We were delighted to interview Dani DiPirro, the writer and designer behind the colorful & encouraging Instagram account @positivelypresent. Read the interview to learn about the importance of creativity and presence!
What was your life goal when you were 10?
I wanted to be a writer.
What are some of the choices you’ve made that made you who you are?
Focusing on my creative strengths and realizing that I could pursue them as a career was one of the choices that most impacted who I am today. Choosing to get sober eight years ago also has had an incredibly positive impact on my life.
What role does Instagram play in your life?
Instagram plays a big role in my life because it’s one of the places where I get to share my work and connect with my audience. It’s also one of my go-to places to seek inspiration and motivation. Many people have classified Instagram as a negative place where you’re likely to see “perfect” images of celebrities, models, and everyday people, but it’s all about who you follow. I almost exclusively follow creative, inspiration-focused content so, for me, Instagram is a pick-me-up.
Many people have classified Instagram as a negative place where you’re likely to see “perfect” images of celebrities, models, and everyday people, but it’s all about who you follow.
What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
On a perfect day, I’d be creating something I’m really proud of in a cozy, comfortable environment. Which, if I’m honest, is how I spend a lot of my days!
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Candy. I know it has zero nutritional value, but I love it.
What’s your definition of self-love? What’s the first step to bringing more self-love into your daily life?
Self-love begins with self-awareness, knowing who you’ve been, who you are now, and who you want to be in the future. Once you identify those three aspects of yourself, you can begin assessing what you do and don’t want in your life and making choices that correspond with what you value. Self-love can include some self-care things (bubble baths, a good book, quiet time), but it’s really about knowing what you value, understanding your worth, and focusing your attention on seeking the experiences, people, and mindsets that bring you closer to who you want to be in the future.
In the moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you reconnect with your purpose?
It sounds cliche, but gratitude does the trick every time. When I’m struggling, doubtful, or overwhelmed, focusing on what’s going right (even if that’s simply the fact that I’m alive!) is my go-to way to get my mindset in the right place to take positive action.
Where is your favourite place in the world and what makes it so special?
My favorite place in the world is my home. In it, I’m surrounded by art I’ve chosen, bright colors that inspire me, and, most importantly, I have my pup by my side.
Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
For the past few years (not a long time), I’ve been thinking about writing a book about creativity, my creative process, and how people who believe they are “not creative” can connect with their creativity. I’m working on it now so hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to say I’ve done it!
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
It’s probably a tie: starting Positively Present in 2009 and getting sober in 2010 are two of them (so far!).
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
I rarely find myself in a creative rut (I tend to have way too many ideas and not enough time to do them), but I get lots of great inspiration through reading and via Pinterest. Words are what stimulates me most, so whether it’s in a book or a hand-lettered quote, I look to them for inspiration.
What lightens you up/excites you? (a project to work on, booking a plane ticket, meeting new people, etc.)
Creating something and imagining the perfect marriage between words and art. Thinking of a new idea and beginning a project are two of the best feelings (doing the work, on the other hand, is a bit more challenging!).
What does the world need more of? Less of?
The world needs more self-love. If everyone learned to pay attention to their values, ideas, and beliefs (rather than being swayed by many external factors, many of which are designed to encourage self-hate), the world would be a much better place. Loving and caring about others begins with loving and caring about ourselves.
If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be?
Tough question, but I’d have to say, Oprah. She seems very wise, has had a fabulous career, and has dedicated a great deal of her life to helping and inspiring others. Beyonce would be a close second thought.
A book or a film that transformed your life?
It’s hard to choose just one book because I read so much and most books impact me in some way or another, but I’d have to say that Loving What Is by Byron Katie had a big impact on how I view the world and taught me the importance of paying attention to my thoughts: life-changing.
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