you will know!

    Whatever it is that you will find when thinking and writing – I wish you lots of courage and all the best for this process!!! I do know it can be quite scary at times – and sometimes it forces us out of our comfort zone ALOT – but if you follow your heart it will just be GRAND!!!!

    Wishing you truly all the best – and thanks for sharing!!!!


  • Reply Traveling Mama August 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I really do understand what you mean. I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been feeling out of sorts and for me the solution is focusing less on myself and doing something that feels more lasting and impacting, such as volunteering at a homeless shelter, baking a batch of cookies for a friend, or loading up my Etsy shop and giving all the profit to charity. I’m not saying that is the solution for you, but it seems to be the one thing that gets me out of my funks sometimes because I spend so much of my energy trying to be the best me… and some days that is exhausting and a little pointless. Doing something for someone else reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for and ultimately makes me refocus on the things that will matter much more after I leave this world. As a Christian, I also find comfort in reading the book of Psalms. Sometimes I just need to be reminded that I am loved beyond all comprehension and no matter what happens in life, there is someone who cares for me!

    AND You have done SO much these last couple years and I think at some point it has to calm down… and perhaps in those still moments you have time to reflect on just how busy it’s been and how much energy you have given out. Taking time for yourself, not taking yourself too seriously, and giving your heart room to breath will go a long way… Have you taken some time to do things for yourself… things you won’t post or show anyone else but your husband? Sometimes taking that pressure off yourself can allow those times to be very therapeutic!

    May you find that place where you heart can breath deeply and your mind finds rest, whether it’s in your apartment in Germany or the far stretches of the globe! Hugs from Copenhagen!

  • Reply Antje August 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm


    I really appreciate the honesty with your readers and with yourself. Very wise of you to take time out to be still and listen to your heart. I think all women experience this. You’ve already done the most difficult part by accepting how you feel. Now the adventure, personal work, and reward of moving forward….where ever that may take you! When I was going through this myself about 10 years ago I went to a women’s surf camp in Mexico and learned how to surf. The camp’s motto…..”We turn women into girls”. That was what I needed. Life-hanging experience. I still travel and get together with some of the wonderful women I met there.

    Also wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the BYW 2 course. So wonderful! I am going through a similar creative change again and thinking a blog will be part of that journey.

    Holly you are an inspiring woman. Take Care!

  • Reply JOan Fowler August 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I can relate to everything you are feeling. My solution is a trip to Italy. Sadly I have to wait until May but it gives me a whole 8 months to anticipate the escape. By the way, I really love that bird in the picture you posted today. Where can I get one – or two – of those? Any assistance would be most appreciated.

  • Reply laura August 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Go to India. I went there for a month long yoga training and I loved every minute. It is a very special place. One that will give you perspective on your life.

  • Reply marian August 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    @Margot Madison:

    could not agree more!
    you don’t have to go anywhere to find anything….it is all within you. and life’s purpose is not to be “happy” rather to be at peace.

  • Reply Rin Simpson August 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Holly

    I haven’t had a chance to read through all the comments so probably this has already been said, but I just wanted to say that I think it’s great that you shared this because I know that most people probably go through it at some point – or they would if they would be honest with themselves and let it happen.

    It sounds like you have a real handle on where you’re at at the moment, which is a great start. You’re listening to your body, to your heart and you’re willing to take risks in order to find fulfilment (which, incidentally, is what I think you’re after, rather than happiness, which to me is a kind of transitory, moment by moment feeling).

    Anyway, best of luck to you. Try not to set too many goals for this time of discovery. The best results sometimes come from period of near aimlessness.

    Thanks for the beauty you share on this blog, it means a lot to a lot of people.

  • Reply Tracey@chalkboard living August 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I think this is true for many people at some stage in their lives. As you are lucky enough to have no ties to children i would definitely say go and travel. Wander the world. There are many times i think of this but i have 3 children and school to think about. Make the most of your freedom. Work can wait. Life sometimes is far more important.

    Sometimes this mood that has overwhelmed you creates a need for change in your life. Maybe you feel like you need something more or a new challenge like you said. I know someone close to me who never wanted children and went through something similar only to find that actually a ‘little mistake’ gave her the child/then children she had never dreamed of having but they seemed to fill her hole quite perfectly. This may not be the same thing that would fill your hole perhaps but often it is just a dramatic change that we need. Whatever that change is.

    Really when you think about what you have achieved recently, it is probably difficult to look down the mountain when you are at the top of your game and think ‘well what else is there’? |Have i done it all/achieved it all already? The world has a way of righting these things and a way of karma. Maybe you just need to sit back and let whatever it is wash over you in it’s own time and a big break would be perfect for that. Enjoy it Holly. You deserve it.

  • Reply deidre* August 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    just to say, the very first line already resonated with me. thank you for sharing this. and (having just returned from a walk in the park closest to where i live) i do hope you also find solace in the company of trees. and your words back. and gladness. <3

  • Reply Ursula August 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Oh, another piece of advice I just thought about – it is not from me obviously ;-) I read it and it helped me HEAPS. When making decisions or figuring out what to do or change you can not always “work it out in your head”. And this definitely was true for me! You have to start “going into one direction” and you will feel whether it was the right one or not. This was so unbelieveably true for me and knowing it – I came across it just recently unfortunately – took off SO much pressure in terms of “having to think things through”. Because there are things that you will think about and think about and think about but never derive at a decision that you are sure about that it would work … Thought maybe it could help you, too.

    Lots of love

  • Reply Jo Seaquist August 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Lovely post, Holly. I think you’ll find your next great adventure, whether it’s in India or somewhere closer to home.

    Change is always so scary but when you think about it, what’s scarier than running in circles and missing out on the path we’re supposed to take? I’ve learned that the pursuit of happiness sometimes means not a hunt but letting go, changing the view, reinventing.

  • Reply kat weatherill August 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    In my life things things seem to have changed every 7 years for better or in a way that challenged me. Each time its scary (change of job, country, motherhood, career) but we get through it. I believe everything happens for a reason, but we dont always know the reason ’till after!
    Follow your instincts…
    best wishes
    kat x

  • Reply Kate August 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    We all feel like this from time to time. I think it comes from needing to share your life with someone. SHARE. Your life. With someone. Easier said than done, but no man is an island. I think escapes are great to get perspective. But don’t escape for too long, otherwise you’ll just be running away. I hope you do find the answers you’re looking for. In the meantime I hope you’ll find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

  • Reply Claudia August 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I totally know what you mean, Holly – I’ve been through a couple of transition times and realized that for me, the key is to create, whatever that may be, otherwise I feel like a part of me is being muted. I hope you can figure out what will work for you!!!

  • Reply Andreia August 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    We feel happy when we love, when we go out from ourselves and we give
    this could be a smile or a ‘Hi’
    to someone in the street,
    when we give our time to accomplish something that make others happy.
    There are days when it seems we have not enough strenght for anything,
    but specially on these days, when we love
    we reach the end of the day and we are really happy.

    These words to say that I think I understand what you are feeling and when I feel something alike, that’s what I do, I find the answers, the way to go through in myself.

    All the best,

  • Reply Tiffany August 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. These same type of thoughts have been circulating within me for awhile now. It’s comforting to know that someone who is so successful in their career feels the same stirrings that I do. I admire your courage and determination to really sit down and figure this out. Thoughts on happiness, trying to figure out what I want out of life especially when plan A isn’t working out, trying to sort out my emotions and desires from circumstances of situations. At times it gets overwhelming and can be so much easier to shut down and turn it off for awhile. I have read several articles recently that talked about how we often make the best choices when our minds are at rest or distracted. That we can really think things through while we sleep. These articles have brought me some peace, in that maybe my method of delving in and then stepping back will offer great results after all. I hope you come to paths of great happiness….when you do make sure to share it with us.

  • Reply charlotte hedeman gueniau August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    beautiful soul – I think you should just take this time out – and breathe – try going to Italy – check out the fxxit life and perhaps go away one week just you and your breath. . I know how you feel and I often think some of the thoughts you are mentioning –

    When they say the quiter you become the more you can hear – I belive it is true. You have a strong inner voice – listen to it and say fxxk it to whatever anyone is expecting of you – or bigger still to your own thoughts and expectations on you. You have just finished a book again – It is a ton of energy you give away when writing – I also found myself quite fragile and drained for a while after. It’s all good … Mega Hug from me

  • Reply Nina Bungers August 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Dear Holly,

    I’m absolutely touched by your reflection on your feelings. When life is a journey, it’ s not always easy to know which road is the right, which maps to trust or what to pack for the trip. I’ m convinced, if you trust your voice within, it will guide your personal way to a happy heart and soul!
    Having quality time with your loved ones, your husband, your family, close friends or just with yourself is more important than being a workaholic and having the pressure of always being availabale for others – i guess most of the time alone with the computer while life is also happening outside the digital world.
    Take your time to feel again that you’re alive and to refresh your thoughts, regain energy and wonderful moments of pure inspiration and love. I really lost my heart in Italy, Sweden and Australia and always feel alive while traveling there. I hope you’ ll find your way to new experiences which will fill your heart with pure happiness.
    Lots of love, Nina

  • Reply christelle is flabbergasting August 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Of course this is inspirational and I think it’s important for you to share this kind of feelings, here on Decor8. I am sure you’ll find and change something: I like to think that once you realized ‘something’ missed in your life, you’ve already done halfway on the road to improve your life and be happier.
    Good luck with that! This is the ultimate inspiration we’re all searching for, right? :) xx

  • Reply christelle is flabbergasting August 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Of course this is inspirational Holly and I think it’s important for you to share this kind of feelings, here on Decor8. I am sure you’ll find and change something: I like to think that once you realized ‘something’ missed in your life, you’ve already done halfway on the road to improve your life and be happier.
    Good luck with that! This is the ultimate inspiration we’re all searching for, right? :) xx

  • Reply Aimee August 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    This morning during my drive into work I was thinking about **being happy** and something occurred to me…then…since I was driving and needed to pay attention (whoops, red light!)…the thought slipped away. After I got to work, and finally had time for a break, I read this post. A shadow of the thought I had during my drive came back to me and I struggled for at least 20 minutes to remember what it was. I had given up when I started to post this comment but funny thing is I remember now (yay, and thank you!).

    My thought was: You are more than the things that happen to you.

    Simple, I know, but I get stuck sometimes in everything happening around me that I lose **me**. Staying focused on the internal instead of the external is what helps me maintain balance. And, for me balance is what helps me **find happy**. Thanks again for sharing <3

  • Reply Julie August 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm


    Holly (and Estelle),

    I can relate to Holly’s hunger and questing only because I was TOTALLY in that same place a little bit ago. *keeping in mind I don’t know know you… but I can read between the lines*

    That “I can’t quite put my finger on this” feeling. I would best describe it as a hole shaped like no other “earthly” thing… a void only Peace can bring. Capital ‘P’ peace.

    Be open to talking out loud to whom ever you believe is listening, and be quiet and just listen. Your thoughts may try and lead you back to “logic” and “answers” but you’ll know it when it happens.

    My first time sounded a little like this: “Thank you.”

  • Reply Julie August 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm


  • Reply Paul August 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Go to India, explore, travel but be careful. It will bring you happiness and adventure because of it’s “newness” the way a cake will bring you pleasure because of it’s sweetness. You cannot live on cake alone. In a heroes journey the lesson comes from the return home. Seeing life differently than before. You do not need to travel to find these differences, they are always there a few degrees of an angle away. Happiness isn’t a place to be found but exists always within you. If you can strive to live within yourself in the present of every moment, bliss is there to be found. It is not in the future and it is not in the past. If you take this mindset with you it will be there where ever you go. India included.

  • Reply Gabrielle Treanor August 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Hi, I’m another one of those readers who never comments but I wanted to give you a virtual hug after reading this post! My first thought was to listen to your gut and if you feel like you really want to go to India or Bali then you should go. However, reading some of the comments I think that going to one of these countries but to do voluntary work to benefit the community is a much better idea. Sometimes it helps to think really hard and look inside yourself and other times the opposite works. Getting out of your head and spending your energy on working for something else can give your brain time to relax and rest. I wouldn’t do anything with an expectation that it will give you the answer, I just think that switching off your internal dialogue, or at least dialling it down, can bring you an inner calm. Sometimes focusing on other stuff causes you to have really clear thoughts on totally different topics just because you stopped thinking about it for some time.
    This might not be of any use, I just wanted to chip in on the off chance it could help you a little.

  • Reply Mary August 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Hi Holly,

    First off I would like to say that I LOVE your work and find a lot of joy sifting through your posts and photography. Second I would like to encourage you during this time of self contemplation; it’s an important and wonderful part of life and no matter how hard the journey, the self discovery made at the end of a period of growth is usually worth whatever had to be gone through to get there. I don’t know what you’re searching and it sounds as if you may not either, but I believe that whole in your heart is meant to be filled by God. I don’t know your beliefs but hear me out. You live a life where you are constantly surrounded by beautiful things but how much more beautiful is the God who created color? As humans we often forget God and enjoy creation more than the Creator but if creation can bring us so much joy, how much more can the beautiful Creator bring us eternal, all-satisfying, life-giving joy! As one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis says “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, and sex, and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies because he can’t imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” I hope you find your answer.

    Best Wishes, Mary

  • Reply Jen August 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Fairly new reader, first time commenter.

    I think it’s something in the air these days, as the only thing I haven’t questioned is my love for my husband. I have wanted to take him and run away.

    However, I did some soul searching, and the link above is the start of me following my passions. Also, I am in the midst of working with my husband on writing a novel. It’s going to be a long road to get our business to a profitable point, as well as a totally other journey to get the novel published. I am just taking small little steps forward each day, and I realize before I know it, I will have gotten very far. I need to take little step, cause I have full time job as well, that I hope these ventures will someday replace.

    So if a retreat in India or Bali sounds/feels like what you need to do then do it.

    Just make sure you are not running away from something. Do a bit a soul searching before you go, because when I ran away, I still had to come back and face things the way they were. The benefits were lost, and the void was back.

  • Reply Andrea Jay August 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    You are very brave, and very human, for sharing these thoughts and being honest with yourself. If I’m feeling like things are out of whack or I just need a new focus I usually find relief in some sort of service activity. People NEED to be helpful to others, it benefits all the parties involved. It sounds like you are on a bit of a spiritual journey and I think you should keep searching till you find some peace, it’s worth the work.

