The seasons have revolved yet again, and it is now Winter here in Australia. It has felt like such a shock to our systems here in Queensland, after so many continuous months of sunshine and warmth. We are lucky to have the most beautiful, mild winter months here, but the first biting winds and 5 degree mornings have not failed to take us by surprise, even though we know to expect them at this time, every year. The sun still shines through and we chase it like lizards, bathing our backs and faces, grateful for the reprieve in not needing sunscreen for just a little while.
The inner seasons continue to revolve, though so much more slowly. Tangling and wrestling with thoughts and ideas and worries and what ifs? Searching for purpose and meaning and understanding and answers. Wondering and waiting and hoping for the Universe to show me what she’s been working on all this time. All these moments she has promised to deliver – but when? I feel like I am waiting so patiently. My mother always said patience is a virtue.. and now I say it to my kids. But I have grown impatient lately.
I have been questioning so deeply my direction and plans. Jumping from feeling so sure about things not so long ago, to wanting to throw it all out and start from scratch again. Why do we do that? Some days it feels exhilaratingly freeing and others, more like rocking in a corner in the foetal position. Adulting is hard.
For the last few years of my life, I have lived with awareness. Life is never the same after you wake up and really pay attention to what’s going on around you every day. There’s no going back to old, foggy you. When my little voices begin to speak (and now, my Inner Mentor), I listen attentively. I have had a yearning for some time, to paint. And I’m no painter. I can copy pictures by freehand very well, but come up with ideas of my own to draw? I feel like I’ve always struggled. But these pictures in my head weren’t just paintings. They were a culmination of all the things I have loved to play and create with over many years. Pencils, paints, fabrics, glue, colours, and textures. Forming faces and personalities and individuality.
Once I began to sit and stand for hours on end at the kitchen table, cutting and pasting and painting and colouring, my whole body felt like it had exhaled. Free to make and create without restraint or rules or expectations. No client to please, no social media to advertise on. Nothing. Just creativity and wide open space. Trusting old instincts in picking up old tools and knowing something would be made from only my hands. It could be something terrible but hell, it’s damn cheap therapy to just open up and have a go. Dip your toes in. Try!
In Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist, he writes that we should all have two desks. One digital, one analog. I was craving my own little analog space that didn’t have to be packed away. And after weeks of me claiming the kitchen table as my art space, the kids really wanted to eat dinner there again instead of being shunned to the breakfast bar or out under the pergola as Winter began to show herself. So I found myself a little second hand table, gave it a lick of paint to feel new again, and had a reshuffle of furniture to make my own permanent analog space. I’ve never seen the kids so happy to sit down for dinner at the kitchen table before..! And that tiny little corner in the living room that is now mine, is bringing me so much joy.
While I continue to cut and paste and paint and colour, I listen. Some days to podcasts, and some days just to music because I need a break to digest all the wonderful things I’ve learned from the previous day’s podcasts. My memory is terrible, but I’ve tried to remember some of my favourites over the last little while.
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard – His openness and honesty is so unique. Nothing is off limits and I marvel at the life he has lived and the beautiful person he has become through it all. I laugh and cry and I love that it’s a properly LONG podcast. Shorter podcasts have their place but I truly love that he bucked the trend and intentionally set out to have real conversations with his guests that take as long as they take. Recently loved the episodes with Craig T. Nelson (BIIIIIG Parenthood fan here), Norah Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Gottman.
Your Dream Life with Kristina Karlsson – Kristina’s infectious energy and spirit are always uplifting. I loved her most recent episode with Marianne Power and look forward to reading her new book.
TDF Talks – The Design Files Founder, Lucy Feagins, interviews other successful creatives. Once you get past the awkward prerecorded opening each week, the discussions are lovely. Recently loved her chat with famous artist, David Bromley. His story and personality shocked me completely! I love it when that happens.
The goop Podcast – It took me a while to get on this train, but I’m never getting off. Such great topics are constantly uncovered. Recent favourites have been Elise’s discussion with psychiatrist Will Siu on Processing the Trauma of Loneliness (sobbing mess during this one), Gwyneth and Brene Brown’s chat, Elise’s chat with Bill Clegg on Addiction and Recovery.
Happy Sad Confused – this was a lucky find that I listened to so easily. Particularly episodes with Ricky Gervais, Lisa Kudrow, Danielle Radcliffe, Lily Collins, Topher Grace.
Of course, there are many more, but my list would be too long! I’d love to know – what are your favourite podcasts? And do you have an analog space to create freely?