I am so thankful to start my weeks with Mindful Mondays. Our practices and the group energy root me into my self, my community and my dreams. It helps me prepare powerfully for the week ahead. When we finished this week’s session, I felt like I had been immersed in a pink cocoon of love lit by twinkie lights. With so much going on in the studio and with the renovation, it’s precisely what I need.
In preparation for the reno, we’re getting ready to move. All of our things will be put in storage while we stay with family for the spring and summer. Packing has been an incredible exercise in focus and self-knowledge as we figure out what to bring and what to store. For me, this has been particularly true with art supplies.
I recently faced my big white bookcase that holds everything from paper to paint to chalk pastels. What did I need to bring with me? What could I safely put away? What was it time to let go of? What principles would guide the way?
Three things helped me decide what to keep with me:
- What do I use all the time?
- What doesn’t make much mess or take up much space?
- What will I need for the class that I am taking (Year of the Collage)?
This gave me clarity as I put aside collage materials, basic drawing and colouring supplies, papers, watercolours and a few acrylics. Everything else, I packed or let go of. Of course, in our very next class, what did we need? Oil pastels!
Luckily, Shannon hosted Art Day and she had plenty to share.
We also needed packing tape. Funnily enough, that was something I had plenty of! It’s amazing how creative you can get with such a functional material! Here’s what I made…
It’s not just art supplies that are being assessed, packed and parted with. This past weekend, I worked on books! Oh… books, how we love you.
I’ve already packed plenty of boxes of books but was down to more difficult choices. I sat on my bed, looking through each one carefully and calmly, wondering how I was ever going to decide. It made all the difference when I decided to let my current reading practices guide the way. I spoke about that on the BTS and hope to write more about it later.
As I continued clearing and packing, I came across the binder I had created when we first moved into the house. It was full of our hopes, dreams and plans. My favourite thing was the collection of paint chips of the colours we chose. I still love the names: celadon, quahong, batter bowl green, hydrangea blue and French blue. Why do they ever just use numbers when the names hold half the appeal?
I also went through my recipes and was delighted to discover this recipe card I’ve had since forever. This sesame chicken came to be known in our family simply as “Jamie’s favourite chicken” and I love it to this day. You cut chicken into little pieces, dip it in this simple batter and fry it up. The last time I made it, everyone was sneaking bits of chicken each they got something out of the fridge. It’s that good!
And speaking of delicious food, one of the things I am trying to do as we go through this intensive process is stick with making nutrition-rich food. It is so easy to let this go when you are working hard and tired. It’s so tempting to pick something up or pop something prepared in the oven – and I know we will do that – but, as best I can, I’m going to focus on vegetables. This week we had Pinch of Yum’s Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodles and wow! I just loved them! I seriously can’t wait to make this again. Pinch of Yum never steers us wrong!! Everything recipe we have made has been stellar.
As I write this entry, I realize the through-line of trying to stay grounded during a period of major transition. My intention is to keep my roots strong and to keep myself (and my loved ones) nourished as best I can as we go through the biggest creative project yet!