    Best of luck,


  • Reply sandy August 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Dear holly

    time for a baby?…

  • Reply Susan Anderson August 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm


    Wherever you go, there you are. A trip is not the answer. A few things came to me, to echo what others have said

    1. What about your spiritual journey/quest? Regardless of your faith practice or beliefs, eventually the higher power calls to us, and we must answer the call, see who is knocking and discover what it means in our lives. Especially when we are considering life-altering changes.

    2. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron was transformative for me when I went through a break down.

    3. ALLOWING things to happen verses MAKING things happen is very hard for us type A personalities. Slowing down, waiting to see what comes, not being in a hurry to fill up the spaces in our lives-that’s HARD hard work. But it sounds like you are on the right track. You hit the nail on the head about using “busy-ness” as a way to keep the hard work on the back burner. Since plain old rest has not filled your tank, it’s clear your spirit is crying out for more. Give yourself permission to see what it is. Give yourself permission to see who you are when not defined by what you do, or by how you succeed.

    thanks so much for sharing! your post resonates strongly for me, because it is exactly what I am facing. I have a spiritual director helping me, but I am sure you will find your own path that works for you. Hugs!

  • Reply T August 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Couldn’t agree more!! It was like reading something that I had written without even knowing it! Comforting to know that there are other people out there going through the same thing! @Goldens Love:

  • Reply CT August 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Not only to thine ownself be true, but think: An unexamined life is not worth living (according to Socrates). Introspection, contemplation and deliberation are all very necessary to know oneself in order to be true to oneself. Enjoy the journey. It sounds like you’ve already taken some first steps. Cheers – CT

  • Reply Ellen Crimi-Trent August 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm


    are you ever into astrology? Well if you noticed that this summer and for the past 2 yrs Saturn has been in our relationship sector which means dealing with relationships on all levels the ones to yourself and others.

    Its a testing period in order to see where you are at- and the fact you are questioning it means your on the right track. I can honestly tell you- I am right there with you only my experience is worse. I sooo want to change many things about my life but can’t because of my responsibilities. I would love to take off and find myself again but with kids, a house and everything that comes with it I cannot.

    My relationships have been tested on all levels these past 2 yrs and I have to deal with old issues that I thought were resolved but obviously were not.
    I can honestly say I cannot remember when I last truely felt pure joy. I have had a tough past 2 yrs financially and it has taken its toll on my life, marriage and kids.

    I think for this next yr I am going to concentrate on just trying new things and see where that leads me. I need to force myself to get out and meet new ppl and do new things so I don’t fall into this old pattern of being stuck. My college memories were the most joyous because of how new and exciting everything was- I need to get back to that place- the place of wonder and learning.

    You are not alone in the realm of just ” living” most of us are here- but what if we really start- “living” changing our routines, taking in new thoughts and doing things that we never thought we would do- maybe then we won’t feel like things are just in stuck mode.

    Love that your out there girl- I like you just can’t sit and say nothing- ( as you well know) I have to say it!!

  • Reply alena August 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    dear holly

    me too i’m in a big year of change… my family had a big loss and we all try to find a new view on life. i try to take care of my “happy places” where i can be myself and create and feel good about it. but the questions what makes us happy, what do we want achieve and for what… they are around all the time. i’m often relieved when i see others around me asking the same questions, feeling the change too… it makes me part of something, even if i don’t really now where it is going… the world is changing fast at the moment, we all are part of it… the real connection with people, sharing and learning is what helps me not feeling lost.


  • Reply Kim Fisher August 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    This can’t have been easy to post- hang in there. I hesitate to give advice so I’ll just say this- 7 years ago my husband and I spearheaded an annual fundraiser that helps raise money for local animal shelters..Not only is it the best thing I’ve ever done , knowing I’m making a huge difference in the lives of abused and neglected animals but it brought me friends out of my comfort zone, people who ‘s sacrifice and kindness humbles me every day.

  • Reply Kasey M. August 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Oh Holly, I think you are going to get a lot of comments on this post.

    Yes. As another type A person, I’ve felt what you’re describing. I *feel* what you are describing. And yes I recognize that I have the habit of having a glass of wine and a girls night out to quite my own restlessness.

    I don’t think it’s about age. I’m 24 and I’ve felt this way since graduating high school (at least whenever I slow down enough to breath). I read a book recently that’s helped me really do something about the way I’m feeling. Have you read “The Happiness Project?” There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with sitting down, thinking about happiness, and then planning tangible things to do about it.

  • Reply anita August 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Holly, as you may know I lost my daughter earlier this year and naturally that has lead me on a journey. i too wondered what that experience, life is here to teach me and I believe to seek to find our truth is what we come here to play.
    i decided to set up to spread the love and goodness my beautiful daughter always did. Still there is more to explore and I am not there yet and that is okay. You, me, all the readers will get closer every day and only by questioning. There will be wonderful days and days that are not so wonderful and they all have equal value. I am from India and have just returned from Bali and yes, a break there would be a great tonic and then you must return to you. My support and friendship are with you and with all your readers. please visit and pledge to enrich your lives. x

  • Reply Jennifer August 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Have you read “The Happiness Project”? A woman spends a year examining books and all the ways to explore happiness for one year. I loved it because I COMPLETELY relate to being type A, overachieving, staying busy with businesses and travel, and when you slow down finding that little hollow place always comes back.

    I struggle with this myself and it is a journey to get to the bottom of it. I find myself moving from Washington, to Florida on a boat, to China, and now living in Hawaii (see I’m serious! haha). PS Bali really is the most amazing spiritual place I have ever been!!! Right now I find I am happiest when I have the balance of a few key things in my life:

    1. Friends and Community who I spend time with
    2. I have to be doing creative things and making art
    3. Eating Healthy and Excerpting
    4. Having things to look forward to like a vacation or life goal

    Without any of those things I always feel something lacking. I also think about Flora Bowley, an artist who reached her dream of being a full time professional, then found something missing… Touching People’s lives. She now has very successful classes all around the world and loves to teach and connect people. Sometimes maybe our unique personality requires something different and that something changes through our lives.

    Thank you for your honest and open post. I love your blog, I look forward to it and this is the first time I was compelled to comment. Thank you for the beautiful inspiration that you share, it has definitely touched me : )


  • Reply Louise Rea August 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Holly and everyone who has posted. Like others, I’ve been a fan of yours for ages but rarely post myself…time issues, work, excuses, and not thinking my comments are important! But I am sat here in the UK, in my new bargain chair from Ikea (black denim, reclines without looking like a hideous moose in the room) with my very trendy lamp on a side table, both from a car boot sale, with the tools of my trade around me as I work from home…pattern books, samples, boxes and boxes of catalogues and STUFF, rolls of fabric…the list is endless. I need a new bathroom, the carpet is torn to shreds and is 20 years old, the boiler is broken and all my curtains are hand me downs. I’m 48. (but a young and trendy 48 I hasten to add) no children and a partner who I love but don’t feel overwhelming consuming adoration for, although he is such a good man and everyone loves him! …hes gone to the cinema and your post has made me cry. Why? Because you have written in one post exactly how I feel…I look at you and your success and feel envy because to me you have got to where I am trying to get to…and you feel the same as me?! Oh dear. I wish all us ladies who have commented tonight, from around the world, could all be in the same room and we could support each other face to face. I thought I felt like this because I have no kids, no passion, no proper goal, no money, no…..? but I now realise its in all of us, whatever or wherever we are in our lives. I keep busy so I don’t face the void, the fear that I have wasted so much time, but tonight I am facing it…I’m lonely, spending far to much time working on my own, and often depressed, so don’t push myself to be social. I “get” my mood so when I am down, I know it will pass and can cope with it, but tonight I realise I need to shake myself off and get out into the world and start living. All the advice to you is invaluable, and I’m sure you will use what’s suitable for you, as will I. Good luck to you Holly, I send you all my love and support. It’s inside of us really, isn’t it? X

  • Reply SuzyMcQ August 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Andrea. I have been looking for a job for a very long time and it’s been very discouraging. I knew that I needed some sort of volunteer group to become involved in and that there had to be some entity out there where I could utilize my skills and experience. I owned two dogs that I loved and who were always there to comfort me when the resume replies weren’t flooding in, so I became involved in dog breed rescue. I have previous retail experience, so I assist with the online store. My writing and editing background were a perfect fit for the newsletter. While others may foster and transport dogs, I utilize my skill set to, in my own personal way, rescue, rehabilitate and re-home some pretty special pups.

    I urge you to continue to explore, but also to reach out and help a group in need using your incredible gifts. There is truly no better feeling than helping another.

  • Reply anita August 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    hi Holly, me again. Just to say that letting go of Mills, my daughter, was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I have tried to search for the gift. The gift for me has been to search for my truth and that is evolving daily as I look deeper. I did not seek therapy for my loss but instead have read, sat still in meditation and taken up yoga and started to do good things via the site.

    Here is your gift. In expressing your feelings you have helped so many women. Perhaps your journey becomes the next book? Perhaps you dare to do nothing and in time, you begin to simply feel whole again. There is something in the planets for sure. God bless and much love.

  • Reply anka August 29, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    When you said ”It’s not been a normal summer. It’s not been much of anything really, just time passing. And this concerns me.”, it felt like you were talking about me. I am leaving now for a short holiday and I will be thinking and writing. Thank you so much for your effort in writing this and I hope the last days of summer will shed warm light on your heart and soul and you will find what is missing or too much of. Best of luck to you.

  • Reply Alison Gibb August 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    @Margot Madison: I agree about not using holidays to find contentment…you have to find happiness in your everyday life or you will have to go on constant holidays!

  • Reply Di August 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Hello Holly
    Its 6am in Australia and I have just been for a run around the headland in our beautiful northern beaches of Australia. The sun isnt up yet and they must have been ‘burning off’ (trying to prevent bushfires in the coming summer, we have a lot of bush around here), and so there is a smell of smoke in the air. Its kinda nice and far enough away to not breathe it in on the run.

    So now I feel fantastic, like really fantastic. I have greeted the day with not only exercise but beauty as well. That is what makes me happy.

    Lately I feel like I am just marking time and I feel it is because I need to be busier, or is it just because I feel guilty on my days off and do nothing much? For me it is all about finding the beauty in things. It might be the light, if you know what I mean, or a beautiful flower, or an interesting bit of driftwood, or the smile on my divine granddaughter’s face.

    For you, perhaps you are yearning for a child to complete you. You are about the right age and you are happy and healthy and perhaps your inner self knows this and is making you restless.

    Try to just be in the now and go with it all. Go visit your family in the States and have a little holiday and come back to the man you love. Everyone loves you!!
    Di xx

  • Reply Marie August 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I read your blog regularly but have never left a comment, bit your post and your candid words makes it easy. You are not alone feeling like this. I have felt it for over a year, it prompted me to quit my job but the feeling is still with me despite finding a new job with less stress. And, so many people around me my age (30-40) are experiencing the same thing. Being uncomfortable, unsatisfied, feeling there must be something else, not being as happy as they want to be, waiting for something to change, shift, happen, for everything to feel right again! I don’t know what this is, but when so many people are experiencing the same thing there might be a connection. Is it our generation of can-do women? is it the stress of juggling a career, home life, friends, hobbies, work-outs that are not filling us with joy but draining us? Is it a sign of the times? is it cosmic? many talk about this and last year as being a time of great change, of introspection, of seeking a deeper meaning, connecting with tradition, root, family, of transformation. Maybe this is what is effecting you too, a hunger for meaning, and relaxed satisfaction knowing your fate and pursuing it.

  • Reply Lori @ Interior Domain Designs August 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Holly, Thank you for sharing such an honest post. I’m sure you have touched everyone who has read it.
    I’ve heard it told that before a pilot breaks the sound barrier, it can get pretty shaky. That’s kinda the way life can be. Trust it and you will be led to something better. Just follow your feelings without forcing it – one little step at a time.

  • Reply Eleanor August 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Thanks for sharing your honest and open feelings. I think you have touched on something that is being felt by a lot of people right now, self included. I’m sure the answer and the struggle is a bit different for everyone but I’d like to share that I just returned from a trip to Ecuador and it totally reignited my sense of aliveness.

    Living in Europe and traveling often to California, I think that I travel a lot, but going to South America made me realize how much different and soul-expanding it is to go somewhere *really* different. I came home energized but also feeling more peaceful and appreciative of my every day life (and I’m *really* trying to hang on to that feeling!) Your urge to go to Bali or India is probably a healthy message from your subconscious.

    I’m a compulsive book recommender, so I’ll also say that while traveling I read Martha Beck’s book ‘The Joy Diet’ and found it really inspiring and helpful.

    I also want to thank you again for sharing this. It’s easy to think that big name bloggers like yourself have perfect lives where everything is always beautiful and life is always happy. It’s encouraging to know that bloggers are just human like the rest of us!

    Big hug!

  • Reply ShirA August 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Dear Holly,
    The past two years I’ve been working as an independant architect, and found myself questionning, well, everything (I jumped into the deep end without ever knowing how to begin or manage my time or be satisfied with my work/life…). I had these sort of thoughts about myself and my life, more times than you could imagine. The funny thing is, that from the beginning of your post I kept thinking “India, India, India”, then read you’ve been already thinking about it. I travelled northen India a year and a half ago and it was eye openning. I belive it’s not a restful vacation you need, but a burst of change. India is so very different in every way possible, it leads your mind and imagination to new magnificent and troubling places. It’s a refreshing and new feeling. It’s very powerful. It’s hard at times which only makes you FEEL more. I beleive that getting out of our skins at times, allows us to observe ourselves from the outside and aventually like being “us”, I feel like it tought me to be a little more compassionate towards myself.

    By the way, travelling to India in search of a fresh look at YOU, is best done alone ;) the people you’ll meet along the way will teach you more about who you’ve become than your old friends, who know you for who you used to be.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Reply Leyla August 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Would it be that you need a new love?

  • Reply Linda Magro August 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I know what you are experiencing as I’ve been in the same situation more than once. What helps me is long walks by myself, asking God for help and then listening by taking time out of your day to just sit in silence and meditate by letting all thoughts that come into your brain float on by…continue to practice this as it takes time to learn to let the thoughts go. Saying ‘ahm” or “God”or any similar vowel sound will help train you to relax your mind. I am Christian, but I am also open to the metaphysical sciences and absolutely recommend listening to seminars and books on tape by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I listen to them over and over again while I’m driving, cleaning house, painting, etc. Hope this helps! Good luck on your spiritual journey!! Xoxo Linda Magro of Vintage by Linda.

  • Reply Kristin August 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I think you are right to take some time to contemplate the emptiness or feeling of need you have right now. Try not to be so quick to move on to something that occupies your thoughts, because as you mentioned, you have been doing that a lot in your life. Contentedness is elusive.

