Through July I’ll be sharing a gentle prompt each week loosely themed on creativity. It’s about creating space to explore without pressure of performing, play without fear of failure and simply step back for a moment to reconnect. What better time to slow down than during the Summer?
Feel free to join in if you want to. No pressure whatsoever. Leave a comment here or tag me on instagram and use the hashtag #slowsummercreativity.
As I embarked on my tidying odyssey last summer, I slowly caught up with my life just as it was at that moment in time. Somehow tidying my things left space for me to hear my own thoughts.
Slowly, I began to listen to the tiny whisper in my head wanting to write and wanting to get the sewing machine out. In between all the things I felt I had to do and ought to do and should do, I began to indulge that tiny whisper.
Write!? I can’t write! Sew!? I can’t waste my time sewing! Hello, panicky voice inside my head. Yes, I know you’re there.
Yet, I indulged my curiosity anyway. I pursued some of the questions swimming around my head and I sat down by the sewing machine. I knit and I let the hazy outlines of dreams unfold. In a way, this blog sprang out of that empty space I had created. It came into shape from an unarticulated idea, like the first spindly shoots of a delicate plant. I let myself nurture it. And now, here I am writing a blog post. Yet I don’t know what kind of plant it is.
I’m writing and making, and sharing my journey as I go. Not without fear, definitely not, and still uncomfortably balancing the imperfect reality of where I am with the wishful ideal of where I want to be. But I’m doing it anyway – one word at the time, one stitch at the time – and that is a surprisingly good feeling.
I realise, now, that the tiny whisper of curiosity is my friend and not my enemy.
Indulge your curiosity and eat the cake
On this second week of the Slow Summer Creativity series I’ll be letting myself indulge my curiosity again. For when are you ever allowed to indulge? Never really. There’s always something in the way: there’s not enough time or it’s not the right time or you should be doing this or that instead.
Life gets in the way, and that’s just life. But how about you indulge a little anyway? How about doing just a little of that thing you’re always wanting to do but never find the time for? You know, maybe just sit down and read that book. Go to that exhibition. See that movie. Start knitting that sweater. Buy those crayons. Eat that cake.
What has indulging to do with creativity? Well, it shows you where you are right now. It makes plain the difference between what you feel you should be pursuing and what you actually want to be doing now. It opens up to the person you are, instead of who you wish you were. That is where creativity thrives: in the space that is uniquely yours.
Of course, I know you can’t always be doing just what you want yourself. Yes, I realise there are things you actually have to do and bills to pay and mouths to feed. But there might be a little space in between all that. There might even be more space than you think. It’s worth a try.
What will I be doing this week? Well, eating cake of course! And I’ll be dipping into the books that have waited patiently on my bedside table this past month or so. That will have to be in those stolen moments of quiet in between the constant chattering of the soon-to-be three year old.