Wednesday, December 5, 2012

centered through creativity.

i tweeted this last night: exhausted. time to ::create:: in my studio to refocus my mind before bed. 

sweet mandy replied and asked what's your secret to creating out of exhaustion? i can't do it. (or at least i don't think i can). 

to which i answered: release the weight of fatigue/left brain tendencies through colors & syllables--push through until my mind is clear and i can fully rest. 

i'm creating a page a day in a special art journal for the month of december  inspired by *magic* mandy's advent adventure. on top of mountains of responsibility and lengthy lists of tasks, reminders and plans, i'm setting aside time every evening to sneak away to my *studio* and put some paint on the page. 

because that's what art journaling, writing, creating is about. getting out what is on the inside. 

i live a real life beyond the pretty, polished posts that end up here. 

i work a full time job. 
i am married to a pastor, so i serve in ministry by his side. 
i am now the social media manager for The Art Journaler as well as the online executive assistant for the incredible, Teresa.  
i blog. i paint. i cook. i clean. i rehearse. i sing. i commute. {repeat}.

but i don't want to do a little bit of everything, running on steam, and not be centered or focused in any area, because i'm trying to do it {all}.

we are human beings not human doings. 

and nobody can do it all.

a wise woman once shared with me the illustration of a jar, a few big stones, and lots of little ones. you can't fill up the jar with all the little stones and try to fit the big ones on the top, it just won't work. you need to put the big ones in first. and then build accordingly. 

as a passionate and creative person, it's easy for me to over-commit and set up lofty goals for myself and my days.

what has been so freeing for me to realize is that ---> creativity doesn't have to be reserved for set aside "art" time. in fact, art journaling has helped me become more centered & focused this week amidst all my activity. creative planning helps to map out my priorities. i am starting to make a "red box" for the day/the week/the month. this is carved out time devoted to certain aspects of my life, so i'm not trying to fit it all into everyday. 

another resource that's been helpful to me is susannah's "unravelling." this helps me to clarify my activity and cast vision for my time. each year, i pick a word (or three) and funnel my thoughts, energy and time through those guiding syllables. {just decided on my word(s) for 2013 today! super exciting!}

i hope that if you've been feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, frazzled, in a rut, "blah" or any of the above, some aspect of this post was encouraging to you. i invite you to carve out some *you* time, whatever that looks like, (for me, creating) and honor the priorities you've set for yourself. you are free from trying to fit it all in. 

By the sacred yes or sacred no I mean that affirmation or negation that comes from a deep place of wisdom and courage, even if it creates conflict or disagreement. The sacred yes is not willful or egocentric, but rather is willing and surrendered. The sacred no is not rebellion or refusal, but always the necessary protecting of boundaries. ~richard rohr 

tonight, i'm crawling into bed a bit {more centered}. fully accepting all i was able to accomplish today and releasing what still needs to be done. 

breathing deeper. 

and dreaming in {color} for what is to come.   

post signature


  1. erica, i love this post. i work a full time (demanding & draining) job too. it's at times SO difficult to balance out me time & everything else time. thank you for sharing<3

  2. "we are human beings not human doings." I love this. LOVE it.

  3. Oh so powerful! Love your words. I discovered art journaling just recently and it has been an amazing outlet for what's inside that I just can't express in word form.

  4. Wow Erica.... I really appreciated this entry and your openness. I mean, I love all of your blog posts and often read silently, but thank you for opening up and being so sincere.

    Like you, I am currently doing a 30-day project. I've never art-journaled and it may be something I try at some point, but I do find that I need some form of an outlet (sometimes more than one) to be creative and be boundary-free. To stop limiting myself and start sharing.

    Thanks for sharing the link to Susannah Conway's 2013 plan. I have her site bookmarked, but for some reason, I haven't checked out that post. And yet -- and yet -- it keeps coming up to me in so many different ways! I think that's a sign.

    (Also wanted to say I really appreciated your no-makeup post as well. You're beautiful with it and without it -- absolutely radiant. You've always had a glow about you and I noticed that from the day I met you! You are a light and an inspiration!)

  5. This post is so inspiring, thank you for sharing your insight. You have a very powerful voice and I'm so glad you share it.


thanks for commenting. i love hearing from YOU!