Coming Home to Yourself

February 26th, 2010

Chairs in a Row, mixed-media on panel, available here.

As we move swiftly towards the end of the month of home at the Creative Every Day Challenge, I notice that I've been thinking about and working on feeling at home with myself quite a bit.

Part of my working on this has involved regular movement. I mentioned last month that in the past, I was super strict and harsh with myself around exercise and food. I realized recently that my movement practice has very little to do with how I look and is now all about how I feel. What a difference that makes! I started out the winter with a practice of at least 20 minutes of movement 3 days a week. As the winter went on, I realized that to keep my mood up, I really needed more than that, so I stepped it up to 4 or 5 days a week. Much better.

And I've found as I stay more in touch with what helps me feel good, I feel so much more in touch with my body and my whole self. I feel like a work in progress (I suppose we are always a work in progress), but I like the connection I've been developing and this returning to myself.

Making art is another way I connect with those deeper parts of myself that are not always right on the surface of things. Creating art intuitively, helps me to get in touch with the ideas and feelings that may not have words yet. Along those lines, I'm excited to be teaching a workshop about creating art from the heart in Mindy's Wish*full virtual art retreat this spring!

How do you move towards feeling at home with yourself? What are the things you do that lead to feeling this way? How can you bring more of those things into your life?

Some of the things that help me re-connect are:

  • * Creating art intuitively, just letting it flow out.
  • * Getting regular movement.
  • * Returning to the present moment.
  • * Laughter.
  • * Being in nature.
  • * Taking a look at what I'm avoiding/procrastinating about and making a step forward. (Recently, that meant making a dentist appointment after a 2 year hiatus. Super scary to make the appointment, but it was totally fine and I had no cavities! Phew!)
  • * Writing in a stream of consciousness style (Morning pages style as suggested in The Artist's Way.)
  • * Getting support from friends and loved ones.

I'm curious about how you come home to yourself, so feel free to share in the comments!

I'm going to be out of town next week, but the check-in post will be there on Monday as usual and I've lined up some fabulous guest posts to keep you thinking about March's theme of Stories! Wishing you all a fabulously creative week!

15 Responses

Hey Leah…so appreciate the post…for the investment of nurturing your now you’re devoting thought to…so deeply :) Home is really with us wherever we go as we intend to feed the yearnings within by sifting what they’re really nudging of us. So grateful to find your blog ;) Hugs.

I keep in touch with my body by keeping in touch with my body. I touch it. I will take a long hot bath and scrub all over, and then I massage my feet. It seems to really bring me back into my body, and my body really appreciates it!

Thanks you so much, Tre!!

Oh, Bridget, I totally meant to put baths and yummy lotions on that list. That’s such a good one!

Gosh, I really need to get movement into my routine as well…it’s so hard to keep up sometimes when you want to do other things seemingly more fun. Oh and it must be so exciting to teach a workshop and help others. I wish that was in my budget to take, but will have to wait until another time. For now I try to give myself little retreats by relaxing, taking breaks to do something fun and different. I think it balances life and helps you to keep your center. For artists where art is also work, it’s important to do art things but not for work. Doodle, art journaling and the like. Sometimes taking a look at things I’ve accomplished and what I’ve done so far helps me to get back to that point of confidence to carry onward as well! Thanks for sharing such an interesting topic.

I need to incorporate movement into my days also. I procrastinate too much! I do treat myself to a wonderful massage every two weeks and it has helped me so much. I enjoy the companionship of great friends and family and laughter. I journal almost daily, which really keeps me in touch with myself. I pray and meditate daily, as keeping God in my life gives me much peace. I quilt and occasionally paint with my watercolors. Hobbies are relaxing for me.

You hit the nail on the head with your list Leah! I agree with all of those as ways to re-connect. To add to your list for me here are a few more ways – Yoga and Meditation practice, Organizing, Socializing! I work from home and need to make time to socialize otherwise I would be a detached from reality. Not always a bad thing though ;)

Hi Leah,

Wow! It’s amazing how in synch we seem to be in the creative process. All last year, my visual journal theme was InHABIT, which was about coming home to myself, but also about looking at what sorts of habits — good and not-so-good — were helping or hurting me in terms of taking the next step in my creative work.

I was also thinking about how I joined the creative every day challenge, and wasn’t posting anything. finally, today I’ve got something to share.

I’ve made it my practice this month to simply note all the creative things I already do every day — instead of adding to the already burdensome to-do list.

I’ve been doing a visual journal of my daily lists, and it’s wonderful what a support it is.

You can see it here:

I’m not sure where exactly to post my update — so apologies if you don’t want it here in the comments.

Looking forward to more!

You are so right when you talk about movement. When you invest that time in getting yourself moving, wether it be walking, treadmill, yoga, or whatever, you are putting stock in yourself and the benefits are both physical and mental…just strengthening who you are!

I agree that regular physical movement helps me to feel better. Right now, I am aware that I am not doing enough self-care. My (nursing) job is very stressful; I’m looking for a new job but not having any luck. I am also a full-time student, working towards a Bachelors in English. Last but not least, one of my dogs has a tumor on his spleen and is scheduled to have surgery next Friday.
I am not saying these things to evoke pity. I write them down to give myself the ability to look at my life from the outside in. When I’m in the mix of it all I don’t give myself enough credit for handling it all and maintaining some degree of sanity.
I need to incorporate regular self-care into my schedule. I need to get a massage or pedicure. I need to sit somewhere quiet, read a book, and take in the surrounding peace. I need to leave the television off. I need to sit on my floor and breathe, then breathe some more.

Love this piece…and yoga and running for me, totally clears the brain and fixes the mood.

so many ways to nourish my inner self, but the biggest one recently has been just listening to my body and her needs. for me, this includes learning to pay attention to body sensation, breath, relaxation…these lessons are reinforced by the loss of my sweet old dog, teddy bear–he was the one who reminded me of this, who knew how to BE–and it is now my time to carry this for myself more consciously and lovingly. the being, loving time i spent with him needs to be directed toward me…

I just found your lovely, charming blog and I share your need for physical exercise and the benefits it brings to my body and my psyche – I have several favorite workout dvd’s that I rotate so as to use different muscles and neurons and keep my body awake to the movement. I actually work out about 2 hours a day which isn’t as much as it sounds like, since there’s no driving to a gym etc involved. I do about an hour of dance and then some yoga, some crazy stretches (because I’m working up to splits both straight and side), and a workout that targets small muscle groups. I love love love being here in a body and all the play that’s possible with that. And this video makes me want to start running, in street shoes at night as fast as I can go:

This artistry roar “Beautiful Work”!

Gorgeous post Leah! The best story about our body, our spirit, our creativity is the one about Coming Home to Yourself!

What a beautiful blog. I resonate with your idea of moving for health. Growing up running for competition, then taking a break to find more joy, I’ve returned for the very reason you mention, for health. But, I should add, it’s also to reconnect with who I am. Running was such a big part of my life when I was younger. In this way, becoming at home with myself, or oneself, is also accepting and finding joy in all the varying aspects of who we are, once was, and will be.

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