MHN
MHN
@morganharpernichols
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The sun is still rising the wind is still blowing and no matter the landscape you are still growing. You are still growing. Even when your mind is anxious and you feel lost indoors l, trying to make sense of a place e you have been before, I hope you can trust that the sun is still rising, even if you don’t watch it rise a h. You have not missed out on what was meant for you, even when it seems that way. You have not missed out on what was meant for you you have not missed out on what was meant for you: a life where even through brokenness morning mercy morning Light shines through. Things will change. Yes, things will change. Hour by hour, and day by day. You will grieve what could have been and what is no longer the same, and you will shine, on anyway. you will shine on, anyway. So here’s new beginnings sunrise into sunrise: you have not seen everything yet, through it all, you are still alive. MHN This series was prompted by today’s challenge for the #MakeThingsApril project with @hitrecord. The theme is “sunrise.” The original photo of this project is a picture of a sunrise that I took on my phone during an uncertain time in my life. I felt lost indoors during that time, and yet, out the window, there was this glorious sunrise. I had forgotten about this photograph until I went back and looked at it this morning. I love watching the sunrise, and this morning, I didn’t wake up in time. But this photograph was a reminder that I do not have to watch the sun rise to be reminded again and again, all throughout my life, even in the most uncertain times, Light pours in. - Morgan Download all of the art from this series on the latest post on my blog! Morganharpernichols.com
I hope today is one of those days you find joy right here in the waiting. I hope the uncertainty in this season does not hinder you from creating. You are free to paint new things without knowing what tomorrow will be. You are free to practice the art of trusting right here in the wild of waiting. So much is unknown, and yet, there is this effortless rhythm called grace, inviting you to go deeper into living, right here, before the future things fall in place. MHN II Today’s theme for #MakeThingsApril with @HitRecord is “Favorite Photo From My Camera Roll.” Today’s art is inspired by one of my favorite photos in my camera roll, taken June 2019. This is a photo of my one-month-old son Jacob and I looking at the flowers that my husband and I planted shortly before Jacob came home from the hospital. If you’d like to download any of this art for free, it’s all on the front page of my blog morganharpernichols.com. Thanks for reading, thanks for being here today ♥️
“It’s okay to feel more than one thing at once. In some moments, you will feel tender and in some moments, you will feel strong. And in every moment there is grace, and in this life, you still belong. No matter what is missing you are still becoming. Let the flowers springing up remind you: you are still blooming, too. And when you feel many things at once, Light will continue to find you.” — MHN II All the wallpapers are on my story and my blog Morganharpernichols.com II Today’s theme for #makethingsapril with @hitrecord is “Your Mood.” My mood nearly every day has been this: feeling a lot of things at once. Grateful for where I am, and what I have, and at the same time, there is grief. From the small things up to big things like some heartbreaking COVID-19 related news I recently received that hit really close to home. Like many, I am holding a lot of things at once. I wanted to create this series for anyone feeling like they are holding a lot, too. It’s a strange mixture. This is all new. Let’s keep reminding one another we’re not alone here. II Join me for a live stream tomorrow, Wednesday, April 8 with @rainnwilson on @soulpancake, for “Hey Human!” So excited about this. 12pm PST. Hope to see you there ♥️
5 things to do this week: 1. Breathe 2. Trust 3. Create 4. Give 5. Love There are so many things you are not able to do right now, but I hope you know that even here, you are free to do these things…as hard as they may be. You may not know what lies ahead, but you are free to go deep into the process of learning what you are meant to learn here. I cannot tell you what this season will bring out of you, but I can tell you that it matters to keep showing up every day. I can tell you that it matters to give love, even though you do not think you are good enough. Your presence matters, even in this chapter. Even if you feel overlooked, alone, or far from home, you belong in this life just as much as anyone else, no matter how others see you, or how you see yourself. Whether you are having the most productive week or you feel like you are falling apart at the seams, there are signs of strength and movement with every breath you breathe. So take heart, breathe deep. Even before things fall in place. For even here, in these unknowns, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. II ON CREATIVITY Today’s #MakeThingsApril challenge was “clothing.” I found some pictures of some paintings I made three years ago and decided to repurpose them, for the “clothing” of this series. For me, this series represents something I always have to remind myself of something I tend to forget from time to time. It’s okay if the colors don’t always layer together perfectly. It’s okay to not always know where a project will lead and to keep going, out of love and curiosity. Sometimes making things isn’t about how neatly the final product fits together, but it’s about the choice to commit to something. To carry on, even though you don’t know what the outcome will be. I still don’t know how I feel about these pieces, but I am sharing them, anyway. I am sharing them as a small reminder to myself that what mattered today was that I showed up to the page.
If you start to look back, and it’s not all beautiful, I hope you still find threads of good. I hope you find entire years of life that you made it through even though you never thought you could So much has changed since that photograph was taken, and you are still worthy of love, no matter who came in and out of your life, or made you feel you were not enough. You are still worthy of love. And if you find your heart is aching for days you can’t get back, and it’s hard to see the beauty in things that fell apart and didn’t last, let these feelings remind you: you have known what it means to know love in this life. There is still time for your heart to heal. As long as you are living, you are not out of time. I know you can’t go back to those days, but I hope you can find meaning in this very moment, all the same. So when you spend time with your photographs, I hope at least some of them remind you: even if you can’t go back to how things were, you can still find where Light poured through. MHN II The fifth photo was a “painting” over a photo I took at Niagara Fall five years ago. I was reminded of this day because today’s theme for #MakeThingsApril with @HitRecord is “Favorite Coffee Mug/Cup.” My favorite mug is one that I bought that day, that has nothing to do with the photo really, but I love how the smallest things can lead to looking back. Looking back is not always easy. Our stories are filled with highs and lows and millions of moments in between. I just hope that whatever reflection looks like for you right now, you can be reminded: no matter what you are leaving behind, there is still room for you to grow how you were meant to. MHN II For the wallpaper versions of these, watch my story, or visit my blog morganharpernichols.com/blog<3
I am spending less time on social media this weekend, but I did want to take a minute and share some words that found me. I usually share my own words on this page but these words, by the late John O'Donohue really spoke to me over this weekend, even though they were written long ago. As I scribbled away trying to figure out what to say, and I settled on sharing these words instead, along with the wordless art above.
What a beautiful thing it is to notice how the flower still grows, in the still and quiet moments of life. Even when we are rushing by, busy, not having enough time to notice her growth, she still springs up. She still blooms from right there, in her pot, by the window...and it is enough. To the busy eye, it may not seem like much, but far beyond our lack of noticing, there is always growth. Her growth may be slow, but it is steady. It is still growth. Even if it doesn’t seem like we’re growing in every area of our lives, perhaps we can breathe deep and remember the greater landscape. Yes, we are having to wait. And this is also true: once again, we are a day older. We have carried so much shoulders and we are also learning to lay those things down. We are learning to look around, and learn from where we are right now. This new space can be overwhelming. There are many unknowns here. There is loss. Suffering. Struggle. So let us, as long as we are here, remind one another that it’s okay to not have all the answers here. It’s okay to be here, in this new space, knowing every moment, though unknown, is wrapped in grace. And maybe, in grace we will find room for dried flowers to have their place and for new ones to bloom. We may have never been here before, but we have known what it means to be stretched. We have known what it means to still grow, no matter what is unknown. II This is an excerpt from an essay I wrote about a conversation I had with friend and fellow poet and artist @arielleestoria. Originally, this was going to be an in-person conversation, and due to recent events surrounding COVID-19, we decided to talk on the phone. As I went back and listened, I wanted to reflect on the ways I was inspired by Arielle in our conversation. Here is the result. Click the link in my bio to read, download the art, or listen to the podcast version! @morganharpernichols
EXCITING NEWS! Since last year, I have been working with my app team to bring you FREE push notifications to your phone every day and it’s finally here!!! It starts April 17. Now available on Apple and Android, all you have to do is download @thestorytellerco app (link in the Storyteller bio - @thestorytellerco) and you’ll receive a notification each day, starting tomorrow. INSTRUCTIONS As mentioned above, this feature is free for every person that has the Storyteller App installed and notifications turned on. No subscription to the app is required. 1 - Download the app in the App Store or Google Play Store 2 - Go to Menu> Account Settings </div> <div class=

when you finally reach your limits of trying to make it all make sense, and you have tried to rest all day, only to feel more restless, do not be afraid when daylight leaves the sky and you are left with all new questions of how long, what next, and why, you might feel the weight of night and this is also true: in all of your waiting and in all that seems scattered there is meaning, there is value, there are rhythms, there are patterns, there is joy and beauty, goodness, and laughter, and in chaos and at midnight, all of it matters. there is a reason the sky gets dark at night. you were meant to rest and trust even in the darkness. mhn II Today’s theme for #makethingsapril was black and white. 🤍🖤 I weaved together several poems to make this one. Today in some random Wikipedia browsing I learned something interesting about the word “rhapsode.” The term rhapsode is derived from rhapsōidein (ῥαψῳδεῖν), meaning
You are still free to dream. You are still free to have hope for what you could be. You can still believe in love after you were made to feel like you were not enough. You can trust that something beautiful awaits on the horizon after the longest, hardest nights. Let go of the need to know how everything is going to come together and find that there is still peace in the unknown, and peace will stay with you no matter where the journey takes you. Find freedom in letting go. Find freedom in trusting that just because life looks a little different here, you do not have to live in fear. Above and beneath it all, your story is still being written, and as long as you are living you have not reached the end. Maybe it's not solely your responsibility to fix everything that is broken and you can focus instead on where the Light pours in. MHN
Here in this life you will feel many things. You will laugh and you will let go. You will gather stories, and you will grieve. You will be interrupted by Light. You will find gold in little things. You will have questions lead to answers and you will have questions you sit with for years… you will long for days to come, and you will learn to find joy right here. You will watch old things drift away and you will see new things take shape. You will look back on old years in all of all the ways you’ve changed. And over and over, things will change and you might feel a little afraid… and you will also find there is grace to take this day by day. Take heart, here in the change. You’ll still bloom, day by day. MHN
When you feel far away from where you want to be and the hours passing by just remind you of your longing, notice how leaves dance in the wild of changing winds. They come to life in the Light, still connected their branch. And I know it’s so hard without your rhythms and your friends in the wild of canceled plans, and I just hope you know this is also true: as long as you’re still here there is more ahead of you. MHN Watch my story for a free poem prompt to guide you through looking out the window and seeing what you find! “From the nearest window” is the prompt for today’s #makethingsapril challenge that I’m doing with @hitecord. There’s also a swipe up for some free backgrounds for your poem if you want them!<3
5 little notes to write to yourself. Write them in your journal. On your calendar. On a sticky note. Make a painting out of them. Little things to remind you of what you worth. 1 Note to self: You are worthy of love 2 Note to self: You have come so far 3 Note to self: You are more than what’s behind you 4 Note to self: You are worthy of love no matter who does or not notice you 5 Note to self: You are worthy of love right here as you are LET’S MAKE THINGS! Feel free to write/letter/send these however you like for personal use! And if you share any of it, feel free to use the hashtag #morganharpernichols so I can see what you create! I’d love to respond and also share some. I love to make art because it slows me down and brings me so much peace, and I am equally as passionate about helping others do the same. NEW MUSIC! Today my sister @jamiegraceh and I released an EP called ‘Songs for Our Children’ as our duo @harperstill. We both have 8 month olds, and these are words and melodies that came to mind as we thought of them. Available on Spotify, Apple Music, etc — Link for all music platforms is in the bio at @harperstill!
“There is more to you than what you have been seeing” - Swipe to see the inspiration! This series is called “From My Camera Roll.” It’s a mixed-media series inspired by photographs I took over the past 4 years of various landscapes that I revisited this morning. I painted over the photographs digitally (in Adobe Sketch) and left the photos as a base. And then, I just let whatever happened, happened. Some of the landscapes look like the original photograph while some of them moreso capture how I feel now, looking back, and the new things I saw. I hope these pieces inspire you to see that there is more than one way of seeing things. You can look back at a photograph from years ago and see something that you didn’t see before. You can read an old book or watch an old movie and learn something new, even if you’ve seen it over and over. Art has taught me how to make something beautiful from looking back. I don’t see art in every photograph I’ve ever taken but as I scroll through my phone, I’m surprised with how many beautiful things I have seen in this life, even when I was waiting. Even when I was faced with uncertainty. For instance, the first photograph was from a week after I wrote the poem that started all of this. This was before the poem had been repinned on Pinterest 100k times. This was before I was doing any of what I’m doing right now. I was feeling really unsettled and uncertain about the future, and for me, it is nothing but grace to be able to look back and see that even then, I was still living. I was still taking photographs. I was still noticing beautiful things. TRY THIS AT HOME! 1 - Scroll through your phone for pictures of sunsets, flowers, trees, etc. 2 - Using an iPad (preferably, but phones work, too), use Adobe Sketch or ProCreate to paint on top of it 3 - Just see what comes up! It might end up looking like a painted photograph or something new. There’s no right way. If you happen to try this, use the hashtag #Morganharpernichols because I’d love to see and share some! Here’s to creating, even in the waiting. MHN
May your hope run wild and free, even when it feels like you have lost everything. Even when you all you can do is tend to the weeds, remember, the hills, the mountains, the sun, the flowers, how so much is coming to life in this very hour…it’s hard to see the beauty of it all, all at once, and here’s the thing…you don’t have to…you can focus on what is filled with life right in front of you and have gratitude for that small thing…knowing that even here, it means something. Have gratitude for the small things even while you wait for the bigger things to fall in place.Notice the small things. Please, dear friend, notice the small things. Notice the things that get overlooked. You know how it feels to be overlooked and you also know what it feels like when someone finally notices, so be the one who notices. Be the one who chooses to see that amidst everything, life is abundant with beauty and meaning in a million different ways that are often overlooked. II from my journal this morning. There is strength and glory to be found in the arena, on the arena floor, and also, in the pasture, in the laying down not needing to be anywhere else for once, no one but you and God in open space and trees and those emerald green leaves blowing ever so gently in the distance so far away but so close how beautiful it is that you are noticing these things. MHN
I almost didn’t share this because I all I could see was the paint in my nails and how, when filmed, it looked like dirt. But as I watched the video back, I was reminded that this is what this piece was about: going beyond perfection. Allowing the imperfect, the scribbles, the things that don’t look like much become something we can humbly and boldly choose to be proud of. II The words: Turn your scribbled pieces of paper into art. Turn the things that look like “mistakes” into the very things where you humbly and boldly say: This is what I have to give today. I will create. Because I am grateful. I have learned so much and have come the longest way. Because maybe, you do not have to live afraid of what others will say. Maybe their words will get to you sometimes and you will learn to be brave, anyway. Making art, telling stories, listening and giving every day, knowing that this messy line work, this simple and imperfect way of creating till matters in these unknowns. This matters in the waiting. So embrace the unplanned. See beautifully imperfect things come to life, right here, in your hands. You do not have to figure it all out. You can make art and find the lines and texture and meaning, right here, right now. Even with doubt. You can make things right here, right now. Making things can be hard, challenging, with long hours, and I just hope you also know: it can be so simple. You can paint the wall blue and line it with gorgeous green plants and all the things that speak to you: and you can also just place your scribbled drawing in a frame you already have, against a blank wall.. a reminder that you have the capability of making beautiful progress, even when it’s small. MHN
The same Light you see in others is shining within you, too You are not worth any less than the people you up to The world can feel like a busy place and you are still free to travel at a mindful pace You are free to travel at a mindful pace, every moment is wrapped in grace. Even when someone else’s strengths only seem to remind you of your weaknesses, there is still grace that says You Will Still Grow In Meaningful and Unique Ways Even when it seems they are climbing so high above you, remember EVERYTHING you are traveling through. You do not know everything that had to happen for them to get there and they do not know all that happened with you. There is always more than what you are seeing. Trust and stay present to the journey. You might meet people who only remind you of what you do not have, and you will also meet new sunrises day after day after day that remind you: no matter how hard it can be not to compare, you are free to breathe deep and shine on, anyway. Exchange comparison for joy and shine on, anyway. II This series was created after I clicked on tagged images and saw @linneasteffy had shared it (thank you!) and even though it was something I wrote for someone else, shared by someone else today, it was something I needed to be reminded of. All 10 pieces are connected to the previous one, either through color, composition, linework, and/or text. As I worked with each piece, I thought about how I'd like for it to relate to the one next to it, and how with one simple stroke on the new piece, it starts to become something different. Perhaps our lives are this way. When we’re all here, on Instagram, or in the office together, in community, it can seem like we're all supposed to be alike. We’re all supposed to share our stories one way, work with the same color palettes, share all of the same failures and successes, but no two stories are the same. Even if you're from the same town or grew up in the same house. There are big things that you unique, and small things, too. You may not always be able to put words to what it is, but I hope you can trust: no one can compare to you. - Morgan
♥️ Leave a comment below! Ask your creative journey questions! Ask any how-to questions about how to get started, share your art, your story, writing, art making, social media, online shops! I’d love to help! SO many people have helped me and it’s important to me to pass it on! II THE WHY Two big things happened this week that reminded me of just how much I love talking about the journey: 1. We got the keys to our first our studio space called Garden24 Studio! Located in Lake Forest, California. Not long ago I was doing all of this from my apartment at a desk next to the fridge, and now, here we are. 2. Last night, we had a book signing at Barnes & Noble at the Grove which is a dream I’ve had for a while. I walked away so encouraged. I felt like I was meeting my community. My people. I have been feeling this at every event I have done recently and I am so grateful to be able to connect who are on the journey, just like me. I never want to forget the journey. I never want to forget that this started in my apartment at a desk next to the fridge when I wrote about about giving up, because I felt like there wasn’t a place at the table for me. I am opening this studio and I am opening space for questions because I want to create a place at the table for others. I want to do more to support stories and create rooms for storytelling. This studio will be a space for: -making art -filming tutorials -in-person workshops -our offices - I’ll introduce you to the team soon! -shipping and fulfillment -and more! I am so passionate about helping others grow in creative confidence. Everyone may not be an artist, but every one has a story to tell. There’s a part of your journey worth sharing, whether you share it in a book, on a canvas, or over dinner with friends — this world may be a crowded place but there is still room for you to say something, do something, make something, no matter how big or small the scale. Let’s make beautiful, honest things. Leave a comment below with your creative journey questions! II PROMO! Get 25% off at Garden24 when you use the promo code YOUHAVECOMESOFAR (ends 2/25, 11:59pm PST) I've made new stickers, prints - all at @garden24co!
