I am so excited to be attending Kristin's Awesome Ladies Live creative retreat this weekend! While there, I will be participating in the panel discussion that will be taking place on the topic of Stories + Crafting + Self Care. So interesting, right?
I received a handful of questions from moderator and past podcast guest, Megan Anderson, and wanted to write out my answers to them here, before the retreat, so I have an idea of what I want to say. Here's what I surmised...
SHARE SOME OF THE WAYS YOU INJECT CREATIVITY & CRAFTING INTO YOUR LIFE (IT DOESN'T ONLY HAVE TO BE TANGIBLE CRAFTS)
Just this year, I had a creative epiphany. I thought to myself: Creativity is just 'showing up & putting yourself out there.' That's really all it is. For so long I attributed creativity to the making of something (i.e. holding up a scrapbook page or a mini book, saying "look what I made").
What I've realized is the 'made' thing is actually the by-product...the by-product of showing up (to write, to blog, to Instagram, to design, to craft, to paint, to list in your planner, to snap a picture of your meal, to dress yourself, to cook, to sing to your pet, to record a podcast episode, to host a live panel discussion, to plant a seed in your garden, to do the robot on the dance floor, etc.)...it's all showing up, and showing up as YOU in the bullseye center of the risk that you might not think it any good or that the world might not take to it.
You take that risk because creativity is showing up with the part inside of you that is your HIGHER SELF, connected to the HIGHER POWER that is. Many people comment that crafting is their therapy, or meditative, even -- and it's because it's an acknowledgement - a nod of the head, if you will - to your true, connected inner being. Good or not good, if the world thinks it worthy or not.
I inject creativity into my life in all the ways I previously mentioned and more. When I show up to sit with or express the quiet, calm, inner voice that loves and is loved so much, I am getting it done, making things, and making things happen.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SELF-CARE AND HOW IS CREATIVITY/CRAFTING AN IMPORTANT PART OF SELF-CARE FOR YOU?
I wrote an Instagram caption a little while ago that read:
"I feel like there is a blurry line between what is ‘self-care’ and what is ‘not caring’. // I have so much I NEED to do, but all I WANT to do is re-watch Ali Wong’s HARD KNOCK WIFE special on Netflix. ...if I light a candle while I watch it, then it’s definitely #selfcare, right?"
I think it's important to make the distinction between what I categorize as 'self-care' and what is 'not caring':
SELF-CARE NOT CARING
the focusing on your higher self, focused on removing yourself,
your intuition, celebratory in nature, your ego, defeatist in nature,
SHOWING UP SLINKING BACK
With this distinction made, creating & crafting becomes an important part of self-care in order to be be sure I'm SHOWING UP to the higher power with my higher self, and to be able to tap into my intuition. It's subtle, and can be missed if you're not paying attention.
IT'S HELPFUL TO LOOK AT CREATIVITY & CRAFTING AS SELF-CARE FROM BOTH AN 'EVERYDAY' APPROACH AND A 'BIG PICTURE' PERSPECTIVE.
HOW DO YOU WEAVE THIS TYPE OF SELF-CARE INTO YOUR DAY-TO-DAY-LIFE?
One of my favorite quotes of all time was said by Zig Ziglar:
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
I feel this quote applies to everyday creativity & self-care, which I have now defined as SHOWING UP WITH YOUR HIGHER SELF & SEEING IT MATERIALIZE (a.k.a. 'putting yourself out there'). The motivation to show up can dwindle, so you need to develop a habit of tuning in, and practice responding to everything in your world with a connected lens.
I feel like (1) planners are wildly popular because they've become a way we can show up daily to our higher selves - even by jotting down a list, or penciling in a 'night off' or a weekend getaway. (2) Dressing yourself is another good example. You give a little head nod to your peaceful inner being when you celebrate the vessel that houses it, and drape your outer body in something comfortable and fun. ...even (3) crafting the perfect cup of coffee is a way to cultivate a more intentional, connected existence.
HOW DO YOU SEE CREATIVITY AS SELF-CARE IMPACTING THE BIG-PICTURE, INCLUDING YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS AND WELL-BEING?
I mentioned above the habitual nature that 'SHOWING UP' (a.k.a. CREATIVITY) needs to take on order for self-care (a.k.a the head-nod to your peaceful inner being) to be woven into your life daily.
I feel that through the day-to-day practice of this, doing one thing at a time leads to a big-picture of a well life. (I like the word 'well' MUCH better than the word 'happy' because WELL encompasses all emotions, not acknowledging one better than the other, but just summing up a state of being that is human & healthy.)
A well life includes work that allows a good chunk of your higher self to SHOW UP, and activities outside of work that allows for those quality day-to-day self-care habits to be practiced.
FINALLY, WHAT IS SELF-CARE VS. WHAT IS CREATIVE WORK? WHEN CREATIVITY DOESN'T FEEL LIKE SELF-CARE, HOW DO YOU RE-ASSESS? DO YOU PUSH THROUGH, TAKE A BREAK, TRY SOMETHING NEW, ETC.?
I think the difference lies in all that I've been talking about: how connected you are to your higher self, your peaceful inner being, when engaging in activities. Sometimes creative work that gets you paid is completely detached from your higher self...is totally and completely in service of someone or something else: a client, a boss, a family member, a company, communication, promotion, advertising, the 'likes', whatever...
...and when creativity doesn't feel like self-care, I think it's okay, but awareness is key. Sometimes you have to call upon your creative skills for the by-product - the desired item or outcome - you need to create in order to serve one of the aforementioned purposes, but KNOW & FULLY UNDERSTAND that this is a completely different animal than the kind of self-care creativity that allows you SHOW UP FOR YOUR HIGHER SELF.