( Above some photos of my studio and writing room. ) At one point or another during this chapter, you might say,” What the heck, woman?!”. Well, bare with me! Pour yourself a cup of your favorite brew and sit next to me for a while. Just give it a thought.
I am getting into some hands-on stuff now, and believe me, you’ll be surprised how well many of these ideas work. Pick and choose, or disregard, it’s your choice. I have written this book in a way where you can skip chapters, just highlight segments which resonate at the time, or simply look at the artwork for some daily inspiration.
I want to share some exercises with you, which might be odd, but work surprisingly well. Some are short and simple. Others take a little effort.
Let’s live out of a suitcase in our own house for a day or two. First choose a room. If that is not possible, use maybe a corner you are able to separate with a curtain or some fabric. Strip it to it’s bare bones. The bedroom for example. Take a box and carefully place in it everything you see. The items on your nightstand, the pictures on the walls, all clutter. Put all your clothing neatly into your closet, take off the familiar bedding and replace it with plain white sheets. Dust, vacuum, get a little vase and place a flower in it, put it next to a clean glass with a little bottle of water on a napkin, take a blank card and write, ” Welcome, we hope you enjoy your visit!”, place a piece of chocolate on it. Arrange it on your empty nightstand. Clean off your dresser completely. You get the idea! ( Include the bathroom if you like. )
Pull out your weekender bag or suitcase and lay it out. We are talking retreat here. What do you want to pack besides necessities?
Close your eyes for a moment to concentrate on what might give you comfort and joy during a mini vacation.
Would you pack a book you had planned already weeks ago to read, maybe also that little candle you bought just for the whimsical tin container it came in, a lovely photo, a journal, your favorite fountain pen? A sketchbook and pencils maybe, a magazine to inspire? Fuzzy socks and some rich lotion for your legs and feet? Walk around your home, pack all your most precious little things, and close the bag.
Shut the door, put your jacket on, brush your hair, a little spritz of perfume maybe, and step outside into the hallway.
Envision a cluttered room, a messy house, all the daily twists and turns of your life – good and bad, all the noise, the demands, voices and chores. Now leave them behind.
Breathe, and empty your mind as good as you can. Take your time. Think about opening the door of a hotel room you had booked, and walk in.
Place your suitcase on the neatly made bed, take off your jacket. Sit down and look around. Get up and unzip your bag. Carefully take out all your little tokens. Hold the gorgeous tin container in your hands and really look at it, maybe put your book on the nightstand, place your pretty journal on it with the pen. Carefully read the little note, poor yourself some water if you feel like it. Take all those beautiful, beloved little things you had chosen and packed so carefully, and really take them in. They are an important part of your wellbeing.
Now carry this practice as far as you want to, as your time allows it, or your fantasy inspires you to do. You can also spread it out over two days, clean one day, ‘vacation’ the next.
Meditate, read, write, or just think. Tell yourself you deserve this time, that you deserve to just enjoy being yourself – by yourself! Often we have time to ourselves all of a sudden, and it takes a little while to get into ‘vacation mode’. We might not even know what to do for a moment, even get bored. Just let it all roll in. Just be. You can also use this practice to address a certain issue you want to puzzle out. Anything you want.
Realize how little you really need, and the few things that really, really mean something to you! ( I am not leaving out the people in your life, but this specific exercise is about you. ) Poor your heart into these few beloved little things, they are yours to adore and keep. Now take a look at yourself, and all those years gone by, clearly visible in your eyes, and be kind, be proud! You made it far! Be soft. Think of yourself as the little girl you used to be, with nothing but an open heart and an innocent mind waiting for the years to unfold. You ARE allowed to feel sorry for lost hopes. You ARE allowed to mourn all that is gone, and all that had happened, all you have lost, even wrong decisions you made. KNOW that you DO deserve forgiveness. Look at you with the compassion and empathy you would grand those, who tell you their story. You can feel their broken heart, their happiness, the remorse for their mistakes, the losses, the beautiful memories. A life truly lived, not a life waited out at the sidelines………. a life truly lived is everything. It’s not black and white. It’s not good or bad. It’s not clean or messy. It’s all of it, and it’s ok! ( End of this segment ).
Love and Strength!