Perhaps, right here in the chaos there are still books to read and you do not have to have answers for everything to be present to the highs and lows and wholeness of a story. And despite not knowing where each chapter will lead, you feel a little less alone today, because this author who has filled the page is sharing her strengths and struggles with you, Because you yes, you, are worthy of quiet moments after long weeks when you thought you would unravel at the seams. Here you are, finding peace right here in the chaos of things. II what I learned from painting today: the moment in hillside, with the lantern was there all along, waiting to be carved out, relieved, and it just took some while for it to see. the woman, eager to read, deep into the night, she was there all along. one of the gifts that slowness in the present moment gives is the chance to see things more deeply than we saw them before in places of chaos busyness hurriedness if we dare to stay present if we dare to look closer we see that all along, we are free to live life to the full right here, no matter what is missing MHN
I hope today is the kind of day you notice beautiful things. Amidst all of your uncertainty, I hope you can trust and believe: “my tired, anxious heart has not seen all there is to see.” Because even though you are waiting, there is still room for dreaming and creating. There is still room to hope for a spring bloom, no matter the unknowns that are before you. You have learned to have hope for your friends and deep beneath the layers, you know Light has no end…and I just hope you know this is true: the same beauty you see in others is radiant within you, too. Your story still matters here. You have something to say. No matter what has changed or what has stayed the same. So when you notice the flowers, start to notice what comes up for you. Notice any small feeling of joy that reminds you of what is true: you have the freedom to notice beautiful things and there is still plenty of room for you to bloom. II I’m teaching my first workshop in 2 years! On March 21, join me at the Flower School of LA (@flowerschool_la) with @alajamie for a Floral Photography and Writing Workshop. Spaces are limited! I hope to see you there! All the details are at the link in my bio @MorganHarperNichols II Here’s to a new day, noticing any small thing that is blooming! MHN
Re-sharing these longer reads for anyone who may need them today ♥️
Thoughts for the end of February ♥️ Swipe for the whole story. Did a particular slide speak to you the most? I’d love to know in the comments below! I have been working to create and send more pieces that tell a story, and I am forever intrigued by the different that catch our attention, at different places on the journey. Thank you for being a part of this process! Writing and making art are always teaching me things, and I hope you feel inspired to keep creating too 🙏✨
Swipe for the whole poem -> For the highs and lows and moments between mountains and valleys rivers and streams, for “I’ve always known” and “I told you,” for ‘nothing is happening’ and ‘all has gone wrong’ it is here on the journey she will learn to be strong she will get where she is going landing where she belongs. MHN These portraits are of 10 strangers I observed from afar. I often find myself in public spaces thinking about what could possibly connect us…what things are beneath the layers that we may never even talk about, and yet, so many of are experiencing? I think this stared from a place of wonder why crowded places made me feel more lonely. The more people, the more I felt like I was just one of many and maybe my present didn’t matter so much. The internet can feel this way, too., But lately, I am focusing on trying to just be more mindful about where I am, even if I am in a place where I feel faceless, nameless, invisible, even. I try to remind myself: I am not the only one who feels this way. And if I happen to notice someone, take a moment to have a kind thought for them. I don’t know their story. I don’t know where they are or where they’ve been, but I can hope the best for them. I didn’t have any words for this series of people whom I only saw for a moment at a distance a few mornings ago, but this morning, @marymarantz reminded of me a poem I wrote in 2017 and in that moment that poem (written out above) felt like the words that were appropriate for this piece. I don’t know your story but I just hope amidst whatever feels stagnant right now, you still feel like you are on a journey. I hope you get where you’re going. I hope you see where Light pours in. Morgan
Here’s some of the letter I just sent to the one who shared her story with me. Details of the story have been removed. Hi ____, ...I am so sorry for all of the uncertainty you’re having to deal with right now. I can imagine it’s heavy on your heart. And to experience this over and over again, has to feel incredibly tiresome. I just hope you know that even here, you are worthy of the journey. You are worthy of walking this path, even though you do not know what friendships or relationships will change or last. It’s so hard to live with this unknown, and it’s hard to love in this space, not knowing how it will all fall into place. But you are free to take this day by day. You are also free to mindfully consider how you may be able to distance yourself from _________. I know that’s not easy, being in that one place, but I just hope you know that even here, you are not in stagnant waters. You are still on a journey. You are still moving forward. I know it may feel at times that ______ will have a lasting impact, but in the end, they do not tell your whole story. And perhaps the best way to move on is to trust that every day you choose to trust that you are so much more than _________, is a day you are moving forward, even everyone else doesn’t believe it—you are free to believe there is more to you. She is slowly learning to accept the way things are changing. She is learning to trust it is okay if her plans are starting to change including her plans for where she thought her safe places would be. Even in the waiting, she is learning to hope for better things and to believe in what is possible high above what others say or think. For even here, she is still on a journey. The pain of their words may find her from time to time but they will not write the chapters of her story down the line. Slowly but surely she is finding that every single day is a chance to start over in some small way, and even if her surroundings don’t change she is still wrapped in grace to breathe deep and take the journey day by day. MHN
Give your all. Hold nothing back. Grace will meet you in the wildness no matter what you lack. In grace I hope you find, you are more prepared than you think. You’ve been holding back from taking the leaps because of the depths you have yet to reached. And perhaps there is no way guarantee you will always have to be able to play it safe and you will have to ease into the present moment, and come alive in an open space. But you will be okay even if you come forth afraid, you do not have to be fearless before you can be brave. Enter into the wildness. Step into the Light. Trust that despite what is missing, there is abundant room to be alright. Come, and be out in the open. And when you feel overwhelmed by the present moment, I hope you can be all the more overwhelmed by grace. Trust that you can be present here no matter the things you fear. And in this life you will not be able to figure it all out but there will be more than enough peace going ever-beyond your furthest doubts. So dare to explore what it means to come alive right now. Find peace, abundant peace, more than you’ll ever need and come into the Light and let Light happen something riveting beautiful and entirely unexpected, despite your persistent feeling of lostness, all along, you were being directed. Let Light do what Light does Let Light do what Light does Come into the wildness and be undone. MHN
For the broken-hearted: Love is a beautiful, powerful thing and that is why it hurts so much to lose it. You had a way you thought things would be, so it breaks the heart to see it all changing. And even though you know in your soul that things will be better down the road, you hoped for something better. After you had been through so much, shouldn’t you have seen the future...together? Did you waste your time? Did you miss the signs? How do you carry on with such a heavy mind? It hurts to lose love and I just hope you know that there will be room for joy, abundant joy, when you encounter love again. And not only down the line, but in the way the morning sun flickers through your half-closed blinds, reminding you that even though things are different than how you thought they’d be, you are still worthy of being known and loved and you are worthy of new beginnings. And even here, you are seen. Love is a beautiful, powerful thing even when it shows up in ways your broken heart was not expecting. I hope more than anything you can know love and show love right here in the present moment. For even though so much was broken, you woke up this morning, the sky was open...Light was pouring in, reminding you after everything, there was freedom to start again. Let the sky above remind you of the endlessness of love. Whether it’s gray or blue, let it remind you: there is a greater story you are still a part of. You have not missed out on what was meant for you because of all that has changed. You can still know love and show love, even if it looks different day by day. For there is no need to be ashamed if you miss the way things used to be. The heart has the capacity to be hopeful and it also has the capacity to grieve. It is there, through the brokenness, Light will pour through, reminding you that even here, there is so much more to you. MHN
It was there, on the ground
she learned to see this life for what it is,
in all of its beauty, and imperfection,
she learned to embrace the wholeness of it all.
She learned to hold the shadows,
and to also hold the Light.
She learned to grieve what went wrong
and find hope in what was right. II There is something beautifully hopeful about looking up about climbing the highest mountain. But is it possible to truly live there, all the time, at such high altitudes? Is it possible to truly be grounded in this life if our head is only ever in the clouds? As we reach for the heights, may we also be at peace with ordinary life on the ground. Willingly and faithfully getting our hands dirty as we sow seeds into the earth. It is in the step by step, face to face, and hand in hand that we truly begin to connect with those around us. We may have the greatest intentions for our hopes and ambitions, and this is also true: if we fix our minds only on an unknown future, we will miss the important work we have to do right now so we can make it there. The mind is a powerful, extraordinary thing, and it is also the part of the body that is farthest from the ground. We can get in our heads and stay there, without even realizing that years of our lives have passed us by. The mountains are calling us, but this broken, splintered ground is calling us, too. For even here, despite our grounding fears, Light still pours in. And no matter what has failed to grow here on the ground does not have to keep us from sowing seeds again. May this be the season of your life that make the effort to be hopeful and mindful of life here on the ground. There will come a day when new mountains call your name, and you will climb them at the right time. In the meantime, remember that being on the ground is not a hopeless, lowly place. It is rich with abundant soil as the sky is rich with abundant stars. Dare to look up to the galaxy while coming alive right where you are. Allow yourself to see the possibility here. Find life in the present moment. Find hope here on the ground, sowing seeds, even while waiting. MHN II Last night in L.A. left me speechless. Watch my story to see a few snippets!
Perhaps even here you are not as alone as you feel. Perhaps in the wild, there are others, who are longing, like you to heal. You have held so much inside while looking for answers all around. You have tried be grounded but can’t help but wonder why you’re not further along by now. But as the wind blows through the high leaves, I hope you remember to breathe. I hope you fall into the grace that reminds you are seen here, no matter the things you fear. Come back to the present moment, over fields of endless worries, you do not have to be in a hurry, you do not have to be afraid you are free to exhale and engage knowing the wild will forever fold and change but you are still connected here in bold and subtle ways Be connected. Be restored. You matter even on the forest floor. you are not alone down here you are not who you were before. And someday you will rise from this place, and for now, there is grace, to not be afraid and remember for all the inner longing, you belong. MHN
Perhaps, after all the love you have given to others you are free to trust you are worthy of love, too. You are free to trust there is a life worth living beyond carrying everything on your shoulders. You have the capacity
to hold so much so do not forget to hold space for rest. For so long you have desired to understand others, because it was hard to understand yourself. The love you felt you were not receiving, you gave to everyone else. So just in case no one has told you lately: you are worthy of the same love you give. You bring value when you show up for others, and also, when you breathe deep and simply live. You long to find your place in the world. You long to fully present. And I just hope that just as much as you are present to others you are also present to yourself. You see beauty in the life of others and the stories that they tell. And I just hope you know, as you listen, you are worthy of being heard as well. You love others so well. You see where Light pours through. May you know the same love you give you are worthy of receiving, too. MHN
For certain things, you will find: you have done all you can do. You made yourself available, deep into the night. You have tried to sort it all out. You have held it up to Light. And then grace slowly reveals: some wounds take time to heal. And you are not a failure if you cannot fix it all. And the best thing you can right now is trust. Find peace in knowing you are free to breathe in this uncertainty. You are free to trust and let go, no matter what is still unknown. Let grace in the morning reveal some wounds take time to heal and you learning to breathe in this uncertainty is a beautiful act of surrender. Let morning rise as morning longs to rise over your mountains of worry and foothills of lies that you will not be loved unless you get it all right all the time. Let yourself ask “what does forgiveness look like in this space” and then, remember grace, unmerited favor, wrapped in every exhale, a practice in surrender when so much is left unsaid. Practice surrender. Practice surrender. For letting go will not be easy. But as sure as the river in the wild keeps flowing peace will flow all the same even when the closeness is gone and nothing feels the same let every day be a day you fall into grace, anyway. MHN
For me,
Dear friend, 1. You are not alone I do not have the answers but I do know: you are not alone. I do know that Light is still shining on you and I will do my very best to be present, too. I know you’ve had to wait longer than you expected, and you struggle to even talk about it because you don’t want it to seem like you are ungrateful, but I just hope you know there is nothing wrong with needing peace, harmony, and space. And even though I cannot tell you how much longer you will have to wait and when you will finally reach a resolution that makes you feel okay, I can tell you that you are free to come resting in the grace that says: it’s okay to not have answers, and still look for joy, anyway. 2. You are worthy of being heard, in a trusted space I know it’s hard to even find someone to talk to, because you never know how much empathy or understanding people will have for what you have been through. This is also true: though so much remains unspoken amongst friends, family, and strangers alike, you are not alone in your suffering. You are not alone in your pain. And I just want to be one person to remind you: you are worthy of making connections that remind you of this every day. 3. Even here, your progress matters So even though you’re still waiting for the pieces to fall into place, please don’t be hard on yourself. Remember that you are still on a journey and every single step, no matter how long they take matter more than you can see, today. You are free to travel this journey slowly knowing you are not alone. And if the smallest things remind you of peace, I hope you know that means something. It matters that you’re still here. It matters that you’re breathing. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. May this be a season of rest and finding the little places where Light pours through. MHN
Let February be February for no matter your January even here there is more ahead of you. II GRIEF AND WATER For some of us, we missf the places we never got to go. We grieve the stories we will never get to tell. For us, the past is not only the past, but an endless inner well. And before we can catch ourselves, we go deep into our memory...wondering how things could have turned out differently. But as we go into these depths, we also find the path in the wild that leads to the water. We also find that amidst the endless questions we have about this well inside of us, there is a river running wild, not too far away, ever-reminding us, all is passing, and we are free to feel these feelings. Let water run the way water runs. Let it remind of you hope. Healing. FEBRUARY PEACE When the sorrow goes deep down, may this well of longing slouch toward hope:
A few longer reads. Swipe and stop on the word that stands out to you the most in this very moment. May today be the day we all carry on with courage. - Morgan
Keep going. Learn as you go. You are free to brave the unknown.

