Happy 2017! I’m happy to say that this first week of the year has started off with a lot of creativity, writing/reflection, and mind/body wellness. In my last post I mentioned that my Daily Sketch Journal had arrived. I started my first drawing on January 1st, and here’s the progress so far:
‘Be the Lobster’ might be the motto for 2017. The idea was inspired by the concept of stress, change, and growth. Lobsters experience discomfort as they grow, since their shells do not expand. In the process of growth, they shed their old shell and recreate a new one. They are vulnerable to predators as they molt and regrow a new shell.
We can learn from this process: in order to grow in any aspect of our lives, we need to expand our comfort zone. We may experience vulnerability and stress as we face changes, but we must understand that it is a part of life.
I’ve recently started reading the book The Artist’s Way, and it lays out ‘basic tools’ for creative recovery: morning pages and artist dates. This book is meant to guide and nurture creativity, especially if it has been dormant for an extended time.
I started doing the morning pages yesterday… hopefully I will be able to keep up with the three pages a day, as suggested in the book. The purpose is not to necessarily write something compelling every single day (that would just be unrealistic), but I see it more as a reflective piece, perhaps to set an intention for the day or to reflect upon the previous day. The artist dates are designated times throughout the week to create art. Thankfully, the daily drawing journal has kept me motivated to dedicate time to draw each day. Today I spent some time painting, and it was wonderful! Weekends are definitely easier to carve out a few hours for creative endeavors.
This brings me to my next topic of interest: yoga. At the beginning of each yoga class, we are asked to ‘set an intention’ for the practice. Sometimes it may relate to physical goals: strength, balance, flexibility… other times it might be more geared towards mental well-being: peace of mind, focus, clarity, etc. I feel that art, writing, and yoga have many commonalities, and it’s no wonder I am drawn to (no pun intended) practicing each of them. Each of these practices serves as a type of meditation for me… a way to be present and engaged in what I’m doing. Each of these practices also serve as a means for growth and expansion beyond my comfort zone: my art allows me to explore and improve my skills with different materials; writing has helped me become more aware of my thoughts and feelings (especially when they are typed out or written down.. negative thoughts and feelings don’t sit as well on a page); and yoga has allowed me to gain physical and mental strength through flexibility and focus.
My motivation continues through each of these practices, and I feel that it will continue as I build them into my daily routine. I found a good quote recently, that is a good reminder of how to determine what is important to us: Instead of saying “I don’t have time”, try saying “It’s not a priority”, and see how that feels. This is a good point. What do we make time for and what types of things do we prioritize over others?
How will you ‘Be the Lobster’ in 2017?