Month: April 2012

Whimsical Actions

Did anything out of the ordinary happen in your day? It is very easy to get caught up in a pattern of living each day with an order and a rhythm. Can you take any creative risks  to bring something out of the ordinary into your day today? This art directive is a bit more subjective than previous requests, leaving the details in your hands. This creative risk might include: writing a note for a coworker, writing a poem, leaving a small gift for a neighbor or just doing something a little out of the ordinary for no apparent reason. People often claim they are not creative or artistic, but creativity stems from this type of activity. These departures from the order of our day require a bit of risk and momentum, but the positive feelings connected to them are usually well worth the effort. Please post your whimsical action so you can inspire others.

Yesterday’s directive: What is your connection to spring cleaning? Are you drowning in stuff? Do you have negative feelings associated with the “stuff” lying around your home. Hoarding, shopping and collecting sometimes can be a symptom to something much deeper relating to an underlying cause of stress, depression or trauma. For many people, simply cleaning up a home can be the solution to feeling better about oneself, but in some cases, seeing a mental health professional is a very important step one should take to address these problems. Here in the United States, this topic has become quite familiar with the rise in popularity of the TV show called “Hoarders” in which a crew comes and cleans out a hoarder’s home for our entertainment. The home owner often has an emotional journey through the episode as they sort out what led them to become hoarders. Somehow watching this show probably makes many of feel better about our own level of consumption because the depicted homes are far worse than ours.

Spring Cleaning….dealing with perfection

Are you drowning in stuff? This conundrum of the western world seems to have left many people completely incapacitated. As the furniture catalogs of perfect spaces come through the mail, and the topic of organizing is growing, many of us have been left feeling inadequate due to the inability to make all of our “stuff” look the way the media tells us it should be. Some have even identified this new organization craze as a new type of eating disorder, with the ever present images of the perfect living room, the perfect closet, and the perfect orderly kitchen. The solution according to many of these companies is to buy more “stuff” to assist in organizing, thus leading to a larger problem of having more things.

Today’s art project will explore your connection to this problem either motivating you to clean up a corner of your world, or make peace with pervasive imperfection. Find some paper and make a list of the spaces in your home you would like to organize. After you make this list, jot down some feelings these disorganized spaces are causing. It might be stress, anger, shame confusion, resentment or no feelings at all. Carve out some time into your day or night and try to tackle a tiny space, maybe even a drawer or shelf. Can you reorganize it? Please stick to this one spot, so you don’t get overwhelmed. How does is it feel once completed?  Too complicated or overwhelming?

OK. The alternate option is to find some to the mailers, catalogs, magazines and newspapers lying around your home showing the perfect spaces. Rather than being intimidated by them, really take a look at them and jot down on the actual picture the real behind the scene details. Is it a real home or just a set for a photo shoot? Can people really live in these perfect homes? If it is a real home, are these people happier than you because their spaces look perfect? Do these people who live in this space have more free time than you? Spring cleaning has taken on a whole new agenda these days, and these this little exercises are meant to help you explore your feelings connected to it. Happy spring!