Today is my final day of focusing on expression and creativity. I must say, I learnt a lot about myself this month and about how to ensure I continue to regularly explore my creative side (not to mention why!). It’s been really eye opening.
Whilst I don’t know that I necessarily did something creative or expressive EVERY day, I think I came mighty close to it. Especially considering that expressive creative stuff actually requires a lot of resource gathering! Either way, I am really happy with what I achieved!
Of the original list I wrote on ways I could pursue this focus the following is what I have achieved:
- Video journals – I didn’t do this every morning, as originally intended, but I did do it a few times. It helped me get out of my head when planning my morning. It also helped me actually HEAR my mindset that I was going into the day with, which helped me acknowledge and explain reasons for certain behaviour later in the day. I think I should try and do this more often, but to say I’ll do it every morning is too much I think. Probably once or twice a week would suffice.
- Expressive writing – I wrote a few blog entries in my epiphanies category this month, also prompted by (I think) all the expressive and creative stuff I was doing. Gets you in that mindset!
- Dancing classes – I have started up rock n roll dancing!! And I absolutely friggin love it! However, I wouldn’t say it’s a personally expressive type of dancing. What I got out of it though is a sense of connection with other people. Partner dancing requires an element of trust, especially as the follower (rather than being lead). I find it a fascinating way of relating to another human being. Beyond that, it’s a whole lot of fun. I’ve even gotten a few of my friends excited about it.
- Recipe book – COMPLETED! For the most part. It could do with some prettying up, and a few pictures, and maybe larger binder rings (because it ended up being huge!), but it’s definitely in a usable state! I successfully collaborated ALL my typed recipes, recipes ideas I had saved all over the place, friends recipes, health notes from all over, and now they are all in one easy to flip through book! Oh, AND I took pictures of every page, turned that into a pdf document, and now I have a soft copy on my phone of my recipe book that I can send to people!!!! HOW AMAZING!
- Bucketlist project – WORKABLE CONDITION! As with the recipe book it could do with alot of prettying up, but I got SO much done on it. I have so many notes all over the place for my bucketlist type goals in life and I managed to pool most of them together into one crafty looking little book. I’d still like to have gone through my pinterest and added things from there, but it’s the sort of project that is ongoing anyway. I would’ve also liked to put some maps in there at the start of each region tab (that’s how I ended up categorising it), but that can wait. PLUS, it’s already morphed into something different than my original intention. I wanted something that still presented well but felt more capable of being interactive and usable than an aesthetically pleasing scrapbook. And that’s exactly what I ended up with. So much so that when a friend of mine was over she was able to add a few things from her own lists to the appropriate pages in the book and said “we should do these ones together too!”.WONDERFUL! I realised, this is great, that’s totally what I’d like people to do! Read through it, add a few of their own, then I have someone to share my adventures and dreams with! What a great and surprising transformation of my original idea 🙂
- Quotes flip book – Made something pretty amazing from scratch in the end! SO happy with how it turned out. Only have four quotes cards in it at the moment, have WAY more to add, but I made the book cover itself, designed the title page, and got the interior layout figured out. Not to mention got all my bits and pieces. Now I’ve just got the easy part to go! Putting the quotes onto cards (pages really, but the book is designed for them to come in and out of the book so it doesn’t get too full. One day I’ll categorise the quotes so I can have targeted inspiration weeks) to go into the flip book 🙂
- Summer scrapbook – COMMENCED TODAY! In ONE DAY, I picked all my photos, printed them, assembled a scrapbook, and got half way through putting them into the album. The only thing that stopped me was that I didn’t have enough paper backings and sleeve refills! BUT it’s already looking super great, I’m really happy with it. Finishing that will be a half an hour job. PLUS, while I was going to make an album of just my partner and I, I realised I didn’t need to! My summer album had him dominating it anyway. All that would’ve happened is I would’ve ended up with lots of double ups. I think I’ll wait a while before I do one of just us, so I can pick the absolute best moments of our relationship.
- Pottery class – ATTENDED ONE! I thoroughly enjoy the art of it throwing and spinning, but I found the instruction a bit troublesome, one of them kept wanting to take over and I found it very rattling. Pluuuus bending over the wheel kind of hurt my back (history of lower back issues). Plus, it’s a bit expensive! $50 for one 2 hour class. Don’t get me wrong, for all the supplies you get it’s fairly priced, but for me at the moment it’s a bit much. Yet to decide if I’ll return to this one or not.
