I’ve been sick for the past four months. Nothing serious, just a round of puking, a few colds, and like so many of us, I managed to catch corona. It’s been an extended period of lying on the couch doing nothing – sometimes cuddling a four-year-old, and sometimes cuddling a bucket.
My art journal and my creative practice have been all but forgotten. It’s been a struggle getting “back into things” and getting back to my art. I can feel the empty space deep in my core and I’m sure my partner can feel it in my crankiness – although he’s far too kind to mention it.
These periods where you don’t have much control are not easy. I don’t know about you but I love trying to fight them. I love giving myself slack for not doing enough in between bending over a bucket or giving myself grief for not sending that email I should have when my asthma wasn’t getting in the way of my typing.
Enough of that.
Get Messy seasons are planned out a year in advance, but I’m often struck at how serendipitous they are. We’re currently in the Season of Enough.
On Monday, I journaled about feeling like I’m “not enough”. A big part of that has been because of all the things I’ve “missed” while sick or recovering. This morning I journaled about worry – “Am I documenting life enough? Am I creating enough?”. On Monday, my wise self was nowhere to be found, but today she was and maybe you need her too.
Don’t beat yourself up about whether what you’re creating is “enough”. There’s space for kindness in what you’re creating.
Creating isn’t about being “enough”. Creating is about delight. It’s about magic. It’s not about forcing yourself. It’s not about pushing through barriers, pushing through exhaustion, pushing through illness.
Allow yourself to create when you feel like it. Allow yourself to create only when it lights you up.
Allow yourself to let go of ideas, of passing moments, of grand plans that never materialise.
Don’t hold on so tightly. Just hold onto a special few sparks. Allow your projects to be like butterflies resting in your palm.
Creating is gentle.
You can be gentle to yourself.
When you were in school, you didn’t allow yourself to create because you knew you wouldn’t be perfect. You can give yourself that lost permission now. The permission to create imperfectly, messily, beautifully, ugly-ly.
You don’t have to do everything. You can be a Jill of All Trades and Mistress of None. There is beauty there. There’s beauty in daily-ish and following your curiosity.
Collect only what means something.
Do it on your own time.
You are enough.
Love, Wise Self
Fill your creative well
You know I love practical help too. A great way to fill your creative heart when you are not actively creating is through books. I compiled a list of my favourites:
Click here to download The Best Books for Art Journalers.
You’re already doing a great job. The amount/quality/effort of work you’re doing doesn’t make a difference. You’re great just cause you’re around.