Even the unknown of what it means to use your voice to tell your story. You have something to say. And your story is worth giving time to. You are worthy of taking the time it takes to journey through the mountains and telling the stories of your travels. The times you dared to spread your wings. All the things you've overcome. Be brave and trust: the words that fall on the page ARE good enough. They do not have to become a blog post or book in order to matter. Just let yourself write. Let the filling of the pages remind you: what I've learned is worth talking about. Write in your journal without worrying about the pages you haven’t written on yet. Let the words fall on the page not as an article or essay, but as a love letter, a prayer, a fleeting thought before you let yourself doodle flowers in the margins. And if you’d rather speak than write, turn on your phone recorder and talk to yourself. This right here doesn't have to be for anyone else. It’s not for a podcast later on. This is a way of reminding yourself:
Breathe deep and trust: you have not missed out on what was meant for you. The night may cast a long shadow and you may feel like it will last forever, but no matter how long the night, it will not outrun the hope of dawn. As long as you are breathing, you will know new beginnings. You will know morning, after morning, each a miracle on its own. And you will not be alone. Amidst all of this chaos, there is life all around you, and you are a part of it all. You can still believe in love here, even when it feels impossibly far away. You can still cling to hope even when your doubts have more to say. When shadows paint themselves
the height of ceilings
amidst everything you are feeling
you still belong on this life
even if you do not know
what true belonging feels like.
You are free to go
on the adventure
of learning what it means to see
that hope is a radical thing
but it is worth it to believe:
your heart is still opening
and you are still growing,
and there is still more ahead of you
no matter the unknowing. Let go and trust.
Let go and trust.
You have not missed
out on what was meant for you.
You are tired and you have been let down,
but soon, morning will abound
and remind you that all along,
there was more
and you have not missed out
on the opportunity
to come alive once again. Let go and trust
this right here is enough
and it is worth it to believe
there is still
more to come. More tomorrow...
Sincerely,
Morgan Harper Nichols This is an excerpt from my app Storyteller. New series called ‘Your Presence Matters Here’ starts tomorrow. Visit the link in this bio to subscribe! @thestorytellerco
You are still worthy of love. You are still worthy of knowing what it means to know to love and to be loved. I am sorry for the one who broke your trust. I am sorry for the one who took you for granted. You should have never known what it meant for a heart to be broken in that way. But you are worthy of love, anyway. You are worthy of being able to move forward in beautiful, healing ways. You may feel the burden of the brokenness right now, but there is still much more to your story. Your life is not a checklist. Just because the things you hoped for have fallen out of place does not mean you cannot keep living a meaningful, purposeful life. As long as you are breathing, you are not out of time. No matter what is not checked off on the “list,” you are still being called to go on the journey. Even amidst the brokenness. Even amidst the sadness. These feelings are real, but this is not all there is to you. And you are going to move on. My friend, you are going to move on. You are going to wake up one day and realize: certain things no longer bother you. They may cross your mind from time to time, but it will not feel the same, and it is then you will realize: you have grown in beautiful, healing ways. You have spent so many nights trying to communicate what you feel. You have spent so many years trying to get to the core of it all. You have wondered what you missed or what you could have done differently. And you have also been invited to step into Light and believe that even amidst the brokenness, you still have the capacity for love. The one that hurt you could not take that from you. And love will look different here and in the seasons to come, but that will be a beautiful thing. You will find this was what you were needing: a new beginning. A new way of living. A new way of trusting that despite the one who broke your trust, you were still free to hope, to believe, to love.
All Along You Were Blooming. 3 more days. I started signing a few books tonight and I am writing “keep blooming” in all of them. There are so many flowers that only bloom once but oh, there are so many that bloom over and over, quiet and colorful resilience through all of the seasons. I like to think of all of us as that way, springing into our bloom for a while, then pulling back, coming back again. And what matters during all the change is to be grounded, be watered, and be in the Light. I know it doesn’t ever seem to feel like in changing seasons but I hope that you can continue to remember than even in the non-blooming seasons, your existence matters. Even when others seem to see right through, you still belong in these wild fields and Light will continue to find you. Keep blooming. Keep blooming. Visit the link in my bio to pre order a signed copy of All Along Your Blooming, with a handwritten “keep blooming x mhn” exclusively copy from my shop @garden24co. It is my hope that when you read “keep blooming” and all the words that follow, you are reminding that even when if you do not bloom today, there is still hope for tomorrow. Gardenia Bougainvillea African Daisy Jacob’s Ladder Climbing Rose Go out and take note of the flowers that bloom and rebloom. Let them remind you: even here, there is more to you. preorder at @garden24co ♥️ All Along You Were Blooming, January 21.
A few of my favorites, from my book, out tomorrow! Link in the bio - “All Along You Were Blooming” available now at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books and Million, and more! Including a few signed copies at my own shop Garden24! @garden24co
5 Reminders for the day 1. You can do this. You have put in the work. You have made beautiful progress. Not perfect progress, but meaningful forward movement, even in the chaos of things. 2. You are stronger than you realize. You have stayed the course even when it was tough. Even when you felt like you were going to fall apart, you kept breathing. You keep going. You kept sowing seeds of love for something greater than you. Even when no one else seemed to notice. 3. You are brave, even in subtle ways. The decision you made this morning to keep going another day matters so much than you may see right now and that’s okay. Every exhale is still proof: you are more than what you are leaving behind you. 4. You are more than your imperfections and the brokenness will hinder Light from pouring in. Time and time again, you have managed to show up even when you do not feel good enough, smart enough, equipped enough. That was grace. Even when you couldn’t find the words for it. 5. You have come so far and it matters more than you know. This year is already presenting a lot of unknowns before you. And whenever you start to think about it, you remember all you have made it through. Remember all it took to be here. There were so many times where you were not even sure you would see this year. And here you are. Millions of breaths taken, you have come so far. Never discredit how far you have come. Never underestimate the power of what happens when Light pours in. MHN — These reminders were written for others, and also for myself. My book “All Along You Were Blooming” is out today and while exciting, I’m working through feelings of anxiousness with this thing I put so much emotional, mental, and physical work into being out in the world! I am grateful for grace keeping me breathing through all of this. I am grateful for the support and encouragement from friends and family around the world. Thank you. Thank you. - Morgan All Along You Were Blooming, the book is out today! Link in the bio. Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and my online shop @garden24co!
You never know what will happen when you let go. When you finally let go of the fear that you won’t be enough. You never know where your mind will wander or what you will start to think about or how you will make sense of how your life looks right now. But even while all this is happening within you, you are still allowed to experience the freedom with the unknown. The freedom to trust that even though letting go can feel like the ultimate embodiment of emptiness and being alone, you are opening up. You are being strengthened. Grace is more then enough for you here. So dare to look beyond your fears. Say goodbye to the worries that you are not worthy and it’s too late for you. Let this be the year you look back on a day: “I never knew I had it in me. I never knew I had the strength to do this, and here I am. Here I am, learning to come alive, through the wild of letting go. Early this year, I thought it was over for me. But now, I am so grateful that I chose courage and I kept going. I may not know what tomorrow looks like, but I have found a river filled with life. I am dating to trust I can breathe in these unknowns. I can dare to come alive.” Allow yourself to be open to the very hard work of trusting. You have not seen all there is to see and there is more ahead of you. Being in the unknown will ask a lot of you but there is freedom within it, too...to slow down and notice the world around you and how even here, the Light pours through. MHN
Word of the day: Freedom. Just in case no one has told you lately, you do not need permission to create. You are free to tell your story with the things you make. You do not have to wait until someone else says “yes” or until you are guaranteed success to make something meaningful and honest. Whether you share it or not, you are free to write poetry. You are free to take photographs. And you are also free to share or not share them. Somethings you make will be shared with everyone else and for the other things? Maybe you just needed to read the words your wrote, yourself. 
What matters is this: in a world where there are endless opportunities to consume, let making things remind you: there is so much more to you. You were made to make. You have something to say. And I just hope you know this has nothing to do with being famous or well-known. Some of the most meaningful things in this world never traveled beyond those living room walls. But they mattered just as much as printed words bound into books. So take a closer look. Trust that even here, there is freedom for you to keep continue creating. Even when you don’t feel good enough. Even when you’re waiting. And if and when you decided to share what you create, let your art serve as proof that you are more than what happened to you. You are free to share something beautiful with an open heart, no what fell apart. Your story can help someone else see: perhaps, they can make it, too. You might not be able to get everyone’s attention, and you might even get overlooked or rejected by those you look up to, or hoped to work with, but please don’t let that stop you. Keep creating, anyway. If your story encourages someone to carry on another day, and to give this life another try, that matters more than you’ll ever know. Word of the day: Freedom. “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
You are already a little further than you were a month ago. You are already experiencing slow and steady growth. You are not who you were on December 7th. You have already lived through dozens of new sunsets and nearly half a million minutes. And through all of them, you were breathing. Through some of them, you were even singing, thinking, dreaming, hoping for what was to come. This is proof: you have learned to come alive no matter the chaos around you and no matter how long it seems to take for Light to pour through. So take a deep breath. Allow yourself to count every little thing that is slightly different since a month ago, and realize just how easy it is to lose count. May you never mistake the slowness of a season for a lack of movement. There is always something worth noticing moment into moment. And sometimes,you do not need to take a leap. You only need to take a step. You only need to trust it’s through the day to day you will be led to further depths. So many things in this world grow quickly but it seems to be that far more take months, years, decades, and as enticing as fast growth may seem it’s what comes from the slow growth that stays. So let yourself grow slowly, let yourself trust, your roots are growing deeper with every morning sun. And from day to day, month to month, it matters how far you have come. Do not be discouraged by those who are rushing around you. Time moves quickly, but it will not move any quicker than it is moving right now and even the fastest, most efficient amongst us will eventually slow down to this sweet remembrance: slowness is not weakness it is simply how many things must grow. So may today be one of those days you take it all moment by moment rushing in and out of nothing showing up, as you are, unhurried. For even here in the chaos of it all you are allowed to slow down and breathe, finding brave and brand new ways to see every present day as something meaningful, strangely beautiful, and even in the slowness, worth living for. You are already a little further than you were a month ago. You are already a little further than you were a month ago. MHN
Do your best while knowing your value is not attached to what you accomplish. Trust: Your value goes beyond what is seen, painted into the depths showing up not in accomplishments but in the way you live with love. So if nothing else do what you do for love. Trust that even when others do not see your worth choosing to B E love is more than enough to live a meaningful life that is wildly abundant with opportunities to grow. Choose to be the one says: “despite what is unknown, I will choose to make beautiful things that remind others: they are not alone.” Choose to believe what you do with love matters. It is woven into your conversations, your invitations, your openness, your laughter. Never give up on the power of love because of the ones who did not see your worth. Choose to believe love is in the depths and you are not finished going deeper. MHN
LOS ANGELES + NASHVILLE! I would love to meet you. My book “All Along You were Blooming” comes out January 21 and I’m so excited about sharing this all-new poetry and art with you! I will be signing the new book at both events! Los Angeles, January 25: “All Along You Were Blooming” - A Book Release event just up the road from where I live (in the OC!) - Signed book included Nashville, February 6: “Honesty Over Perfection” - A Conversation with @morganharpernichols, @livefashionable, @ruthielindsey - Signed book included Tickets available at the link in the bio! Book is available for preorder at Barnes & Noble and Amazon! This book is unlike anything I’ve ever shared before. I have written for others in this book, and I am also telling a lot my own story. It’s a strange feeling because even though I’m nervous about sharing this very personal project with the world, I also feel at peace. I feel at peace because I know that what’s in this book is not from a perfect place, but an honest place, wrapped in grace. I hope to share more with you about the journey that led me here this year, which is why I’m excited about kicking things off in two cities where I used to live (Nashville and Los Angeles). I hope to see you there! And if you’d like more info on other upcoming events you can sign up for my daily (or weekly) mailing list at morganharpernichols.com/subscribe. I hope to meet you in the near future! Thanks for being a part of this community, Morgan __ Photo by @maddiestring for a shoot with @ssekodesigns! Click here to get to my bio for the link to these events! -> @morganharpernichols
BLOOM There is no need to worry. You do not have to have it all figured out right now. Think of the flowers of the fields. They have no concept of tomorrow and yet still, they grow. They still bloom how they were meant to. Through sun and rain, they change. Day by day, they do not look the same. They spring forth in due season, even without knowing the reason. This is true for you, too. You don't have to be able to make sense of every single thing around you or explain every part of yourself to know that you belong. As sure as every wildflower in a thousand-acre field has a place, so do you. There will be moments for you to sort through ideas and plans for tomorrow, but there will also be moments for you to be still, right here, in the sun and rain, knowing that through all that is known and unknown, you will bloom all the same. BE STRONG You are not just existing. You are not just breathing.
