I fight to not be in a box...I HATE boring and routine and sameness...so I fought structure for years...then I realized that:
Structure does not bind me, it frees me.
I'm in my basement, which is the lower floor of our small home. The whole floor is dedicated to my studio (I'm so spoiled). It is cold in the basement this morning and I am bundled up. Wearing PJ's and my ratty Camp Ockanickon sweatshirt. It is cold because we are stubborn and we will not turn on the heat YET, its only the middle of October. My kids are with me, two beautiful boys ages 3 and 6. They are amazing and Finn the youngest has literally interrupted me 10 times since I began writing. At this moment he is pinching my bum and laughing. All of this is the way it is. I love it. I love how crazy my life is...I love that I do not use "my life" as an excuse not to live "my life." I am proud of the small yet important actions I do everyday toward my dreams.
I think I say that I hate structure because it is so hard for me actually to do something everyday at the same time. I am at the whim of my job and my family, and then my husband and friends and my on inability to control my impulses to do anything except "my true calling."
I sometimes go on kicks where I get up at 4 or 5 am to have time in my life where I have my structure really structured...but that is tough to keep up with when my schedule is so erratic. So I could say that the things that matter do not matter...or I could do it imperfectly and the best I can. I pick the second option.
I stopped beating myself up about how many times I didn't reach my daily goals and instead use that energy toward doing what I can do do/ be with what I have in this moment.
Let's look at how this looks in my life at this very moment.
This morning I created beautiful homemade pumpkin pancakes with my boys. We made them together...it was so fun and man they were amazing (vinegar...total game changer! Then I had a choice...clean the house...or go downstairs in my cold basement and write about...anything...
It is so hard to choose to leave the dirty dishes...but I DID!
Because I know that I WILL ALWAYS DO THE FRIGGING DISHES.
You see things fill in our day...the daily chores, life's to-do's.
The second thing is it is easy to let my kids watch netflix all morning, but when I came downstairs into my studio...the boys followed. They are attracted to me and what I do to commit to the work I do for my soul. It's fascinating! Right now they have stopped "interrupting me" and are wildly playing together. They have drawn rocket ships on paper and are racing around the house together in their PJ's playing something with toys they made. There is yells and screams of joy and frustration and they are working it out, they are really learning how to navigate this world with themselves and another person...with creativity leading the way.
So I leave the dishes, and I let my children create huge messes in my house and I commit to anytime I can get...completely imperfectly and with no "real structure" except that I commit to "Making Art Everyday."
This was my first tag line for my business as an artist. I have been on this journey for a long time now...I don't even really know how long...but I've owned Katelemay.com for over 15 years. I bet on myself. I bet on what this painting in the header says. I use my will to fight the basic urge to just stay on the hamster wheel, to keep pulling the cart, to stay in the race. Someone once told me that if you're in the rat race, you'll always be a rat...I'd rather just be me.
I have only one real thing that I have to work at each day. Once this is done it is so easy to do all the others. I need to work on feeding my creative soul.
I must create. I actually believe this is in everyone. And ignored...it wreaks a havoc that you can't begin to understand. It's crazy...ruins marriages, makes you resent your children, makes you hate your day job, makes you depressed and question life, makes you miserable...I'd claim even causes real physical disease (dis-ease) in your body. Creativity fed makes a soul happy, fulfilled, purposeful, fun to be around, joy-filled, kind, empathetic, vulnerable, present, grateful and open.
So I choose my way...and I encourage you to choose yours. The structure comes in when you define what that is. You are the scientist of you. You are the investigator of what you want to create and be in this world. You are the master of your own ship. 100% responsibility for it all.
The structure is about setting up systems for you to succeed for you.
What is success mean to you? How do you know what that looks and feels like?
What systems- and daily habits (Food, Finances, Body Movement, Quality time with Friends & Family, Career, ART...etc.) do you need to help you get to where you want to go?
What one thing do you commit to...? What one single area burns the most for you to honor? I'd offer the idea of starting with what your soul is gently scratching at...or is yelling...and what itty bitty thing can you do in this life to give to space and time for this calling to breath.
THE MAIN THING IS TO KEEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING.
Everything else will fill in. I promise.
Carve out space in your home, space in your schedule...and watch what happens :)
I have so many tips and tools in this area...soooooo many....because it is an area that I ebb and wane with. It's hard for me to maintain systems with so much fluctuating. Let me know if you want to learn more or get connected to any resource about this topic. I will post this as a blog post and add to it a list of resources.
What do you commit to? How do you commit? I'd love to hear from you!
The Artists Way- Julia Cameron (Helped me to create daily artistic habits)
The War of Art- Steven Pressfield (Helped me understand and blow away resistance)
The Slight Edge- Jeff Olsen (Helped me to understand that I was on the right path, time and consistent action will pay off)
Adventure Coach- Patricia Osborne (Patt was my first real guide in owning my own life)
Health Coach- Kelly Lang (I struggle with Sugar addiction, working with Kelly has given me back my life. I had no idea how much the right food for me was a game changer.)
With Inspiration and Love-