Episode 386 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — the need to process….
In this episode of the CMP, the need to process….. the need to process, track, and have time to simply “be” in the middle of this pandemic. If you aren’t finding ways to do those things, I hope you stop, reflect on how your days are going, and see if there is a need to process.
While we are all in this together, our individual scenarios can be wildly different right now. You may have too much time on your hands or not enough. If you fall into the latter category, you may realize at some point (or it may hit you when you least expect it) that your days are moving so quickly that all of this is just rushing by in a blur. That may not sound like a big deal…. but in its own way, that blur, that sense that you aren’t able to stop and make sense of things, can be overwhelming and destabilizing.
Day-to-day, I do what I need to do. I am sure you do as well. We are strong that way, and we creative types have proven that during times of crisis, our creative routines and art-based habits can be absolute lifelines. Our routines and habits help keep us grounded, mindful, aware of our gratitude, and, simply, busy. Our creative routines occupy our hands and our minds; they help fill our time. They keep us forward-looking and in motion.
The creative pursuits we already have give us a way to stay occupied in times of intense stress — as long as we continue to turn to these activities and see them as a useful and important tool, a way of offering and achieving, maybe even prioritizing, self-care.
Day-to-day, I do what I need to do. But over the weekend, a few days to recalibrate, it really hit me that one of the things I really don’t have and haven’t been able to make time for in a meaningful way is a strategy for really dealing with what is happening. I am constantly tuning in to live press conferences and newsfeeds, but I am so busy that I somehow feel like I am missing what it feels like to be in this moment. I am missing a way (and the time) to process.
We all need strategies for making sense of what is happening, for tracking, and for processing. That might mean more journaling. It might mean tracking what you eat or what you buy or what you order or what you were not able to order. It might mean tracking days and weeks or numbers. It might mean tracking your temperature or your walks or the weather or your steps or the tv shows you watch. It might mean tracking your coffee or your zoom calls or your texts or how many times you reloaded your online grocery cart. It might mean tracking toilet paper rolls or cans of diet soda, the books you are reading, or the TED talks you turn on.
In some way, it also means checking in with yourself each day and seeing how you are…. what you are thinking and feeling. What is really going on out there.
The 100 Day Project
The #100dayproject is starting soon, and I’ve been waffling. Last year, I waffled, too, and I ended up doing a project that I worried was too simple. I loved it. This year, I first waffled about art, and then I started waffling about hand stitching. There are too many options though, all of which I love and enjoy. The project I am most considering is the simplest one. It feels like a lightweight, which reminds me a lot of last year’s decision to do simple contours rather than full-on portraits.
I am still working out what I want to do. What I keep coming back to is that maybe this isn’t the time to worry about how complicated what I do is. That the project I keep hovering over is mindful….. may be enough. Something in me knows that and keeps taking me back to that same spot. Even if it isn’t an impressive project, it may be a meaningful project, and that may be more valuable to me, personally, this year as we go through the next month (at least) of shelter-in-place orders (and as my birthday races ever closer).
A Mindfulness Drawing Exercise
At the end of this show, a very short guided mindfulness drawing activity. This is something very short, but something you can do in your journal at any time. You can do it in series. You can do one or three or five or a dozen. But each time, you’ll find it slows you down just a bit and can help you catch and maintain your breath.
Have holiday lights that you leave hanging all year? Turn them on.
Take care of yourself. Check on someone…. and in your groups…. check in.
(Note: I tried something new in saving this week’s audio file. I’m taking advantage of a pandemic-inspired trial of some features I don’t normally have access to. I can’t tell that it sounds better (or worse). But if you feel like this week sounded significantly different one way or the other, please let me know.)
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
Other than #the100DayProject, which starts April 7, 2020, this week’s show wasn’t filled with book talk and external references, but these episodes of the CMP are related to things talk about today. Others might come to mind for you, but here’s a short list:
- Mindfulness by Any Other Name (385)
- Slice of Life Contour (356)
- Spark Nov 19 – Mindfulness
- Spark Nov 20: Mindfulness Projects
- Filling Space (369)
- With Intent (371)
- Episode 257: Red Sun
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud
- Creativity Matters Group at Facebook
- Patreon page
- oamyoamy at Instagram
- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Try Trello
A note about Trello: I’m feeling really productive with my reading and my “To Read” list this year using Trello. I use Trello for other things, including tracking my 50 Before 50 list, but I am finding new book lover’s peace this year with Trello boards set up to help me keep track of books I want to read, Kindle books I snag on a deal, books I hear about in groups or on other podcasts, and then the books I actually am reading or listening to. If you haven’t tried Trello, you should! (It’s free!)