word of the day: RELEASE: It is time to be free from all the things you thought you would need:
the relationship that was not healthy the way of thinking that holds you back the fear that restrained you, you are free to breakthrough, for today is brand new. Let it mean something to you. You have come the longest way and you do not have to be who you were yesterday. Love is still ahead of you. You might not see it yet, but you can trust: there is still a path beneath your feet. You are still becoming who you were made to be. And you do not have to worry about arriving, just focus on being here, knowing there is grace for every moment and love is still greater than fear. I do not know what ‘letting go’ looks like you but I hope it feels like a sweet release. I hope surrendering does not make you feel weak, but strong, hopeful, free. And maybe, after letting go, You won’t have to worry like you used to. Maybe after everything, you have not missed out on what was meant for you And I hope you are able to look back on this January with gratitude for all you made it through, knowing that even though so much was out of your control, you still found the freedom in the well of your soul to start over with hope, amidst all that was unknown. You are free to let go of what you no longer need in pursuit of becoming more of who you were meant to be. You are free to believe: not being able to see what’s ahead of you does not mean there is nothing more. Trust that you have not seen all there is to see down these hallways. There will still be open doors. I WOTD: Release - “to make free, to give freedom or free movement to someone or something.” Source: @cambridgewords I I received a few letters from readers recently and I was reminded that there was nothing like reading physical letters and writing back. So here's my mailing address if you'd like to share something! I’d love to share some letters on social media as well*, as a way of sharing who’s in this community! I’d also love to respond to as many as possible! Morgan Harper Nichols 400 Spectrum Center Drive St. 19 Irvine, CA 92618 *If you’d prefer I didn’t share your letter/note, please write “PRIVATE” on it
Word of the day: Trust. Dear Self, Age 14: Keep going, keep going dare to keep traveling through. In time you will make it to places you never thought you would make it to. For these mountains will shape you in ways you have yet to know. And even though it will not be easy, you will not be traveling alone. Light will continue to guide you illuminating the path beneath your feet. And with every step you will become more of who you were meant to be. For more than you were made to climb up a single stairwell you were made to travel the long way through the mountains. You were made for the journey, morning and night, highs and lows, looking for Light in your surroundings no matter what was unknown. Trust. Please trust this journey is shaping you in meaningful ways. You might not see it in the day to day but you are going to be okay. You are going to look back and realize you made it further than you ever thought you could. And all by grace, through all the struggle there was still peace, hope, good. Keep going, keep going dare to keep traveling through. In time you will make it to places you never thought you would make it to. I Word of the day: Trust
One day you will look back and be so glad you chose to not give up on love. You will look back and see that even amidst the brokenness, the openness led to healing and hope that even though you had lost so much, there was still more life to go. You will find that even though love looks different than what you expected, you were still being directed, and love was still abundant. Grace was still abundant, and you were free to fall into the rhythms of trusting...trusting that no matter what was missing, there was still room in this world for your tired soul to see: you had not yet seen everything you were meant to see. You had not met yet everyone you were meant to meet...including your future self. And all along, you were worthy of love, belonging, and joy just as much as anyone else. Having hope for the future does not mean you think everything will go perfectly and according to plan. It means you are choosing to believe you can keep an open hand. To hold the flower. The paintbrush. The camera. The fruit. Any little thing that reminds you: after everything, you are free to keep going. Even in the waiting, you are free to keep creating. This year is already shaping up to be a little different than what you expected it to be, but you are not worth any less because plans have changed. You are changing in beautiful ways, beyond what you can see today. Hold on. Keep trusting. You do not have to be invincible before you can be strong. You are still moving right along. You might have to carry on without the one you thought was going to be there or without the places or the rooms you thought were going hold you, but you are still free to have the audacity to believe: there is more ahead of you. You have not missed out on what was meant for you. I hope you look back and are so proud of who you were this January. I hope you see someone who was learning to be strong, even after so much went wrong. I hope you see someone anchored in hope, trusting, in the grace: there was still more life to go. MHN
A few short reminders, to read to yourself: HOPE So much has changed and I still have hope what lies ahead will be worth it despite all that I let go. CHANGE I am slowly learning to accept the way things are changing, trusting that this, too is a part of my growth and it is okay if I do not yet know how. I can come alive right now, believing that hope is greater than my doubts PEACE High over my worries there is endless boundless peace going far beyond my deepest understanding. SURRENDER This is surrender: trusting releasing letting the “letting go” be freeing TRUST In the letting go I am learning to trust: no matter what is missing grace is more than enough: glorious unmerited favor that cannot be fully defined with words, giving me room to believe there is more ahead of me. MHN Which of these five words stood out to you? Whichever one it is, I hope you can carry it with you today 🙏✨
For the past couple of years, the year has not started off in the way you hoped it would. In a time where you were supposed to be celebrating new beginnings, you were met with ending, after ending. You have been stretched in ways that tested your strength, absorbing the little energy you had left. You have worked so hard to create stability and a dream, only to have it all swept out from beneath you. And now you are here, finding your way another month, waiting for newness, waiting for an opening. I hope that it is here, you can keep your heart open. I hope you can see that even in the weariness of the waiting, this heart of yours still beats for more. You may not be in a rhythm quite yet, but there is a rhythm to your heartbeat, and even in the uncertainty, that means something. There is a steadiness there you can cling to. And the truth is, it might take a little longer for things to fall in place in the way you want to. It might be longer than expected before you see how it all comes together. But I just hope you can remember: you have made it this far, and whatever has fallen apart does not define who you are. There is so much that is happening that is greater than you, and it is okay if you cannot make sense of it. It is okay to sit in the wonder and find that somehow, there is still a wholeness to it all, and you do not have to have it all together to experience a meaningful life right here in the chaos. You have given so much to this, and I just hope you know that even here, your work is not in vain. It might take a little longer to arrive where you want to be, but you are still free to take this day by day. You are still well on your way. Even when the world seems to be moving on without you. Even when you are weary of waiting. Even when you are having to watch others reach the same exact heights you were reaching for, you are not a failure. You are not behind. You will still arrive where you need to be on time: on the journey, where you are free to come alive, no matter what is or is not figured out in your life. MHN
When you cannot see yourself in the future and you can’t imagine how something beautiful can come your way, remember: you are free to take this day by day. Start in the margins of this very minute…for within it, there are dozens of seconds you did not plan for but, you have already lived through. You have effortlessly collapsed in and out of them, and already lost track of them, like a billion endless bright stars in the dead of night, you cannot count every second, but they are all a part of your life, as countless stars are suspended in the sky. Even when you have no idea what could possibly be down the road, and you have absolutely no idea how next year will go, you still have this second, and just like that, you’re already on to the next one. Somehow, you kept going, even without noticing. You are moving right along, you are moving right along, even when you feel stuck in the present moment. The same way you made it through last week, last month, this year, you will make it through this present moment. You made it another hour. You drew another breath. You found boundless peace without knowing what came next. This is growth. This is progress. Even though you cannot imagine how the future could be beautiful for you, and how you could ever trust again and believe in love the way you used to, day by day, you will find: though you do not know what’s down the line all along, you have been on a journey of discovering: beautiful things take time. Time. Time. Beautiful things take time. It might even take years before certain things make sense, but there is no need to fear. There is still a greater story here. Through all your highs and lows, there is still a whole journey left to go. Even when you are weary from the past and overwhelmed by new unknowns. Every day you are alive, you are moving right along. And every present moment, you are learning to be strong. MHN
Note to self: May you never look at a photograph of yourself and think: “look at how beautiful I used to be.” May you see the living breathing soul that is still alive within you today and how you are not worth any less because your appearance has changed. The woman in the photograph holds so much more than a frame on timeline could ever capture. And even though you know her so well, and you have occupied that very space, there is still an endless depth to her, going far beyond what is seen. And with age, you are only being refined, growing more beautiful with time. What you see in that photograph is one part of a greater story. Your beauty goes beyond what any photograph can hold. And every year, you still shine, radiant, like gold. Trust beyond what is seen believe in deeper, more honest things. The surface level can only teach you so much. Trust: your appearance plays one note in the song. And you are allowed to have gratitude for the way the years have shaped you. Notice the tree and her stretch marks. Notice her strong, inviting arms. As the wind brushes through her leaves, she is grounded. She is free. Oh, how the years have made her resilient, wise, beautiful. And the way Light fell on her leaves that day could not fit into any photograph. It belonged in no frame growing strong, untamed, this tree was meant to be. You are meant to be. II On getting older, and turning 30 in 2020, from my journal: You do not have to tell me that I am still young and I have plenty of time. For even if I do, time moves quickly, and for me, that is okay. I want to learn to love my life at every single age. Make the most of every stage. I do not want to think my everything is over when the decade closes its doors. I want to believe my life is more than a sum of endings, but a series of beginnings. I want to know that what is considered beautiful in my life has little to do with where it happened on the timeline. Whether I am seen as young or old, I want to be known for the depths of my soul. I want to be known not for the years I have left, but for what makes me present, filled with love, whole.
You are allowed to be excited about a new year and decade. May you never let anything make you feel like just because you’re not where you thought you’d be, that you’re not allowed to hope for more. Hope is not wishful thinking. Hope is the audacity to believe that after everything you have been through, there is more ahead of you. It’s the courage to trust that as long as you’re still breathing, there will be another sunrise. There will be a chance to rise above every fear that you are somehow not enough. This is hope. And I hope in this new year it is running wild within you. I hope that you can see all of places Light still gets through. There is a path beneath your feet. And at times you may feel weak and you can’t carry on any longer, but you are still worthy of this journey. You are not stuck in a cycle even if every day feels the same. And there is no such thing as two identical days. Even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant difference from Wednesday to Thursday is a sign of movement. A sign of hope for going forward. Breathe deep on this new day. No matter what has or not has changed. You are wrapped in grace that says, “for all of the things that are not figured out yet, if you are still alive, you are not finished yet.” May you never let others’ mountain top experiences make you think there is no more room for you. May you never let others failures make you think it’s not even worth it to try. We all travel through highs and lows. We all have to trust when to hold on and when to let go. And through the wide range of all of our life stories folding in and out of one another, year, over year, we all manage to keep breathing, despite our doubts and fears. This is hope, and it is bold and abundant, and available to you right here. II Special thanks to photographers @thierrymeier and #GabrieleMotter for providing such beautiful photographs on @unsplash that served as inspiration for the first two pieces I shared today! Thanks everyone for reading, and Happy New Year! MHN
Midnight is over. Morning is here. Emerge and live freely beyond your old fears. After everything you have even though, this day is brand new and you are so much more than all that lies behind you. There is so much still unknown and many ways for you to grow, but may you never underestimate the depths that grace is running through your soul. Even here, there is hope. You are free to start again. Look beyond your fears, and see where Light gets in. For years, so many things have held you back: “I’m too much of this” and “I’m not enough of that” but
all along, you have learning to trust grow and be, to unfold and emerge from your cocoon alive free. Come alive Come alive You have come so far. Now is to time to be more of who you are. II Happy New Year! Morgan
How liberating it is to pursue wholeness over perfection. To trust that this season is a new beginning and also, a part of whole journey. It is okay if I do not have it all sorted out right here. Even in the smallest, hard-to-notice ways, I have grown since last year. I am wiser now. I am stronger now. Even if I do not see it in the mirror. Even if I feel further behind than everyone else, I am still becoming. I can still live this life wholeheartedly, giving my all with love and faithfulness. Even though the year already seems to be off to a slower start than I expected and it seems that some of my plans are already being redirected, perhaps the ground beneath my feet is stronger than I think and from this foundation, here in the stillness, I am blooming. There is no need to rush.
I only need to trust: for all that is lacking grace is more than enough. Even here, there is wholeness. Even here, I am free, to bravely come alive in this new season faithfully and wholeheartedly. MHN
Dear Friend, You are where you are meant to be. And not because everything here in the present moment is woven together perfectly, but because through all you have been through, you are free to slow down, rest, and breathe. And just be here, simply be here, without rushing to sort through everything. Even when there are a thousand things to do, do your best with what you have, but do not let what is unfinished define you. You will always be able to find tasks you could have given a little more attention to. You will always be able to sit and wonder about things that could have gone differently. But you will also always be able to rest, and know peace right here, where you are, knowing grace is never far and worry does not have to win here. Worry does not have to win. And the more you live in the present moment, the more you will see: it loses its strength. The future will arrive when it is meant to arrive, and you do not have to exhaust yourself in the present moment trying to figure out how you will get there. The energy you have been giving to thoughts about the future is energy you need for right now. The time you have been giving to try to sort through things in the past is time you could be spending in the moment that lies before you. Be present to this moment and let it surprise you with just how beautiful this day can be beyond the boundaries of your worries. Dare to let yourself just be here. Dare to believe you are free to make the most of life while living with uncertainty. Because this is the wilderness, and it is not where you thought you would be, but it is out here on the unbridled paths you will find the courage and strength you need to be present in the moment and make the most of the little things. Because perhaps in the waiting, you are doing more than merely waiting. You are growing in your capacity to receive what meant for you. Perhaps you are learning the value of noticing the beauty in the life right before you. Keep taking deep breaths. Keep trusting in the process. There is a lot of life to live here and you are still not finished yet. -MHN
Exchange your overthinking for overwhelming peace that says, “I will be okay without knowing everything. I will still be worthy of love if I can’t fix everything. I can still have a meaningful life if I’m not where I thought I would be. Grace will still find me. Love will still find me. I can still have hope for tomorrow despite my uncertainty. So much has changed in my life recently. There are so many days where I feel like I’m living on the edge. And it’s hard to take deep breaths because it takes a miracle to even breathe at all. But I will keep trying, anyway. I will keep going, anyway. And not by trying to conquer the world but by taking it day by day. Hour by hour. Breath by breath, knowing that every exhale is a sign of strength. Progress. And no matter the chaos and uncertainty that finds me, I can still know overwhelming peace. I can be okay without knowing everything.” — No matter your unknowns, may this be the peace you find today. There are so many things that are yet to be figured out but you are still wrapped in this glorious unmerited favor called grace that allows you to take it day by day. Make every effort to breathe deep. It’s worth it. You are worthy of the exhale, even here. You are worthy of experiencing peace in the present moment no matter your doubts or fears. — MHN Every piece was created with one person in mind and sent to them before I shared it here. I randomly select from thousands of submissions (stories, topics, questions) every week (via DM and the form on my site) and I answer them with poetry and art. All stories are kept private. You are free to submit (or re-submit!) anytime! This has become my daily practice of generosity and I’m so grateful for everyone who has taken the time to be a part of this in some way 🙏♥️
FOR THE HEART: I’m using the words “we/our” because giving goes all the way around. Give while knowing you worthy of receiving, too! GIVE: PEACE May our actions and our words be a reminder in the chaos of things that even while we wait there is grace and freedom to trust hope, and breathe. HARMONY May we be the ones who remind others of the beautiful music we can make when we bring our voices together. LOVE There are many ways to give love, but it does not have to overwhelm us. Let us give friendship compassion appreciation closeness care …and let the list go on and on! Let us fill these things with the gift of love. BELONGING May we choose to be the ones who make space at the table for others. HOPE May we be the ones who remind others that “maybe, after everything I’ve been through there is still good in this world.” ⠀ WARMTH In a world that often feels so cold to so many, may we choose to be the ones to give kindness to those who may not have many reminders that kindness still exists. COMMUNITY Far too many people will feel lonely tonight. Perhaps we can be the ones who can show what family looks like. EMPATHY “Let me hold the door for you. I may have never walked in your shoes, but I can see your soles are worn your strength is torn under the weight of a story I have never lived before. Let me hold the door for you it is the least I can do.” ⠀ SUPPORT May we be the shoulders the hands the ears ever-reminding one another: “You are not alone here.” ⠀ TIME Time is something we can never get back, so when we give time to one another, It is the gift that truly lasts. SPACE Let us make room for one another’s presence, stories, and laughter, let our moments together be a reminder: “We need you here. You matter.” ⠀ FUN May we be the ones who make room for play, adventure, and unapologetic, childlike joy. May we dare to be excited. May we dare to make noise. Giving is not about a few people saving everyone else but about showing one another what Love looks like. This may seem impossible amidst despair and fear, but let us continue to remind one another “you belong here” in whatever way we can. You and I need this and others, too.
I enjoy many facets of technology, but one thing that infinite scrolling, in particular, has taken away from us is the unspoken satisfaction of turning a page. Finishing a book, journal, magazine, or stack of letters is rarely a tangible experience. The binds are never worn. In fact, they can be refreshed any second. We are never finished sorting. The stack is never finished. There is always something to check and something to react to. Our work here is endless. And it’s in that endlessness, we lose count of the miles traveled. Lessons we have gathered, the experiences we hold, and places we’ve been get uploaded and held hostage on other side of screen glass. My photo albums are empty, my photographs are now files. If I were to travel to Cairos, Lagos, and Oslo all in a year, I would be able to hold all of my journaling and capturing from those experiences in my hand -- organized, searchable, .zip-file-able,…convenient, yes, while also making it convenient for me to forget to hold those moments closely, with gratitude. It’s hard to “slow down” when I don’t have to. I no longer need to flip through a dictionary for definitions when the search for “meaning” renders about 3,500,000,000 results in 0.58 seconds. It doesn’t even take a full second. I don’t have any answers for all of this, but all I know is that it’s starting to make sense why it’s so hard to slow down. Technology saves me time, but what am I doing with that time, now saved? This is not meant to be a lecture on the use of technology. This isn’t even meant to be a “look up from your phone right now” speech. It’s a note of a personal realization, a discovery within a craving for slowness. I am grateful for travels in my life that have challenged me to go beyond the limits. And I am also remembering Rilke’s poem “go to the limits of your longing.” I may not even be interpreting that beautiful piece right, but I just hope that while I live in a world where not even the sky is not a limit anymore, I have boundless gratitude for life here on the ground, and all of the mountains and stacks of letters and grace that led me here.