    Even when my life has been seemingly perfect, there has remained that itch for something different. I think, for me at least, it is the nagging thoughts about how my life would be different had I made different decisions, so I sometimes attempt to get back those other possibilities (for example: I turned down art school for a more traditional vocation, so I sometimes take up painting with more fervor just to remind myself I can). Yours likely has a different source. Try to figure out where or what it is.

  • Reply Libby August 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Holly: I’m looking at all the comments here, quickly scanning them as I go down the page. I think, am I right?, that no one has mentioned what you very quickly mentioned in a post a few months ago: that you are thinking of having a baby. Am I right?
    Well, there you have it. That is the biggest change any woman can have in her life. I was older (37) when I had my one and only and I cannot begin to tell you the soul searching and agonizing I went through. I wanted it to happen, for sure, but somewhere in me I knew my life would change forever and that was scary!
    As some others have said, don’t go away to get to the bottom of your feelings; stay home, stay where you ultimately will be and deal with these feelings.
    Well, that’s my contribution!

  • Reply Gretchen Deahl August 29, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Holly,

    What amazing posts. The first thing that went through my mind was how blessed you are to be a part of this (online) community. I’ve been following your blog for some time now, and though I thoroughly enjoy it, this particular post stopped me in my tracks!

    I am fascinated and encouraged by such thoughtful, heartfelt and well written replies. I felt especially drawn to the comments of (8) Ariana, (10) Margot Madison and (26) Briana. I tend to agree with them.

    Vacations are great. Seeking new adventures are also fun BUT, to my way of thinking, they are simply diversions and distractions from what may be at the heart of your restlessness. I’ve been there. To be honest, I am STILL there.

    Looking for peace, harmony and balance outside of yourself is just putting off the inevitable. Happiness is a transient creature after all – darting off into space only to rear its pretty head just long enough to make you feel miserable when it leaves again.

    Take the necessary time to find that space within yourself. The temptation to fill it with outside delights will fight hard to have its way. Don’t get angry with yourself, but don’t give in to it either. I have found that this restless, unsatisfied feeling that reaches out to all of us from time to time can be a blessing in disguise. If everything were perfect all of the time, there would be no need or desire to seek change and growth.

    I wish you an interesting journey.

    Most sincerely, Gretchen

  • Reply scandi.coast.home August 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Do you know Holly, it’s quite normal to have that lost feeling. Sometimes we need to be still to be creative and when you’ve been so busy for so long it’s such a foreign feeling. You could have home wares fatique too……;o) You know, the kind that stylists get ;o)
    I believe in finding joy in the small things too. Sometimes we forget that while we’re looking to the next big challenge. Stay in the moment for a bit.
    Have a great day and enjoy Summer!
    Thinking of you……
    Tania xx

  • Reply Valerie August 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Hi Holly,

    What you are going through is completely normal (I’ve been there too!) – and, quite honestly, a little adventure away from home could do your heart and soul a lot of good. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves to keep going and keep working without a break in an effort to be more productive. However, when you get burnt out, you’re not doing yourself any good – and, inevitably, you end up being less productive! Take a break and give yourself time to re-gain your inspiration. You deserve it!

  • Reply Shannon August 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Amazing how your honesty has touched so many as I read through the comments above.

    Every 6 months or so I have to take a step back and and evaluate my creative happiness. My life is wonderful, but I find I get lost in my own type A-ness and forget about the creative intuitive part of design. Taking a vacation never works for me. I just need some time outdoors and alone with paper and pen. Solice enevitably comes as I start at the basics and just begin to doodle and breathe in fresh air.

    I’m in that place now where I feel like I’m spinning my wheels (again), but I know I’ll find the happy place in my heart again. I just need to trust it.

    Best wishes to you.

  • Reply JenJ August 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I am very happy in my roles as wife and mother but something else is missing. I am embarking on a mission to find my purpose because I feel like ‘it’ will be more fulfilling than even I can imagine. I left my role as a career woman to learn more about creative pursuits that I’ve always had an interest in, with the hopes that I’ll find a place where I can reach my full potential.

    I hope that you can take that trip to India or find your spark in an activity at home that will help you reconnect. Good luck to us all!

  • Reply Emma August 29, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    This comment may be a little buried now under all the others but I just wanted to thank you for such a brave and inspirational post. It really resonated with me today as I have just had such an awful day and was feeling so defeated by everything. Your post reminded me that I am not alone, and that from time to time we all struggle to live up to this picture of the “perfect life” that we create. I think for me I spend so much time trying to be happy rather than just living in the moment and letting happiness weave its way into my life through simple moments of doing things I love. I’m not sure if that makes sense but what I mean is that it is the journey and not the destination that is important.

    Big love and hugs to you as you continue on your journey. xxx

  • Reply Naturally Carol August 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Holly, on the offchance, your blog on a sidebar caught my eye when visiting another. Your emptiness…longing for one that every person finds themselves in at one time or another. As a christian, I would have to say, talk to God about this , tell Him how you feel. I know this doesn’t sound very sophisticated but it’s all about a relationship that will fill the longing in your spirit…and add even more creativity to your life.

  • Reply Terrie Hall August 30, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I have followed your blog forever, and I love it! This is the first time I have posted a reply. Every word you said resonated within. I too, have been feeling that way all summer long. I think that for myself I need to belong to a community of creatives, instead of doing everything myself. I want to be inspired by enthusiastic people and new ideas. Traveling is definitely inspiring, and always adds something to the creative juices. I think if I left right now, I might be gone a very long time! Thank you for posting the “real” stuff!

  • Reply Dianne August 30, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Sounds like you have really struck a nerve. Thanks for so thoughtfully writing about something that is not easy to talk about. You are appreciated!

  • Reply Kelly Golightly August 30, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Holly, I love that you are so open and honest and these posts always seem to come at the exact time I’m feeling the same way.

    We’ve definitely shaken things up before (taking a year off to travel, moving every few years, etc.) and I’m starting to feel that urge again (the new thing on the horizon is buying a weekend house in Palm Springs). Of course, I wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing that we’re always itching to shake things up and that phrase “bloom where you’re planted” rings in my head.

    I do think new experiences revitalize and inspire…but I also wonder to what end?

    Sending love from LA,

    (p.s. We just relaunched & renamed BussBuss in case you were wondering who the heck this was ;))

  • Reply Tracy O'Brien August 30, 2012 at 12:30 am

    HI Holly,

    Thank you for your honest post…it’s what I love most about your blog…those little sprinklings of real life mixed in with all of the beautiful design posts.
    Even though I have missed your daily inspiration, I appreciate and respect the time you took this month to refresh. Its a hard thing to do.

    I want you to know that I have taken your “Blogging Your Way” class twice. I took it the second time because I loved how I felt after the first class. For me, the underlying message was, “be true to yourself.” I don’t know if that is the message you intended, but that’s what I came away with. If you feel the need to go and travel, then that is what YOU need to do. Sometimes smelling different smells and feeling a different pace of life is just what you need….and sometimes those experiences make you look forward to returning HOME…in every sense of the word.

    I am just a girl you don’t know living in Atlanta, Georgia, but I want you to know that you have made an impact in my life. Thank you!!

    I hope you do take that “pregnant pause!”

    I hope you find that “thing” you are searching for!!

  • Reply Colee Wilkinson August 30, 2012 at 12:32 am

    You must feel incredibly supported by so many caring comments. I have followed you for about a year now and appreciate your authenticity and dedication to prettiness. It was strange that I was multitasking this am, reading blog posts while listening to a webcast by Karen Curry, a Human Design Specialist. I don’t know much about the discipline of “Human Design,” but as I read your words about your “nearly complete puzzle,” I simultaneously heard Karen’s words about the puzzle of life as she explained that if one piece was missing, the whole picture is not quite right. Synchronicity?
    I also wanted mention that I am American who spent three months in the South of France last summer. I thought it would be enlightening and nourishing for my soul. Instead, I came face to face with the negative energy and angst present in European society with the mess that it is in. This energy was draining for me and I could not wait to come home.
    I wish you all the best in finding that missing puzzle piece – I know you’ll find it!

  • Reply bonitarose August 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Holly I can so relate to how u are feeling. I really can. I turned 50 this past Jan..and with that, for the last few years actually has come lots of introspection. Time to just think and write in my journal. To think about my life, about what truly makes me happy. At times in my life, I always thought I had to keep up with everyone else, be the next best thing, do the next best thing, keep up w all the other artists and bloggers out there, cuz if I didn’t i’d be left far out in the dust.
    I discovered that so isn’t true. What’s most important is filling up my days with pure joy. With happiness. in whatever forms that may take. Making no time for sadness and drama. No time for basement ppl. Only balcony ppl in my life.
    Hubby and I hv had a dream for a long time to live by the sea.
    This year.. we are making our dream a reality. We are moving fr ND to FL in mid Oct.. and right now, are madly packing up our home and getting ready for a long cross country move.
    I have to pinch myself daily as to how it all fell into place.
    There were always signs.
    I just had to lean into them and watch and see what happened.

    It takes courage to follow your dreams.
    To listen to that still small voice inside you.
    It really does.
    The world always seems to wanna drown it out.

    Listen more intently
    Listen to your heart.
    And live your life happy.
    Genuine happy.

    No one else can define that for you, but you.
    xo love to you,

  • Reply Rachel August 30, 2012 at 12:50 am

    WOW Holly – Like many of the other readers who commented I can so relate to what you wrote about in today’s post and I really needed to hear it. I so resonated with what you said about taking the time to really explore what really makes us happy and take those quiet moments to do so – THANK YOU for being so honest and human and also inspiring me to give my life’s “puzzle” some thought and maybe move some pieces around to fit differently. I am feeling so pulled in so many directions – running a new business, wanting it and me to be successful, defining what success is, doing things right – my goodness the list could go on, but at the same time I want to find balance and enjoy my life. So I too want to take the time to journal and look at what really feels good and fills that hole that you sometimes feel is so big.
    Please know that what you share in your posts whether personal or about design and inspiration touch so many of us and really make a difference so thank you! I wish you the best and now you will find your path and define your journey! Sending you lots of hugs and kisses.

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang August 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Oh Holly, Bless your heart. I am so sorry that you are hurting.

    You know… one thing that always helps is to think about those times that I was really, really inspired. What was happening? Where was I? Who was I with?

    So often, they were times that I was truly on my own – away from my support network. My ears and eyes were more open to ‘new’. does that make sense?

    One other thing – I’ll throw in some volunteering for good measure – I’ll help out at Julia’s school or with Nate’s sports… it always cheers me up to see someone else smile.

    Thinking of you,

  • Reply Angela August 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Yes, change is in the air this summer. I’m a stay-at-home-mom with three young kids. I have not been happy for years, and have felt very lonely, despite having great friends & family. It was very easy to push those feelings aside, but this summer I have been working towards figuring out how to make myself truly happy. One of the ways I am doing so, is to separate from my husband. While this in itself has not been easy (and we are still in the middle of the hardest part), I feel that this is 100% the right decision for me – and ultimately for my children. I want them to see a happy, strong & fully present mother as they grow up, not someone who is sad & tired all the time. While I still have a lot to figure out about who I really am, I am hopeful that I will fill that void and be ‘honestly happy’.

    I really want to thank you for your post & for your honesty – it is always comforting to know that others around you, even though they’re strangers, believe that finding true happiness is an important pursuit. Stay gold :)

  • Reply Rachel Hollander August 30, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Hey Holly,

    Great words. I am definitely where you are at this time in my life. Today was a horrible day for me. Some people who I thought were really my friends gossiped about me in the worst way and you are right we need to find our own happiness. When people you trust say things that are not true it hurts. I need to get my journal back out and spend some time writing again. Thanks for your encouragement, because I do need to find my next step in my own life. Go somewhere and have a great time and learn new things. You are a encouragement to us all. Thanks for your blog.

  • Reply Jennifer Hayslip August 30, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Holly, What a lovely honest heartfelt post you’ve shared with us. I have been in your exact shoes before. A huge void in my life and digging deep to figure out what is my purpose and to feel alive again. It took me till I turned 40 (just this year) to finally be 100% comfortable in my own skin and feel confident, happy, and truly know what it is I want most in my life. Once you achieve’s a liberating feeling!! I think you are taking the first great steps into discovering that. I hope you find the happiness and peace you are looking for. Best wishes! Jennifer

  • Reply jeni August 30, 2012 at 3:00 am

    so many puzzle pieces that are missing, broken or thrown away… maybe there is something in the air? This has been the strangest summer of my 40 years. Glad to know I am not alone. HUGS from the Sea in Charleston xo

  • Reply fenny setiawan August 30, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I just wanted to drop by here and give you virtual hugs…. :)

    I read all the comments from your readers, which is so lovely and everyone has a good point of views. Good to know that everyone cares :).

    I really hope you will find your inner peace soon….


  • Reply Kristen August 30, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Oh Holly.

    You are loved.

    <3 :)

  • Reply Cheryl August 30, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Hi Holly,

    Reading this post and all the comments really resonated with me, and I found it very comforting to know that so many people feel the same. I have felt like this for some time now, and thought that travelling would fill the void, a new relationship would, a new career direction would (which is starting off very slowly, but at least it’s a start hey!?) All these things have been fantastic but there is still that nagging feeling of “is this it?”

    There seem to be so many of us feeling this is in life these days, and to hear that someone like yourself Holly, who is so inspirational and seems to have it all, feels like it to is so refreshing. Thank you for being so honest :)
    I personally feel that social media plays a big part in this, we read everyday about how amazing other people’s lives are, what fun things they are up to with their many friends and can be left feeling that our lives just don’t match up.
    You seem to be a driven person who succeeds in a lot of things so I’m sure you will find the answer
    I wish you lots of luck and happy times along the way

  • Reply Andrea E. August 30, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Hello :)
    I really do love your ideas! They brighten my day! Back to you…. have you looked into your health? I recently visited a holistic physician and she prescribed (through simple tests)… Vitamin D3 daily, Vitamin B12 three times a week, and progesterone cream. Unsure if this is for you, but just wanted to be helpful. Thank you for all your inspiration… I love it :)

    peace and blessings

  • Reply tina August 30, 2012 at 4:37 am

    I think feelings of discontent must be hard-wired into us, or we would have no real desire for life. Just because we’re “settled” in the traditional sense of the word doesn’t mean we will ever stop changing and growing. You might figure out what you want this year, and then it could all change next year.
    I don’t think there’s one answer, but it helps to have a good friend to talk about it….

