By Sara Barnes – Have you ever thought about starting a new project, talked about starting it, but kept holding off for the “right” time? I often suf­fer from this, even going as far as plan­ning to make a plan. Ha! Most of the time, I end up procrastinating.

The truth is, there’s often no right time to start something—you just have to jump in with both feet and figure things out as they come. It’s a scary prospect, but one that’s made a little bit easier with the help of artist and designer Meera Lee Patel’s beautifully-illustrated workbook/journal, Start Where You Are: A Jour­nal for Self Explo­ration. The book is intended for you get to know yourself better by through a series of exercises that include writing, drawing, and my favorite, chart-making.

“By taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.” – Meera Lee Patel

In addition to the helpful workbook aspect, the journal is packed with inspiring hand-lettered quotes from writers, artists and other visionaries, and is wonderfully decorated with watercolor paintings done in Meera’s vibrant signature style.

Looking through it, I’m already excited to begin! If you decide to buy the journal, please let me know in the comments section, as I would love to hear your feedback. Maybe we can organize a little online meet up every once and a while to discuss our progress?

Below are some of my favorite spreads, but the overall book is so stunning. I’d recommend looking through the entire thing again and again!










To see more of Meera’s work, check out her website.

About the contributor

SBarnes_portraitSara Barnes is a Baltimore-based blogger and project planner. Her background is in illustration and fine arts, and she writes for sites like My Modern Met, Beautiful/Decay, and Craftsy. In addition, she runs her own blog called Brown Paper Bag that celebrates beautiful and clever illustrations. It highlights the field in its many changing forms and finds inspiration from illustrators working in ceramics, paper sculpting, tattoos, embroidery, and more! Follow Sara on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest and Instagram.