Aligning with Purpose

Today I release myself from obligations and expectations. Instead I hold space for myself here where I am right now. I am free to love myself, support myself, nurture and nourish myself exactly as I am. Exactly where I am now. A lot of time when I’m scrolling on social media I feel overwhelmed by a list of items I need, “to do,” that only seems to grow. It feels as if I am being sucked into a vortex of tasks I don’t wish to complete. Lacking bandwidth, I have no time to take on any task I might enjoy or hope to do for myself. And isn’t that always the way? The tasks for school or kids, family or dinner, those items get done first and the labors of love the work towards our hopes dreams and passions falls by the wayside as frivolous or unnecessary. 

And that’s truly the worst part of it all. We convince ourselves that the goals, passions, interests, and nourishing practices that we have are supplemental rather than necessary. We shame ourselves into not creating space for those things that truly bring us alive and align with our purpose. These simple generosities are not small and they are not superfluous – they are necessary and the most important work we do in life. 

We need beauty as well as bread. We are not born onto this planet to labor, pursue wealth or power or relevance, and then die leaving behind an empty or shallow void. We are here to blossom, grow, create, and love. We are here to help one another. There is no prize for being, “right.” And separating yourself from those who are struggling does not make you stronger. In fact it shows the rest of the world your weakness. Love and compassion are brave and bold pursuits – they are likely the only worthwhile accomplishments there are for us in life. 

We are not here to, “win.” In fact our lives may be worse off if we do succeed based on the shallow standards set for us by society. To rise to the highest and most hallowed halls of success is seemingly synonymous with self-abandonment. The sacrifice of our values and dreams in order to obtain power, wealth, or prestige. And those seem like lovely things don’t they? To have so much wealth we are safe, so much money we need not fear being unable to provide for our families. To have so much power no one could harm us. But when you break down these goals they are all based in fear. They are all based in scarcity. Who are we afraid of harming us? Who are we afraid will take our resources or safety? Wouldn’t it be far more effective to simply surround ourselves with trust, safety, and love? 

And even if we live in places that feel unsafe or insecure, for whatever reason, couldn’t we still offer love to ourselves? Couldn’t we begin by giving ourselves the pleasures and kindnesses we crave? The following quote is attributed to Mother Theresa of Calcutta. “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Aren’t we our family? Doesn’t this mean that we also need to love and take care of ourselves? Once we feel secure and sustained then we can share ourselves wholly with others – unafraid of the harm, danger, fear, etc. because those things may happen. We may get hurt. To help a loved one may require a sacrifice on our part of time, energy, resources. 

The thing is though when we deeply nourish ourselves we are not coming from a position of scarcity or fear. We are coming full and deeply nourished. We bring ourselves as cups full enough to overflow. And when we are asked to assist or support someone else we are not pouring from empty reserves, we are giving from our abundance. We are giving from a wealth of energy, wellness, and kindness. We have chosen to serve ourselves to give ourselves all that we need to thrive. Because we have been so generous to ourselves, we have more than enough to share and give to others.

Doesn’t that then lift you up too? To know that you are not only helping yourself but your family, friends, the world by simply being kind to yourself. Take that which you need and want most. It is not frivolous. Instead recognize that giving to yourself is the best thing you can do. That silly fun adventure you’ve been putting off is exactly what you should be doing with your time, energy, resources. Love yourself and love the world by being kinder and giving yourself exactly what you want and need, more fun, more joy, more love.

Sacred Spaces – Making a Creative Oasis

My studio feels cozy and safe today. It feels like a warm and welcome reprieve from the outside world. It feels like exactly the space it was designed to be. It is warm, it is soft, and it is all mine. This is not a community space. It is my sweet little apartment. My home away from the world. I am so grateful for this space and the creativity and joy that I find and make in this room. I can already feel it working its magic, giving me the balm I need to think inventively and creatively.

This space feels holy and sacred, like a luxurious and welcoming den. A lair where I may heal and tend to myself as a sacred and special person. A place where my intrinsic value is nurtured and nourished. The space is warm. The walls are a buttery yellow and the windows bathe the space in delicious natural light, even on an overcast and rainy day like today my small lamp alights my workspace gently, as if respecting the boundaries of every other object in the room. There is much to unpack and arrange in this room but right now it feels blissfully disorganized. There are boxes of treasures just waiting for me to open and unpack them. There are mysteries and hidden gems in every package, under each lid. I delight in finding old friends in familiar places and giving them new life in this space. 

I am thrilled to welcome my precious belongings into my new home. I am excited to explore and imagine where each piece belongs. I am eager to see how I make this space my own.

Tonight I will make bolognese and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Tonight will be a night of comfort foods and cozy family time. It will be a welcome reprieve from the challenges of the day. It will be an opportunity to give the gift of good food and comfort to myself and to my family. These gifts will be small but they will also be monumental in that they will be felt deeply by those I love. That is the point and purpose of generosity anyway.

Some ideas for making your own creative oasis:

  1. Boundaries – Make sure the space is your own. Or if you invite others in to join you, let them know what level of engagement and sharing your are comfortable with first.
  2. Art Supplies – I am always inspired in the art store and try to come home with some projects or tools I’ve never used before to get my creativity flowing. I don’t have to be good at everything and trying something new is always fun.
  3. Water – Keep yourself hydrated and energized so you have all you need to keep going!
  4. Writing utensils – It doesn’t matter if you type, write, or sketch, it’s always good to have a pen and paper to jot a good idea down.
  5. Quiet – Or a playlist of your choosing – the sounds that comfort you are always a quick way to breathe new energy into your space and create the mood you are after!
  6. Bonus – Anything that engages your senses, beautiful artwork to look at, images that inspire you. Some incense burning or an essential oil diffuser. A cozy blanket or fan that keeps air moving. Anything that brings you into the present moment will help invigorate your energy and get you in the mood to create.

Do you have a space in your home where you can recharge and rest? How do you create hygge in your home? What do you do to spread warmth on winter days?