  • Reply April C. August 30, 2012 at 4:54 am

    “In the end, I think it’s really my heart and soul that needs a safe place to rest right now.”

    Thank you so much for writing this honest posting. You definitely described what I have been feeling as well despite the fact that from the outside, things seem just peachy fine.

    I wish you the best on your endeavors and I hope you can update us after the month of exploration is over. Good luck!

  • Reply gaby@stilelemente August 30, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Oh… soooo much I could say in relation to your post but will keep it brief with some reading recommendations (if you haven’t already read them):
    1) ‘The Journey’ and ‘Freedom Is’ by Brandon Bays.
    2) ‘A still forest pool’ by Ajahn Chah.
    3) ‘The Art of Happiness’ by the Dalai Lama and Howard C Cutler.
    Silence and solitude is not a bad place… I hope you find what it is you are looking for.

  • Reply Susan August 30, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Thank you for sharing! I turned 40 recently and I could have written this about myself. We often hear, “just be yourself” or “do what you love”. Well, at this point I feel like I’m just starting to know myself. So, in some ways I feel like I need to start over, even in the midst of a successful career.
    I do believe that this type of self examination is worthwhile and I wish you all the best in your journey! Hugs to you!

  • Reply Deneise Bucko August 30, 2012 at 6:15 am

    First of all not sure if anyone has written this…do you need to have a child? Not sure if you want children or can have them.

    Now that I have that out of the way. I think us type A’s have so many ideas, plans, interests, our minds go crazy… we want to do all of them and keep thinking of more, more, more… I know I do… I think, oh I can be a photographer, t shirt designer, marathon runner, blogger, nanny, mother, wife and make a u tube video!!!!!!!!! Haven’t done all those but my type A mind tells me I can!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Yuko August 30, 2012 at 6:17 am

    yup I’ve been there, and I might be actually there right now. Feeling as if some of the puzzle pieces are missing in my life. This typically drives me crazy. But I have been increadibly happy and calm these days and this is what i do.

    I enjoy a cup of coffee by myself every morning (having my hubster take care of the fussy kids) and just focus on the coffee.

    Take a deep breath and tell myself “I’m stting in god’s hands.” whenever I feel overwhelmed or overthinking.

    Tell myself not to take life too seriously. Instead, I try to have fun and really live no matter what I’m doing for the day.

    Doing a short meditation (like even 10 minutes) helps too… i just close my eyes and focus on my breathing…

    By doing all of the above, I am more in tune with myself and some of the answers to the missing pieces naturally started to come together. It’s a great feeling.

    Hope this helps. Finding inner peace is a journey.
    And oh, I just wanted this independent film called “Today’s Special” by David Kaplan (2009) and found it very uplifting. Highly recommended!!

    ox yk

  • Reply Sarah August 30, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Great, honest post. There’s a Mark Twain quote I really love: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” If you have an itch to travel, go. Why not? I traveled through India for 3 weeks years ago and enjoyed it, but recently traveled to Laos and Thailand and enjoyed it even more. I cannot recommend Laos enough…especially in the north. You can take slow boats to remote villages and really get away. I haven’t had a chance to post pictures yet, but my friend Tanveer has some great photos:

  • Reply White Forest Home August 30, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Hi Holly,
    Thankyou for being so open and honest about this. I agree totally. I was working long hours, trying to constantly prove myself in the corporate world only to be beaten down by other insercure people in my world. I had an empty space.
    I took time out and then decided to start White Forest Home. I have not looked back since. Still early days but I feel like the universe is helping me achieve what I need to – like I am meant to be travelling this path now. Before – I was frustrated and felt like there was more to life… now I am filled with love and positive support from kind and generous people…
    Well done on seeing it and I am sure you will find what your looking for. Cheers Annie

  • Reply maja August 30, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I really loved this post, and all the thoughtful comments.

    I seem to get this feeling you are talking about, cycling every few years in my life– a restlessness. It’s funny but I feel like I’m always waiting for an epiphany to figure out next steps, and somehow I manage to get unstuck without the moment of divine enlightenment I seek.

    I feel there is the pressure to excel in the American culture for success and happiness that makes us miss out on the here and now. I say that because it seems that we are always chasing goals, thinking that if we are not living at 100% of our potential then we have failed. There is a tendency to miss out on what is right in front of us, the little moments and beauty of the every day. We need only to look at all the success gurus and life coaches to tell us that there is some other life out there that is better than our own. Or that, whatever our circumstances, we still could do better.

    It’s hard to escape that pressure, but sometimes life tells us to slow down. For many women, that something ends up being a baby. I hate the way this sounds, especially considering the years of infertility that I suffered, but I’m amazed at how complete my life feels since having my two sons. I am a career woman, but for me, my children filled the pronounced void I felt in my 30s. I am still very active with my career, but my sons are what really make me feel whole.

    Please continue to share…

  • Reply Galatina August 30, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Hi Holly,
    I’m sure you can see from the number of messages here what a difference you make to people.
    I had a really hard time like this in my mid-twenties. I met a therapist (much to my disgust – at first) who was wonderful for one main thing. She made me question my thoughts. You wrote about making other people happy, but sometimes we do things to please others because we think that will please them but it’s not always the case. It took me a while and I still help others, but I definitely think more about what matters to me and much, much less about what others think.
    You’ll get there.

  • Reply Debbie August 30, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hello inspiring and beautiful Holly.

    Thank you for your honesty. I know that feeling well and I often have to take a step back and see myself from another percpective. You dont have to take in what I say, but you asked how we feel, so these are my 2 thoughts…

    1-You inspire many and you always creative and looking for beautiful creative things. I think that can be quite exhaustig as alot of people “feed’ off you (in the best way of course) but it does seem to sap one. So time out alone and self searching coul be a way to regain that enthusiasm for what you do best. And its ok to have a season where you just feel a little ‘out’ yourself because it means change can happen. It means you need to think. Not belly search! But just stop the output and start receiving for a change….

    2-I know that you may not beleive in Jesus. Thats ok if you have your feelings about Him but i found myself deeply grieving something in my life and i did not even realise what that was until I started seeing that by knowing Jesus and what He is-i found a peace that nothing in the whole world can give me. No creative outlet, no friends or family and no husband never mind career or children. It was a personal and special relationship that changed my life. Literally my life changed turned from one way to another….Its not easy because He removes the not so great in your life that you hold on to as your identity, but its removed because by clearing out the closet as it may, you find that little emtiness/space is filled with such amazing joy. JOY!Pure and selfless, truthful, powerful and secure joy. So when those moments come…those hard or low moments i know I can turn to the one thing that loves me even when im feeling low or bad, even if i have horrible thoughts or angry moments and i turn to Him and He lifts me up and i feel like im soaring on wings of eagles…Its a spiritual thing and not a wordly thing. Its NOT religion! Just its knowing Jesus.

    I hope you dont mind me sharing my heart. I encourage you to be YOU because you is beautiful and i know for a fact that the God i serve and love has so much love and joy for you and that you make Him proud. He just wants to meet you.
    deb x

  • Reply Karen Jinks August 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Good to know I am not alone, I wrote something similar just a few weeks ago, As a self confessed workaholic myself I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not enough anymore, that the puzzle has got jumbled up and I need change. I’m just not sure what that is! Hope you find your answers x

  • Reply megan August 30, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I don’t have much to say except I can totally relate and thanks for writing this :)

  • Reply Harriet August 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Hi Holly,
    thank you for being so open and honest…even if I’m sorry to hear you not feeling well.I guess we all sometimes have these moments not feeling happy but I have learned that happiness is a question of decision.We can choose to be happy and grateful despite of our circumstances.And you know God wants us to look to Him first and rely on Him for our happiness. If you feel that emptiness in your heart…God can fill it!You are unique and wonderfully made and He loves you so very much!Read His love letter to
    I send you a big hug!I enjoy your blog a lot and I hope you’ll feel soon better!
    Have a great day!

  • Reply Pinja August 30, 2012 at 9:29 am


    I totally second this! The morning pages are amazing, they give you a chance to really empty your soul on the pages and explore what it is that it is telling you.

    Love this post and it totally resonates with me. I’ve been thinking lately the same way you do, that something’s missing and I can’t quite figure out what it is. I need some time away from the everyday too!

  • Reply Bouboulette August 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Good question… I just want to know what I want/whish for me… ;)
    Good luck :)

  • Reply Dee August 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Hi Holly,
    I agree we need to look inwards before we can look outwards, peace in our heart and soul. in a world where we have to tick all the boxes the spirit can be forgotten, to know who we really are without all the stuff




  • Reply shelly kerry August 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Holly, thank you so much for sharing this. I am finding myself in a similar place and understand how hard this might be. To me these feelings represent a need for an important change. Maybe we don’t know what it is. Perhaps allowing for enough time and space for the needed change to announce itself is key. A trip sounds like a fabulous way to bring it all to light. I wish you the best and please continue sharing this journey.

  • Reply Jessica August 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you for your honesty! My comment will be SO unpopular but I will post it anyways. I think you need to be reconciled with your Creator, repent of your sins (we ALL fall short of the glory of God) and put your faith in Jesus. He is kind to save not for anything you could do but out of His pure grace, mercy and love. I hope you walk in that victory someday sweet friend.

  • Reply Laura Gaskill August 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    @Melissa de la Fuente: Well said, Melis…I whole-heartedly agree that “That hole you feel is just growth & searching.” It’s perfectly normal and natural to feel out of sorts and uncomfortable when you finally have a pause, especially when you’ve been so full of work and creation and busy-ness. Do whatever sounds good and healing to your heart right now, whether that is traveling or writing in your journal, walking daily, reading inspiring books…I know you will step your way through this time and come through stronger, more grounded, and knowing yourself better.
    xo Laura

  • Reply Tracy A. August 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Your words and feelings are so healthy, they really are. I am the in the center of the “sandwich generation”. My son is not nearly as independent at 24 as I was (as is the case with many young adults these days), my aging parents are increasingly dependent upon me , and many of my friends are leaning on me through their own troubles. I feel the weight of it all and long to just retreat to the ocean – but I can’t. What I can do is pick up my pen as well, and see where it takes me. So – I will be sitting beside you in spirit. I wish you the very best on your journey.

  • Reply Linda Lieghio August 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you for raising such an interesting subject. your thoughts and the lovely replies have made very interesting reading.

  • Reply Andee August 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Very personally speaking, when I seek happiness for myself I hardly ever find it. When I seek to be a blessing to others I find joy. For me it takes divine intervention to put others first, though, because that is certainly not my nature. I admire your courage to speak so frankly about such personal issues. Best wishes.

    Romans 15:13

  • Reply Felicia August 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Coming from a completely opposite point of view, I am a stay at home mom with three kids. I long for a creative life – have so many ideas and get so tied up in how to express them. But when I have struggled the most, I have found that I feel immensely better when I give of myself to others. This does not need to be a huge undertaking. Small everyday things can start help you feeling better.

    I had a neighbor (a mom with SEVEN kids) suffering with surgery and chemo for breast cancer. When she was sick, I would bake cookies for her and her family, or bring in her trash cans, or take her over a couple of flowers from my garden. Little things that took a moment, but she really appreciated.

    Sometimes I go and buy some groceries for a food shelter, not $100 worth, but something that I can afford that will help out even a little. Or finding a school that needs help with reading to students, or needs new school supplies. Or maybe you could work with a local art teacher at a school and experience things anew through the eyes of a child.

    Heck, even holding the door for people here in the states and cheerfully doing it can warrant a surprising response at times! I’m all for renewing yourself with whatever means you have available. I myself long for a trip to India, but know that it is so not available in my immediate future. But maybe you can start smaller, sooner. It may provide some much needed clarity. Wishing you contentment!

  • Reply Katy August 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart Holly.

    Your heart will be restless untill it rests in Him.

    I don’t want to sound like an imposing Christian, but I really do believe in Christ and I have found in my own personal story that until you give that reserved space in your heart just meant for God to pour His love in there, it will feel empty. The core of it was designed to love and be loved by Him. Everything else will make much clearer sense. Abandon yourself to his love and you will experience fulfillment that your heart yearns for.

    Obviously you don’t me, so don’t trust me, trust in God and allow Him to prove Himself to you. You are so gifted and so loved by Him. Again, thank you for sharing and giving me the opportunity to share as well.

  • Reply domonique @ a bowl full of simple August 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    those peonies make me happy – honestly!
    travel. it opens the mind and heart.

  • Reply Laura August 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I love this post by Heather. The same has been so true for me. God made us to know Him and to only find true satisfaction and joy in knowing Him. Jesus has been so good to us, despite our messy hearts, to pay for our sin on the cross! The end result is freedom from dependence on ourselves, others, or this world to satisfy….but dependence on a real God who graciously loves us and is willing to call us His children.

    ….and I just started Reason for God yesterday…..good recommendation!!

  • Reply Laura August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Love your thoughtful openness! Maybe what would help you is a trip focused on helping others. Instead of trying to look deeper to self when I have experienced this sort of feeling it has helped me to focus on those who may have less. I have found it to be truly inspiring and beneficial to my spirit. While helping others we learn so much about ourselves and in giving get much more in return.

  • Reply Michelle August 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I first heard about you on Red UK magazine last year and have been following this blog since. Love your great posts, gorgeous pictures and very good insights into the world of interior decors. Happy to hear about Haus Maus, I’ll definitely follow it too.

  • Reply Bonnie August 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Holly, what a courageous and honest post. Posts like these are one of the many reasons I admire you and your blog (and am keen to join your October BYW course).

    I have not read all 150 comments, so I apologise if I am repeating what has already been mentioned. However I was just wondering if you have considered Life coaching? You already have some ideas about what you need to do for yourself – working with a good coach can help you gain momentum and more clarity about what it is that’s perhaps missing for you at this point in your life.

    Coaching, when done with lots of respect and integrity can be very empowering. I chose it as an option 6 years ago, when I found myself in a very stuck and unsettled place and it is the best decision I have ever made. (I subsequently trained to become a coach.)

    Whatever you decide to do, Holly, I wish you a great journey and wonder how your journey will be if you simply let yourself explore and enjoy the “not knowing” for a while. All the best.


  • Reply Amy @ PaintWineRepeat August 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I can definitely relate!
    Sounds like you have a good grip on the situation with lots of reflection planned. I definitely encourage you to travel and scratch that travel itch!!
    I have been dreaming for years of going on a trip to an elephant orphanage… it’s just about saving up the pennies!
    Good luck and keep us informed :)

  • Reply Marilyn Saunders August 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I think creative minds go through this stage you feel.
    It is normal to feel as though you are wandering and searching for the high that comes with sheer delight with accomplishment.
    Being surrounded by talented people and beauty is fantastic but there always comes a point, temporarily that is , that it no longer puts fire into your heart.
    It will pass and your enthusiasm will return. It is a normal process.
    I am old so I have experienced this stage many , many times.
    Take care.


