Welcome (back!) to this little series dedicating to celebrating the steps we have taken on this journey of creativity. It is a way of helping us keep a balance between all that we want to do and what we have already done. You can read more about the story behind the ‘Celebrating’ series here
If you are anything like me, you may suffer from wanting to do it ALL and do it NOW – a recipe for overwhelm if there ever was one. This week, I am realising that its not just about the goals but about the process…how we treat ourselves and others as we walk the path of fulfilling our life’s dreams. It may be great to tick off all the to do’s on our list…make beautiful stuff…write excellent words…but if at the end of it we have treated ourselves like the harshest task master and neglected our relationships and our bodies, then something is amiss. I am realising that with the amount of energy, determination and drive that I possess, I can lack gentleness towards myself and others in my pursuit of my passions. That is why this space is good for me. It is teaching me to pause before getting on with the next thing. I have never appreciated the power of the ‘pause’ before. This week, I have noticed myself allowing more time for pausing…momentarily slowing and changing the gear so that my pace is not so frenetic.
So, the questions I pose to myself and you this week is “What steps on your journey have you taken that you want to pause to acknowledge and celebrate?” and “How have you treated yourself and others on the way?” Our celebrations are not just about what we did but how we were in the midst of our doing. How are we dealing with our selves, our internal processes, those around us? If we felt overwhelmed, how did we cope with that? Better than normal? Than that is a cause for celebration! This week, I started feeling overwhelmed but I managed it so much better than normal and I feel really good that I was kinder and gentler to myself – its a major thing for me.
One thing I did this week has helped me enormously. After 18 months of leaving my profession to take up the creative life, I finally realised I could benefit from applying some of my old time and task management principles. So, here’s what I did.
1. I worked out what the broad areas of my life are from which actions and tasks flow. I came up with 7. Household, Family Fun, Art Making, Creative Business Admin & Development, Home Craft, Community & Charity and a last category that is about my own personal and spiritual development.
2. I gathered all the notebooks that had jobs and ideas jotted in them. I got a brand new book and some stick on tabs from a stationers.
3. I made a tab for each of the 7 areas of my life. I went through all my ideas and to do lists and transferred them all into the appropriate section of the new book. This book is now called “My Capture List”…the place where I capture all the thoughts, ideas and things I need to do so that I don’t have to hold them in my head or panic about having forgotten something. The calm this process brought was great…and while my task master was telling me I was taking waytoo much time making my book look like it wanted to, I ignored that voice as I was aware I’d struck on something important.
4. I then went through each area of my life and picked a manageable number of things important for me TO DO do in the next week or so. This is helping me restore balance between all the areas of my life (know that feeling when you spend loads of time on creative business and little on actually creating?). It is also helping me keep my TO DO list manageable, because it is this To Do list that I look at, not the Capture List with all the 101 jobs it inevitably contains.
5. I am keeping this (now sacred!) book close by so that as soon as remember something that needs doing I can jot it down. My intention is that at the start of each week, I spend 15 minutes (and maybe 5 mins at the start of the day), going through every idea and task and deciding what is important to do for now. That feeling of overwhelm is fading. Hurray!
So, this week, I have (re)discovered my own way to manage my time, my tasks – my panic about tasks and the time there is to do them in!
In the midst of all this process, a beautiful evening spent with two creative bloggers and fellow course members on Kelly Rae’s Flying Lessons – Amelia (who lives in the same town as me) and Louise Gale from New York, who was in South London visiting her parents and got us all together for which I am very grateful. It is amazing meeting people for the first time and feeling so relaxed and able to talk from your heart straight away. And talk we did…about our journeys, our art, our feelings about our art, our dreams and about the raw, beautiful power of creativity and all the mystery it contains. Wonderful.
Now I’d love to hear about your week…