Tag Archives: creative life

cultivating creativity

Creativity is a huge part of my world.  I see my world through the lens of a photographer, remember things with a writer’s pen, and dream with a painter’s brush.  My soul breathes creativity, and it warms my heart to know that my children have inherited that gene from me.  While it sometimes breeds frustration when we cannot achieve the product that we have dreamed of in our mind’s eye, the process is still very important.  As I watched my younger one crochet his own creations at the tender age of ten years old, he can see what he wants to create.  He has taken my guidance and moved beyond what I have given him and created more…turned it into his.

What comes with this territory is frustration, upset, sometimes a couple tears, but then it ends in pure joy.  The joy that you don’t get from buying an item, but one of soulful satisfaction for doing it yourself.  It may not be perfect.  It may not be the product envisioned, but it is a unique, one of a kind item that was created with love, determination, creativity, positive reinforcement, and joy.

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the concept of happiness

I think we all struggle with being happy from time to time.  The ebbs and flows of the emotional sea don’t stay constant in an euphoric state.  There are a myriad of quotes that attempt to explain why it’s ok.  

Without the rain, there would never be rainbows.

Insert your favourite quote here…

Sometimes I think happiness is a choice.  Sometimes I struggle with the hand I’ve been dealt in life and wonder why I’ve been given what I have, then wallow in self pity because of it.  I think it safe to assume we have all been there.  

So here I am, contemplating this concept of happiness.  As I read more and more about those who have less and less, it really does appear to be a conscious decision on whether or not we choose to be happy.  Interesting concept.  I’ve been reading how we can only have enough energy to make so many decisions in one day, so paring down to necessary items can reduce the number of unnecessary decisions being made in a day which leaves you with the energy to focus on the more important  decisions.  Maybe there’s something to that.  Less trivial decisions mean you can devote time to the meaningful stuff. By not putting off the meaningful stuff means less stress of knowing there is a weight on your shoulders waiting for you to address it…that looming dark cloud of problems needing to be tackled.

Happiness as a choice means you choose to let some things go. Like in meditation, we notice those thoughts entering in, acknowledge them, and mentally sweep them away.  Perhaps unhappiness can be something like that in our consciousness.

What if happiness truly is independent of our possessions?

There are a lot of people who would argue against this statement.  Any business who depends on consumerism. If the concept of happiness independent of material goods caught on, many of these businesspeople would no longer be making their millions of dollars a year. My materialistic ex would never agree with this statement, particularly when he bought four brand-spanking-new vehicles in a span of two years.  But there are many, many people in our first world countries who choose to subscribe to this concept of minimalism and the decision to be happy.  This happiness seems to resonate on a higher frequency. This is something I have experienced. It is incredibly satisfying. Then to find the consumerism re-enter my life, slowly at first, it has made a negative impact on my life.  Decisions to clean and declutter make me depressed. It’s like a punishment that keeps me from doing what I love.  I want to create. I want to write, paint, be creative in my post production for my photography, but it all gets put aside because how do I justify doing things that bring me joy when I have a mess everywhere, no space to work, and have problems finding the things I would need to accomplish my creative product?

So, here.  This is the concept of happiness.  I am choosing to be happy. I am tackling the evils of consumerism and materialistic ways.  I am removing these unnecessary things from my space and allowing happiness to move in.  Happiness is a much better housemate. 

I choose happiness.

make your heart happy

Everyone needs to take time to do what makes their heart sing.  Whatever that may be for you, do it.

My heart sings when I do what is authentic to my being.  Maybe I’m creating something..painting, writing, or photographing.  Maybe I’m roadtripping with the two most special young men in my world.

Whatever it is, don’t wait.

Don’t wait for tomorrow.  Don’t wait for next week.  Don’t wait until the ‘time is right’.  Tomorrow never hits.  Next week always gets pushed back.  The time is never right.  Make the time.  We live this life once, and none of us are getting out alive.  Create happiness. Live love.  Sing and dance in the rain.  Go hunting dinosaurs.  Look for stars and chase rainbows.  Leave a legacy that people can look at your live and know that you’ve lived it well.

Namaste

recognize what’s important

Life pulls us in so many directions.  There are endless avenues we can take, and someone or something pulling or pushing us into so many of them.  So, what is important? Which of these paths are the ones that mean the most to you?  Which ones do you travel down?

Tough call.

One may lead you down a successful career path.  Another may lead to a family centred life.  Yet another may be a life of travel and exotic locations.  Some may have children, others may leave you single and free of ties.

So, how do we know what is most important for us, each as individuals?

I think what we need to do is really listen…pay attention to what makes sense in our lives.  What we want, what we need, and who else we want involved.

No easy task.

Some things are laid out for us before getting to the point of asking these questions.  So we work with what we have.  But happiness should never be the cost.  There are always ways to find another path to that particular avenue that our souls so desperately want to be walking down.

What if you wanted to be an artist, but you were pushed into accounting?  There you are, working at a desk, crunching numbers all day.  Doing this without allowing yourself the freedom to do what you truly love is a slow and painful demise.  Maybe your evenings are spent painting or sculpting.  Maybe you take classes to develop your artistic skills.  Just because your career describes you as an accountant, that does not define who you are.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I do what I do, professionally.  But personally, I am an artist, a writer, a photographer, an adventurer.

What’s not as important is how clean my floors are, how many dust bunnies live in the corners behind the sofa, how many weeds are growing in my garden, or how big the pile of laundry is.

