In the spirit of February, romance, and chocolate, I thought I would share a little bit about the on-going courtship I have with my creative self.
A few weeks ago I started an online writing course through a collaborative storytelling blog called Coffee & Crumbs. The women behind C+C share their truths about motherhood, love, and all that exists in-between. I stumbled across this site in the early stages of motherhood, during one of the middle-of-the-night nursing sessions with a newborn Jamesie. I don't remember exactly what the first story was that I read that late night, but the craft at which these women tell the tales of their lives continues to inspire and impress me. I have been a dedicated follower ever since.
When I read that they were offering a writing course on storytelling, I nearly deleted the email. I never thought I would sign up... being a writer is a lofty, unrealistic aspiration after all. However, much unlike myself, I countered that initial reaction with a second thought... a moment of uncertainty... After a few seconds of intense deliberation - I did sign up. My spontaneous decision to join a group of other hopeful female writers, helping each other learn and grow through the art of storytelling, has been one the best decisions I have made all year (it's been a whole month now!). I feel more inspired to write everyday, and this life-long dream of mine is finally beginning to take some solid shape. I'm utterly giddy with the notion of it all.
This past week the course was all about setting goals and romancing the brain. In an attempt to create more writing time for myself (one of my many goals), I have gotten into the habit of getting up really early in the morning. In the quiet and darkness of those early morning hours, I spend time with my thoughts, with my writing, and with myself. It is a peaceful start to my day that I have come to look forward to... that I have come to crave. It puts me in the right frame of mind for the busy day ahead. In fact, it changes the whole mood of my day when I am unable to catch those morning moments of solitude. In addition to centering my mind, the stillness of my morning routine has inclined me to think more creatively more often. My writing goals are less daunting and more actual; ideas and inspiration are flowing, and I am welcoming the hard work ahead.
I really set the romantic mood for myself in the mornings. I walk through the darkness to my kitchen and only turn on the small hanging light over the kitchen table, just enough to see the tea kettle and begin heating up some water. I squeeze half of a lemon into a mug mixed with some fresh rosemary, and then I (sometimes, guiltily) add a generous spoonful of raw honey and mix it all up until I get a kind of sweet and sour syrup. I top this off with the hot water and make my way over to the kitchen table where my laptop and Get To Work Book sit. I used to sit in a lounge chair by the fireplace (which I still do at times, but that has become more of a evening time retreat place for me), but now I find myself more upright at the kitchen table (figuratively and literally). I ignite some candles, switch off the lamp, turn on a little background music, and write under the light of the flickering candle flames.
In the waning darkness and rising light of the day, I sip my hot cup, breathe in the aroma of my fragrant candles, and I create. This is what works for me; this is my way of romancing my brain and gearing up my imaginative spirit. The results of this one change in my life have been astronomical. I might be exaggerating a teensy bit, but seriously... I feel like my new routine is such a gift and an opportunity for me to follow my dreams. How do you romance your brain? I challenge you to find something that gives you peace and calm in the chaos that most often fills your mind.