I hope today is the day you find hope for the future in the most subtle ways. I hope when you are looking around this same old room and it seems like nothing has change, you remember that far beneath your layers, you are growing in beautiful ways. And every new day, and even every new breath is a subtle act of resilience. A reminder of a strength you may not have even realized you had. The mere fact that you’re here today is proof that for all the things that happened to you or around you are experiences you made it through, and you are still making it through, even when it doesn’t feel like it. So hold on with hope. Trust that the future can be beautiful despite all you do not know. Listen to the beat of your heart and be at awe at how it has continued to beat, year after the year, no matter the sorrows you have held. No matter the days lined with fear. Let your beautifully resilient heart remind you: there is a reason you are here. So when you can’t wrap your mind around the idea of how the future can beautiful, remember that you don’t have to. You are free to trust that this moment right in front you leads to something more. You are free to hope for life of depth, far beyond the shore. It is okay if you don’t see it yet. It is okay if there are days where you do not feel like being strong. You are still traveling along, day by day, breath by breath, a million small acts of resilience, proof that you are not finished yet. The future can still be beautiful. You are free to look forward with hope. MHN
3 Reminders for the day: 1. You’re allowed to pace yourself. I know there’s a lot on the line, and even more on your mind, but your health matters. You matter. Give your all while knowing: your worth is not attached to any of these outcomes. 2. You are not weak for needing rest. There is so much to do, and at times you feel overwhelmed by all that is being asked of you: but I just hope you always know this to be true: it does not make you weak for needing to slow down. It does not make you worth any less if you say “I can’t make it tonight.” There are times in life where we must persevere and go above and beyond, but never at the expense of our health. Never because we were made to feel that we wouldn’t be respected or worthy of love unless we met every single expectation. Keep taking deep breaths. Keep making room for moments to rest. 3. Give your all while also knowing, your worth is not attached to your accomplishments. There will be people who make decisions on how they treat you based on your successes or failures, but your worth goes beyond what they think of you. Your highs and lows are all a part of a journey that is unfolding day by day. Trust that your worth goes beyond what is seen, and every day is a part of a greater story of who you are becoming. You won’t be able to see it all today. You’re going to need to take the scenic route, the narrow path, knowing that even when you aren’t sure what’s next, hope is resilient and will last. And even if the journey takes longer than expected, you are free to have hope for the future, trusting that no matter the times you fell, you are far from finished yet. Even when it doesn’t look like it. There is so much more happening beneath the surface. MHN I wrote these words for someone else, and I also thought of myself, sophomore year of college, driving back home for Christmas break. I had worked so hard that semester, but GPA wise, it had been my worst semester yet. I was certain I had let everyone down, including myself. As I drove by countless billboards along I-75 outside of Atlanta, I think these are words I needed to hear back then.
I created these via my Instagram Story this morning. People in this community who shared their name, and a word. FOR JASMINE, ON STRENGTH One day you will look back and find: you were strong in ways you were not able to see at the time. you will be grateful for how you chose to keep going even without knowing what the future would be. FOR MYUNIQUE, ON HOPE The beautiful hope you havre for others is running wild within you, too. You have not been forgotten. There is more ahead of you. FOR EARL, ON HOPE May your hope for the future be childlike, filled with wonder, wild and free, knowing that even in the things you cannot control, you can still choose to believe. FOR DOME, ALIVE Make time for the little things that remind you: you are alive. The seeds you sow still matter even when you do not know what growth looks like. FOR MEGAN, (ENNEAGRAM) FIVE In the same way you notice the cracks in things, you have also noticed where the Light pours in. You have learned to hold it all and find peace in the tension of things. FOR BONNIE, ON BRAVE Oh what beautiful, brave work you have already done and I just hope you know even here, there is so much more to come. FOR FILZDAH, ON ACCEPTANCE In a world obsessed with how people must prove themselves worthy of love and acceptance, may you find that grace is unmerited favor that meets you were you are, giving you room to breathe and grow no matter what is unknown. FOR GRACE, ON HOPE: How beautiful it is that you are learning to look forward with confident hope even with so many things ahead of you that are still unknown. FOR GENNEAN, ON WILD How courageous it is that you have chosen to live your life in the wildwoods of trusting that even when the oak trees are climbing high around you, there is a path beneath your feet and Light will still come pouring through. MHN Leave a comment below: whose piece speaks to you the most? I am endlessly fascinated by how our stories, all so different, connect us.
♥️🌲✨You have mastered the art of saying,
Breathe. Remember that it is okay if strength looks different season to season, day by day. You are worth the quiet moment. You are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest. III Today, her strength is quiet. A gentle, wordless thing. Not bright like morning light, but felt, like wind, funneling through crowded streets. A flicker of hope, amidst unknowns: Maybe I can carry on. Silent Night, Holy Night, All Is Calm, All Is Bright The music finds its way to her ears but as she fixes her lips to sing, she cannot help but think: these moments have been anything but silent. What are you bringing? How much did you buy? When will everyone else arrive? So much is being asked of her. So much is being asked of her. And day after day, this question persists: When, oh when will I ever be able to rest? And as she travels through the day waiting for answers in the wild of her midday wonder, she is slowly beginning to realize sometimes, ‘Strength’ is the ability to take the following breath, a flicker of hope to carry on without knowing what comes next. And perhaps, even here, she is free to give her every effort without succumbing to the pressure That she has to do every single thing. She is free to be still and breathe, and this too, is strength. This too, is growth, and it matters in seasons like this. III Make room for the silent night, a gentle, resonant delight of stillness in the chaos, and grace to breathe and rest.
I know this isn’t everyone’s story and I often feel pressured to write more “happy,” thematic posts this time of year, but as I open stories people have sent to me, I am reminded that so many of us are holding so much right now in this season and I just want you to know you are not forgotten. I know poetry and art won’t “fix” it, but I just hope you know you are worthy of being seen, understood, loved in this season. Here’s a letter I emailed out moments ago, along with this art. Dear ____, I opened your submission this morning, on Christmas Eve. Considering what you shared with me about this particular time of year, I hope these words and this art can bring peace, and affirm the strength and courage that is already within you during this time. I know this has not been easy for you. and it's especially difficult with so much of this is out of your control. III How miraculous it is that through it all, your heart is slouched toward hope to create something new and tell a different story amidst all that is unknown. In the moment, it might not feel like strength but your ability to be present with joy is no small thing at all. Season after season, you have learned to find hope in the little things even without the closure your heart was longing for. Amidst everything that the word
Sometimes, you have to let go. You have to accept: some of trees you thought were evergreen would only hold leaves for a season. You have to realize that sometimes the conversations you thought would lead to more, new horizons, open doors… might not lead to the results you were looking for. But in all of this letting go, you slowly begin to find: your heart kept you breathing one breath at a time. A sign that hope is still abundant within you, even when you don’t know why. So let this be the December you always remember. The December you chose to believe: letting go did not make you weak. And you are free to start over with or without the closure. No matter the uncertainty, you are free to know peace. For all of the words you never got to say and all of the little things that will never be the same, I truly believe you are going to be okay. You will find new rhythms no matter what has changed. Because in just one month everything changed, and you kept breathing, anyway. You kept believing after everything, this was not the end of your story. And breath by breath, you learned to embrace S U R R E N D E R: “I am slowly learning to accept the way things are changing. Not a single thing I am missing has kept me from becoming.” - MHN Thank you for reading! All of these pieces are written with specific stories in mind. You are free to DM me a story/topic/question any time and I randomly select people to respond to, with art and poetry.
♥️When You’re Worried, A Poem: May you never forget how far you have traveled just to be here. You have worked so hard, you have given so much, even when you were made to feel you were not good enough. You chose to believe a greater story was unfolding. You stayed the course. And through it all, you are still here. And even though you are waiting you have been able to learn: Perhaps you can be okay before it all falls into place. And as you start to look around your heart is beginning to notice maybe, this year will not end like last year at all. You have learned to be free. You have learned to be strong. You have held onto Light when the night was too long. You have braved many fears. You have learned a new song. Through the deepest valley you have learned to carry on. This year will not end like last year at all. So may the coming days be filled with gratitude for all of the signs of courage, strength, and grace running within you and around you. Because your friends and strangers alike have made it really far, too. some of them have faced mountains they are still traveling through. High above our worries, doubts, and fears let us remember all it took just to be here. Let us grieve where must grieve and rejoice where we must rejoice. Carry on where we need to carry on. Change where we need to change, knowing every moment is wrapped in endless grace. And perhaps this is what this season is all about: trusting in the unknowns, finding gold in the little things trading fear of what’s uncertain For freedom to thrive within it. Because we don’t have to wait until we reach the other side before we acknowledge how far we’ve made it. We are allowed to celebrate how far we have come, even while we are still making progress. MHN
May we always do our best, while also knowing our worth is not attached to what we accomplish. May we always give our all while also knowing that “giving our all” looks different person to person, season by season. We are all on a journey, but none of us were meant to travel at the same pace. We can be inspired by one another without comparing ourselves to one another. We can trust that there is so much more ahead than what we see without having the answers for everything. We are free to come alive in the tension of things. We are free to find peace while we are still on the path. We are free to feel what we need to feel in this season, while knowing: hope will last. - Morgan
Even if they never say what you wanted them to say, I hope you find peace, anyway. I hope in the gaps, where closure seems impossible, you can breathe deep and trust: here, in this space, you are worthy of love. You are looking around and noticing how everything is different now, your mind is anxious about answering, “how are you?” and “it’s been a while…” and your hands are restless in your lap as you fight your way through the small talk. And I just hope you know that if your joy does not burn like a shooting star tonight, it is still alright to do what you can in the moment, at hand. Through every could’ve-should’ve-done this, being present is what matters, even if it means softer laughter, longer pauses, shorter days, new boundaries and new bridges, slowly taking their grace-filled shape. Because perhaps in the mess of things, your weary heart is still healing and the uncertainty around you cannot hinder the peace within you, and Light will pour through these cracking, falling leaves and you will be free to grieve or dance or sing: “I do not know what lies ahead of me but I will pursue peace. I will trust in the mess of things, I am loved. I am seen. I do not have answers for everything but I am letting joy into my heart. I am healing, here, on the journey, no matter what is torn apart. I will make it through this week looking for Light in little things. I will know I am whole and in grace, I am not missing anything.” MHN
How beautifully you are learning to come alive in this space even without knowing how certain things will fall in place. You are learning to express gratitude, right here, where you are, trusting that unpredictability of things cannot hinder the beating of your heart. - Morgan Harper Nichols Of all things in nature, the way that sunlight pours through flowers catches my attention the most. I’ve been trying to unpack it, and I don’t know why..but maybe I don’t have to. Maybe I can just have gratitude for the gift of noticing. What things in nature catch your attention? Photos taken by me, last summer (I thought I had accidentally deleted them and I was overwhelmed when I found them again!)
One day you will look back on this season of your life at awe of the things you made it through. You will look back with gratitude because you will realize you were stronger than you thought you were. Even though in the moment, you thought you were moving at an impossibly slow pace, you will find that all by grace, you were able to carry on, anyway. Your story was still being written, and the valleys did not keep you from the rest of the journey that awaited you. So on those days where you feel like your progress is slow, and you feel like you are stuck where you were last year, slow down and count the long nights that led you here. Count the difficult conversations you worked through. Count the little things that no longer bother you. This is progress. Strength. This is how you overcame. Even when there are still tears in your eyes. Even when you still have a heavy mind. The hurt you experienced that was out of your control does not have the power to keep you from being whole. Trust that you are still worthy of love. Trust that love is greater than fear. Working through the pain of having been hurt is anything but easy, but day by day, it becomes more and more possible. Day by day, as the autumn leaves fall off the trees and you are forced to face the winter, you can also start to see that a little more sun is pouring the branches now. People change, seasons change, and your perspective changes, too. You start to see where the Light gets in. You start to see how to make it through. MHN
I cannot tell you what tomorrow holds but I can tell you that you do just have to sort through everything tonight. I can tell you that being “alright” doesn’t always look like laughing or dancing and that’s okay...often time it’s that slow trek through the canyons that you learn to travel day by day. It’s a deep knowing (even when you can’t see it) that you are loved while you feel this way. You did not see this year turning out this way, and the plans that seemed steady have fallen out of place, but even here, even now, you have not fallen from grace; this glorious, gritty unmerited favor that shows up everyday, reminding you: you are Loved...even while you feel this way. And it is okay to say, “this is hard.” It is okay if things are not the same. It is okay if there are feelings that are strong, but they are confusing and too hard to name. For more than you were meant to sort through all of this, you were meant to trust and let go. You were meant to go through every stage it takes to learn, heal, and grow. All of this is a process. A slow journey through the canyons. A deepening into the experience of learning how to just be, and find peace, right here in the mess of things. Knowing that even when you can’t touch it or name it, you will still find the strength you need. You will wake up morning and realize: all along, you were guided. You were seen. MHN
There is no need to rush. There is no need to worry that you're going to miss out on something. Even when you feel like you should be doing something, make the rebellious choice to slow down. Look around. See what this season has for you. And perhaps the more you practice being still, the more you can begin to see that all around you, there is a life to be lived in the waiting. There are: people in this town you have never met. stories from people you know that you have not heard yet. ideas waiting for you to create them. moments that are waiting for your presence, your curiosity, your love. The only way you will truly be able to identify these moments is by slowing down to notice them. Even when you are in stagnant waters, in the stillness, you are able to look up to the sky, and see that even here, the clouds are still moving. Even here, the sun is still rising, and setting, and the wind is still blowing through. When you’ve been waiting for the longest time, it is hard to pull your attention away from this. It eats away at your joy, your hope, your strength, and you can't help but feel weak. Even when you’ve worked really hard to be patient, the smallest things can trigger what is missing from your life. Someone falling in love can remind you of the love you have not found. Someone’s great news only reminds you of your devastating news. Something good happens that was completely unexpected, and you wonder why something else could not have happened so easily. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to figure it all out right here, right now. Yes, there are things that need to be sorted through, but this moment is also calling you: to breathe deep and realize in this very moment you are gathering the strength you need that will prepare you for what’s to come. Tomorrow will still be here when it is supposed to be here. Rest in knowing that you will arrive there when you are meant to be there, and let the present moment reveal new things to you. -Words/images are excerpts from this week in my app @thestorytellerco now available on Apple AND Android! Link in the bio! Free 7 day trial (no credit card req’d) $2.99/mo! Hope to see you there this week!
