Last year I focussed on giving away one thing every day for 40 days over lent.
A timeline of a set number of days gives us focus and I always find this time of year I have a bucket load more creative energy. You can read the blog of how it all went in 2019 here…
At the time, tt’s something I just “felt like doing” but it’s cropped up more and more in my coaching calls with clients. I’ve also woven it into the e-book I’m writing for creatives.
I’ve named it after my coaching programme ‘The Artist Boat’ and it will be a self directed sail into better understanding and taking action on the creative life of your dreams.
Back to letting go…
After I binge watched all of Marie Kondo on Netflix, I started to see ‘letting go’ as more of a practise.
A practise I could embody and tune in and out of…
It shows up everywhere;
- In my capsule wardrobe (and now in Dave’s too)
- In my son’s room, cupboards, playroom – this is the hardest space to spend time… all that cute baby stuff!
- In paperwork/ books – I have joined club kindle now so this is SO much easier!
- In bedding – Oh HOW my life was improved my learning a whole duvet set fits INSIDE a pillowcase!
I was really interested to hear from Cath at Clear the Clutter back in November last year at the Northern Quarters Interiors Festival. She has so much insight – particularly about buying multiples and your mug cupboard!!
In simple terms, we are all just energy and we create energy around actions we take. In our homes we get attached to ‘things’. Some attachments are positive, some not so positive.
“Your things are an extension of you…”
- When my little boy says “can I have some scissors” I go to the drawer and there are scissors (five pairs of them) this makes everything easier.
- When I go to make clients a cup of tea we have four beautiful mugs specifically for clients so I don’t have to try and tune into which of our collectors/ special occasion mugs they’d like. We can fit four clients max in our yoga studio too – so we don’t need more than four mugs.
- When I go to build a fire I already find all our scrap papers and a tin full of eco-firelighters and logs by the fire. This is because I’ve built a process of dealing with the incoming mail and paperwork each and every day and not letting it build up.
So I am going to make a bullet point list in my notebook of everything I ‘recycle’ / let go of over the 40 days of lent and how it makes me feel.
Here’s the first three… and how they enhanced my creativity.
Day 1 – flip chart notes from a meeting. I took photos of the notes, popped them in a dropbox file and recycled the paper. I thought why didn’t I do this earlier…I told three people about it.
Day 2 – I tackled my laptop desktop and moved my 2019 project files to a hard-drive. I filed my podcast files and re-found an article I’d written. I moved my children’s story to the centre of my desk top so I see it more often. This will remind me to do some more work on it.
Day 3 – I took a bag of books to Barter Books and read a book whilst I waited. We made £5.90 in credit and I bought a gorgeous Rob Ryan book I am going to cut pages out of for a project. I also unsubscribed to seven mailing lists that aren’t bringing me joy or value anymore.
My top five tips for letting go…
- Understand your categories and your bugbears – Marie Kondo is great on this. For example, we now have rechargeable batteries and chargers all in one place. Saving the environment and us money all at once.
- Use charity shops and your local ‘buy nothing group’ to donate items you think someone else would like. Keep a box in your wardrobe to store as you go until you have time to pop to the drop off point or a bag comes through the post.
- Cheerlead yourself – it’s HARD work to let go…find your balance point between ruthless throwing away and ownership demon! You don’t have to do it all at once.
- Be conscious of bringing MORE stuff in – use the stuff you have, use your library, swap things with pals and encourage your kids to do the same. I did a buy nothing January and it really sharpened my self awareness – read this great blog from my pal Bethanie about hers.
- Start small… whenever I feel a bit stressed (usually about work) I clean out draw or the cupboard under the sink… it’s so satisfying even if I only get rid of one or two things. Completing a whole task is very therapeutic.
A further note on enhanced creativity…
It takes me seconds to decide what to wear in the morning so I often have time for free writing and longer showers. This is a perfect example of what minimising and letting go can do for you. Life is busy, our homes have become busy with stuff but they don’t have to feel like that in every single space…
Start with a nook, a bedside table, try and work out what is most precious to you and what the space open up for MORE creativity.
Let me know if any of this resonates or if you try any of it?
PS – come chat on instagram, I’m @creatively.conscious