Monday, 21 January 2013

Nurturing Your Creative Soul..


As many of you know, over the past five months I've been rediscovering my creative soul.. Day by day, I've journeyed from a place of feeling as though I had lost my little world of creativity forever, to now waking up in the morning, so excited to fill the day with making, writing and capturing delightful moments.  For me, the process of nurturing my creative soul has been truly life changing and has made me so grateful for every precious moment life offers.  So I thought I'd share some of the things that have really helped me to find my creative place in the world.   

Start off small - Taking small steps has been so important to me in finding myself again, building my confidence and becoming more in touch with my creative soul. So often I felt like I had to throw myself back into the deep end and I knew I just wasn't ready, so I spent time allowing myself to readjust and enjoy the moments. A few small steps I took included, keeping a notebook with me at all times (but never pushing myself to write a great deal, just little things, like lists and quotes when I felt like it), finding my way back to social media by setting myself a goal of taking one inspiring photo for Instagram each day and only blogging when I really wanted to, not because I felt I had to. 

Go in search of inspiration - For me, one of my greatest joys is to feel inspired, so one of my first steps to nurture myself, was to pick up my favourite inspiring books, make a big pot of tea and read them cover to cover.  These include, Etcetera, My Heart Wanders, Velvet Pears, Writing Down the Downs and Succulent Wild Woman.  Pinterest is always a wonderful source, but in the early days I found it hitting too many tender spots, so I found myself looking back through old magazines instead and spending as much time as I could in the garden.  It's amazing what fresh air can do for the soul.  

Take time for yourself -  I found, to truly nurture my creative soul I had to spend time my myself.  In saying that, I also found spending time alone to be both the most daunting and wonderful experience all at the same time. And it was all to do with the chatter inside my head.  Once I was able to stop the chatter and the negative thoughts, there was a beautiful moment of stillness and a little shining beam of light trying to break through the storm clouds. So each day now, I concentrate on that beautiful, encouraging beam of light, that I know will nurture all my dreams and ideas and help them grow.  Spending time alone in silence, is a truly amazing and healing experience.   

Write everything down - Ideas are so fleeting, I often feel if you could visualise them, they might take the shape of tiny butterflies, so delicate and ephemeral that they might disappear at any moment.   So I decided very early on, that I needed to capture my thoughts in ink.  So many times I've thought, 'oh that's so silly, it will never work' and then later really regretted at least not giving my little idea and chance to blossom.  I've always been a lover of notebooks and now perhaps more than ever, I allow myself to scribble, ponder, rework and dream all over the pages, no matter how crazy my ideas may seem at the time.   

Be kind to yourself - We are by our nature, our own toughest critics, which can be very useful in certain situations, particularly when you are working on an important project, however it can be very difficult to turn off that inner critic, especially when you really need to.  I wrote a little while ago about being kind to yourself and through my journey I've found it to be the most wonderful advice I've been given.  I think what I've learnt most about my inner critic comes from teaching creative writing.  The idea is that write first, enjoy it and then edit later.  These days I take the same approach with anything creative that I do.  I just allow myself to create.  It might be great, or it might be rubbish, the real point is just making it happen.  It's so nice to just make things, take photographs, try out new ideas and not feel like I have my 'internal panel of creative judges' waiting to critique my work.  So be kind to yourself, tell your inner Matt Preston to go shopping for cravats, so you can enjoy the afternoon making a wonderful creative mess.

I hope that some of these thoughts might resonate with you too and I'd love to hear about what you do to nurture your creative soul.

I'm also very excited share with you, that I'm currently creating an E-Course all about embracing creativity.  It is such a joyous and inspiring experience and I can't wait to share more about it with you soon.

Much Love
xxx

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful inspiration and reminders, thank you for sharing so honestly about your experiences.

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  2. Oh Sophie, this post comes exactly at the time I most need it, I've been struggling a little myself recently with allowing my thoughts and ideas to take me where they will. I've missed it so much!

    Thank you for such an eloquent, thoughtful and useful post - I plan to try out a few of your suggestions later today!

    Jem xXx

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  3. Well said. When going through a tough time it is helpful to find others working through their own challenges. You help so much with your encouraging way. Thank you.

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  4. A very sweet, very honest post. I love to watch my favourite films when I feel my creative side needs a kick up the backside... I feel refreshed, invigorated, inspired.
    This usually happens when I wake up at silly o'clock with a mind full of worries or creative block, so I get up and pop on a DVD. I love Eternal Sunshine and Little Miss Sunshine, both so clever and the latter, very funny! :-)

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  5. This is such a great post for me right now! I've followed your blog for awhile now & as a middle aged woman in the rural midwest US I love seeing your young fresh ideas! I used to create a lot as well when I was young. Then life filled up with marriage, babies, responsibilities....not that I didn't love all those things very much.

    I remember a time when my son was in middle school & I was caring for my sweet mother that I made a conscious decision to put away my crafts. It had become such a stressful subject for me because I was just too tired to finish anything & the necessary chaos of crafting just did not fit with what needed to be done. It was a very hard choice to make at the time. I grieved when I made it but looking back I don't regret it. I chose to focus on the people in my life that I knew wouldn't be with me forever. My 'craft' became creative loving ways to make our lives better together.

    Now, my son is grown & my mamma is gone & I have lots of free time & space to craft again! Your post reflects my thoughts over the past 6 months. I've slowly gotten back into small crafting projects. I've spent a lot of time a lone & I've really enjoyed it. Tonight I even have a crafting time planned hosted by a young 20 something friend of mine who plans to teach me some new things I've never tried! I am so excited.

    Life is full of seasons & each one is good - both hard things & good things, different but full of great possibility if we choose it. I'm excited to follow your links to search for inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Thank you for such an inspirational post. This my first time here. I couldn't stop reading. I have somehow misplaced my creativity. I miss it, but will find it again soon. good luck on your journey also.

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  7. Great post. I have a tough temporary leadership job at school, which will come to an end this July. I will then have some time to myself to be more creative. I am really looking forward to this. Much as I have enjoyed having a more senior role, I have less time to do the things I love to do.

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  8. You are such an inspiring woman. Thank you for sharing all this wonderful advice and allowing us to join you on your journey.
    Cheers.

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  9. yes! i always have a pen and a notebook. I've got one at my bedside and one in my bag. and I have a few extras for other purposes. Great post :)

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Thank you for stopping by! ~ I just love receiving your comments! I'll be sure to pop by your place too. Much love and vintage dreams ~ Sophie x