Take Care Tuesdays will highlight the nice things I do for myself on a daily basis and Artist’s Dates. The former is suggested in Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley and both are mentioned in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The first may be self-explanatory, but the second might not be. Artist’s Dates are solo adventures taken in order to take our Inner Artist’s out for a fun, inspiring adventure. They help us take in the world around us, unblock creativity, and restore playfulness. Reporting what I do for mine will help me be more diligent about them, and hopefully give you some ideas for yours.
Something else I did recently for my Inner Artist was buy the proper paints for portraits and treat myself to 2 new art books. When I got said books, I made sure to look at them alone, undistracted, and really take them in.
“The Art of Whimsical Stitching” by Joanne Sharpe is very colorful and free, 2 things that I absolutely love about creating. Creating with fabric is also one of my loves and while it’s been a long time since I’ve done any embroidery, I have some ideas for future projects involving decorative machine and hand stitching and looking through this book helps me to remember those. “Beautiful Faces” by Jane Davenport absolutely lives up to its name. I can see myself looking through this many times whether I am trying to learn the techniques or just being inspired by the art. Really looking forward to trying this out!
A trip to Michael’s art and crafts store was another way I indulged myself this week. Though I was there for specific paint colors and types that are a bit dull out of context, they will allow me to experiment more with painting faces, and that is exciting. Browsing through the other sections is fun too. Even if I don’t buy anything, I enjoy seeing what is there and taking it in.
While I was there, the Angel holiday cards (pictured to the left above) really struck me. They have a really beautiful energy. Plus, it’s a red headed angel. Seeing red heads in art is of particular interest to me since I am one and growing up, it wasn’t always something that people appreciated. Though normally I wouldn’t allow myself to buy anything holiday related before Thanksgiving, these were too nice to pass up. After I fought the inner critic that told me it was vein and narcissistic to buy something because it reminded me somehow of myself, self-love won and mine they were. Maybe I will send them out, maybe I won’t. If I do, it will be like I’m sending myself in the mail to greet people. 🙂
Recently, I’d replaced my mascara and eyeliner with some drug store brands because my mineral versions had a formulary change and I couldn’t use them due to allergies to wheat and corn. They are vegan and cruelty-free, but the mascara isn’t great and I think is the reason my eyes were itchy. Luckily, I saw that our big fancy grocery store (which is a little further away, but close to Michael’s) carries a good selection of Mineral Fusion, what I usually order, and something told me to check it out and read the labels. There was no wheat or corn in these and better colors for me to boot! Typically, I might talk myself out of looking because I’d just bought similar items, but these are healthier and work so much better.
My birthday was on the 1st, and I got a chair massage. We are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of a place that can usually take walk ins, so whenever I feel the need and have a short window of time, I can just pop down there and it’s no big deal. Sunday, I went again. Though I understand that it is too hard on the therapist to do longer sessions at the chair and appreciate the convenience, that 20 minutes sure does go by quickly. It still makes a big difference, and I am so grateful that we are that close. Longer table massages are something I get there too, also on a walk-in basis, but more often I take advantage of the chair.
Just getting into the studio is taking care of myself and it’s something that I enjoy so much that I consider it “doing a nice thing for myself.” And though I don’t ever feel a lack of ideas, I do appreciate that my Soul drinks in the color and texture of the world when I AM out. Being an introvert and the mother of 3, being out is often taxing, but when it’s done with the intention to enjoy myself or escape from the work at home, that necessary balance is struck.
Incidentally, I have intentionally reduced my coffee consumption, (I drank mostly decaf, but lately with so much tense energy around, even that wasn’t helping me so much), and we recently dropped cable TV, so we are not spending as much money on those things and can allocate those funds elsewhere! It’s interesting how these things work out.
Thankfully, I truly understand more and more how this self-care is necessary not just for me, but for my family and the greater world. If my well is empty, no one else can drink from it. We affect those around us, and they affect those around them and so on out into the world. How do you fill yourself up?