Today is October 12th, 2020 and I’m sitting at my breakfast room table with my sliding door open to let in some fresh fall air. I hear the peaceful sound of birds and the occasional bark of neighborhood dogs and a faint whisper of children playing. While this all sounds so normal for a fall day, the world continues to be far from “normal” right now.
I know I have been pretty absent from my blog for a long, seems like eternity, time. I took a month long break in January due to a recent family loss and then spent most of February planning my first women’s retreat. Life got pretty busy between teaching cooking classes, retreat planning, the occasional client shoot and just everyday “stuff”. And then…..the unimaginable hit us. Coronavirus! While I had planned to return to creating yummy recipes and providing you with beautiful pictures of meticulously styled food, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. To be honest, it just hasn’t felt right.
I have been learning a lot about myself (and others) during quarantine. It’s amazing what stillness can do for a person. For me, stillness is something I’ve always struggled with, but something I realized that I needed more than ever. I can’t believe it has taken a global pandemic for me to finally realize this, but global pandemics can open our eyes to so many things. Here are two of my big key takeaways:
Number 1: CREATING IS AN INCREDIBLE FORM OF THERAPY
I have been spending a lot of time in my studio lately. The time spent creating has been my salvation. Whether it’s painting, drawing, or just tinkering, using my hands is my place of relaxation, a place to really connect with myself on a deeper level. It’s such a great escape from everything going on in the world, a time to let go and be at one with my thoughts. I believe that using our hands is the gateway to self reflection and discovery. I like to think of it as my own version of meditation.
My original intent when starting this blog was to inspire you to use your hands. Unfortunately, over the last year, the blog morphed into more of a food blog than a destination for inspiration. This is something I’m in the process of working on, so things might start to look a little different around here. I will still share yummy recipes but will also bring you lots of creative inspiration to get YOU using your hands in many different ways.
Using our hands to create is so important. It’s such an inherent part of being human, something that unfortunately is getting lost in modern day society. We used to use our hands for everything from cultivating and cooking our own food, making our clothes, etc. We had a deeper connection with our food and where it came from. Now, it’s either in a package on a shelf, made in a factory, or came from hundreds or thousands of miles away. We are meant to create. I mean look at all the people that turned to making bread during quarantine. This is a testament to the innate need to use our hands.
In the past when someone had a birthday, or was sick, we made “stuff”, maybe a personally written card or a warm pot of chicken noodle soup. Now, it’s a gift card, text, or facebook comment to wish one a happy birthday or congratulations. These impersonal gestures continue to drive us away from our connection to others and ourselves. Have you seen The Social Dilemma on Netflix? This incredibly powerful documentary really speaks to what I’m speaking of here. I HIGHLY recommend it, especially if you have children. Such an eye opener!
During quarantine I spent a lot of time in my studio, not only creating lots of art, but constantly thinking about how I can bring more inspiration to help you connect with your creativity in the same way. One of the things I came up with is opening a shop that has hand made art as well as curated collections of papers etc. for you to create your own art. The idea is to give you everything you need to create your own journal pages, cards, scrapbook pages, mixed media art, etc.
Look at it like speed scratch art. I give you all the ingredients and you get to create! All you need is to carve out a little time for yourself.
The Inspired Life Market is now live. There is a shop link in the menu bar of this site or you can find out more here at Inspired Life Market
The shop just opened but I’m adding more product on a weekly basis.
I’m so excited about this new venture and would love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a comment in the comments below to let me know what you think. And now to number 2.
Number 2: LIFE IS BETTER IN THE SLOW LANE
For someone who has spent the better part of life in high gear, this has been my biggest learning. From chasing promotion to promotion during my career in corporate America to starting company after company, my life has been one big fast track. I’ve been a member of the multi-tasker club for years and being busy has always been a big part of my life . I mean who doesn’t want to be known for the ability to get shit done (sorry for the language, I blame it on the pandemic).
Our culture is built on do more, get more. You know the American Dream…but at what cost? Is it really worth it, paying for it daily in our physical, emotional, and mental health? What I am finding is that the real value is in doing less. Guess what? You don’t need a permission slip to take some time for yourself! The cleaning, news, social media, mindless chit chat, etc. etc. It can all wait. Don’t get so busy that you miss out on what is truly important in your life. I think most of us are hopefully realizing this right now. The craving for personal connection couldn’t be greater right now.
I know we are all going through such a difficult time right now, I’m not going to sugar coat it. My hope is that I can continue to bring you a little bright spot to your day and inspire you to take time for YOU!