Journey 347: Clearing Space, Creating Flow

A rainy day with periods of heavy downpours kept me house bound today. I cajoled my inner artist, my creative child, into a “date” at home. Happily, she not only agreed, but brought her creativity to the activity I decided upon today…clearing the rest of my studio and decorating it for Christmas.

 

Months ago I began clearing this small room, with its six windows, converting it from being a home real estate office, to more of a creative studio space. The big clunky desk was replaced with a writing table, boxes of accumulated stuff removed, and attractive storage containers purchased. And then I stopped, half done. Maybe a bit more than half. 
 

As happens when forward momentum is halted, there is often a reversal in direction, otherwise known as backsliding. This room tends to be a catch all space. So things began to accumulate again…coloring supplies, junk mail, old photos, and most recently, unwrapped Christmas gifts. I’m sensitive to energy, and the flow of it. When stuff clutters a room, I feel it as clogged, choked energy. Not what I want in my creative studio!
 

My creative child and I set the music on my iPhone to shuffle, cranked the volume up, and rolled up our sleeves. Starting at the writing table, I worked clockwise around the room, clearing, cleaning, and decorating, in that order. I was ruthless with old files and papers. I’m so very grateful that Keller Williams is now a paperless company. All records and docs are stored online, from active transactions to deals closed years ago. I carted out bags and boxes of old records and blank forms that I no longer need to keep on hand. 
 

I tossed duplicate class binders, extra play bills, quotes on scraps of paper that I no longer require. As I worked, singing along with whatever song popped up, the room felt lighter and brighter, even as darkness gathered outside the windows. I uncovered momentos that once held significance and a dream book that I created years ago, a forerunner of my vision boards. Here’s where things got interesting. I saved some items. Then reconsidered. Did I want that energy in my creative space? I pulled the dream book from the shelf I’d stashed it on. Flipping through it, I recognized that the dreams were old ones. Some, like a trip to Scotland, have been fulfilled. Others, including many business goals, no longer appeal to me. And some have lost the sparkle or promise they once held for me. I don’t need this old dream book, this old energy, in my fresh space. I threw it away, and instantly, a heaviness I hadn’t  noticed until then, lifted. 

   

I was very pleased with the room, after I finished. I made space. On shelves and in cubby holes, in drawers and the buffet top, yes. But I created additional space as well. For energy to flow. For ideas to flow. For my creativity to expand and grow, without feeling confined by clutter and pools of negative resistance. The room feels open and supportive of who I am and what I desire to do. I can breathe in this space. I can create. 

 

I read the next chapter in The Artist’s Way, Week Seven: Recovering a Sense of Connection. Well, I thought, I didn’t connect with anyone on my date today except my inner artist. I wondered if my date was in sync with the upcoming chapter, as it has been the last six weeks. I discovered as I read that the author isn’t writing about connecting with others in this chapter. She writes about connecting with our creativity and our personal dreams. Personal dreams. I thought again of the book I tossed full of old dreams I’ve outgrown. Ahhh…yes. I’m journeying with new dreams now. 
  
Further, the chapter for this week connected with my symbol for next year, the river, a symbol that had just been confirmed. Julia says, “Art is an act of tuning in and dropping down the well. It is as though all the stories, paintings, music, performances in the world live just under the surface of our normal consciousness. Like an underground river, they flow through us as a stream of ideas we can tap down into. As artists, we drop down the well into the stream. We hear what’s down there and we act on it – more like taking dictation than anything fancy having to do with art.” 

 

I love that quote. I understand what she’s talking about. I’m ready to immerse myself in that flow of ideas, even as I immerse myself in the flow, the river, of life. This creative studio has flow now as well. I’ve created a space where I can listen to that stream of ideas and “take dictation”. 

I’m looking forward to opening the blinds in the morning and welcoming the sunshine into my fresh space, and welcoming in creativity. I’ll be poised, pen in hand, ready to write. 

  

Journey 232: My Case for Creativity

After a long day, I enjoyed puttering around in my Creative Space tonight, working further on transforming my office into a sanctuary for writing and reading, drawing and creating. I’ve yet to come up with the perfect name for this new space, but it will come to me at the right time. 

  
This evening my focus was on a vintage cosmetic case, also known as a train case or a vanity case, that I found in the garage at Bob’s house in Arkansas. It belonged to Greg’s mom, I’m sure, but somewhere along the way, Greg’s dad whisked it away to his domain. I was delighted to find it, several months ago, as I’ve seen similar cases in flea markets. It was covered in dust and cobwebs, but I brought it home, knowing I would use it somewhere. 