  • Reply robin jurovich August 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Holly I have been here as well this summer. Can I share what I have learned.

    I do not need to go anywhere to find the refreshing and filling of my soul.
    Not a new project or a more creative self will fill me.
    Striving for excellence left me empty.
    Working endless hours chipped away at my soul.
    I felt like I was dissipating. Literally disappearing!
    So hear is what I have found and know to be the truest truth!

    God loves me and made me. He want to fill my soul. I can stop searching, trying harder, serving others endlessly. I can be still in him, let Him hold me and sooth my weary soul. He will give me a hope and future and I and stop striving. So in my mind, I am floating down a beautiful river in an inner tube resting and enjoying the view.
    Blessings to you precious one and thank you for sharing your heart with such transparency.

  • Reply sharon August 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    @Heather: This post is so true. I suffered three years ago with panic attacks and finding help was at times like grasping for jello….it would just fall right through my hands. I was already a christian, but when I began to put the Bible as the final authority on truth, I began to get better. I am fully free today, and am so thankful at the complete love and stability I have found through Jesus.

  • Reply sharon August 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    sorry… i don’t know if this posted right. I was commenting on one of the other responses :>)

  • Reply how2home August 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I agree with your readers! Take some time off and just do nothing but traveling! I took couple of months off to travel around asia and india….best experience of my life. Good luck Holly! We’re all here for your to support you :)

  • Reply Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods August 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Holly – I almost cried when I started reading this post. I am being totally honest when I say that I felt like you took what has been in my heart and head for the past few summer months and poured them into this post. I actually feel better knowing that not only do I have someone to relate to but I’m not alone! I really hope that you and I find that something that we so rightly deserve and NEED! I keep thinking it’s just summer and that it’ll pass but it’s becoming frustrating that nothing seems to be able to pull me out of this funk. Something is …. for lack of a better word…’off’. I too keep thinking that I need to get away on a vacation to somewhere I can ‘leave it all behind’ and just decompress for a little while. I was so incredibly excited for BYW to start and as I was taking the class and reading these amazing lessons hoping to have that cold splash of water to the face or something I just felt mad at myself. I almost wish I had waited to take the October class because Fall seems to be the peak of creativity and positive vibes for me. Luckily I have created my own BYW binder (I like tangible things) so that I can sit down and really get down to business when I feel like me again. I really hope that that ‘something’ comes to us sooner than later. I have full faith that we will both feel back on our game soon! I wish you the best Holly! *sending much needed positive thoughts and love your way*

    <3 Lindsey

  • Reply charis August 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    chin up,buttercup. it will be okay.

  • Reply rona August 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Welcome to my life! I know exactly how you feel but I’ve been feeling it for a few years. You actually inspired me to take a good look at my life and figure it out. Lately I’ve been just praying to God, the universe, what ever you want to call it and amazing things have been happening when I just have faith, follow my heart and look for signs to follow. You are already good at this, but maybe you have been pushing too hard that you haven’t been letting the magic happen. Watch a little for some inspiration. Thank you for sharing! I wish you the best.
    Aloha, Rona

  • Reply Kinga August 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I definitely “get” this. I have been thinking alot lately about my life and the state of things. I have been also feeling that “something is missing” feeling which is strangely accompanied by a “time is running out” feeling. There’s a certain pressure these days to figure things out and I don’t quite understand it.
    In my hot yoga class a few days ago, the teacher was saying something about focusing on the breath…she said you can’t accomplish what you are capable of if you don’t focus and if you don’t breathe. Ultimately I think that’s my problem. I’m all over the place, I want too much. I’m chasing too many rabbits if you will….I need focus! My life is chaotic because I let it be…

    You’re so brave for putting this out here and sharing and I hope that through your journaling at the park you get to the bottom of things. I hope you find what it is you’re looking for.

    Best Wishes and Happy Last Days of Summer to you!

  • Reply patricia August 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Hello, just wanted to share with you that I felt that way before… then my child came :) It’s not to tell you that a child should feel an empty place, but it does gives you a wonderful big new path and challenge that is way more amazing than a trip to India. Haven’t you though of having one maybe or adopting some baby that needs a home? It’s just a thought… anyways, what ever you decide to do will be wonderful cause you are an artist and we all admire you! keep on ;)

  • Reply Maureen August 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this here. Yes, our society totally rewards Doing and not Just Being. But we can never do enough, buy enough, create enough, drink enough….to get past that “What’s missing?” For me, it was connecting to my spirit, recognizing the spiritual side, my connection to All that Is.

    Taking time to be alone, with yourself, in silence, with no commitments, no responsibilities is terribly important. If you can even slightly afford it ….GO. Go to the place where you’re not a tourist, you’re not a shopper, you’re not x, y or z. You’re just you connecting to the most important person in your life. YOU.

    Being content is one of the rewards.

  • Reply betty lopez August 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Surround yourself with people you love. Take time to laugh while wathcing silly movies or watching little children play. Embrace and kiss people more. Don’t over stress yourself.Eat what you like but in moderation. Get out as soon as you wake up and breath the fresh air . Find the time to cut the grass and flowers in your garden, if you have none, just putter around the house. And always pray and you will surely feel better. I wish you are well and you will find whatever is missing(certainly theres none).Smile!

  • Reply Sharon Sotomayor August 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Hey Holly, I am glad to hear you are Thorsten are doing well. I am happy you are still in love. A book, Evonne found it in an Anthropologie store today and called me. Very nice. You were always moving and smiling and laughing. The down part is just what comes from going to fast and coming to an abrupt stop. That is why people who pace themselves are much calmer. But there are those who are filled with the need to keep going. That is why millionaires becomes billionaires and billionaires never stop working. They don’t need the money, they just need to keep going. It is biological. Just breathe. You have a successful marriage, a successful business…..and you are a good person. Hopefully you are close to God. Just keep busy in good things. Don’t make yourself stop if you don’t need to. Why stop, we have forever, right?! PS. Kids are wonderful if you go that route. Truly a joy.

  • Reply Tania August 31, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Didn’t you just complete a big project? I find that after working so hard on something or being so busy for a length of time that I feel quite empty and spent. Also tend to not know what to do next.

    It’s like an adjustment period.

    I do think journaling is a wonderful way to find the next path you’ll take.

    I agree about being happy. I’m going through a bit myself, need to make a change that’s quite scary and will hurt someone I care about but I need to do it or being happy (or at the very least not unhappy) will continue to be elusive.

    It’s wonderful you started a personal blog as well, I’ll hop over. I always find your story fascinating and relatable at the same time. Best to you in your quest!

  • Reply Mia Clark August 31, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Wow Holly, you really did pour your heart out, and I comend you for that because it takes a lot of courage as you know! As is, I haven’t finished reading this entire posting, but I will after I write this. First, after years of soul searching myself, I consulted an amazing author, teacher, and healer – Dr. Sonia Choquette. One call with her changed by life for the better forever. If you are at all interested to learn more about her, you can find her at Add, if you are open, I would like to recommend that you watch Lee Harris’s “2012: Year of Power” and his “August 2012 Energy Forecast” as well to help to shed some more new insight into things regarding the challenges many people are facing this year. You can also find additional resources on my website…I hope this finds you well, and that you feel supported by the community you love and grow~

  • Reply Tristan B. August 31, 2012 at 1:47 am

    You are a very lucky woman, just reading all the comments about how many individuals want you to find your way out of this, is VERY inspiring. You will find that spark and re-ignite pinky promise;)

  • Reply Rachael August 31, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Hi Holly, just wanted you to know that you bring a little bit of ‘happy’ everytime I receive the deocor8 email.
    Some others may have already mentioned this book but I am currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I thoroughly recommend it to you. It is filled with things that have really resonated with me. Check it out!

  • Reply Casie August 31, 2012 at 2:38 am

    I realize I am a stranger and don’t know you, but at the same time, you put it out there and are allowing people to comment. I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way, but after the experience I’ve had with my Brother – In – Law trying to “find himself” in Bali, I figured I just had to post.

    First of all, the void you’re feeling, and the thing that’s missing from life, is probably contentment. It’s hard to be content when your life revolves around finding / creating / the next “thing.” As a blogger, your self worth probably becomes measured by how many comments you receive, or how your readerships grows… or even how many people Pin your blog entries. It’s kind of like how people talk about Pinterest fatigue. You are constantly filling yourself with what you “should” or “could” be versus being happy with what you are. So, it would be normal that you might feel a little unhappiness.

    I think the most important thing you might be missing in life is Jesus. The only way you can truly be content with life, is through putting your life in His hands. I believe God gives us all a giant hole in our beings that can only be filled with Him. I know I might sound like some hokey Christian, but what I know from experience, is that the more I fill my life with the Bible, and trying to do life according to what it says, the more contentment I have with where and who I am.

    Finally, for this idea of traveling to find yourself. Particularly Bali.
    I feel like Eat Pray Love has glorified Bali a little much. It has caused this sort of surge of people thinking that it’s the place to go to be rejuvenated and where all the answers to life’s questions are. For people who have actually been to Bali, it is a VERY dark place. People on the streets curse each other and send evil spirits into each other. My brother who has been living in Indonesia the last few years has first-hand experienced the worst of what Bali has to offer, along with what chasing their version of “truth” can bring. He has had several spirits living in him over the last year, and this weekend went to Hell and back because of it.

    Anyway, I know I probably sound like a Christian extremist, even though I’m not trying to… I really do hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for.

    Good luck.

  • Reply Sam August 31, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Such a lovely post. Reading it I felt it was coming from somewhere deep and honest – so refreshing.

    Like many others here, I too have had this same experience. My ‘something’s missing’ feeling surfaced a few years ago. At the time, I felt very alone – so it was such a lovely experience reading your generous post.

    The most important and useful thing I did was exactly what you described. I resisted the temptation to ‘cover it over’ with new projects/travel (my usual course of action) or listen to other people’s idea of what I needed. Instead I took ‘time-out’ within my everyday life to pay more attention to myself and especially that quiet voice inside. Just like you describe, I began journalling and spending quiet times listening deeply to my inner voice. It was fascinating ‘discovering’ myself in this way – I was surprised by my own deep inner wishes – but also enthralled. Like a muscle, listening to and acting on this inner voice over time has given it great strength. I wouldn’t be without it now. It is a true guide – ensuring I am the best I can be – and feel happy with myself and my life.

    However, it is worth noting I find that living in this ‘truer’ way means facing some uncomfortable realities. I had to own up to my own shortcomings and apologise for past wrongs if I was to be truly faithful to myself. This was HARD, and sometimes I still avoid doing the more difficult stuff. It is an ongoing process.

    But now, I can truthfully say, I have a contentment that has deep foundations. When challenging times crop up (as they must) I have this unshaking base from which to tackle them. I feel strong and capable and confident – like I can take on anything and thrive.

    I wish you well on your own explorations, Holly, and all I would suggest is that you trust yourself and that inner voice through thick and thin – it will take you places you can’t imagine. It is a wonderful way to live your life xx

  • Reply Kassie August 31, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Hi Holly,

    I found myself in the same lull spot only a few weeks ago. I work hard and feel I have a fulfilled life. But I wanted to do something wild. So, I booked a holiday to Morocco (never had a previous interest in visiting there) and scheduled Trapeze lessons. Surely that will get my heart pumping for a while. All the best on finding your footpath and remember it is ok to step outside your comfort zone every little while.

    Kassie x

  • Reply jenny August 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Holly,
    In the book of the ecclesiastes are some very remarkable verses: “What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also he has put eternety in their hearts…” I think this puzzle in us, puzzling us from time to time is the God-given desire for eternity… So fulfillment of this desire can only be found in Him who created it. I personally am so very happy for the peace I have in my heart which is described in another book of God´s word: “… and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.
    I wish you from all my heart this peace which is only to find in Jesus.

  • Reply Laura August 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    It’s surprising to learn that people all around feel the same way as you do. It’s surprising, but it’s also comforting. I don’t really feel like saying much, but what I really need to say to myself and to all of you beautiful people out there is that we will be okay. We will all be okay. That feeling of fulfillment will come back again and the uniquely special feeling of just knowing that we are here for something will too.
    Much love to everyone.

  • Reply Ella August 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I think you need to try several things! I do know this feeling, I keep wondering if I am on the right path. My intuition says yes, but…
    I think you need to focus on the inward journey! A retreat of some type, maybe yoga, a disconnect from mainstream, where waterfalls welcome your day and fresh juice or herbal libations. I think you need to try something new, maybe several new things. Maybe a bike tour, maybe reach out to a different people….maybe you need to write poetry and fly a kite. Maybe it isn’t a get away you need but a stay you need. I don’t know how your childhood was, but maybe you need to go home. See what stirs your heart and tugs at it. Then write it down and listen…
    Somehow you think you are missing out on something…a wind of change is sweeping through you and you must listen! (((hugs)))

  • Reply decor8 August 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Hello dear readers and happy Friday to you!

    I’ve had a nice few days listening to the advice coming in from the many kind comments left on this post where nearly 200 of you gave words of wisdom and comfort. Thank you so much.

    I was so surprised to read most of them, it seems the most common advice for me is that I should find Jesus, go to India and do volunteer work – thank you for that advice, really, it’s very sweet and I know that it is all coming from a good place. Even the lady that told me that I should repent of my sins and find the Lord – ha ha – that was quite a comment but thank you too because I know that everyone means well. :)

    I think my answer has always been tucked away inside of me and it’s also in this post – that I simply need to do a lot of journaling and thinking and also that I need to get away and do something for myself that is fulfilling and positive.

    On an airplane it is advised that in case of an emergency, one must place the oxygen mask on himself FIRST before administering help to others. I think this is advice that I’m going to apply to my current situation.

    With that said, before the weekend begins, I wish to thank you all for your lovely help and I want to tell you how very much it meant to me. Thank you. Really! I appreciate you and all of the members of this beautiful community immensely. What an honor to know each of you in such a personal way.

    Loads of love,

  • Reply Marzia August 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Dearest Holly..

    By reading your post I thinkt that you might be also a person who does not believe in coincidenses .. but does believe that everything happens for a reason, at a certain point, time, .. not just by chance. I do so.. and therefore, I believe that today I was led to visit your website and read this text, which just did sooo good for my heart and my soul.