In case we haven’t met, my name is Morgan Harper Nichols. I’m 29 and I live in Southern California, between L.A. and San Diego. I spent my early 20s on the road as a touring singer-songwriter, and then, in 2016, I hit a wall. I love making music but it can be pretty expensive to make, and challenging to find support to afford to keep going. At 26, this left me feeling like a failure. I had always felt like I was made to create, but I was certain I had reached the end. I felt like all of the years I had spent trying to prove I could work hard to fulfill a dream were in vain. I felt stuck. Defeated. And on November 15, 2016, for the first time in years, I opened my journal and wrote a poem: When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that brought you here. They are not accidents, and those moments were not in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing, you are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday. I got ready to share this on Instagram, but then talked myself out of it and shared in on Pinterest instead. Months later I discovered it had been repinned over a 100k times. Till this day, I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t even use tags on the Pinterest post and didn’t have many followers at that time. But it was a wake up call. A wake up call to keep creating. To keep choosing to show up with what I knew I was meant to do even though it hadn’t proven to be sustainable yet. What you see on this page is a culmination of about 14 years of struggling to find words and art for the things that had torn my mind and heart apart: being overlooked, feeling unworthy, useless, and perpetual self-doubt. I still struggle but art is my way of choosing to share and connect with others, anyway. I make art for people one person at a time. Most of the art you see on this page was inspired by a DM or email someone sent me. Send me a message anytime (link in bio). I’d be honored to hear from you! - Morgan
Be present to this season. Let the slow growth shape you. You do not have to be in rush. You only need to trust: each breath is a step forward, and even in the smallest ways, that matters. You matter. Right here, you matter. Even when growth is slow. You may not catch the attention of everyone but you matter in ways beyond what you know. You are still seen in the Light. The ground is still steady beneath your feet. The wind will push from all sides but you are still where you need to be. Breathe deep. Breathe. Your heart is stronger than you think. — MHN
How beautifully you are learning the art of surrender, the courage to let go in the wild of your unknowns, because despite all of your questions, you have found this deep inner-knowing amidst all that does not make sense, you are not alone in this. Over wild fields and hardwood floors through changing things, open doors, for every “I’m not sure I can take this anymore,” release, release one breath at a time. You are free to let it go no matter your heavy mind. Let each exhale remind you even here, there is freedom to not have answers for everything just be just be. MHN
In this letting go, I will make room for new beginnings. I will learn to trust: I have not been emptied, even though I am all too aware of what is missing. Even though this room, this town, and even my heart still feel different after all this time, I am free to rest my heavy mind, by the river of endless peace: giving my unexplainable comfort: “You are where you are meant to be. You are not missing anything. Come and rest in the grace. You are not missing anything.” And in that resting, I will discover this is what New Beginnings feel like: stumbling into the Light despite the heaviest of shadows, a wild hope for tomorrow, despite what is unknown. Today, I am starting over. Today, I will begin again. Today I will trust through the brokenness Light will still come pouring in. MHN
All of the wildflowers I’ve ever known have been countless in open fields, letting the winds have their will, and still choosing to spring and rise. Steady roots, delicate blooms, no matter which chooses to stop and notice them. And my soul finds peace at the sight of them, for I too have learned to grow in the wild of being broken open, my healing journey’s valley lows. And when I was certain I had reached my end, Light came pouring through, a hope that reached every part of me, singing “even here, there is more to you, no matter who does or does not notice you. Unfold into your bloom no matter who does or does not notice you.” - MHN
Perhaps, in the wild of the waiting, you are loved and you are seen. And your soul can still be steady, even in the chaos of things. See the trees standing high above you? The wind blowing free around you? Notice how even in the waiting, the ground is still holding you? Even on the foggiest morning, the colorless sky is filled with Light. Even in the depths of uncertainty, you are free to be alright. Let any hint of unexpected peace remind you: you are loved. You are seen. And even when it feels like nothing is changing, you are where you need to be. And love will still find you. Yes, love will still find you. For it is not some far off thing. It is running wild within you. Remember these tree trunks, rising up for broken ground. A hundred years in the making, so you could delight in them now. Seen by Light, every day, even on the foggy days. Love will still find you, even when it does not seem that way. You are not a burden. You are not too much. You are free to feel and trust: even here, you are worthy of love. - MHN
You have not missed out on what was meant for you. Even when others are receiving the same things you hope for, trust and believe: there will be other doors. You might have to wait in the hallway a little longer but I promise you: Light will still find you here. The stories you are gathering here are the stories you will keep with you for years. It is here in the stillness of it all, you start to see what truly matters. You start to notice who is really going to be there and who does not have any more space for you. And as hard as it can be to watch others move on, the good thing is this: now you know. Now you know that even with a broken heart and a heavy mind you have kept on breathing, just fine. You have found that life is still awaiting you, and you have not missed out on what was meant for you. Yes, it will look different now, and there will be afternoons and mornings you feel overwhelmed with doubt, but years down the line, you will look back and see: some of the things that broke apart in this season made it possible for you to break free, and continue the process of becoming who you were meant to be. The waiting is not in vain. The waiting is not in vain. Things are going to change, but Light will still pour through. You will wake up one morning and realize despite what was missing, you kept breathing, growing, flourishing, and you did not miss out on what was meant for you. MHN Note: the woman in the artwork does not depict anyone from a story someone submitted. It’s actually loosely based on a low quality cellphone portrait of myself :)
Just in case no one has told you lately, you are not talking up too much space. You might be too much for some, but those people will not determine who you will become. Please do but let powerful ones make you feel small. You were made to do bold things. You were meant to give your all. There will be critics and cynics but I hope they do not silence you because you were meant to use your voice even if it takes years to find the courage. Let this be your bold, honest choice. It is not too late for you to unlearn the lies that tried to define you. Yes, there is such thing as constructive criticism, but dear friend, a lot of the noise you’re hearing is actually stemming from that person’s insecurity, and it has nothing to do with you. And it does not make you weak to say, “yes, I have been hurt by their words,” because no matter how much you took their words to heart, it does not determine your worth. It might take years to figure out how to tell your story, where to use your voice, and what it looks like for you to be yourself in this world, but I promise you, it’s worth the journey. It’s worth the daily undoing of all things you feel like you should be, in bold and brave pursuit of who you truly are, beneath all of the layers. And who you are becoming in this process? She is not taking up too much space. She may not be perfect or enough for everyone, but she will still, unashamedly be great. You were made to be great. Yes, you were made to be great. Coming forth, through the fire, like gold, shining in brave, honest ways. And remember, the greatness that runs within you can be subtle. It isn’t only found under spotlights or a stage, it is woven into the layers of our very being, no matter your story, your journey, your age. You do not have to be perfect to be whole, bold, radiant soul: wrapped in grace, you are free to be who you were meant to be no matter what others say or think. MHN
May your joy run wild and free right here in the canyons of things. And may you know you are free to keep traveling no matter your present uncertainties. And as the sun inevitably sets may you know you are free to rest, with unbridled hope for tomorrow that you are far from finished yet. When the sky moves beyond the dusk May you know you are free to trust: even here, you can be alright. Trust that deep into the night, you are still free to lean into the Light. — MHN This series is a concept I’ve been working on for a long time: igniting the feeling of a children’s book, but for adults. It’s still in the process, but I wanted to go ahead and share it with you. I have always loved the magic of children’s books and the imagination they invoke, but as we get older, there’s less time for this kind of play (and unfortunately, this applies to many areas of life). As we grow older, the pages of stories drift from full color to black and white, literally and figuratively. Even though my natural aesthetic is comprised of mostly muted, neutral tones, for me, color has become a symbol of joy and childhood wonder. Using color and playful imagery has become a way of not only exploring creative curiosity but reminding me that I don’t have to take everything so seriously. Yes, there are so many grown up things I have to do, but I also need to play. I also need to create space to just be, imagine, dream. I hope this little series speaks to you in some way. I’d love to hear what you think! - Morgan
A few short words I started writing with my 5 month old in mind, and all of the mountains and valleys ahead. May we all know that even if there are no easy answers for everything we go through, we can know this: our strength and resilience is contagious. 🙏✨
I just hope you know it’s okay if this year didn’t look like how you thought it would a year ago. Yes, you can always look back and say what you should’ve have done differently, how you should’ve worked harder, or what you should’ve said that night when everything fell apart. But you can also say this to yourself: “a lot of things happened this year that I could not have foreseen. And even if I didn’t move through it all perfectly, I am no less worthy of love and a meaningful life right here, where I am.” It’s okay to change directions. Its okay to change the way you think about things. It’s okay to take a chance on a new way of seeing or doing something. It’s okay to let go and hope for better. You are not stuck on a loop. Every day is brand new. The sun never rises or sets the same way day by day. No matter how similar they all seem, those trees outside your window are not all the same. And no matter how much you feel like you should be like someone else (including your past self), you are not the same. You cannot compare what you’re doing now to what use to do. You cannot compare yourself to the people beside or above you. And you are going to be okay. Not perfect, but okay. And I know it doesn’t seem like it on these ordinary days, when the holidays are hanging over your head, and you would rather stay in bed, but trust that right here, you are still whole. And though chaos rises up around you, you are free to be well in your soul, clinging to joy and peace, right in the wild of things. As you look back on the year, may you do so with compassion. As you look forward to the future, may you do so with courage. As you lean into the present moment, lean into the lessons that you can learn here. It might not make every issue go away, but it will help you grow in the grace, where you will then realize: everything you are going through come help someone else...including yourself. There is someone a few miles away from you than can learn from all you have been through. There is strength you are gathering here that you can’t even see yet that will necessary for your next step. Trust that the journey does not have to be perfect in order to be whole and beautiful.
I know you are craving peace and I just hope you know: you might find it at the ocean, in the canyons, or perhaps when you take intentional time to breathe. I know that exhaling doesn’t change everything, especially when you’re trying to learn how thrive in the tension of so many things, but the act of release matters. Letting go over and over—it matters. Let it remind you you do not have to hold on to every little thing. There are so many things to do, so add this to your list: do something that reminds you your worth is not attached to what you accomplish. There is so much expected of you and you only want to make them proud. You want to prove you are capable and you are the one who can do this. And I hope you can keep dreaming while knowing this to be true: productivity will shape you but rest will shape you, too. You are free to rest, you are free to rest right here in the tension of things. You are free to trust that you’ll discover strength and rejuvenation when you slow down long enough to b r e a t h e MHN I started this piece a few hours ago on Instagram Live and finished it just when I finished, and sent it to the person it was for. For everything you see here, there’s a story behind it. Submit your story/topic for me to write about as a DM. Names and stories are kept private. I randomly select people every week. You will receive what I made for you in your inbox before I share it anywhere else ♥️ this is my practice of generosity. Thanks for being a part of it.
This November only: As we enter a season many would consider being a time of gathering and giving, I am giving time to a project I ONLY do about once a year: creating custom pieces you don’t have to wait to be RANDOMLY selected for! This month only (or until I run out of spaces), I will be taking commissions via my shop @garden24co. Link is in the bio, right there on the front page of my website! Normally, I only do custom pieces for free, and randomly select submissions to write for. However, for a limited time, you can have a piece created just for you or someone in your life, without having to wait to be randomly selected! How it works: 1. After you place your order, you will receive an email confirmation confirming your order 2. Within 24 hours of your order, you will receive a Custom Art Questionnaire 3. After you complete the questionnaire, I will begin working on your Custom Piece 4. You will receive one round of edits 5. Once the artwork is created and approved, we will send a digital file and Artwork Release Form allowing you to print in any format or size that you would like (for personal use). Lately, I’ve been getting more and more requests to bring this option back, so I’ve decided to do this for a limited time! I know how special it can be to give someone a gift that is personalized just for them (even if the gift is for yourself!) and if I can help make that happen in this way, I’d be honored! I absolutely LOVE making custom work and wish I could offer this all the time, but I will only be able to do a few, this month! I hope this November you can remember all the ways you have grown in courage, strength, and grace, even in the most subtle ways. You may not be where you want to be just yet, and you may be waiting for so many things to fall in place, but even here, you are still seen by Light. You are free to notice the little things and look forward to greater things. You are free to trust that even here, in the uncertainty, you are being led where you need to be. - Morgan
Even here, you are growing. When November has arrived and you feel a little restless thinking about how this month might end and how this year might end and how you are supposed to start again, you are growing, you are growing, in grace courage strength. And it is okay if it does not feel like it. It is okay if there are moments where you cannot see the way you have grown, because far beneath the surface the seeds have still been sown. The ground beneath your feet is still a bed for new beginnings. So much is changing around you but you are changing, too. You are so much more than the brokenness that you were certain would define you. It has not been easy for you. You have worked so hard to be the positive one. You have given your best in areas of your life where the effort was not returned. And this has made it so hard for you to keep going, and there have been days where you were not sure if it was even possible. But after everything, here you are, just a little stronger, holding on a little longer, and you still found room for hope. So take heart breathe deep you are still becoming who you were meant to be. Let October be October. Let November be November. And let yourself just be even in the uncertainty. You don’t have to fix everything. You don’t have solve everything. And you can still find peace and grow in the wild of changing things. MHN
Sometimes hope is the morning sun rising bold over troubled horizons, the deep river in the woods the proof of something good a place to travel to, “there is more ahead of you” but then there are times where it’s harder to find and it’s 3 am, your world spins, and you’re just breathing, you’re still breathing. for hope is running wild within you, running wild within you after everything you‘ve been through, the wild horse in barren fields hope is still alive in you everyone’s got something to say to tell you how to be okay but you know there are no words for this kind of hurt so have courage, beating heart its okay to fall apart for the grace that finds and holds you will never be far. you are stronger, you are wiser than you ever thought you could be
you’re still breathing, you’re still breathing and that means everything that means everything when it’s 3 am your world spins you’re just breathing you’re still breathing and this alone is hope —MHN Thanks for reading! As always, each of these pieces was inspired by a real story that someone sent me. I sent them the words and art before sharing it anywhere else. Swipe up to submit a story / topic for me to write about it. I randomly select all the time.
When someone hurts you, it’s hard to trust others, and it’s also hard to trust yourself. You think to yourself: “if it was possible for me to miss the signs in such a big area of my life, then I will probably also miss the signs when it comes to the smaller things.” And suddenly, any change in mood, any change of season, any change in the wind causes you anxiety. And even though the stress of it all wears you down, all you are trying to do is protect yourself. All you are trying to do is figure out how to keep this from happening again. But the truth is, there is no simple way to prepare for what lies ahead, even when the things that lie ahead are good. However, you can choose to trust that amidst all of the things you can’t control, you are still whole. Someone hurting you or betraying you doesn’t take anything away from your soul. People change, seasons change, and your perspective changes, too. You start to see where the Light gets in. You start to see how to make it through. And one day you will look back on this season of your life at awe of the things you made it through. You will look back with gratitude because you will realize you were stronger than you thought you were. Even though in the moment, you thought you were moving at an impossibly slow pace, you will find that all by grace, you were able to carry on, anyway. Your story was still being written, and the valleys did not keep you from the rest of the journey that awaited you. So on those days where you feel like your progress is slow, and you feel like you are stuck where you were last year, slow down and count the long nights that led you here. Count the difficult conversations you worked through. Count the little things that no longer bother you. This is progress. Strength. This is how you overcame. Even when there are still tears in your eyes. Even when you still have a heavy mind. The hurt you experienced that was out of your control does not have the power to keep you from being whole. Trust that you are still worthy of love. Trust that love is greater than fear. - Morgan Harper Nichols
on strength, blooming, bravery, joy and breathing — a few longer reads, for a slower Saturday. I love to share shorter pieces but I also know that sometimes there are slower moments where we’re just scrolling through, and if that’s where you are, I hope one of these words/pieces speak to you! Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite. And feel free to join me this week in the iPhone app Storyteller (android coming soon) for a new series called “Making Space.” - visit @thestorytellerco to download the free 7 day trial (obligation free - just enjoy the free 7 days!)
