It was Monday morning, the house was finally empty and there I was buzzing with creative energy, fingers itching to get started on the many projects I have on the go.
So I cleaned the oven.
Then the floor.
The kitchen is now spotless and I feel better with my house in order, but the process taught me something; until I consciously value my own creativity, it will move further and further down the To Do list until it falls off the bottom.
So from 1st April I am dedicating Wednesdays to creativity. There will most likely be other times in my week when I’m busy making, but this is my public statement of intent, a clear commitment to myself to place creativity firmly in the centre of my life.
I’m happy spending time working away on my own, but I’ve extended the invitation to friends to come and join me in Making Wednesdays Matter. They're welcome to come for the day and bring along their creative projects - or just pop in for a coffee,cake and a chat in a creative space. All I ask is that they donate £2 to Women for Women International, so we can help other women help themselves.
It was my mother-in-law who encouraged me to do it. She has friends who have been meeting for years to sew, knit and chat. Some even asking others for mending projects as an excuse to turn up!
Now that I am clear about my intention, my mind is starting to prioritise which projects to finish first, what extra materials or preparation work I need before I start. I find myself starting to look around and ear-mark things for Making Wednesdays.
A friend of mine describes this as the difference between the Intention and the Out-tension. The Intention is always constant the Out-tension is the focus and action it takes to stay true to the Intention.
My Intention is to value creativity in myself and others and there is a certain kind of tension needed to manifest this in my life, so the Out-tension is making Wednesdays a creative day, getting my projects organised, inviting others to join me.
I always imagine the Out-tension like walking a tight rope - at first you need intense focus and concentration but after a while, even though you never lose focus on what you're doing, your confidence grows and your body relaxes into it more.
The deeper I move into my own creative self-expression the more I recognise what a vital foundation stone it is for relationship success. (See my blog on the 5 Daily Habits for Relationship Success).
Finding an outlet for your own creative self-expression allows you to heal the relationship to a vulnerable part of yourself who, as a child, was possibly shamed or ridiculed for his/her creative effort. And that vulnerable place is also a doorway to connection with others.
My creative journey has inspired my husband to start his own, he now makes award-winning Sourdough Bread and is also rediscovering his love of painting.
Giving yourself permission to enjoy whatever creative project you do without comparison to others or harsh self-criticism is infectious (see my blog on getting the family hooked) - it awakens the playful, creative side in others and then we all get to play together again!