We live this life but once.  None of us are getting out alive.  So do what makes you happy.  Recognize, and make time for what is most important for you.

growth 

I have spent this past week in an intensive course with strangers from many different backgrounds and disciplines. I have connected with a number of individuals that I likely would not have met if it were not for this course. 

I cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am for this opportunity. 

I walked in completely unsure as to what to expect. I had an open mind, but still wondered what would they tell me that I didn’t already know. Turns out, there was quite a bit, and it was amazing!  This course carries on for one more week, and I am looking forward to the rest of it. 

Behind the learning, I am looking forward to seeing the others in my cohort. And I am hoping to be able to forge some long term friendships with many of them. 

Keeping an open mind is a start to growing as a person. I am enjoying the journey and I hope it never ends. 

how much time in a week

What can you do in a week’s time when you put your mind and determination into it?  Turns out quite a bit.

This week, I had set a goal to give my son’s room a complete make over.  I wanted to have certain projects done by the end of July so that I could have a week of mental and physical rest before starting my next career chapter.  This included his room.  I have wanted to repaint his room since I bought our home, and the carpet in there simply had to go.  Well, this was the time to do it.  From Sunday last week to today, I worked a full week.  I had something going on every night after work, and then, once I finally got home, I got to work on his room.

I tore out the carpet and underlay.  Primed and painted the walls.  Stained some shelving pieces and pine crates to make him a creative shelving unit.  Laid down the new flooring.  Screwed the shelving unit together.  Put his furniture back in (but in a different configuration that makes the room much nicer).  Screwed his wall shelves back on the walls.  Hung some art.  Gave Jack the Tangerine Gecko a home right next to my son’s bed.

My hands are sore, my knee is a wreck, I am physically exhausted, but my heart is full and I await his reaction to his newly renovated room.  He knew I would be doing the work this week, but I wonder if he has thought about it while he’s been away at his father’s.  Oh how I wish his father wasn’t such an ass and would let me speak with them at least to say goodnight.  But I digress.

Alas, before he gets to see his new space, the plan is a picnic dinner in the park as soon as I get them back, and hunting Pokémon with them in Pokémon Go!  Such a treat and what great family time to be had!

imagine this

When is the last time you allowed yourself to run away with your imagination?  To get caught up in the inertia of fantasy?  Have we all become too grown up to believe in magic and miracles?  Has the time passed where we are allowed to dream fantastical dreams and wish for something more than the drudgery of daily life?

I’d like to think not.

This week, I met someone who shares the same philosophy as I have in this regard, and I assure you, just because we are all adults living in a very real and fast-paced world, there is still time to experience this.  It has left me with a dreamy state of mind.  A euphoric sense, and a fairly permanent smile on my face.

My advice to you?  Forget your responsibilities, at least for an hour.  Go outside and play in the garden with a childlike sense of irresponsibility.  Forget the bills and the work-related headaches.  Forget the challenges we are all presented with, just for an hour.  Dream, just for a little while, that perhaps there is more to life than what you see.

Perhaps you too, will find just a little magic.

living a creative life

january blog image.jpgReading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic hasn’t been prolifically profound for me, but more of a reaffirmation of what I have been feeling as I return to the creative being I was before having my individuality swallowed up by the man I was attached to for 25 years (and now still in the process of divorcing). Creative living is possible for everyone. I have a creative life because now I do what I choose. As Ms. Gilbert wrote, “…the golden rule in my family is this: If you’re supporting yourself financially and you’re not bothering anyone else, then you’re free to do whatever you want with your life.” 

Of course, society has placed its boundaries that we must live within. Don’t break the law, follow the commandments, etc., however there is still much room for flexibility and creative life. I have my career, but once I put in my time, the rest of my day is up to me and how I choose to live it. So, what do I do?

That depends.

Some days, not much. Some days are filled with road trips and photography, hiking and wanderlust. Other days are spent crocheting little characters for my kids. Some are spent writing or drawing or painting. Rarely is time wasted on television. In fact, all I have is Netflix for those particular times when all I want is to fall asleep with something mindnumbing in the background that I know I will never pay attention to full through to the end. We all have those days, right?

Creativity was a way of life for me when I was younger. I lost that when my exhusband chose to be lame and depend on my working like a workhorse, spending countless hours working overtime simply for him to be able to sit on his ass and play computer games for two decades. I lost my creativity because I lost me. 

I suppose that begs the question “what have I done to facilitate creative living?”  Well, a good part of that is clearing space. Physical space, mental space, emotional space.  I’ve been working on the emotional space issue for a while. It’s better, but like anything, there is still work to be done.  Clearing mental space and physical space to me are fairly synonymous. As I deep clean and go through boxes of things, those things that have a negative memory or feeling attached to it have to go.  I don’t care what it is.  A vase that I loved dearly for years gets donated because all I remember when I look at it was how my soon-to-be exhusband complained how I wasted money on useless things like that. Christmas decorations that signified events in my former life, like getting married or moving to a new home…gone. Anything that does not bring joy to my mental space has to go.  As I work through this task, my physical space clears up too.  And while I’m at it, the basement needs a new coat of paint to cover the god-awful brown that my entire house was painted with when I bought it nearly three years ago.

What is being created is a new space in that freshly painted and repurposed basement.  A creative space with an easel for painting, a table for drawing and other creative projects like polymer clay and whatever else comes to mind. An area for my computer desk so it no longer occupies space in my bedroom. Maybe some chalkboard paint on the wall, framed, just for fun.

I am certain there will be more to do.  It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it?