Sometimes I let myself get stuck in the wrong stories.
– I would accomplish more if I had a nice office with big windows letting in the natural light. And a nice art easel. And more space for bookshelves.
– It’s okay to want what I want… in fact, I’m probably ENTITLED to a bigger space with natural light. I can’t create without it. Why do I bother trying?
– If I had a beautiful healing room like my friend Diane, I could host story circles in my own space and wouldn’t have to be satisfied with a rather ugly room in the back of a church. In fact, I shouldn’t bother hosting any more circles until I have the right space.
– If this house weren’t falling apart, with peeling linoleum in the kitchen, broken chairs in the dining room, and ugly carpet in the living room, I’d feel more comfortable hosting people here and I could do more of my work in-person.
– If only… (and the list could stretch to 101 more items)
It’s not that it’s wrong to want those things. It’s just that it’s wrong to let myself get stuck in the limitations of wanting them too much. When I get stuck in them, I forget to be grateful for what I have. I forget that I too can be resourceful and make new things out of old, like the people I’ve seen in the poorest parts of the world, making shoes out of rubber tires, or spoons out of seashells. I forget to treat the gifts I’ve already received with reverence and respect.
I let my house get messier “because it’s not good enough to host people in, so why should I bother keeping it clean?”
I let my tiny storage-space-turned-studio become a dumping ground for clutter “because it’s too small, cramped, and windowless for me to create in, so why bother?”
Last week, I knew that it was time to loosen the grip those limiting stories were having on me. I spent Friday morning clearing the clutter out of my tiny windowless space that used to be a storage room in a dark corner of our basement. It’s a space I poured my creative resourcefulness into last year before I quit my job, putting cheap fabric and old paneling on the wall and free hand-me-down carpet on the floor.
And now I am grateful for it again.
I finally did some creative work in this space again (see the mandala in my last post), and now my head is buzzing with new ideas.
Here’s my tiny space, with my creativity board in front of me and my art supplies and favourite books within easy reach.
On the ceiling by the light hang the butterflies that told me to write a book.
Here’s a corner of my creativity board, with elephants from Tanzania (oh how I loved seeing them in the wild!), a dried leaf from the centre of the labyrinth at Tranquil Spirit (my friend Diane’s healing space), and some of my creative meanderings.
One of my favourite trinkets, a gift from my sister that reminds me to continue to stare with wonder at the many possibilities that this big, wide world has to offer.
Another corner of my creativity board, with a photo of my sister and I backpacking around Europe many years ago. My favourite view – lying on the floor looking up at the iridescent fabric hanging from the ceiling. This space – though it may not seem like much – is sacred space.
Here’s Maddy, who is delighted when I let her into my creative space so that we can do some co-creating (which we did lots of this weekend). She made a special magic wand for me. On its handle it says “be magical”. I’m going to wave it around the room whenever I need to make old stories disappear, or I need to make new things out of old things that no longer serve me.
One more view… the entrance to my tiny space, where I painted a tree of dreams (follow the link to see a video of me painting it) and Maddy painted a magical character out of her favourite book, Harry Potter.