I don’t make New Year’s resolutions in January, instead preferring to make small, incremental changes whenever things need changing. Last week I wrote about making time for self care, and the number of comments and messages I received in response indicated that a lot of you reading have been through similar experiences of your own. This week, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things I’ve been doing lately – some things that might be useful, or beneficial to other people. My word for the year in 2019 is ‘grow’, and as much as I want to keep growing personally, through my blog and my writing, I also like to sprinkle some little seeds.
This month I’ve started working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The book is really a course, focused on discovering (and rediscovering) our own creative selves. The assumption is that everyone is creative and might just need a bit of ‘unblocking’ to realise it. The book divides the course into 12 weeks, with an outline chapter for each week and a series of associated exercises and tasks.
The cornerstones of the programme are two activities – ‘morning pages’ and ‘artist dates’ – which might sound a bit woo-hoo but would actually be beneficial to anyone. Morning pages are 3 pages of longhand journaling, done first thing in the morning – a basic ‘brain drain’, designed to clear your head of any baggage and forge a path for creative thinking throughout the day. Artist dates sound a bit fancy but are really just time set aside every week to do something for yourself (alone) that fills your creative well up. No distractions, no obligations – one of the things I’ve realised since reading this book is how much our minds are clogged up with all the information we’re continually being fed. So far, I’ve chosen to pop out for a coffee during the weekly shopping round or while I’m in town doing a few errands – no phone time, or reading, just sitting absorbing what’s going on in the world. It may sound daft but I find it amazing how we’ve all lost the ability to just sit quietly with ourselves for five minutes (no preaching, I include myself in this!) A bit like doing yoga, the programme is opening my eyes to a few things already (without my actually realising they had been shut). I’ll let you know in 3 months or so how it works out anyway. If my name wasn’t already Gail, I’d do that whole Julie and Julia thing (great movie, if you haven’t seen it, by the way 🙂 ).
I’ve been charting progress in my bullet journal – how many times I managed to do morning pages, what my artist date was, what tasks I did (last week was affirmations). I’ve mentioned affirmations on here previously – I think they can be very powerful. Also nice on letterboards, although it’s always a pain to find the right letters (and in case you’re wondering, yes, actually, you can).
On the subject of bullet journals, I’ve been getting mine set up for the new year – basically the same format as last year (ain’t broke/don’t fix etc.). If you want to find out more on bullet journal ideas you can read lots more about it in this post I wrote last year. The only thing I’ve changed from 2018 is ditching the additional page spread for each month of the year, as I found I didn’t really need it. What I love best about bullet journals is you can keep adapting the format until you find the things that work.
At home, I’ve been embracing all things hygge and stashing battery operated fairy lights leftover from Christmas everywhere. You can’t beat that feeling of coming in on a cold winter’s evening and finding a little twinkle here and there!
I mentioned stilettos in the title and I couldn’t leave without mentioning this lonely stiletto I saw at the beach this week. Where did it come from? Who is it waiting for? How did it lose its sparkle? And is Prince Charming on his way?
There’s a novel in there somewhere – or at the very least a short story waiting to be written.
Now where did I put that notebook…?
Another January, another not-so-different me.
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