Let yesterday be yesterday, even though so much has changed, even though there was so much left to say, even though you are unsure how to be okay or what Love will look like along the way let yourself believe this day by itself is its own new beginning and you are allowed to hope things will get better and you will find new ways of knowing Joy. And by “things will get better” I do not mean things will be perfect. You are still deep in the forest and there are many more miles to go, but it will be better because you are learning that you are allowed to have peace within it you are allowed to be present to your story, to your journey even without the clarity your heart desired. And years ago, I know you imagined different people would have been by your side. You thought “forever” meant forever, and now you feel naive for ever even hoping for this. But I just hope you know after everything: Love is still forever. Joy is still forever. Grace is still forever: unmerited favor meeting you here in the forest, singing softly to you as dusk arrives: “do you feel the sun, my dear, and how when it is setting it still shines? Do you see the fullness above the trees reminding you, even here, you’re alive. You have not known all there is to know. You have not known all there is to know. You have known heartbreak, regret, betrayal, but you have not know all there it to know. Keep traveling, stay the course, for no matter what happens from here, you will grow.” MHN
Listen. Listen to the way your heart beats and has continued to beat through the wild of all you have been through proving that there is still so much more to you, and you survived much more than you ever thought you would be able to. And on those days where your progress does not feel like very much and you find yourself wondering if you will ever be enough, remember that a few hundred nights ago, you were not sure you’d make it here, but here you are...living on the other side of your fears. And even though you are still waiting for so many things to fall in place, you are not just waiting. You are growing into who you were meant to be. And maybe...some of the things you thought you wanted were actually rooted in something deeper that went beyond what you could see. And maybe, you will start to see those deeper, richer things when you focus more on growing, and less on worrying...letting everything fall in place the way it’s supposed to, even if it ends up looking a little different than you were expecting. I know it doesn’t feel like it in the present moment, but you have already lived through so many experiences like this. Through the highs and lows, surprises and disappointments, you have learned to keep living. You have learned the art of letting go of the way things used to be, while facing new unknowns. You have already been strong. You have already been brave, and all of this is a part of who you are today. So when you start to feel you don’t have what it takes, remember the courage you found last year. Remember the way you rose above the fears that you were not worthy of being here. Through it all, your heart persisted, you learned the ropes of being brave, and the courage you found back then is still with you today. May you never discredit how far you have come and the courageous inner work you have already done. Acknowledge your own endurance. You are allowed to own your story and the journey of who you are becoming. Listen. Listen to the way your heart beats and has continued to beat through the wild of all you have been through proving that even here, after everything, there is still so much more to you. MHN
Come and enter into the mystery and be surprised by the peace you find. You are allowed to breathe deep and take time come alive here. You are allowed trust that these unknowns will shape you in meaningful ways, even with your questions and all of the things you have not figure out how to say. You are allowed to know grace and believe that the burdens that found you do not hold you and even when the sun sets on the statues of your fallen dreams, you are free to go dancing in their shadows. You are free to let go and just be no matter who you think will be watching. Be present please, just be present be present to the mystery. Let your hope run wild and free over absolutely everything. You might feel alone at times, but I promise, in time, you will find other wanderers. You will meet other travelers who have their own questions as we all practice the art of trusting. And even if some of the people you meet are the authors and poets whose words speak to their songs and books I hope that any little flicker of hope reminds you: you were never alone in the mystery and you are free to find peace, belonging home no matter what is unknown. —Notes to my 13-year-old self Last night I had the honor to be a part of an event by @TWLOHA called #HeavyAndLight. I was reminded of the hope and community that can be found in the depths, in the shadows. Thanks to all of the kind souls who were a part of this. Enjoyed sharing the stage with my sister @jamiegrace and also @thepianofarm @swimm_music @dessa @matthewsantos @jamietworkowski @anthonyraneri @keithtuttii @k0ok0okach0o And thanks to @jonforeman, the artist whose songs were a huge part of learning how to be in the mystery when I was a teenager, feeling alone in a busy world. Thanks for allowing my sister @jamiegraceh and I to sing with you! — And I know I haven’t posted in a while, but after walking away so incredibly inspired last night, I want to do the thing again where I write for you, right here in the moment. So leave one word that has been on your mind lately and I’ll select people to write for, right here in the comments. This is just my way of saying thanks for being here, and may you find hope this week 🙏✨
May this new season help your heart begin to see letting go can be a beautiful, healing thing You might have to carry on without the answers you thought you would need but you will be led right where you need to be. You will not miss out on what was meant for you no matter who carries on without you Love will look differently in the days to come, but it will be meaningful all the same. You will find that you still matter even though so much has changed. I hope you can learn to be okay with all of the change. I hope you can celebrate what was while fully anticipating what is to come. I hope you can remember: through it all, you still matter. We still need your presence, your story, your laughter. And not everything in this season will fit together perfectly but you will still be whole you will still be able to find peace despite all you could not control. Things will look different here, things will look different here, but no matter what October brings you will still matter here. Sincerely, MHN — Thanks for reading! If you’re new here, welcome! All of my work is inspired by the stories and topics people share with me. You can submit a story any time (link in the bio). It can be about anything, or any length. Every week I randomly select people to write for and then I send them what I create before sharing it here. All stories and submissions are kept private. 🙏✨ — SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! SATURDAY, SEPT 28 COSTA MESA, CA: Come hangout at @costamakersoc with me and other makers! Come pick up some of my prints, stickers, and more all benefiting the art program at Rea Elementary School. Visit @costamakersoc for all the details. See you there!
Maybe you could try to prove yourself to them or maybe, you could just try to come alive right where you are. Maybe you would only ever make it so far if you poured all of your energy into trying to keep up. I hope you never empty yourself over someone who never filled you up. I hope you never wear yourself to the ground for those who never offered a hand to lift you. I hope you can make peace with knowing that you’ve been underestimated, misunderstood, and overlooked and you are free to have the audacity to shine on, anyway. Please let this be the season you become that version of yourself that you know you will be proud when you look back. You do not have to climb their ladder to be happy. You do not have to fall in love with them to know what it means to be loved at all. Loneliness is a strong presence, but Love is even stronger, and one of it’s strengths is finding creative ways to remind you: you are seen. Say goodbye to worry. Trust: you will be fine. You can brave this new season one day at a time. Trust you are so much more than the sum of what your critics said you would be. You are shining beautifully and brightly, no matter that ones that seemed to look through you. And as you wait for the moment where you feel truly loved and seen again, let this be the time you start to look within, and see that right here, all by grace, you are whole. You are not missing anything in the well of your soul. There is still a path beneath your feet leading you where you need to be. - MHN
Trust that the future can still be beautiful even if it looks different than what you were expecting. Trust that even here, more is unfolding beyond what you have been able to see. Even when things have changed. You may not be able to be everything to everyone, but you can still be everything you were meant to be by choosing to be present and ready to grow at every place on the journey. You have not missed out on what was meant for you because of the one who said ‘no’ to you. You have not missed out on being able to know Love and Peace just because all that fell apart this year. You are still here, and this matters more than you know. You are going to have more opportunities to live, to learn, to grow. Because years from now, you won’t remember every conversation, every thought or everything you accomplished, but I hope you remember the times you brave chose to love. I hope you remember that when times were hard, you found courage to not give up. I hope you don’t just remember the people who left, but the ones who stuck around. I hope you remember that even after the longest nights, morning Light found you, somehow. I hope you always remember that all along, through everything that was changing, you were changing, too. So if you have to say goodbye to something or someone, I hope you can trust that in time, you will be fine. Not perfect, but fine, and years down the line, life will be different, but still beautiful. You will still be whole. Even if you’re living somewhere different. Working something different. In a community or in a relationship you never could have even imagined could be possible. I hope that even here, you can take a deep breath and remember: you are far from finished yet. And as terrifying as that might be, it can also be a beautiful thing. Even here, you will become who you were meant to be. Sincerely, Morgan Harper Nichols
May the start of October remind you: you are worthy of new beginnings.  you are worthy of finding joy in this season, no matter what is still unknown. You are worthy of being able to look beyond all of the things that did not go according to plan, knowing that no matter what fell apart, there is still more ahead. As sure as the evening sky eventually surrenders to the morning horizon, may you know that the past has surrendered to the present and you are free to live fully, right here, where you are. Let October be a place of new beginnings. Take what you have learned and apply it to something new. Things will be different here, but all if it will shape you. And perhaps that can be a beautiful thing. Perhaps in all of these unknowns, you will only learn something. Let your new experiences teach you. Let them remind you: life is a journey. Let them remind you that in all things unknown, there is abundant room to grow, and to grow, exactly in the way you were meant to. And please do not be hard on yourself, no matter the pace you are traveling right now. There is nothing wrong with taking time to rest, to breathe, and slow down. You only live once, but that does not mean you have to figure it all out at once. You are allowed to take the time to learn here. You are allowed to breathe deep and be human here. Let the first October sunrise remind you: you are worthy of new beginnings in this new season, no matter your uncertainties. You are free to start over. Today is brand new, and so are you. You do not have to fix everything and make everything right before you lean into morning Light and embrace what now lies before you. Even if it means you have to leave old things behind, not everything has to be solved before you find a peace of mind. You are free to start over. Even here, in the wild of things, there is room for new beginnings. -This is an excerpt from this week's series in my iPhone app Storyteller called 'Make the Most of Where You Are.' Click the link in the bio to download the obligation-free 7-day trial! (Android coming soon!) (Rest of the message is continued in the comments...)
Full color. Hardback. New poetry. January 21, 2020: “All Along You Were Blooming.” From me, to you, hoping that it speaks to you, wherever you are. In 2017, I started sharing poetry and art on Instagram when I was experiencing deeply rooted self-doubt. It was a creative outlet when I was running low on hope. Two Octobers ago, I decided to make my work all about writing for people's stories, one person at a time. I realized it was far more valuable to be a writer who focused on just connecting with others, one by one, instead of trying to be successful or profound enough to satisfy the critics (including the inner critic). Little did I know, by making this shift, I would get the opportunity of a lifetime. I would get to publish a book like this. When I started art and poetry again, I did not know I would be here. But I do know this: I would not be here without your support! Thank you for reading these very words. Just by reading this sentence you are such a huge part of this and I just want to say thank you. And also, for whatever it is you are waiting for, I hope you can continue to take it day by day. I hope you can see that there is still a way to look back and see: All Along You Were Blooming. Pre-Order All Along You Were Blooming at the link in the bio! I’m SO excited (and also a little terrified 😅) for this book to go out into the world and I’m so glad I can finally talk about it! Thanks for the support! - Morgan
I hope that one day you will be able to look back and see that the people you have been looking up to do not hold the golden standard for how to live a “successful” life. I hope you are able to be excited to receive their stories, their wisdom, and the beautiful things they share with the world while also being excited to receive what was meant for you. You were meant to create. You were not just made to consume. You have a voice and story, too. Read their stories and listen to their music and watch their movies while also knowing: they may have shared more than you, or started working before you, but they are not worth more than you. Your story, your skills, and your presence have value all the same. And you do not have to impact the world the same way they have in order to know this is true. You may never reach the same people they reach or make a mark the way they have, but the way you choose to sow seeds love, kindness, faithfulness...these are the kind of things that last. And that matters more than any amount of fame, success, or accolades. So keep being faithful. Keep being faithful to garden that lies before you. Continue to water these plants one day at a time. Forget about how fast they are growing, and just focus on trusting that every drop of water you pour onto these anticipating plants brings life. You have the power to bring life, no matter how small or insignificant you feel. I hope that you can learn to trust that there is lasting significant to the seeds you have sown. Your life might not look like the ones who inspired you, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We are all human beings, traveling together, but the way we travel will look differently. You have a way of noticing things that I will never notice. You have lived through things that only you can tell the story of. Continue to be inspired by others while never letting their stories become so great in your mind that they cast a shadow over your own. Light is shining through your story all the same. Even in the in betweens. Even when you feel like you are so far from where you want to be. Even here, your story matters. Other people are worth being appreciated and so are you.