    I would say that I am exactly at the same point of life as you are.. This year is for sure a year of changes. More and more I was (and still am) asking myself what is the real meaning of what I am “doing” here.. that means, I have a very interesting job. Nevertheless, it feels like I should do something with more meaning, that gives me a good feeling for my heart and my soul. There is also this empty feeling inside myself.. I feel like being alone in order to geht things sorted out.. on the other hand I think “I should be more with people, experience nice things and being alife” .. so dear Holly, maybe you might tell me how your process is going on.. I don’t know yet where my relfections are leading to.. I even don’t know, if you will read this post at all, as there are soooo many :-) .. by the way, your page is lovely.. sure it is :-)

    Hearty greets from raini Friday-Switzerland..

    • Reply decor8 August 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      @Marzia – I read all comments, I find them all so fascinating! Thank you for your words, too… So kind and deep as well. I believe that things can happen for a reason but I also believe in coincidence as well and “timing” can be everything.

  • Reply heather August 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Holly- thanks for posting this and being open to share your heart! I’m going through some soul-searching and am at a cross-road with what I do creatively and it’s a really difficult place to be (lots of tears too). It’s not that I’m not grateful for all that has been accomplished or the amazing life I lead, it’s that after so much out-put in my creative life I feel worn out, wondering whether what I have to show is enough for the energy and time I gave it. Recently someone said to me that life is not a dress-rehearsal. That was a bit hard to hear and yet good to remind myself that I needed to change something in my life in order for me to truly know what fills me up, what I cherish most, and what I really want to be doing with my time.
    Hope you gain the insight you need to feel whole again! virtual hugs- Heather

  • Reply Arun August 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I believe we’ll all be experiencing what you’re going through some time in our lives. I dont think its either bad or wrong, it just is another phase to go through and learn from. Keep at it and you’ll grow from it. And keep the blog posts coming!

  • Reply Mnêmosunê August 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hello Holly,

    I don’t have any piece of advice to provide you as I am feeling the same.
    I think something is missing in my life, maybe, as you said, something I don’t want to face and I’ve hidden with work.
    Right now I focus on my feelings, what I need, what I want, etc.
    It’s a long journey, but I’m sure we will succeed ! :-)

    Good luck !

  • Reply Erin May August 31, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I can’t tell you how much this struck a chord. Thank you, thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Jenni @ Jarfly August 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I was just thinking the other day how so many things in life come and go…and get taken away with the wind…but the really important things that remain, those things are what fill us up. For me, it’s my faith and my loved ones….the the ways that those two parts of my life humble me and help me serve others and really truly love.

    Blessings to you on your journey to figuring some of these things out….I think it’s a constant through life for all of us :)

  • Reply Claudia August 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    go to bali! my brother died at age 33 four weeks ago. His wife is pregnant and he has a 4 year old daughter. I will go to Bali this weekend for 10 days because I was there and i know it is the only place where I can truly recover and come back with more energy and strengh to support my family.
    Best wishes and thank you for your inspiration

    • Reply decor8 August 31, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      @claudia – your brother died at age 33??? Oh no! May I ask what happened? I’m so sorry for your loss, that is heartbreaking…

  • Reply Taia September 1, 2012 at 1:27 am

    I know how you feel for sure. Once the other shoe drops and you are left with a minute to let it all sink in, suddenly you start wondering if there is something that you’re missing out on. I felt that for so long that I stifled my creative voice with everyday monotony, but I had no idea how to break through it. So I finally went and started my own business doing something I love to do. So always go with your heart and do what makes you happy because if you don’t, you’re missing the best part of life.

  • Reply Olimpia September 1, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Hi Holly,

    all I can say is that last year I went through similar feelings in my life, it truly was one of the worst years for myself. Loosing myself in selfpity, doubt, negative emotions, no self-worth you name it. On paper everything was great but it was as if someone (probably myself) had turned my light out, it wasn’t shining anymore. I got to the darkest moments where I didn’t want to leave the house, watched crappy tv and didn’t even want to see my friends really because what did I have to say and share, that I was unhappy in my seemingly happy and eriched life full of love?!

    I was lucky and had an angel of a friend come along and help me on my journey to find my light and turn it bright again, someone I didnt even know and she could see what I couldn’t see anymore in my darkness. Fastforward a year on and things are so different, I wake up early, see my friends and have gained clarity for my path ahead.

    I also feel the change I believe this is my year and the year of the women to create and pass on the love in everything and to everyone in what they do!!

    Happiness = Success

    This little phrase really struck me from a TED talk by Shawn Achor – the happy secret to better work. Absolutely amazing and now I find reasons everyday to be grateful for.

    Don’t worry you will find your happiness within yourself again, if I could anyone can you just have to try ;o)

    Thank you for sharing with us!!

  • Reply Amy September 1, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Traveling is a good way to find out ..
    Traveling ALONE is a better method to find out what you are looking for
    Traveling alone to a place that you have NEVER BEEN BEFORE may be the answer

    India is a very intense country to travel alone . It is a challenge . Are you ready for it ?

  • Reply Susan Tuttle September 1, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Hello Holly:)
    May I start by saying I think you answered your own question(s). I can see much wisdom in your thinking that comes directly from your heart. The answers always lie within our hearts; our intuition. Try to turn off all of the noise and listen to your heart, as it wants to be on its path and will tell you exactly how to get there if given the chance — a built-in heart gps:)) As I age, I am almost 41, I find that it is the most simple of things that bring me joy and contentment. And, the fact that my body is healthy and able. I have elderly friends and I observe the limitations that set in. I feel grateful. To move, dance, to eat and taste, really taste, to see, to be able to see beautiful details in simple things that often go unnoticed. I am rambling perhaps, but methinks of a quote in the Wizard of OZ that the good witch Glenda tells Dorothy — that “You had it all along my dear.”:)) By the way, Billie Burke lived in my hometown:))) Anyway, I wish you well. You will be fine. More than fine. Happy! XO

  • Reply Susan Tuttle September 1, 2012 at 5:36 am

    one more thing…

    look at this:

  • Reply Katie September 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I agree with so many of the other commenters – happiness can be very elusive at times, even when everything seems to be going right! When I feel out of sorts (as you say – not actually depressed but just feeling like something is missing), something that really helps me is to write down every day a list of things that I am grateful for and things that went well that day. It is such a small thing to do, but when you reflect back on your day there is always something, no matter how small, that cheered you, and thinking about all of those things together can really help to change your outlook.

  • Reply Susa September 1, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Dear Holly,

    I think we all have these moments once in a while and they are good. It is important to reevaluate our lifes from time to time, to see if we are still on the right track. I started reading your blog at a time like this, never even knew about blogs before, never had any interest in interior design before, too busy with my kids, career, living in two countries etc. So just take your time and see what comes out of it.
    My (probably inappropriate and too personal) immediate reaction to your blog was: mmh, she should consider trying to have a baby perhaps, I do not want to say more on this, there are millions of ways to be happy without them, but perhpas this is one moment where you should also consider the possibility to go down that road, perhaps.
    Ok, my first comment ever to anything online, probably my last one,as well…anyways I enjoy your work, keep up the good stuff! You are good at it!

  • Reply Mary Slemmer September 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Sending you some love… i know how you feel. 2 years ago i had the exact thoughts and i scrimped and saved and when to Budapest…. ALONE, for 2 weeks. I had an amazing trip that transformed my life in every way. My life is not even recognizable from that person who boarded that plane…. and I found complete HAPPINESS. Thank you for sharing with us…. i hope you find the puzzle piece you are looking for. xoxo

  • Reply Laurie September 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    i’m a professional woman in my early forties and can relate to so many of your comments.
    thanks for sharing, holly.

  • Reply Shilpa Nair September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Holly, I would love you to come to India. Being a resident in Pune, I will be there for you to have a good look at this place & more. Do let me know, if you are really willing to join to see this beautiful part of wonderful planet. & definitely what you are going through is same with everyone. But I am glad you opened out your inner feelings. See you soon. TC

  • Reply Dasha September 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Reading your blog I found such beatiful things! And you can see how many people support you! I think that all of people who works in any way with art sometime feel like overfulled and empty at the same moment, And we try to find new way to clean our “cache” and be inspired…

  • Reply Martina September 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Wow – you got so many fantastic and thoughtful comments, I think everyone can pick up a few tips from it! I certainly will (I would like to buy the book “The Artist’s Way”, watched that lovely video to which Susan Tuttle sent you the link to and found some new and inspiring blogs) even though I don’t feel like you at the moment I am always open to positive and inspiring messages…

    I just wanted to say one thing: If it’s your dream to go to Bali you should certainly go sooner or later. I spent a year in Australia once which was a dream come true for me and I certainly had the time of my life. This was before the days of mobiles and internet and cheap phone calls (it was 17 years ago), it was all just starting as I remember writing emails home to my Dad who was pretty modern and up-to-date then. For me it felt like living another life being so far away from home and on my own. So I can understand that far destinations are exciting and also some places just offer a totally special experience which you maybe cannot find just anywhere. Besides I met my husband there so Australia will always be one of the nicest memories in my life…

    Now that I have a family and three children I am a bit more limited and such destinations are out of the question for the moment. But you can find also really beautiful and special places in Europe too (I am German currently living in Brussels) . I can recommend the German island “Amrum” with very nice and huge beaches where you can cycle around the island. Also, we just came back from our holiday in Holland where we discovered the very cute, small and unspoiled island “Schiermonnikoog” where you have to park and leave your car on the mainland before you take the ferry across to the island. This island and basically all of Holland is a paradise for cyclists! I just mean to say you don’t always have to travel that far to find a very special place to unwind and listen to your soul…

    Best of luck!

  • Reply Fuschia September 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Holly,

    With all the (wonderfully positive) comments you’ve gotton, I hope you know that alot of people care for you. And I hope you get to read mine…

    A little while ago, I came across this little piece of wisdom (I don’t know from where or from whom, though):

    Life is about rediscovering yourself again and again.

    Don’t worry, I am so sure you will be right back on track, meanwhile, enjy this journey and think of it as your very own great adventure!

    Best of Luck,

  • Reply Cristina September 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Holly, I know the feeling…try “being” rather than “doing” for a while, whether it’s in India or in the park close to your house :) xo

  • Reply Hannah Cutts September 2, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I ran my company with staff for 15 years…staff and all…but as my kids started school we moved to a small coastal town. I commuted for 2 years then gave UAP nd have been teaching design at uni and running the company from home.
    It makes good money still and I get to surf and pick up the kids on my bike etc etc…all lovely but Aaaaargh! What is it that makes our laterrally created work life scenarios miss that point.

    I am tired of not understanding and so have set forth on what I feel might get me there.
    Decluttering and documenting all and sundry.

    I have started in one corner and am working, piece by excruciating piece, through 20 years of design work, image banks, art, Jewellery, clothes, shoes….it has taken me 2 weeks to even feel like Inhave scratched the surface.

    However…I can see little flickers of light at the end of the tunnel.
    I have found old journals and poetry written at uni…stored in one spot and reminding me that I can write and that could be an option. Tick, document…move on to the next.
    I have cleaned out the bathroom and years of make up and preening products….it has been paired back to a fifth but that small process let me know that I was a serial cosmetics product retail therapist who unwittingly kicked the habit. Tick…move on. Etc etc

    I don’t know where this journey will take me but I know that in a few months time I will sit down with a picture based stocktake of my life. Then, with an open mind, I’ll take advice from my own history.

    If that doesn’t work then …’s back to the lipstick counter!
    Hannah Cutts

  • Reply Ann September 2, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Hi there,

    When I feel off, lost, or uninspired I talk to my inner child!

    I use a method of asking her a question with my dominant hand (right hand) and answering with my left hand. You would be surprised at the insights you get. She holds both your pain and your joy.

    The method is explained by creativity coach Luccia Cappichione (Not sure if I got the spelling correct) who has a website and a book called The Power of Your Other Hand. Luccia is a very creative, productive woman who got ill in mid life and lost her joy. She used journaling to recover.

    Since you said you have a journal ready to go, I thought you might like to check out this method. You could start by asking your inner child: Am I taking good care of you? and see what she says.

    Also, if you tend to burn the candle at both ends, you may like to take care of your adrenals with some adaptogen, or tonic herbs.


  • Reply Maraya Rodostianos September 2, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I love that you’ve threaded something so personal into this blog post, why should a design blog, just be about design? Design = aesthetics, and aesthetic is personal, and it changes as a person changes. I think addressing the importance and relevance of happiness in this industry is absolutely relevant, and in fact absolutely essential. As designers and consumers, when we decorate, when we buy, when we create, we do so either from a place of joy, or a place of wanting. And in my experience, only when it comes from that place of joy is it truly reflective of ones inner most being. Trends come and go, and unfortunately the commercial world is driven by them, and yes we can get caught up in them, and get excited about them, (because they are fun) but the nature of a trend is that it is transient.. just like the satisfacation that comes with buying an item that is ‘trendy’, or producing a design that is trendy. And, it is external stimulation that distracts us from our interior world. All of it is transient, and our happiness depends on our aquisition of that transient item. Our happiness in this case is extrinsic. Truly happy people don’t spend as much money, they don’t need or want as many things.. happy people are happy because they focus on intrinsic needs such as personal growth, contribution, and community. Some of the happiest people in the world are the poorest, simplest, most illiteral.. makes you think hey? I look forward to hearing more of your explorations Holly, and thank you for being brave enough to be ‘real’ in a design community. I’d really love to see more of that.

  • Reply Laura Trevey September 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Holly,

    This is your life, not a dress rehearsal. Do what you need to do to get energized and inspired again. The show will go on, and you are one of the stars!!

  • Reply Alysa September 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I can relate to your type “A”, working hard, over-achiever pace in life. As a graphic designer I’m always striving to figure out what my next project should be, what I should paint, design, create, etc. Recently began reading the book ‘Walking on Water’ by Madeleine L’Engle and have found many of her reflections on the process of creating art quite life giving.

    She urges creatives to stop and listen, to wonder, to be in awe of their surroundings, to look at the world though childlike eyes.

    This quote details the idea that many projects will come to us, if we stop adamantly striving to create something grand: “If the work comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am, serve me,’ the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve.’ The amount of the artist’s talent is not what it’s about. When the artist is truly the servant of the work, the work is better than the artist. When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, the artist listens.”

    That is exponentially freeing for me – that it’s not about my talent or what I can do. To serve a project, a piece of art, or writing is a completely different mindset from being in charge of it.

    “There is no evading the fact that the artist yearns for ‘success,’ because that means that there has been communication of the vision. That the struggle has not been invalid. An artist is a nourisher. We write, make music, draw pictures, because we are listening for meaning, feeling for healing.”

