After delivering my husband and son to the airport for a “guy trip,” I stopped to pick up a fancy coffee drink and settled in for a few days of time alone with my brain. While I thoroughly enjoyed the family time that guided us through the holidays, I’ve been feeling some pressure to check in with myself and get my thoughts in order. I’ve got some great projects in the works, and I want to clear out some of the cobwebs: to make sure I’ve got the t’s dotted and the i’s crossed. (Yes, I know… been saying that way since by brief, unfortunate stint working in a real estate attorney’s office.)
That process can involve a variety of parts: retreat, research, recreational reading, meditation, review, and reflection.
Sometimes there are questions:
- What do I have and what do I want?
- What’s going well and where can I improve?
- How do my priorities, values, and time line up?
- Is there an idea, an urge, or a longing I’ve been ignoring?
I’m not wedded to any particular format or set of questions but instead, have found a hybrid process that seems to work well for me. It allows the logical left side of my brain to take a seat while the wilder, crazier, more creative right side takes front and center. And, since I can’t always do that well with the written word, I use visual art. Sometimes it’s photography, but most of the time it has been collage, something I started many years ago. I have a book full of what most people call vision boards, each devoted to a different concept or part of life.
Tearing paper, making a mess, letting intuition come out to play creates space for taking a look at my life. It’s a way to notice when my head and my heart are out of alignment. It’s also a way for me to set goals or intentions or resolutions or whatever you want to call them — without the mean girl who lives in my head (aka the inner critic) popping up to tell me I’m not doing it right.
And, while there’s no clear plan yet, I’m happy to see the way certain areas are rising to the top: health, my writing, travel with my husband, and my relationship with my partners in our new author services program: all wonderful stuff.
And, speaking of brains and inner critics… here are a few of my favorite posts on the topic:
How do you encourage your creativity to come out to play? Or enhance communication between the left brain and the right? Please let me know in the comments. (I’m going to go tear up some more paper and find out what else is on my mind!)