A stranger gave me the greatest gift this past weekend.
As an extrovert, I have a tendency to fill up my weekends with things like birthday parties, house chores, errands, grocery shopping, and sometimes even a little work. I’ve haven’t had a free Saturday with nothing scheduled on the calendar in a very long time.
But thanks to some travel plans falling through this past weekend (and my love being out of town on a work trip), I had 2 whole days completely free of any plans.
I’m going to come totally clean with you. My first thought on Friday night was that I was going to spend the whole weekend working on my to-do list so I could “catch up” for the week. It wasn’t until after I wrote out a long list of to-dos that I caught myself. I was being given a gift. Two completely unscheduled, commitment-free days to do whatever I wanted. I was not about to waste my free weekend working on my editorial calendar and updating my business numbers spreadsheet.
Once I snapped out of it, I scrapped all my work plans and decided to let my curiosity and intuition guide me.
One of the places it led me was to my favorite local, organic grocery store to get a freshly pressed green juice, a gluten free medicinal mushroom pizza (NOM!), and, as I was checking out…a journal.
This particular store has a beautiful collection of journals – printed on 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper with soy-based inks and gorgeous hand-drawn designs on the covers and inside pages. I ended up picking 2 – one for my morning musings and one for all my ideas and plans for the upcoming launch of A Handmade Holiday.
The stranger’s name was Violet and she was the cashier checking me out.
Violet rang up my juice and pizza, and then she picked up the journals. Her hand slowly, purposefully caressed the covers. She raised the journals to her nose and inhaled, a knowing smile coming across her face.
“Don’t you just love these journals?” she said to me.
“Yes, I can’t wait to fill them up with all my ideas.” I responded excitedly.
Violet gave an approving nod while processing my payment. As she handed me my receipt, she gently touched my hand and said in a hushed voice, “Enjoy your creative time.” Tears filled my eyes as I promised her I would and headed off to enjoy my lunch.
What Violet saw in me was a recognition that I was one of her kind – a creative soul yearning to express the art that is constantly brewing inside of me.
Her gift was the gentle reminder to create space for and savor moments of creativity. Because those are the moments that nourish us in ways we so often forget.
My weekend spent dreaming, journaling, and creating did more for my physical and emotional well-being than anything else has in a long time. And that is why I’m so passionate about reclaiming dabbling and creativity in our lives.
As children, we were such creative beings. We painted with our hands, made up scenes with extensive back stories and ornate characters, dug in the dirty, and stared at the clouds in the sky. And, at some point along the way, we lost that part of ourselves.
And it isn’t until we get it back that we realize just how valuable creativity is in our lives.
So, I have a challenge for you. It’s to go out and buy a journal. It doesn’t need to be fancy (though I find I am more inspired when I have a journal that I truly adore). Label that journal something to signify it as your place for creative inspiration and dreaming. Make it sacred. Keep your journal in your bag. When you find you have a moment (be it 5 or 45 mins), whip that baby out and see where it takes you.
Enjoy your creative time.
Do you have a favorite journal you love? Post a link in the comments below! I wanna see ‘em!