It’s funny how moments string together, and before you realize it one moment has turned into one year. It’s been many moments (and in this case, many years) since my pen took to paper and flushed out how I really feel.
For the past while, I’ve been wanting to turn down the dial on a lot of my feelings because there is so much sadness in the world. Between politics, bad things happening to friends and family, and dealing with the challenges of motherhood, I’ve found myself without much energy left to deal with my own thoughts… especially if those thoughts make me think about things more deeply.
There is SO MUCH noise in our worlds. A lot of it is wonderful, happy noise… but then there’s the noise that feels nice at the time, but it can be a big distraction and leaves you feeling depleted. You know what I mean? The noise that makes you compare yourself to others or the way that you are as a mother, noise that makes you feel less than because you don’t have the best seasonal wardrobe, or don’t have the right following… or whatever it is that you’re tuned in to. As I dealt with anxiety this past year, I was hurriedly looking for something (anything) to replace that awful, horrible out-of-control feeling. I would take a ticket to anywhere, to be sitting with anyone else but myself at the time. So, what did I do? I found distraction, just about anywhere I could. I would scroll on my phone, go out with friends that I knew wouldn’t dig too deeply, or watch hours of television. Of course, none of those things are necessarily bad, but my intention was to use them so that I didn’t have to spend time sitting with my own thoughts.
After months of distraction, I’ve come to terms with the fact that we can only better ourselves if we look at the whole of how we are doing. It’s a relief, quite honestly. I’m proud of myself for being patient. It sometimes takes time for the rest of you to catch up to your heart.
Next week, we are heading up to Maine for four nights and I cannot wait to sit on the porch with a glass of wine in hand, listening to the waves crash below. Habits are hard to break, but I’m hoping little by little I can chip away and be more present. In addition to welcoming silence, I am seeking more ways to foster my creativity… something that I have definitely put on the back burner. You may not know this about me, but I used to write a lot. I would read at poetry slams in Paris and Hartford, the words echoing in every fiber of my being. I would make art with my poetry. Combining color and texture and words to make something that meant something. I’m not sure what this next creative phase will bring my way, but I am ready to see.
In my experience, one of the biggest road blocks to creative expression is simply not making time or space for it. You have to set yourself up for success! These are a few things that I am doing to encourage creativity:
Making time to write.
I love listening to music or podcasts that inspire me, and just letting the words flow. Most of them are private, and won’t end up anywhere but in my back pocket. They aren’t for show, or even for dialogue. I have learned over the years just how powerful expression is, even if it is for your own personal consumption. I am letting myself tap into that space and not feeling afraid for what may come out. It’s a beautiful thing to just let go.
I have always enjoyed and felt the benefits of meditation, but it’s something that I go in and out of the habit of exercising. As time is at a minimum these days, I’ve been loving short meditations that I can do at bedtime or as I’m walking. These are the times where I often need a reset. I’ve been using the Rituals app, which I love because you simply select 5, 10 or 15 minutes (or larger time increments) and it’s so easy. I have always loved Deepak Chopra (I find his voice so soothing) and have been finding meditative podcasts to listen to as well. If you have any meditations you love, definitely let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new ones to add to my rotation.
Getting outside (and offline).
The summer months are so wonderful, but so busy for us. I love this time of year as things start to slow down and I am often craving hot soup, cozy walks, and warm socks. Everything feels like its main purpose is to nurture me in ways that are healthy and helpful. It’s not happening yet, but soon the air will get crisp and refreshing and I’ll crave walks outdoors to just breathe it in. There’s something so comforting (and clarifying) about this season, and as an extroverted introvert :), I really relish in the act of intentionally slowing down.
Taking baths and practicing self-care rituals.
Ever since we moved into our home (8 years ago!!), I’ve been wanting to redo our bathroom. It’s fine and it works for our needs, but it’s not nice or spa-like, by any stretch of the imagination. For years, I would avoid taking a bath because it simply wasn’t inviting. I would take baths on vacation, and was always reminded of just how soothing they are. My joints have been aching lately, especially my elbows. It is so weird, but the doctor thinks it is hormonal and is probably tied to weaning. I have been taking baths to ease the soreness. It has helped my joints, but also has been amazing for my mind. It is an incredible way to unwind. I pour two cups of Epsom salt, some baking soda, and 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil. I dim the lights and just lay in the warm water for 20 minutes. After I get out of the tub, I wrap myself in a warm towel and then my robe and let the toxins continue to drain out and the stillness to pour in. It’s also a good reminder that although a renovated bathroom would be amazing, it’s not a necessity. If you wait for the right or best moment, you will often miss out on something that could be enjoyable right now.
I’ll be sure to share more, as this new journey is just beginning to unfold. I am really excited to harness my feelings and creativity and see where it leads me. I’d love to know, how does your creativity manifest? Are you slowing down these days? Thanks as always for being here. It means a lot to me. xoxo