I’ve always intended for the case to be in my Creative Space, perhaps holding office supplies, or to house a vignette that changed with the seasons. Yet today, as I looked forward to cleaning it up tonight and using it, my intention turned more toward my artsy, creative side. 

  
Opening the case I found an assortment of fishing lures and hooks, and little bottles of suspicious looking murky liquids. Bob did more than move Leta’s cosmetic case to the garage. He turned it into a holding case for his extra fishing supplies…a bonus tackle box! I think his loving wife would have laughed about that and patted him affectionately on the cheek. I removed those items and stored them in a plastic container, to be sorted through later.

  
After a good cleaning, the cosmetic case was ready to become a holding case for supplies of a different sort. My drawing tablet fit within perfectly, turned horizontally. Next my writing journal for this year nestled in. I added two pieces of vintage brown pottery, that belonged to my grandmother, to hold my drawing pencils, sharpener and eraser. A strand of garland, with red and clear beads, wound around the case adds color. And next to the case is one of my favorite inspirational quotes, on a pretty canvas. 

  
The creative case has a new home on the corner of my writing table. In this beautiful space, whether I am working, writing, reading  or daydreaming, the case is easily visible. Greg’s mom used the case to hold cosmetics when she traveled. She used the contents of the case to enhance her beauty. Greg’s dad used the case to hold items meant to attract fish, lure them in. I will incorporate both of those previous uses in its current life. The cosmetic case is an item of beauty. And I desire to attract creative ideas to me, using the journal and art supplies tucked within, fishing for inspiration. I think Bob and Leta would be pleased. 

  

Journey 87: Modern Day Alchemy

moving energy out of clutter find simplicity

Today has been a decluttering day, as I moved back into my former office with the desire to get rid of things. I find it interesting that as I am “decluttering” my body, ridding it of junk, the energy of clearing is moving beyond me to my environment.

Greg graciously loaded items, some of them quite large and heavy, into the back of his truck and drove away to DAV (Disabled American Veterans…a resale type shop to donate items to that are then sold with the proceeds going to benefit disabled veterans) to donate the things I no longer wanted, needed or used. I turned up the music on my iPod, favoring The Lord of the Rings soundtracks, and literally rolled up my sleeves.

moving energy cluttered office

The side of the room that didn’t get cleared today

I am dismayed that this charming little room has become a junk room. It started innocently enough…an extra box stored in there…then containers of old family photos, an extra table and soon papers and items piled up, as I quit going in the room at all, using my laptop in the living room, abandoning my office totally. Even the cat’s litter box ended up in there eventually, which made a statement I believe! When a room gets clogged with clutter and junk, the energy in the room becomes clogged as well. That slow, heavy energy becomes stagnant, pushing me away from the room as surely as a bouncer guarding the door would.

Curiosity led me to look up the word “clutter”. Amazing. The word comes from the Middle English word “clotter”, meaning to clot, or to coagulate or form into lumps. That is exactly what happens to the energy around clutter….it coagulates and becomes sluggish, lumpy, stuck. Not the energy that I want in a room that will foster and support creativity.

moving energy bakers rack

Plants and rack back on the deck

And so out the door went the big blocky desk and a left over car seat and booster seat from Aubrey’s toddler days. Gone for good is the litter box and stacks of old files and random pieces of paper…on the left side of the room. The yellow baker’s rack was returned to the front deck, along with flowering  plants that survived the winter indoors. Two garden chairs rest again on the brick patio. I carried two large bags of trash to the dumpster in the alleyway, symbolizing the removal of stale energy as much as actually removing junk. I am systematically moving around the perimeter of the room, sorting, throwing away, giving away, saving. Anything that no longer serves me, interests me or inspires me is leaving.

moving energy clearing clutter

Creating fresh space

I did not finish today, however, it was a great start. Already the energy in the room feels lighter, flows, invites. I am excited to continue in the room tomorrow, hoping to finish or come close to finishing so that I will enjoy being in the room again, sunlight streaming in through the six windows, and cheery views of the back garden visible. I can create in such a space. I can read and meditate and reflect. I am thinking on what to call this room, preferring not to call it an office any longer. When the right name comes to me, I’ll christen the room, and take my place there.

Denise Linn says, “Clutter clearing is modern day alchemy.” I like that! Alchemy is a magical process of transformation. I am doing that now, energetically. Next, I will practice a different sort of alchemy in that space, transforming thoughts into a flow of ideas and words. May they be just as magical.

moving energy Rilynn

Rilynn wondering what all the fuss is about