Recently, I was asked to evaluate a new workshop by Mel of Mel Karlberg Photography Workshops and Mentorship The title of the workshop is called "The Reflective Artist" and will be running in the new year over at In Beauty and Chaos. One of the first exercises is to create an inspiration and to include everything. All of the books, films, holidays, museums, and artists that inspire you. At the end of the exercise, Mel asked us to see if we could see any themes or patterns in our list.
At the end of writing my list, I had two themes; "Home" and "Heart". Home is family, place, tradition, the tangible like books or photos, and motherhood. Heart is love, connection, emotions, creativity, and stories. I don't suppose this was new to me but I have never grouped it likes this. I reflected on my list for a few days and then I came to a sad conclusion; my inspiration was sitting at the bottom of the laundry pile.
The parts of my life that inspire are at the bottom of a long list of to-dos. I was letting the loud and the noisy decide what I do in my everyday. The pulls of life were taking precedence over what is truly important to me. A clean house is one thing but nurturing my creativity was being forgotten in the process.
This neglect showed itself in the simplest of ways. The unloved clothes that fill my wardrobe, or the empty walls in our home while the photos in frames sit stacked by the book shelf, or the movies that I would love to watch but don't organize to go see. While I waited for the perfect moment, life was happening. Now I am skipping over this a bit. It was a deep reflection. I really felt a deep sadness that I had let this happen.
Now that I know this, I am making changes. I am wearing the clothes that I like rather than what is easiest to throw on. This week it was my birthday and I organized to meet my husband for lunch. When he saw me he said:" You look nice. You look arty and intelligent" which was the look I was hoping to achieve. I am making my favourite breakfast on an ordinary day. I am re-reading the books I love, ones which are filled with heart and home. I am lingering over the pages in the magazine rather than flipping through it quickly. I am hanging the art on my walls. I am nourishing my inspiration every day. Some changes are easy while others are harder. Like listening to the voice that is calling me to the beach on a cloudy and overcast day. On a day when my family are occupied and would rather stay at home. Instead of ignoring my voice, I jumped in the car and drove the 40 minutes to the beach. I walked with my camera in hand and I nurtured my inspiration. As the waves crashed over the rocks and the wind blew in my hair, I realized I have dragged my inspiration from the bottom of the laundry pile. I have figuratively given it a good soak, a hard scrub, and I am letting it dry in the breeze on a spring day. It felt divine!