- Appearance revamp – I went shopping… TWICE! I hate shopping, I find it rarely successful. But I shopped today, and a week ago. AND my mum agreed to take me shopping within the next month. So all things considered, I’m definitely checking this item 🙂
- Inspiration – I did find myself consciously making decisions to watch movies that I’d find more meaningful. Which was actually kind of wonderful! Also, when creating and immersing yourself in that world, you find yourself constantly surrounded by inspiration, well that’s what happened to me anyway!
- Recconect with myself – did this a few times and BOY was it rewarding. One day that sticks out I just went for a walk on the beach and it was so incredible. Truly.
Things that weren’t on my list that I didn’t expect to achieve because of this focus but did:
- Craft supply organisation and accessibility system (great for making being creative easier to jump into in the future!)
- Many resources gathered for multiple types of projects
- New contacts for future creative explorations
- An increased sense of flexibility of the mind and a “go with the flow” attitude.
The follows is what I did not get to but now can during my weekly art hour:
- Journal writing – I kind of wrote on here instead, but I definitely think more private journalling would be good. Video blogs plus actual writing would be needed in the future. I actually think I should put some effort into this during my mindfulness month, I can try mindful writing exercises where you write stream of consciousness entries for a set amount of time or pages.
- Dancing classes – a more personally expressive class. Maybe beginner ballet? Something to think about…. could go to classes at the Sydney Dance Company?
- Bucketlist book – an ongoing project. Can do much more to it.
- Quotes flip book – an ongoing project, plus there is MANY quotes I already have that I’m yet to make cards for.
- Summer scrapbook – just have to finish putting the remaining photos onto the pages once I buy more pages.
- Pottery classes – possibly return?
- Attend a meetup group – I didn’t get around to this in my expression and creativity month but there is ONE that I was really trying to get to. It’s an artistic exploration and art therapy group that meets once a fortnight at an appropriate time for me. Once it was a 45 degree day and I couldn’t bring myself to make it there. The other time I was incredibly sick and couldn’t really move at all! SO, I’m really hoping to make the next one. It reads really well. Coincidentally, this meetup is also the painting workshop I was thinking of in my original list. All other painting courses are too expensive for me at this stage of my life.
- PAINTING! – a sore point that I didn’t get to this 😦 I have the easel with a canvas on it sitting there waiting for me and it just never happened. I’m very excited to though so I’m hoping to very soon!
- Dye my hair! – it’s fine that I didn’t get to this because it’s an awesome easy thing to do when I need to fill my weekly hour of creativity, but I do need to get to it soon. Much longer and I run the risk of it running into a time where professionally I won’t be allowed to have crazy coloured hair.
- Appearance revamp – though achieved this month, this can always be revisited in the future if I need inspiration.
- Reread guidepost 6 from the gifts of imperfection – didn’t get around to this, but no worries. Another easy thing to do next time I need to fill an hour of expression and creativity time.
- Candle making – as above.
- Website touch ups – this will be going on my goals list for my study break.
- Inspiration – I had no REAL issues with inspiration this month so I didn’t go to any galleries or anything. DEFINITELY something I can keep in the bank as above.
- Reconnect with myself – this can ALWAYS be revisited. ALWAYS.
Looking at this list I would say I’ve done as much this month as I haven’t, which I’m definitely counting as a success! Plus, I’m still in agreement with my original plan, now creativity can get dialled back a bit (purely because being an adult is kind of a full time job in itself, working, studying, chores, maintaining various relationships, etc), so I can’t ALWAYS afford the time that comes with how much I dedicated myself to it this month. BUT, that being said, I learnt a lot about how easy it can be to be creative and expressive MUCH more often. It’s been a really really rewarding month, I can’t stress that enough. Don’t get me wrong, this month has still come with it’s rocky bits and hard times, as it normal of any mental health illness, but looking back on my creative and expressive successes I can see how much more this month had in it that I sometimes forget about.
In general though, what is my biggest take away from this month? Truly, that there is nothing more valuable than doing things from your own docolumn.