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 @wornvalues on instagram and use the hashtag #slowsummercreativity.
Last year, around this time, I was knee deep in stuff. Inspired by Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I had started an epic tidying journey. While thinking it would take a few days, I actually ended up spending four whole weeks just going through all our things.
In the process I battled overwhelm and guilt. I felt the disappointment over all the dreams and plans that hadn’t come to be. I felt the embarrassment of my younger self’s grandiose plans to be an Artist, with a capital A. I laughed. I cried. I kept going.
Then came the relief of letting go. After all, it’s just stuff.
In the course of four Summer weeks I had physically picked up and held almost every single object I owned. That was a surprisingly powerful experience. Through the process I felt that strict self-criticising voice inside my head loosen its tight grip. The embarrassment let go a little and the disappointment washed away.
Decluttering created space: airy cupboards and tidy drawers, but most importantly mental space to let myself be just exactly where I was at that moment in my life: in transition.
It’s Summer one year later. Again I find my ideas spinning ahead of me and my hopes caught up in dreams not yet materialised. There’s so much I want to do! And the panicky voice inside my head goes: There’s not enough time!!
That, dear friend, is a battle you can never win. There is enough time. Breathe in. Breathe out. There is enough time. It is making use of the time we do have that is the tricky part.
In honour of those four Summer weeks I spent decluttering, I want to step back and create space again: mental space for creative balance. As I ease into holiday mode, I’m allowing myself to slow down. To counteract the pressure I feel to be always productive and continually moving forwards, I’ll be practicing just letting go instead. Letting go and moving nowhere.
I’ll be sleeping, eating and spending time with the people around me. I’ll be listening to my own thoughts, the wind in the trees and the gentle rumble of the city. I may be tidying, I may not. I’ll most likely be knitting, preferably something utterly mindless, as I let my head fill with slow, woolly thoughts.
Will you join me?