    Hoping you find the deep happiness you’re searching for and that your creative exploration continues to bring you joy.

  • Reply cinthia September 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    holly, you need a B A B Y.

  • Reply Sarah September 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    You will know happiness when you find it, but, remember its not a perpetual state of being. You can have moments that last longer than a few days but, you have a very good job, business, career and marriage so I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff – go with the flow – you’ll feel better for it. Don’t worry and get hung up on details – you are already THERE! ;-)

  • Reply Khanh September 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I love your real feelings and thank you for sharing with us. Showing how brave & wonderful person that you are.
    Recently I discover little moments of happiness like these:
    – when my daughter always asking me on her outfit every time she’s dressing up
    – offer my usps driver an ice cream on a hot day and see his face lid up.
    – buy tons of ice cream from our neighborhood ice cream man who is really old and look like your grandpa.
    – we finally got our window screens in our house after 3 yrs. hurry for no more mosquito bites.
    – my daughter text & send pics for opinion when she’s shopping (thrift shop) which we both love to do.
    – serving 2 cold handtowels serving on a cute girly plate to the guys that install our window screens.

    I love you find your peace Holly. happiness come from the smallest thing.

  • Reply Kathrin September 3, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Dear Holly,

    I did not read all of the 200+comments above but some. So excuse me if I say something that has been said before.

    I was very touched by your post. Because this is how I felt just a couple of weeks ago and as many people said in there comments this is how many people feel and it is very good to know that other people feel the same, people who seemingly have it all like Holly Becker ;-). I am just beginning to blog and this is what I want to do but I struggle so much with day to day stuff that I don’t find the time or energy to follow this dream that I have with the energy it deserves. My mom asked me if I wanted to take a week-end painting class with her and I said yes even though I could have spent this time much wiser with my blog or my family and it was a total revelation and the right decision in the end.

    The artist Felix Eckardt is an amazing and gifted person and teacher. I enjoyed doing something completely different and I painted like I never thought I could or would. I was so proud and found (to) myself this week-end in his studio. Painting was like meditation and I loved playing with colour and doing something different. One lady who was sooooo excited for this class in the beginning quit after one day because her painting did not turn out the way she thought and one lady was so unhappy with her picture in the end, she expected the perfect portrait even though she was a complete beginner. Felix said that people are never truly happy with what they have achieved but always strive for more and more and never enjoy the moment they are at even if they have overachieved their dreams. Somehow this sentence gave me peace and showed me that I should enjoy the moment more and love the time of my life that I am in right now. Things will fall into place. And I will take “time off” my family, friends and stuff and just spend time with ME more often because it makes me a better person, mother, wife, friend….

    I recommend you do that too. Just spend time with yourself. May be try something completely different that won’t be “good for something” but just because. (If painting could be it, try Felix he gives painting classes in Hamburg)

    From your BYW 2.0 class I know that you have surpassed so many of your own dreams and you work so hard and share so much with so many people. May be now it’s time to charge your batteries again. And may be start something out of the ordinary.

    Just my thought. And thank you for sharing this post
    Alles Gute Kathrin

  • Reply Silvia September 3, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Hello Holly … from all the comments i think your words have resonated with so many of us … and for me it’s definitely the case. i have felt the same feelings for the past few months – a little down and not sure why, not feeling alive and creative but not able to put my finger on it at all. I could really relate to your post today, thank you for sharing.

    I think if your heart is telling you where to go, then maybe it’s worth following what it says. Sometimes our creative cauldrons are almost empty and we need to fill them up again – it can be seeing an exhibition, listening to a beautiful concert, a walk on the beach, a good book or movie – or a trip where we see new places, feel different breezes on our skin and new sand between our toes. A new way of seeing, a new way of thinking. And if a real trip is not possible right now, maybe it’s good to think what it is about those places that is calling to you – and to see if you can somehow bring some of that into your daily life in some way … whether it’s adding riotous color to your walls like the saris of india, or taking up meditation …

    And if you do get to go, please share and share and share with those of us dreaming of Bali and India too. Those are the top two places on my ‘places i want to visit’ list too.


  • Reply deb September 3, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Hi Holly,

    Perhaps Decor8 needs to evolve into something new, different and fresh for you. With all the blogs and pinterest at our fingertips 24 hours a day – I think most of us can agree- we’re all Over Dosing on pretty pictures. Just too much pretty all the time- is kind of like having Christmas everyday. Which sounds great- but after a while- it just makes Christmas not all that special.

    Perhaps just getting away- and doing something real- volunteering, working with the homeless – teaching children- doing something fulfilling might make your heart feel better. Maybe take what you are already doing here and share it with those less fortunate in a creative decor8/Holly way – it might just encourage ALL of us – to turn off the computers and get involved locally…

    Wouldn’t that be super cool?

    Best of Luck

  • Reply Janine September 3, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Hi Holly
    I just bought Real Living and decided to look at your site.
    Everyone goes through what your describing…many times over.
    I’ve found if you can travel….anywhere…. it seems to give you a new zest for life! Have you been to Istanbul…you would love it. Switzerland…you will think u died and went to heaven! It will reinvigorate your life…no excuses just pick it up and go!
    All the best

  • Reply Elisa Bartels September 3, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Dear Holly
    My discovery over 44 years of life is that happiness is not a constant in life. There are a truckload of books and shows that we have you pull apart your life in endeavouring to achieve 100% happiness, 24/7.. That is unrealistic and more likely to make you feel even more depressed.

    Sometimes unhappiness can be attributed to certain events or people but sometimes unhappiness is more melancholy and when it arrives you have to give it a big hug and just sit with it. Unhappiness does not like to be hugged and it most certainly does not like quiet acceptance (not defeat).

    It will recognise that you are not afraid of it because you know that the only constant in life is change. It will see that you are not afraid to hold it close because you know that it will pass and happiess will arrive again.

    I hope this is not too ‘airy fairy’ for you and that you feel better soon.


  • Reply Marina September 3, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Adore your blog! It’s great!

  • Reply Marie-Chantale September 3, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Dear Holly,

    i did not read the 200+ comments above, but since i’m an expat, artist and self employed in my mid 30, i feel i can relate… Here i got some thoughts to share:

    – you now lived in Hannover for 3 years, which is the time it takes me to stop finding a foreign place ‘exotic’. After 3 years in a country, i usually start to look for what is next, like something is missing…What is missing is the feeling of newness, trill and excitement which is felt on the first years of living abroad.

    – you just reached a long time goal, to publish a book. This leaves a huge empty space, a void, which needs to be filled with observations on what you accomplished, and new goals

    – and hm, i think for a woman, the mid 30’s are not easy. Unconsciously we try to decide if we *really* want to become parent, and this, although unconscious, is quite heavy.

    I hope this help!

    Greetings from the south of france,


  • Reply Kathrin September 3, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I love what Elisa wrote ” Happiness is not a constant in life” Isn’t that what we somehow expect today. Thank you Elisa for that sentence. So true and made me realize that it does not need to be.

  • Reply Laura September 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Aloha Holly!

    I just wanted to say, you are not alone in these feelings. It’s definitely a world wide feeling that many people are experiencing right now. The fact that you are feeling this way and wondering how to grow and experience true happiness should be comforting to you. You are aware of the shift that is taking place with all humanity and sensitive to it! Many of us started our journey towards true happiness and enlightenment years ago. Only amazing things will come to you now that you have been brave enough to put this out there and embrace it. Start reading. Start searching. True happiness is in side you, you just need to learn how to unlock it! Best of luck! And if you need any amazing book recommendations, feel free to email me!

  • Reply Wende September 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Holly, sounds like someone who knows Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior has been praying for you. Looking within ourselves brings emptiness, looking to creation (other countries) brings inspiration and temporary happiness, but looking to the Creator of the universe and of our soul; brings true peace, lasting joy and Eternal life. Going to God from wherever you are, even if it is “Jesus if you are real, show me” is the place to start. He is real and alive and He changed my life over 40 years ago. My husband and I have been pastoring churches for 30 years and I have seen your “symptoms” over and over. It is God opening your eyes to the emptiness of life without Him. Jesus is the answer. I am very excited for you! I would suggest reading the book of Romans in the Bible and finding a bible-believing church in your area.
    I found your blog for the first time today after following a bunny trail from Pinterest. I will be praying for you! Much love

  • Reply Leslie September 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I commented earlier, but just wanted to add something I just read. Apparently, there was a study and people who are 1) being creating and 2) giving to others had the most long-term happiness. You are obviously creative and you give to others through your blog, but you may want to think about volunteering in some way (even during a short-term trip).

    It couldn’t hurt, right?

  • Reply tina September 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Holly, hello from London, where we’ve been celebrating non-stop this year;) For me, the Paralympics Games are the highlight!

    I always love your honest posts best and when I do your BYW course, I look forward to the podcasts where you are being you!! I remember when I met you at Anthropology Kings Road I mentioned that your post on ‘unconditional love’ really struck a cord and personally, I think you have a lot to give and share and see your future work in the field of ‘inspiring others’ to live a happier life (not through design and products). I think you are remarkable in many ways so once you put your mind to something you will excel. I’m reminded of eat, pray and love and no doubt you will find your own journey and ways to connect with your soul. I was fortunate to be forced into this situation over 20 years ago now so all I can share is that it’s the most fulfilling and satisfying journey we take and everyday I learn something new! If you haven’t read: The Artist’s Way yet, this might be a good time for you. I know you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. Remember to have fun on the way and that the one’s that get this calling to connect with ourselves are the lucky ones. x

  • Reply Hayley September 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Maybe time to start growing your family? You’ve spoken about starting a family for a long time on your blog and there is no time like the present. A sudden change in mood could signal a hormonal change and you may want to talk to your OB. Sorry if that is too personal but it was going through my head while reading….
    Here’s hoping you perk up!

  • Reply Loesx September 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I really wanted to give this post the time it seemed to deserve, so I waited with reading until I had the time. It was so worth the wait… I’m really touched with your post. Thank you so much for sharing!
    I hope that one day I’ve collected enough courage to do the same, because it’s very scary. Good luck for you! Hope it’ll bring you everything you need! X

  • Reply Tatiane September 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Holly,

    when I read your post I felt compelled to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus can fill the emptiness of our hearts with his love, his care, his grace and mercy. You can turn to him and he will listen to you and answers the most deepest desires of your heart.
    When God created us he left a place in us that can only be fulfilled by his love and presence. Do seek him and you will get the answers that you need.
    Do ask Jesus to come and live within you and I can assure you you will be at peace.
    Read the Bible – it is the word of God himself to us. Whatever issue we may find ourselves in we can get answers there.
    I am praying that you can experience Jesus and his way.
    Much love

  • Reply Desha Peacock September 4, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Wow, am I really number 230? One thing is for sure- you are LOVED.

    My core belief is that we get to create our own reality through our thoughts and actions. When life throws us difficult situations, as it always does, then it is up to us to decide how we respond. I tend to think that negative, bad feelings are indicators there may need to be some kind of change… but only you know what that is. You’ve listened to that voice b/f, and it worked out pretty well, right? I’m not worried about you, Holly Becker, you’ve got the answer- as you said- look inward, and then listen~ with love, Desha

  • Reply Chelsy September 4, 2012 at 4:22 am

    My advise is to find a teacher or teaching that resonates with you. My teacher is Eckhart Tolle. I felt like you must, empty. I’m now able to feel the abundance of life within myself, and see it reflected in all beautiful things out in the world. Not to say every day is bliss now; this growth is a process, not an On and Off switch. This beginning phase that you are in can be painful, but that pain is fuel and has a purpose! Don’t cover it up with a band aid- find your truth! Find what is rightfully yours! Don’t settle for a girls night out! The bliss and joy and ecstasy and contentment and peace that you long for is already yours! You just have to find YOUR way to accept it. The journey you’ve begun is lifelong, and I’m so excited for you!!! Much love to you!

  • Reply Katherine September 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Hi Holly,

    Just like many of the comments before mine i have also been a follower for quite some time but never commented either.. I know this may seem strange but as soon as i red the first few lines i think that what you are seeking is “faith”.
    I’m unsure of your religious background or if you are that way inclined and these days it’s still not as trendy as the “other things” But i genuinely believe what your feeling is your heart needing to connect with your creator.. I myself haven’t gone to church is a few years now and i have wondered off and on the path for a while now but i can recognize it from your words and the words of all the other comments from people who are feeling the same thing.. I’m not sure of the direction to point you in to even get your a start! ( I did attend a Hillsong church here in Australia but they do have a website if you wanted to check it out) however it’s my advice that, it’s quite possible this is the reason for your feelings and sure a short holiday and India as an extremely spiritual county will make you feel better short term but i guess it’s a band aid fix.. .I hope I’m not speaking out of turn but I’m just feeling compelled to say this.. I hope you find whatever it is your looking for Holly.. xx

  • Reply Julia September 4, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Dear Holly,
    If you find the answer/solution/recipe to make these feelings go away, please share them with us, as I am where you are…

  • Reply Beth September 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

    This was a refreshing read and very candid. I have only just started reading your blog and have been very inspired by you. I know when things aren’t going the way I want them to i surround myself with uplifting, positive people. Organise a girls weekend away with your closest friends, cook for each other, drink red wine and read magazines in the sun. xx

  • Reply Yasmin Hakim September 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Holly – I love your “from the heart” posts. I know this is a design blog, but it’s also a place where you connect so beautifully with your readers. Personally, I think what you’re feeling is natural. Often times when you’ve accomplished so much, the flurry of accomplishing those things can mask the hidden part of you that needs a hug and a nudge. It’s daunting to think, “What else can I do to fulfill myself?” when you’ve done so much already. And it’s not too much to think you need another vacation. You definitely shouldn’t ignore that part of you that needs a space of its own. Otherwise it will just get louder and louder. It’s good that you’re type A. I have faith that you will find what you’re looking for soon enough and then share your journey with us so we have some inspiration for our own nagging holes. Thanks again for your honest and personal thoughts. So well written!

  • Reply gonnabe40 September 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    i too feel in a need of change…just a few days after my 41th birthday :)
    i feel it for some time now and it seems i can’t realy focus on what do i realy want?… there are bits and pieces of things but it does’nt add up to a big clear picture, and therefore it seems like nothing comes along…since i’m not focused on anything specific to attract.
    and i heard about morning pages before but somehow did’nt try them. so i just wanted to say thanks for reminding me of them again. i think its time i should start writing them as well…and maby this will help! thank you!
    i must say it is nice to hear your thoughts holly, your real you behind this great inspiring blog! just seeing how many comments you got- you know you’re not alone there and i’m sure that good things will come your way! look how much good you spread around you! you must feel that! :)
    as the weather changes- may these winds of cange bring great happiness to us all!

