I was just telling my partner that I want a spot in the backyard to go and hangout. In the past I had toyed with the idea of a she-shed, but right now the space just won't work. We're going to be putting an enclosed patio on the back of our bedroom, but right now the front yard is the focus. Then a friend got this super cute tent that has colorful pennants and swirly things on it, and I want one! Or something like that. For my backyard. So he came up with a few ideas for me, and I got pretty excited.
And then I stopped dead in my tracks. I don't tend to go sit outside. I never really have, unless I'm at an outdoor party or something like that. I shouldn't put any time and effort and money into fixing up a spot in the backyard. I just want to be that person who sits outside to read and listen to music. I've never actually been that person. What if I set everything up and don't use the space?
But then I realized that if you want to be a certain kind of person, you don't have to wait to do the things that sort of person does until you've made the proper inner shift or whatever. You become a certain type of person by doing the things that sort of person does. I
Writers write. Artists create. Backyard sitters go sit outside. So I'm going to set up a space for myself and see what happens. I might just be a person who enjoys sitting outside! And I'm going to think of what other people I want to be, and I'm going to start walking the walk. That's how you get there, after all.
Over the past couple of years, both here and in the newsletter, I've touched on the idea that your physical space and your mental space reflect one another. And about how you need proper space that feels good to you to do your creative work. I've briefly brushed up against ideas about clearing clutter, organizing, creating welcoming creative space. But I've approached this at a distance. I haven't really been living it at all. I know it's important, but I haven't been able to really devote myself to it before now.
This week, though, I knew it was time to step into this and make it real. I've been thinking about it, planning about it, even doing a little work, but for the most part it was all abstract. This week, I have been bombarded with mentions of decluttering, organizing, etc. And several of them were in relation to creativity. If that's not a message from the universe, I don't know what is! And I know that my emotions and creativity and thought processes all work better when I have even a slightly cleaner, clearer, nicer space to be in. Imagine what my brain could do if I gave myself a really great space to be in!
I declare that I am reclaiming my spaces and making welcoming creative places for myself and my work to flourish!
There. That's what this is all about. I'm not going to promise a particular schedule for these blog posts (check under the category "creative space" or the tag "reclaiming" if you want to see more of them when they're done). But I am going to actually do the work and write about it here.
I'm a little (a lot) nervous about this. I don't know for sure that this is something I can do, this cleaning and organizing and creating a beautiful space for myself. There are two of us in our house, and we both make incredible messes. We are creatives, we are makers, we are busy, and we are naturally slobbish. You don't want to know what this does to the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of our house. Or even the not-really-hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. So I don't know exactly how to do all of this.
I do know this: I am not following any particular plan or organizational/cleaning system or anything like that. For the longest time (years I'm embarrassed to admit) I would make plans about where to start and what order to clean things in, etc. And it never happened. A little cleaning would happen, but it's barely been enough to make a dent. Now I am following my gut. And that seems like it might work out, actually.
Last week I felt a pull to clear out the bottom of the linen cabinet, so I did that. The week before that I cleaned out a massive pile of clothes and magazines and papers that was piled behind the bedroom door making it impossible to completely open it. Yesterday, after a week or so of having an idea of how I wanted my bedside table to function, I started clearing it out (it's actually two of those stackable cube thingies, so it's four cubes with space under each unit for more storage of stuff that sits on the floor). In the space of two weeks now, I have made visible changes in my environment. This is better than I've done in a long time, so I think this "follow my intuition" plan might be the thing.
Anyone else looking to clean and organize and create the space they want to live in? I'd love company and conversation about it!
Photos: I know everyone loves before and after pics. I will post pictures of areas when they are done. I can't bring myself to post the before pictures. I promise I will take some so that someday, if I'm feeling feisty and braver, maybe you'll get to see them. But not right away.