Your outer appearance is only one part of the picture. There is an endless depth to you, and even though we see each other in the physical, it’s what lies beneath the surface that allows us to connect in a meaningful, authentic way. You might not feel this way when certain physical characteristics have caused you to feel too different, unnoticeable, not beautiful, or even discriminated against, but no matter how many people have made you feel this way, you are still so much more than what’s on the surface, no matter the ones who haven’t seen it. It hurts to be the one who is judged for the way she looks but no matter what, you don’t deserve that. I just hope you know that no matter how loud those voices are, you can remember: “this person hasn’t even truly seen me. They do not know the depths of me. They are hurting someone else from the depths of their own hurt, and their actions do not determine my worth.” Just in case no one has told you this lately: dearest friend: you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter who does or does not see it. You are free to carry on today as the beautiful being that you are. You are free to love your skin. Your hair. Your laugh. Your sense of humor. Your sense of courage. Your sense of strength. It does not make you arrogant or too prideful to love and accept yourself as you are. The peace and confidence you find in loving yourself is what makes your inner and outer beauty radiate even more. I hope today is the day you can hold on to the beautiful truth that what makes you beautiful has nothing to do with what others see in you. It starts with the Light within and radiates outward, boldly and gracefully all at once: you are beautiful. - Morgan
Some of the most beautiful things grow in seemingly unlikely places. Plants do not only grow in the fresh soil of rolling green fields that receive the right amount of sunshine and rain. They also grow underwater, in the dark, in the winter, in the desert. They grow in the places most would never think to look. Even here, in your uncertainty, there is room for growth. There is room for you to look at your failed dreams and figure out what it would mean to start dreaming again. And it’s true, it won’t be the same when you start again, because you are not the same. You have learned and grown so much since the time you originally began. Now is not the time not to merely pick apart the flaws of the original dream, but to look at why you started and began there. It’s time to take a closer look at the things that are still probing at your curiosity all these years later. Go back to the plants you put in the ground long ago. Go back and identify the withering branches that need to be cut off and the branches that are surprisingly still hanging on. Remember, pruning plants can actually help them thrive. Reevaluating this season of your life doesn’t automatically mean throwing everything away, even if you just want a clean slate. There are still lessons that you have gathered along the way that will prepare you for whatever plants you decide to plant or nurture today. Not everything has been wasted. You can learn from where you’ve been. Those earlier dreams are still a part of your story, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of it didn’t quite work out. You can still be proud of yourself for choosing to start something. You can still have grace for yourself for the year you took a break. You can still celebrate how far you have come even if it included treading through a valley of failures and disappointments. You are in a new season now, and no matter what it looks like, beautiful things can still come to life here. You have not missed out on your growth. You have not missed out on what was meant for you. - Morgan
”You Are Worthy Of New Beginnings.” When I was designing this sweatshirt, for some reason I kept thinking about my college-age self. She changed majors 4 times. She transferred colleges 4 times. And somehow, she managed to graduate in 4 years. But at the beginning of every semester, she felt like a failure. This time of year every year, she felt like this was going to be the semester where it would all fall apart. This was the semester her flaws would finally get the best of her. I write words for others, but I am often writing for myself. “You are worthy of new beginnings” is one of those messages that I needed back then and I still need now. There are times where the new day, month, or year doesn’t feel like a new beginning. It just feels like a continuation of yesterday, in a burdening way. And I just hope we can all remember that even when we feel this, we are still worthy of new beginnings. The day is still brand new, and we are free to slow down and embrace it for what it is. It is so much more than a continuation of yesterday and it is beautiful and meaningful in its own way. May October be a month of embracing new beginnings. No matter what you been through, it is not too late for you. And you are free to find peace here. You are free to carry on with courage. Because just like your younger self may have needed to know, even in the depths of your uncertainty, you kept breathing. You kept waking up, morning after morning and it didn’t feel like it then, but that was progress. That was growth. And for all those years you made it through, that matters more than you know. COLLECTION Shop this new collection at the link in bio or my shop page, @Garden24co! ➡️ Sweatshirts are $35 and we have a very limited quantity! Sizes Xs - 3x are available! UPDATE 10/5/2019 - WOW! That was fast!! Sweatshirts are now on backorder, meaning you can still order, but they will not ship until approximately Monday, October 14. All the best to you today, Morgan
I don’t know what “thriving” will look like for you in this year of your life, but I hope it looks like Peace. I hope it looks like reading good books and having living room conversations right in the middle of your uncertainty. I hope you notice you are thriving in the most subtle ways, on the most ordinary days when it seems like nothing has changed. I hope “thriving” means saying what the heart longs to say, after finally realizing you made it a lot further than you had been giving yourself credit for. I hope you can keep that bold, unbridled hope that there is more in store for you. I hope amidst your uncertainty, you can keep the courage to come alive. I hope you keep breathing deep. I hope you thrive. — MHN This morning I opened my DMs and started writing to people who have messaged me. These are some of the results. You can submit a word or a topic or a story any time and I randomly select people to write for fairly often. Swipe to the end slide to see a little behind the scenes. Sometimes, I just sent art and a few words and sometimes it turns into a what happened this morning. Thanks for taking the time to be a part of this. Being able to create this way brings me so much joy and I always feel honored when anyone feels connected to these words. Thank you. Here’s to thriving this week 🍂
May you learn to find joy right here in the mess of things. May you learn to trust that even here, breathing deep and laughing unexpectedly is a sign of progress, release. So much is uncertain but you do not have to hold everything in. You are free to have hope for tomorrow. You are allowed to go dancing in the shadows. You do not need permission from anyone to have joy. Bold, unbridled joy that shows up in everything, even in the waiting. You do not have to explain why you choose to hope. Have hope, just because you can. Have hope with the hope that it will have a ripple effect in the lives of the hopeless.You do not have to wait for someone to give you permission to start looking where the Light pours in. So much has changed around you, and so much is changing within you. These new experiences and emotions you are feeling have had an affect on you, and they have also produced courage within...courage to see the beauty even when the unpacked boxes are still stacked up against the wall. Peace to see that in all that that is changing, your soul is still steady. Freedom to know that you are allowed to step into this present season, even while you are still trying to find your place. You are free to thrive in the change, and you are free to find joy here. You are free to find joy here. Sincerely, MHN
Do not be afraid of what is new. It will challenge you, but it will also prepare you for the depths you have been called to. Keep making connections. You might feel intimidated in this new space at times, but you do not need to shut yourself off from the world. You might not know how you will be received, but never let that make you question what you have to bring to the world. You are still learning, but you do not have to wait until you are older, wiser, more qualified, or more seasoned in order for your presence to matter. Trust that when you choose to show up and be present that your presence matters in ways that you cannot see. And one day you will look back and be so glad that you chose to stay awake in this season. You will be glad you chose to open your heart to whatever you were meant to learn here. You will be glad that even though it was not easy, you chose to carry on with courage. You chose to step forward with boldness and conviction, even when you were afraid. You will find that you grew in wisdom, and also in grace, and these are the kind of things that will prepare you, no matter what new things come your way. This season is new, but so are you. Continue to let it teach you and shape you. Keep giving your all in this season. Keep showing up with all you have, even when you do not know what is next. If you can begin to show up in these unknowns, then you will be so much more prepared for the unknowns that lie ahead. More than you can ever imagine. More tomorrow... Sincerely, Morgan Harper Nichols
Dare to keep your heart open to love. Dare to trust that through all of the times you were made to feel like you were not enough, you can still know love. You can still see how it can unfold in your life not perfectly, but honestly and beautifully. Even in your in-betweens. And perhaps love will look differently in this season. Perhaps even when the relationship has changed, you will be reminded you are seen in a new and unexpected way. Maybe the act of simply reminding one another that we are not alone is an act of love on its own. So please, dear friend, do not give up on love. It may take some time to find but that does not mean you are not enough. Keep room in your home for music. Keep room in your heart for friends. Hold onto abundance, over scarcity. Love is real and knows no end. More tomorrow... Sincerely, MHN
Through the wild of all your worries and things you wish you could have said, the fears from long ago that refuse to leave your head, in the reckless, gritty chaos of things, you are loved and you are seen, and even here, at 2 a.m., you can know boundless peace. You will find the strength you need one breath at a time and you will learn that
just a few short reminders for the weekend 🍂
You are free to start over, even though you are waiting. It doesn't matter how long you have been here. or how many times you feel like you have failed. Today is brand new, and so are you, and it is filled with a thousand opportunities to let the Light pour through. And here's what I mean: You might have moments this week that look nearly identical to moments from last week. Maybe your routine will look the same. Perhaps you will spend most of your time with the same few people or in the same rooms. Even here, there is room for a new way of seeing things. Even here, there is time to begin to look beyond the lies that your life is too uninteresting, stagnant, or dull. Because no matter how eventful our lives are, there is always the possibility that we will feel stuck. There is still a chance that we feel like we can't move forward with a dream, or the process of healing, or anything else because it seems like the walls are holding us in a tight space. And when we feel like this, everything starts to feel the same. And before we know it, the walls around us feel less like safety and more like a prison. The season we're in feels less like preparation and more like punishment. When these feelings arise, one of the best things you can do is make room in your life for contemplation. Contemplation is the ability to gaze as something until you see the inherent beauty in it. Look at the trees outside your window a little longer today. Listen to the lyrics of the song you love listening to a bit more closely. Pay attention to the distinct taste of the natural sugar in the fruit you just took a bite off. You may wonder what this has to do with starting over, and the answer is: a lot. Contemplation allows you to see things in a new way. And when you see things in a new way, you start to realize that after all, every day is still a blank page. Every moment is still a chance to start over, begin again. There is still newness here. There is still space for possibility where a change of course or a change of perspective seemed impossible. You are worthy of starting over. And I hope that gazing upon to the little things in a new way can remind of this. ☀️
There are so many places left to go, but you are free to travel slow. The world is waiting for you and this present moment is waiting too: for you to give all of your attention to all that lies before you. Because even though you thought you would be traveling a little differently and you thought you would make friends and find community a little more easily, you are still finding he courage to take this day by day, and you are learning to see Light pour in in quiet, subtle ways. You are learning amidst the noise, there is music there is laughter, and when you notice it, it matters. Yes, it truly matters. Because just for a moment, in these new unknowns, you are reminded that you are not alone. And maybe we are all on a journey home, more connected than we think. Even when we don’t speak, together we are traveling. all different, but together each a storyteller folding in and out of chapters hoping for better ever-afters despite all we are missing, we are learning there is more than what we see, and we are free to believe in hope, abundance over scarcity. So I hope the very best for you. I hope you find places and people that welcome you. I hope you can be loved as you are, without having to travel far, but if you do have to hit the road, travel slow, travel slow exhale in new unknowns. Learning as you go, forever learning as you go, knowing you are not alone. -MHN
If you’ve been made to feel like only the big moments of courage matter, I hope you know that every single breath you breathe is proof that you are finding your way in this. You are doing more than just existing. You are filling this space with life. And every moment you choose to hope is a moment you choose to thrive. Because just when you thought you could not get any stronger, you woke up this morning and realized: you managed to hold on a little longer. You managed to make it a little further than you ever thought you would, even on the days where it was a fight to notice the good. And by grace, you are still here, through the wild of all those fears. You made to October 15th. You made it another year. And even though you cannot make sense of the shadows that always seem to find you, you are still an example of beautiful truth that Light has this way finding you. Even when you do not feel seen or heard and you struggle to put the feelings into words, breathing, merely breathing, is a sign of hope all on its own, and even in the most loneliest seasons of life, you are never breathing alone. You are never breathing alone. Somehow, we all exhale. We all sing that song. So may you always know it’s okay to know you’re strong even when you do not feel that way, knowing in the moments where you feel your weakest, you are still wrapped in grace. Grace that reminds you: you were made for this life: terrifying and beautiful as it may be holding on in troubled times finding Light in little things. - MHN
Perhaps fear has taught you how to stay alive, and perhaps courage can teach you how to come alive more than ever before. Perhaps saying “yes” to this adventure will be the most terrifying thing you could ever do, but what if your heart is beating for more, and all of this is going to shape you. Maybe this is the time to say what you have been meaning to say, and to go into the depths of “I don’t know what will happen, but I will carry on, anyway,“ as you choose to live and love boldly even without the closure of yesterday. You have been letdown before. You have practical reasons for being afraid. But I hope you know: there is still a life to be lived beyond your fears. There is still time and space to come alive, as you are, right here. And remember, sometimes courage is subtle. Sometimes it’s climbing a mountain and sometimes it’s a gradual softening into forgiveness. Sometimes it’s creating boundaries. Sometimes it’s putting up walls. Courage will look, taste, and feel different for us all. The important thing is: do what you do for love. For joy. For peace that goes beyond understanding. Do what you do with a mind ready to learn, a heart ready to grow, and a soul ready to be still, despite all of the chaos you cannot control. You will not be able to travel this path perfectly, but grace will meet you here. Every day, you will be free to begin again, no matter what you have feared. I believe courage can be many things for us, and one of those things is our teachers. When we take the leap of faith, we do not know the outcome, but we know that we will learn and grow, anyway. And perhaps it is through our courage to live and love we mature and grow in wisdom. and slowly, we begin to see that even though a healthy dose of fear kept us alive, it was courage that helped us thrive. More tomorrow... Sincerely, Morgan Harper Nichols
You are stronger than you think. Even in the most subtle ways that go beyond what you can see. Every mountain you have climbed and every valley you have tread through have all been integral parts of how this life has shaped you. Never discredit yourself. You have learned so many things and through the wild of where you have been, you are stronger than you think. MHN
Perhaps, in the waiting, you are not wasting time, but doing the hard work of finding new rhythms in a quieter, slower version of life. Though the clock ticks loudly to the left, and the world moves quickly right before you, and all you can seem to think about is all that should've been figured out by now, may you whisper, 'Be still, Be still my soul. Even here even here I am whole' Because after all the time you spent trying to make this work going over every conversation questioning your feelings doubting your worth, wondering what you missed, why none of this makes sense, even then, even then, your soul was still in place, you were learning, you were growing, at a gentle, graceful pace. Even though you still wake up some days facing all the change, moments no longer shared, rooms that don't feel the same, you are not missing out on what was meant for you you are not missing out on what was meant for you Light is still pouring through, ever-preparing you ever-shaping you for the long, yet beautiful journey into the depths of the life you have been called to. MHN
Here are a few pieces I created this morning. There’s no particular “theme” because they were all written and sent to different people, but I’d love to know in the comments if you see a common thread running through them? For some reason it’s so hard for me to see how the pieces weave together, if they even weave together at all. And as I write this, I can’t help but think: isn’t life this way? It’s so hard to see how everything connects, especially when it comes to our own experiences. The previous job can feel completely unrelated to the new one. The sudden change in a relationship can feel random and sudden. The pieces of our lives can feel fragmented, and nothing like a “story being written” at all. This is why I think we need each other. Other people can notice patterns we might not be able to see. I hope everyone can have at least one or two friends in their life who notice the ways they’ve grown in strength, courage, and grace, even though so much has changed. I hope that we can all be reminded that Light is pouring in, even while wait. - Morgan
Even when you are waiting for certain things to fall in place, may you know there is still room to: BELIEVE Accept that this is true: as long as there are days ahead, there is more ahead of you. No matter how many days have felt the same, you have never lived the same day twice. You have not been in the same exact place for a single moment of your life. Each day is different. Believe that each day is different. Trust that there are all of these little places where Light gets in. And any flicker of hope you find, let that be your motivation. Let it become your inspiration. You do not need to have a grand experience or move to a new city in order to take delight in the world around you. Believe that even in the waiting, your story is being written and you do not have to remain hidden. You are allowed to come alive here. DREAM I know things haven’t always worked out for you but you don’t have to put childhood wonder behind you. That little girl who was brave and ready to take on the world has not disappeared. She has only been silenced. Let the simple act of dreaming give agency to her voice again. It’s not too late for you to just dream for the sake of dreaming. Life is hard enough, and you do not always have to appear hyper-organized and tough. Dream for better things. For yourself and those around you. CREATE You were not just made to consume. You are not just here to scroll through other people’s art and music and poetry and articles. Not everyone is an artist or a writer but I believe there are a LOT more artists than what we have seen in museums. There are MANY more great songs than what we see charting on radio. There is an ABUNDANCE of creativity running wild in all of us in a billion different ways. Creativity looks different season to season, job to job, year to year, and even day to day. Creativity is poetry and art and it’s also preparing a meal, creating a five year plan, creating space for friends to gather, creating conversations around things that matter. Create twice as much as you consume. There are so many things waiting to come alive from within you. And you can do all of this, absolutely all of this, while you’re waiting.
1.You are worthy of the same love you give 2.The same Light you see in others in shining on you, too 3.You matter just by being here 4.You are not worth any less if you need time to rest 5.Your presence alone is a symbol of love all on its own You do not have to work to prove you are worthy of love. You do not have to make everything write or fix problems in other people’s lives in order to matter. By being here, you have value. Your life has meaning. And even though the “how” can’t easily be put into words, that only means there’s more to you. This world obsessed with certainty and quick solutions. We’re expected to progress in perfectly linear lines and if anything gets messy or out of order, we’re considered less worthy. You may not be considered worthy to a certain person, or a certain group, but there is more to life than trying to climb their ladder, even when it seems like the only ladder you’re fit to climb. And perhaps, instead of trying to climb a ladder, you can go climb a mountain. Go and choose a trail that leads you through the highs and lows, because you know it is there, you will grow. You will learn to be present to yourself and to the world around you, and you will be able to just be, no matter what others say or think. Let any little bit hope you see in today’s sunrise or in this evening’s flicker of light pushes through the falling leaves remind you: even here, you are seen. You are noticing these little things because hope is still burning wild within you, even while you’re waiting. Pay attention to the slow and gradual change in your life. Pay attention to the moments you felt welcomed or like you belonged, even if it was only for a second. The clerk in the shop said ‘hello’ to you. Someone slowed down to let you in front of them on the interstate. You heard a song that you felt like was written for you. You might be waiting on others to notice you or return the love you give, but in the meantime, you are free to live. You are free to trust that Love runs wild and abundantly, and finds you, even in the chaos of things. - MHN
How you have grown since October of last year 1. You are a year older than you were last year (and that matters, because not everyone makes it this far). 2. Relationships have changed in your life, and you’re still here. 3. You found the courage to keep holding on. 4. You made it all the way to October, once again. 5. You laughed on a day you weren’t planning on it. 6. You have photographs in your phone that you might not even remember that captured light in the smallest thing (a plant, a tree, architecture, smile from a friend...). 7. You made the choice to use your voice, even when you weren’t sure how you’d be received. 8. You worked really hard on something even though you didn’t know what the results would be. 9. You overcame the lie that you’re weren’t good enough by choosing to show up (at work, at school, in your community, or in your relationships...). 10. You learned an important lesson you did not know this time last year. 11. You found strength to exhale over and over again. 12. You woke up to a new day that serves as proof: you are more than where you have been. There are so many ways you are still growing but I just hope you can take time to have gratitude for your progress. Slow growth is not a weakness and every day you are continuing to unfold into your bloom which is beautiful, grace-filled proof: all along, there was more to you. All along, there was more to you. MHN Which of the 12 stand out to you the most when you think about how you’ve grown? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!