Over a month ago, my friend Jane from That Curious Love of Green asked me to join in an art challenge for the month of June, through Arna Baartz Artist Facebook page. I immediately agreed and promptly had a loud internal voice roaring at me “you did what?!” I was so close to backing out, hey, I had several brilliant excuses, least of all the teeny babe attached to the boob a lot of the day! But then I thought I’d give it a go, play each day by ear…
And I did. And a few funny things happened.
Firstly, I allowed myself the time. I stopped feeling guilty for allowing myself the time. And I starting creating, breathing life into so many ideas in my head. I had been slowly- slowly- working away, when I had time in order to work up a series of paintings to make into cards and prints. And, frankly, I rarely had time, or allowed myself the time, or enough time to make it meaningful, until the challenge. And so, after 30 days? I have a huge body of paintings and drawings, more than I could have dreamed of.
I now continue to give myself time, and continue to produce plenty of work.
I’m allowing MY work to BE “work”. For me, it’s important that it’s a “thing” that has an end result, rather than just a “thing”, if you get what I mean! (I then don’t feel so guilty)
I’m accepting that even if I never gave myself “the time”, the house would still be a mess. There are a lot of us. There is, at any given time, someone drawing, chopping paper, glueing, painting. At the same time, there are farms, train tracks, fairy kingdoms and Legoland being recreated on our floors. We generate a huuuuge amount of mess, bitty pieces of paper, fantastical games and awe inspiring creations. There isn’t one without the other. Added to this conundrum, I hate housework. I find it soul destroying, despite trying to see it in a more “mindful” way. It stops me from being creative, frustrates me because I never have enough time to finish, irritates me because no sooner than I have cleaned/tidied/organised something, there is something else that’s needs doing. And then I procrastinate, and I do a bit of this and a bit of something else, and nothing ever gets done. Now I’m giving myself TIME, and what needs to be done, gets done… May take a bit longer, but, oh well…!!
So I’ve decided to surrender:
~I’m surrendering to the constant mess: it’s a sign of creativity, a home that’s alive;
~I’m surrendering to not feeling guilty: it’s pointless, and a time waster. I don’t get any more done by feeling guilty, in fact, I feel I get less done as I spiral into complete procrastination;
~I’m surrendering to allowing things to unfold organically: literally going with the flow;
~I’m surrendering to switch off the Other Voices in my head. The voices that I fancy to belong to my mother, my husband, my friends, telling me what I “should” do. These are purely imaginary and stem from my feeling guilty over what I “should” be doing;
~I’m surrendering to allowing myself the time to create: it gives me joy and energy, and that affects everyone in the house;
~I’m surrendering to knowing, viscerally, that joy is a choice, so I’m choosing joy.
Your post reminds me of a time when my life was very busy. My house was a tip. Clean but toys everywhere. I remember one wet day when I went upstairs I discovered why they were all so quiet. All the mattresses were off the beds and being used as part of a game!
One night someone my husband knew called over and he said, “your house is such a home”. I was obviously feeling a bit hormonal, because I remember feeling embarrassed and furious as I thought he meant “messy”. I lived by the maxim, “my house will be tidy, but childless, one day”.
Loved all your art work, and those photos….. AWWW
Thanks Tric… when you are in the middle of the mess it’s hard to dig your way out to see beyond it! Also, sadly, I’m probably the messiest person in the house so I doubt my house will ever be tidy!!!
So beautiful. And the heart petals!
Thanks Christine! Xx
Wonderful! And fab photos Em 🙂 Looking great and your two youngest looking that tiny bit older since I last saw them! :/ Eeek 😉 xxx
Wow,what a beautiful post.I too have the messy house but next to none of the lovely creativity as my two are still a bit too small for arts and craft so I’ve no excuse!!
Wow your paintings are beautiful, I love this post! The house will still be standing tomorrow, enjoy your me time you are very creative
Lovely post Emily and it really resonates with me. It’s just impossible to keep on top of things with a house full of kids and fun and mayhem. Saw a great post on facebook recently …. it showed someone meditating by a lake. The caption: “Relax. Nothing is under control”. Love it. Surrender 🙂 Live the moment 🙂
@Lorna, I saw that too, I think I might incorporate it into a painting yet!! Xxx
@Sara, yes it will still be standing and no one will starve 🙂 toast for dinner again… 😀 Thanks for the comment xxx
Aedin, I think I’m the messiest one of all, so my excuse of children is all a front 😀 😀
Oh, Eithne, they are growing so fast before my eyes. Need to keep remembering to “stay in the moment” and enjoy it all, NOW!
Fab Ems, beautiful paintings. You inspire me. N x
Oh, likewise Nuala 🙂 xx
Spectacular post, really speaks to me. I could literally feel myself uplifted while reading 🙂
Thank you Jane… As you are the source of endless inspiration, that means a lot 🙂
Oh, the heart petals!!!! But you had me at Surrender!! Beautiful work, Emily, wouldn’t you think I’d be used to seeing it but it’s so fabulous. I’ve said it before but I just love that ‘Bloom where you are planted’ painting soooo much. Well done you and your 59 kids including a newborn getting all of this done, you’re an inspiration.
God Emily that’s a wonderful post. I saw jane’s (and yours) art challenges each day and a couple of other FB friends took part as well. You are so right. I also relate to the soul destroying-ness of housework and the “I shoulds” that populate my head – again, all belonging to the imagined voices of other people. And finally – the hearts in the garden. Jesus, MY heart. How perfectly perfect. *how can you leave that there though? Or is there some way to take a cutting and propagate it?*
Thank you Joanna xxxx
Oh, I’ll be propagating plenty!! Thanks for the comment xxxx
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