I’m a fan of the night-time. There’s something about those long quiet hours that sets my mind to peaceful wandering. Sometimes I have Big Ideas, epiphanies, and revelations. And so, on this longest night of the year, it seems like a perfect time to get mindful….
And what I’m feeling most mindful about, on this first and longest winter’s night, is the season at hand.
Somewhere along the way, Christmas became – something other than a simple religious celebration – either the Christian one, or those which it long ago supplanted. Instead, it’s become, for many people, and in many ways, a secular, consumer holiday – a season of chores and obligations and to-do lists, more than a simple, magical observance.
In the midst of the holiday bustle, today I’d like to offer something of a peaceful oasis, and an invitation:
Please join me as we pause in our busyness, and give our souls a little treat.
How do we do that?
Well, it’s different for each of us. To find out what it is for you, ask yourself what delights you. You get bonus points if it’s free, and if it doesn’t take more time than you feel comfortable giving to it. And you win the jackpot if what delights you can also benefit you in some way.
For me, the jackpot was decorating a bulletin board.
You see, I mostly write in my study, a small windowless room. I’m also a wide-angle kind of person, and an unscchooling mom, which means that there’s a lot of spontaneity in my life.
So I have a space that could use brightening, an array of writing projects at varying degrees of completion, and a lifestyle that means I might not know in advance just when or for how long I’ll have for my writing projects.
A few weeks ago, I realized that the bulletin board, which was outdated, was my answer. Late-night inspiration struck, and I realized that I could redo the board in a way that was both whimsical and functional.
And I got the chance to play with paper, colors, textures, writing, and decorating – all little treats for my creative soul.
Over a few days, I spent about four hours total, working on the bulletin boards in small sprints (I’m a huge fan of sprints for all sorts of things – that may be a spinoff post!). I made a great big paper mess, in the best of ways, and I’ve ended up with a pretty splash of color that feels more like a window. It invites my eyes, and that means that I’ll look at it and use it – and that will inspire me to spend time writing, which feeds my soul in another way…
It wasn’t until after I created the board that I truly realized just how much of a treat it was. I had fun playing with the idea and the execution. Every time I look at it, I smile – it’s just so bright and cute! The colors, lettering, and design all give me a little thrill of joy.
Even better, there’s room to expand. I can add new projects, and move the ones already there along their paths to completion. My daughter, eleven, might make me some worms and butterflies to decorate it with even more whimsy…
Yup, that’s a soul treat!
What’s your soul fancy? Will you take the time, in the midst of all your activities and preparations, all your buying and wrapping, and give yourself just a little soul gift?