Monday, January 4, 2016

In the Wake of Busy

It was a busy and lovely autumn and holiday season. So much felting got done! I made gnomes and ornaments and wool paintings and my heart was SO FULL of JOY! 

And then my arms started to complain- a little in the beginning which I ignored (I can't stop now!) and then they really started to complain, pain shooting down from my shoulder and muscles getting weak in my hands so when the dust of the holiday prep settled, I made myself stop felting daily.
Wait- what?!? 

Yep, you read that right. I stopped. I allowed myself to felt for about 15 minutes every few days and I rested. My fear was that I would get an official "stop felting" request from a doctor if I continued to ignore the pain and over-use and what would I do with a mandatory no-felting request?!

Choosing self-care over the joy of daily practice is difficult but so necessary. It made me wonder why it is so hard to pause to repair in this day and age. Is it that our never ending list gets too long and needs constant maintenance? Is it the need to keep busy, keep moving, keep doing? Is it the habit of saying "Not today, tomorrow, this can wait"? 
What is it?

I think it's because we are creative. Whether we are cleaning a home, paving roads, bagging groceries or bandaging wounds, we are creating: organization, clean smooth paths, a bag of nourishment, a better outcome. Everything we do is creative because we thrive on it. In every moment of the day we are creating because we are innately creative. So when we are asked not to create or told not to create in the way that we are used to (or in the way that fills us with joy), I think we get a little lost, our skin feels different and the world looks a little lopsided as we try to find balance in a new reality. And I think this makes us avoid stopping; avoid changing even if it's what is needed.

I think the trick in those moments is to remember that we also create in other ways- our thoughts create, our words create, our hearts create and our feelings create. So, in those moments when we are interrupted in our usual ways of creating, we are given the opportunity to check in with our other innate abilities to create. Sure, it can be scary but it helps us evolve and round out our abilities.
What if we pause to take in our other creative abilities?

I have begun to sneak a daily gnome in, going slowly, paying attention to the way my arms feel. And, as I sit here, resting my arms (well, except for typing which I am doing carefully), wishing I was felting more than my body will currently allow, I stretch out my muscles and try to pay attention to the different places in my body that I feel pain.
What can I do to support and heal that pain?
And while I am resting what else am I creating?
Are there story ideas floating through my mind that I may have missed because I was so focused on creating in other ways?
Are there any ideas on what my next piece will be when I embark (oh so carefully) on a new felting adventure?
Are there any memories I can be creating with my children and my family right now?
What have I been creating while I was so focused on creating

Creating comes in so many different shapes and size.
What are you creating?
I'd love to hear.....


  1. I really like this post. I can't say I've ever thought about the fact we "need" to create. Typically my daily practice is either running or walking, and that I feel, is so necessary for not only my physical self, but for mental well-being. I typically only write once a week, but I do feel very antsy and anxious if I don't do that. Thanks for the food for thought, Jess!

  2. I'm so glad you liked it. It was so interesting, the more I thought about creating, the more I saw how much we create and how driven we are by it. Moving your body is certainly a perfect example- one that I need to get back into the rhythm of- you are inspiring! I love reading your blog!! <3