    !??•*¨*•.¸¸ ?¸¸.•*¨*•
    (¸¸¸.•*¨`*•.•´*.¸.´* .´*¸¸.•*¨`*??? Miracles of Light on your way ?


  • Reply Inge September 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    You’re not alone Holly…
    For about 7 years I’ve been thinking what I really want, sounds bad huh? And yet I think it is important to really take seriously what your heart wants. For these 7 years I have been thinking and re-thinking about the fact I am still homesick. Can you still be homesick after all these years? I’ve come to the conclusion that it is possible.
    And when you’re living away from your family and close friends, and you can’t really make new friends (although I’m social enough), you begin to think you’re the only one making a fuss about it…

    It was only after a close friend -who came to visit me a few weeks ago- asked me: “what really makes you happy?” You have to find what you love and follow your heart and don’t care what others think. That’s what she said and I’m taking her advice.

    I decided to start painting our home (which we’re doing right now), sell our home next year and move closer to my family. I’m so happy my hubby agreed and not being fussy about where to live. The only thing we must overcome is to find a new job.

    Another thing I did after listening to my friend: I immediately subscribed myself to follow evening classes about style & colour in interior design. I’ll be going every Thursday night, right after my normal day job (from 9 to 5) and it will be busy but I’m excited…

    And after 7 years of thinking what I should do with my life, living in a totally different town where I still don’t know too many people, I realized it’s ok to move back to your roots, it’s ok to feel homesick… And it’s ok to look for another job, even in times of crisis. It’s you who has to make something of your life, not someone else! As long as it makes you feel alive again, it’s ok. :-)

    Because I did have the exact same feeling as you. Like I was living my life these 7 years and nothing really “excited” me. I think it is important to stand still, think about what you really want to do or really love and to follow that dream. And more importantly: do something to follow that dream or feeling. Don’t say: “I want that”, just go for it. I’m slowly learning… ;-) I still have to go for it, but I’m taking it step by step.

    This afternoon I just checked out a new home for sale near my family. I even took a day off to see it, and I got a click with that house. Even my mom did… So maybe the future has lovely things in store for me & my hubby. Let’s hope you’ll find your “mojo/inspiration” back, or whatever they call it. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing this Holly, it’s great to read I was not alone with my feelings…
    x Inge

  • Reply deardeedle September 6, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Hi Holly!

    I’ve totally been there – and I want to let you know you are NOT alone. What I needed to do was leave my agency job for something with a greater purpose – and so I went to work for Habitat for Humanity. It’s been a great move. Change is always good.

    Now, I know I work in the non-profit space, and so my suggestion is bias, but have you thought at all about doing some volunteer work? Something that works with your creative gift, or something that’s just hard work for someone who needs it. It doesn’t have to be anything grand – but sometimes (I know it is for me) what is needed to shake the gray clouds enough to see a little more clearly.

    Think about it :)

  • Reply Michelle September 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm


    I have just read your post after logging on to get some decor inspiration for my new home in Vancouver. I too was feeling how you describe, I was lost I am lost. I am originally from London and had a super successful career in design however it no longer stimulated me. I felt there was more for me and more to me. I lost sense of who I am. I needed a stop. Start. I thought i was going crazy but i was just frustrated and in need of change. So I quit my job, I moved to Vancouver and I am getting healthy, I’m not my job anymore. Take a break from yourself, practice yoga and listen to your heart. I’m trying to stop figuring it out and letting it figure itself out for me because it will. I wish you luck in finding what it is you need,
    Thank you for sharing, it’s always good to know your not alone :)

  • Reply deardeedle September 7, 2012 at 3:51 am

    @deardeedle: Hey Holly! I didn’t read your post from above before now. I hope I didn’t offend you – your creative blog is such a good inspiration. Anyway, I’m sorry and keep on being awesome :)

  • Reply a September 7, 2012 at 8:08 am

    right now i’m working on balancing my life’s rhythms. ok – that’s a lie. it’s on my to do list to work on this.

    i’m also a workaholic and building a small biz – it’s going well – which just wraps me in deeper as there is also much to be done.

    but my life has brought me many pauses, many times when i needed to reflect and find new ways to nurture myself. things that have helped in no particular order, in case any of them are helpful (tho i know you have mentioned that you already have some of these going):

    1). yoga
    2). prayer (christian in my case)
    3). meditation
    4). getting amazing pets
    5). volunteering
    6). more sleep
    7). eating healthfully
    8). going on a trip
    9). talking to my sweet husband
    10). belonging to a christian community
    11). taking up something new
    12). taking a risk
    13). lucid dreaming (haha i just started working on this – it’s fun)
    14). watching documentaries
    15). self hypnosis (seriously don’t knock it there’s something in it)
    16). practicing the art of thankfulness
    17). watching documentaries and reading non-fiction
    18). learned to love myself, flaws and all (via prayer and positive self talk)

    generally i see my life as a place for constant improvement. a kind of spiritual path. that helps me a lot and moves me forward. i try to work on living out the heart of my religion – which is love. which includes love of oneself. i fail and get back up again like everyone does but i always hope to be growing.

    i hope your heart finds what it is looking for – and soon. i know some of those in between times can be very tough and we all have them.

  • Reply Annie September 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Wow i feel like i have just read exactly what has been going on in my head for the past 6 months! How refreshing and liberating to feel other people are going through the same stuff, and thanks for writing so openly about how you feel.

    I recently went on an 11 week travelling trip to refuel my soul and fire me up creatively again after a very painful break up – it was one of the best things I have ever done. It was scary at times, but I often find the most scary things are the most rewarding. I have to say Bali & Lombok were two of the most inspiring places I visited so go, go, go and dont look back! You will thank yourself for it when you return with lots of amazing memories and photos. Good luck xx

  • Reply Nora September 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I’m in the same spot – lots of time on my hands suddenly, and money is not a huge, huge problem. All of a sudden I feel like what I’ve been doing isn’t important and I want to do something useful, but also would like to have fun.

    India would take care of the fun ppart, but what about the useful part? Hmmm… If any of your readers have an idea that need a relatively intelligent middle-aged woman who has lots of experience running non-profits, households and sailboats (but doesn’t like to said) let me know!


  • Reply Rhonda Sittig September 10, 2012 at 5:21 am

    I wonder if you’ll even read this so very far down the comment list. Thank you for being so open and articulate. I think a lot of us come to this spot at points in our lives. St. Augustine said that there is a God shaped vacuum in our hearts just waiting to be filled. Have you considered knowing God as the way to contentment? I’ve found he is real and he fills my life with the things I actually need… God bless and keep you in the days and weeks ahead.

  • Reply Ada (new york) September 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Holly, I hope you are feeling better (((HUG))). Journaling is a GREAT idea. For myself concentrating on what I want to do to make me happy (sometimes it is simply taking a nap … haha … which is a LUXURY with a hectic work schedule) and aiming to stay away from the I NEEDs or the I SHOULDS, but simply concentrating on my purpose …. to be happy. I aim to keep it simple – to do things that make me happy and everything else will flow into place. And when an unhappiness creeps in, I realize that I shifted from my path of prioritizing happiness, so I take a step back (or if I don’t realize it in time, it’s a fall on my knees overwhelm) and analyze why I feel this way it’s always that I strayed from the path. Journaling helps us narrow down what truly makes us happy.

    Sometimes I feel too flustered to meditate, so I meditate unconventionally … watching an inspiring movie,or short vids (like: or reading inspiring quotes, or simply taking a walk to shift to a …. ‘calmness’. and pure love. Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

  • Reply Vaidehi Thakkar September 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Hi Holly,

    Although you may be hearing from me for the first time, I have been reading your blog for a long long time… and i must say that i always enjoy your posts! This one in particular was very stimulating.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts… and if you do decide to come to India, would love to help you in whatever way possible as I am based in India.

    Have and a wonderful day and hope you find what you are looking for!!!!

  • Reply Jaqueline Burgess September 12, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Hello Holly,

    You are better than you think you are
    You are more important than you think
    It’s less about you than you think
    There is more for you tomorrow
    Than you can ever imagine…..


  • Reply Carmela C. September 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Yes, I think you should go to India. It’s a place me and my girlfriends are also planning to explore as soon as our schedules permit it or you may want to consider The Farm at San Benito its an hour and half drive here from Manila. It does wonders to the mind, body and soul too. =)

  • Reply Kia Perry September 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Holly! I absolutely live your blog- not just for the beautiful designs but also the inspiration, and inspiration comes in beautiful pictures as well as words.

    I truly know where you’re coming. I’m also in pursuit of my own happiness, and it can be frustrating some times not knowing where to find it. What I can say is, feel blessed that you’re one of the few people who can wake up every morning to do what you love. There are so many people (including me) who are going to jobs they hate because they have to make ends meet. So if I were to give any advice I would say to start from knowing how blessed you are!

    Thank you so much for all you do and all the inspiration you give, and I hope we both can eventually say we’ve found that missing piece! :)

  • Reply Abigail September 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I’m glad to have found this post from your Monday, Monday post earlier today. I had missed it in my rushing around and, like for so many, it struck a chord. I am, too, feeling out of place, fragmented, not sure what is moving forward. I try to focus on my goals and what I adore in life but some days (more than I’d like to admit) it isn’t easy. An interesting parallel with your story is moving to a foreign country. While, like you, I think this feeling has been with me for a long time, moving to France 4 years ago (from Portsmouth, too!) intensified it. It’s taken me all this time to admit to myself that I feel a bit lost and the hardest part has been connection. It’s been very hard for me to find new friends, silly as that sounds. It’s not like going to the sandbox and saying “Do you want to be my friend” and in a city you feel lost in a sea. The Internet both helps and exacerbates that feeling. Sometimes you just wonder where to start!

    I guess I’m not giving any helpful thoughts here but I wonder if moving to a foreign country has brought this feeling to the forefront for you the way it did for me. I look forward to hearing about your future thoughts on the subject! And I appreciate your writing about this.

    much love!

  • Reply Kalena September 18, 2012 at 2:56 am

    I would love to read all of the many comments here in more detail before adding my own, but I feel compelled to post NOW.

    Thank you for sharing your post — it hits home for me, even though I’m not an “A” personality, I’ve had similar feelings throughout my adult life, and it looks like many others share this with us.

    My first and immediate reaction is — where is it written that we must be happy all the time? I am personally offended and annoyed by all the “happiness experts” who’ve found great success in recent years (authors, bloggers, you know their names). I know their hearts are in the right place, but guess what? Life is not all about happiness and perfection. Certainly we should continue to seek out people and places and things that make us happy, and to cultivate those feelings and experiences whenever we can. But sometimes “stuff happens” and we have to live through that, too — experience it, and examine it, and learn from it, and LIVE THROUGH IT.

    Life is all about seasons, or chapters, or waves, or choose one of a hundred other metaphors. This will become more clear to you as the years pass. I look back on the most challenging and UN-happy times of my life and realize those are the experiences that REALLY made me grow and change and move to a new level, more than anything else.

    It will help to examine your feelings and reflect as you are doing, but don’t keep asking yourself why you aren’t “happy.” That is not the question or focus you need to point toward. You are ALIVE, and this is how life works. I think it’s a great and mature thing to realize that you are a little part of this huge cycle of life and “to everything there is a season.”


  • Reply Deeyn September 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Holly!

    I am so glad you shared what you are going through and I hope you are feeling a little better.

    I can certainly relate. I worked in fashion for nearly 10 years and although in the beginning it was great, over time I felt kind of dead inside. I was almost desperate to find more meaning. I am a curious person by nature and I just wanted something more, even though from the outside, my career was great! Finally I decided to take a sabbatical. For 3 months I travelled around India and Thailand by myself. I had only 1 tiny suitcase and nothing frivolous (including make up!). I wanted and needed a shock to my system. I wanted to be totally out of my element and to let go. And you know what, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I saved for a year and planned for about 6 months. Taking three months away to be totally selfish was a complete luxury and every day I woke up and thanked (whomever) for giving me that opportunity. Something shifted inside that allowed me to soften, to enjoy life, to see beauty and to let things happen rather than trying to force change. The joy and gratitude that I gained from that trip is within me, alive and well and I can see (and appreciate) all of the little miracles happening around me on a daily basis. I’m not saying that a sabbatical is the cure all or even always possible. I certainly know that I will more than likely never take another trip like that again. But it taught me how to stop living in my head, and to know that my happiness is not a victim of it’s surroundings (ie back in the office or working with crazy people).

    In whatever capacity you choose to take time for yourself (trip, naps, reading in the park) I hope you find nourishment for your soul. We all need it sometimes.

    Sending you lots of love, peace and joy… and a big hug too.

  • Reply Jennifer M. January 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Dear Holly,

    How are you? I hope you are well. This is my first time coming across your blog to find this post, not by accident. I just did a Google search for “how I can achieve balance after being an over-achiever and workaholic”. Gives me anxiety just writing it here. But there it is. I am an over-achiever and workaholic from years past. My family doesn’t believe in debt, so that also means rarely the indulgence and also, get this, no vacations. Hardly any time away from this area, not even in the cold winters and the hot summers…I won’t even begin to say what other areas are scrimped in. In any case, despite going locally and getting a college degree a few years ago, I thought I might actualy go away to school this time, utilizing FAFSA. But it’s scary to me! I have become so used to this life, that I can’t really picture coloring outside the lines now, it’s been giving me anxiety!

    I just wanted to say, after reading your post and many of the comments on this blog, we are all feeling the same longing, but if we stretch to far we might break. At least, that is what I fear.

    The song, “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson describes so well how I feel. How angry I get sometimes, how sad I get sometimes, because of my family. I’ve never had a boyfriend, which I attribute somewhat to my family (“Always focus on your studies. Do the best you can. Do the best you can. Do the best you can…..”) And I wonder if I’ll have children. Then I say, “Is that what is going to make me happy/happier? I have to find myself first!”

    I will be 30 this year. A lot to think about.

    Time is moving so quickly. Too quickly.


  • Reply Rasheda khan March 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    hi Holly
    sorry you’re feeling this way.
    i admire you so much, that i want to be like you.
    i really never imagined you could feel like this, it brings tears to my eyes.
    i hope you find what you’re looking for and all the happiness ever.
    you have been a tower of strength to me in so many ways.
    keep shining bright with love and inspiration.
    wish you success and happiness always
    love from Rasheda x

  • Leave a Reply

    Scroll Up