pastels and waves

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.)

Have I got the t's dotted and the i's crossed? Click To Tweet

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.

It allows that logical left side of my brain to take a seat. Click To Tweet

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:

If you've been trying to ignore self-doubt, stop by and download 3 Reasons to Stop Fighting Your Inner Critic Click To Tweet

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!)

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January 10, 2018 Posted by Andrea Happiness, Self care, Thinking Add comments

13 Responses to “Left, Right, Left…. Thoughts on Brain Pain”

  1. Andrea love your play and what transpired- your post said to me that it is time to play with some stitching- I never make time for it . Yes to more play in 2018 I am allowing it to flow xxx

  2. Love the part about letting the logical left side of the brain take a seat. Brilliant!

  3. I love your play! This is a really cool post and perspective! I also love the time alone and fancy coffees!!! Your pic is gorgeous, when I read your blog about a month ago, I don’r recall the same one! Anyway, great post, great energy and big big love!

  4. Admittedly, I need to play more! I enjoy adult coloring books, playing word games and walking. Will add more play to my life in 2018! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I love living out of my creative side. I incorporate it in everything I do. Viewing or being out in nature or listening to music is a big thing for me. Anything can spark, but what really does it for me is photography and writing.

  6. I love the idea of the book of collages, Andrea, as art has also been one of my go-to ways to get clear about unanswered questions too. And collage is probably one of my favourite ways to express myself. Creating art and then deconstructing it to create something else is very cathartic…letting go and letting come. I’m in a contemporary art program now and am not 100% clear about the next steps for me, but know collage will be part of my process. These two lines speak volumes to me: “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.” Have fun as you explore and get clarity about your plan!

    • Thanks so much, Beverly. I’m currently surrounded by my mess and feeling lots of gratitude. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I look forward to hearing about your next steps — whenever they show up. Cheers!

  7. My creative side often kicks into overdrive when I am in motion. Whether it is walking the dog, running or riding my bike some of my best (relative term here) ideas come while I am on the move.

    • I sure can relate to that. When I was working on the first book and got stuck I would go out to tackle yard work. My dear friend and across-the-street neighbor used to help me celebrate the days I abandoned the lawnmower and went upstairs to work. A three restart day was a winner!

Care to share? I love to hear from you!

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