Creating Space for Creativity
May 7th, 2009
Yesterday I took an Office Spa Day class with the super sweet, Jennifer Hofmann. This year I've done a lot of clutter clearing in my office/studio space and it's felt fabulous to unload so much. It's amazing to me how much clearing my physical space clears my mental space as well.
A few months ago, I spent a couple weeks doing a half-hour of clutter clearing every day. That worked well for awhile, but after I'd reached my goal of doing it for 2 weeks, I was ready for a break. The major advantage of doing clutter clearing at a regular time every day is that it takes the planning out of it. I just knew that at 11 am every day, I was going to spend 30 minutes doing this clutter clearing business and then it would be over. Small chunks of time is good. Planning a specific time is also good. But did I want to be doing that forever? No. So, I went back to occasional clutter clearing and maintenance and that was working fine for me, until I noticed that there were a couple areas I was avoiding. Sticky spots.
One of those spots was behind my office door. I keep my office/studio door open most of the time, so it provided this not-so-secret clutter hiding spot. And it was growing. The dust bunnies, an old Reebok step, two yoga mats, some old picture frames, a bunch of free cloth bags I got at various events, a dress....Oh, and did I mention the dust bunnies? Yeah, they were multiplying like crazy. Doesn't seem like a big deal perhaps, after all it was out of sight 90% of the time, but it was weighing on me. I knew it was there and it was also expanding to the point where I couldn't open the door all the way. At the rate it was going, there was soon going to be enough stuff "hidden" back there that I wasn't going to be able to open the door at all. Ack!
So, I'm learning when to ask for help and I knew that scheduling the time for an Office Spa Day (a fun, gentle way to clear some clutter in your space) would do the trick. Jennifer asks some excellent questions when it comes to clearing clutter including, "Does this (fill in your clutter item here) support who I am and where I'm going?" Asking this sort of question helps make it so much more clear and easy to get rid of the stuff that I've been unsure about what to do with.
I spent an hour cleaning out the space behind my door, getting rid of some crap behind my bookcase, and clearing off my inspiration board. And lo and behold, I can now open my office door. I immediately felt a sense of openness, both literally (the door can open all the way, yay!) and emotionally.
So, what does this have to do with creativity? Well, clearing space on occassion helps make room for new things to bloom, whether in your business, in your mind, or in your art. Physical space relates so much to our mental space. I find this happens with selling my art too. Even though I sometimes get a little sad when I sell a piece of art, I simultaneously love helping to brighten someone else's space with art and when I move art of my space, it helps make room for new art to be created. It has something to do with flow, keeping things moving, feeling expansiveness, openness, and room for possibility.
When you look around your creative space, do you see things that do not support you in you and your creativity? Try removing (tossing, storing, giving away) just a few things and see how it makes you feel. What might it open up for you?
More clutter-clearing resources:
- - Alison Marks, Inside Out Design Coaching: Alison has a great process for helping you get clear on the qualities you want in your home.
- - Lisa Baldwin, Divine Order: Also a total sweetheart, Lisa is a Clutter Coach who also teaches a fabulous de-cluttering e-course.
- - Shannon Wilkinson: A life coach, who I totally adore, teaches a DeClutter Happy Hour!
- - Sunny Schlenger: Life coach and author of Organizing for the Spirit, a great de-cluttering resource.
Wow, looking over this list I'm realizing that I must have a thing for de-cluttering specialists! Ha! I think it's because all these ladies have a super sweet, gentle way of approaching something that's especially sticky for me. Go check out what they have to offer and make some room for the creativity that's waiting to bloom.