Conscious Reflection Map
A naughty cat, and what I found in a bookmark collection
When I suggested last week that we look out for the little pockets of creativity that can sometimes go unnoticed, I expected it to be more straightforward than it has been. Life is hectic as ever! Most of us are juggling all sorts of responsibilities alongside a whole host of different, uncertain and changed circumstances with no assurances for the future or any solid answers to give to anyone about where we are going and how we will get there.
As I write, I have a few moments to myself after a busy day when tomorrow is the last day of school for another six weeks, even though only one of my children has returned to school, for a total of six days - with all the normal summer activities pretty much off limits for the next six weeks - but, for this evening I have some time and space to write - but no! One of my cats, Nancy, has sneaked in the door of my studio and is investigating the fabric drawer. This is definitely out of bounds and this naughty cat is not helping me to claim some time and space as my own. How can I find space for creative joy and freedom, when even my cat is disrupting me?
The list of things I need - or want - to do seems to be growing, not shrinking. Something is not adding up. Hmmm.
Last week I mentioned an exercise I wanted to share for this week. It has been illuminating and thought provoking and I have settled to a degree with the discomfort of self confrontation and I invite you to do the same. I have deliberately crafted, but not completed it yet as I like to do the challenges in real time - if anyone wants to join me in my creative challenges, then we can do it together. So:
This week’s challenge:
Create a Conscious Reflection Map
Here is a list of the ladder of emotions from the book ‘Letting Go - The Pathway of Surrender’ by David R Hawkins.
Each emotion is assigned a number and goes like this:
Here is what to do:
- Choose a period of time. Maybe lockdown, maybe a month, year or a few years.
- Check your journal, emails or social media for that time.
- Write a list of each month.
- Next to each month/week, briefly record what you did and how you felt on the scale.
- Take a piece of paper and make an axis.
- Along the bottom write the months or weeks
- Along the side number upwards from 20 - 600 in tens.
- Plot for each month or week where you were emotionally at the time.
- Join the dots.
- Make it into a picture or design while reflecting on what happened, why it happened and how things can change if you want them to. It is about looking for patterns and identifying the ones which aren’t helping you and seeing how you can change them for a new pattern which does help you.
This sounds like a lot of work but each stage is small and doesn’t need to take long. It will signpost or highlight patterns in what you spent your time doing or events that occurred and importantly it will tell you what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad. Then there are plenty of options to investigate how you can turn the negatives into positives, what you can let go of, things you liked and want to do more of.
This is an example of the kind of exercise I might use in my coaching practice. If it is something you’d like to investigate on a more personal level, or you enjoy it and would like to know more, you can see my coaching options HERE. If you prefer you can book a call in with me HERE to have a chat about it. I hope you get plenty of enjoyment and insight from it.
"Sophie is absolutely wonderful to work with. Her energy is contagious and warm and receptive. I loved her engaging, creative approach to coaching which was definitely a plus for me." - Shae, London
Last week's challenge:
It is so interesting that just by placing a mindful intention on an area of everyday life it can show us so much about ourselves. I have questioned myself - ‘am I doing this just so I have something creative to show for the week?’ ‘Maybe I’m not as creative as I think I am’ and so on.
I have wondered if an activity as mundane as cooking a new meal (three actually) with different food from an organic vegetable delivery box that put me out of my comfort zone but my kids still ate it all counts as creative - of course it does now I put it like that but at the time I wasn’t so sure.
Is it the photos of patterns of cracks in part of the sea wall that I photographed while my son and I waited for my daughter to put on her jelly shoes after a morning at the beach where I read and they played? That I am so fortunate to have a life in which this scenario is possible.
Does it count that we went shopping to a haberdashery department and looked at fabric and trimmings and it brought me great joy, which was okay because I was buying things to make masks for my family? The pleasure of it says to me a great big yes, this sums it up exactly.
As does another revelation that happened as a result of this challenge, or at least it wouldn’t have worked out the way it did if I hadn’t had the challenge in mind: I have a big collection of leather bookmarks bought at most of the places I visited as a child; as I’m decluttering I decided to put the collection on eBay. It doesn’t serve me, I thought. I dont have positive memories from some of these places. It can go. So I got them out and began to lay them out on the table to photograph and sell. Then I met my younger self.
Aside from the places I’d forgotten existed, there were memories and reminders from others. Most of these were bought at a time before other things had happened, a time which I rarely revisit. I experienced a reconnection with myself that I hadn’t been expecting. I found myself arranging them in order of colours. Exactly like I used to do with my felt tip pens, my washing line pegs and tea and mug combinations I mentioned last week.
And, there is my unintentional creativity. Making something I had changed my mind about selling into a work of art just for the sake of it. The realisation that instead of rejecting my past and running away from it, the answers lie in interacting with it and making friends with it.
What have you creatively accepted this week? Unintentionally created? Found harmony within?
Let me know at:
The Attentive Art Group on Facebook
Have a lovely week