I posted the following over at another blog I (try to) keep, called Lotus Mahal:
(Current edits in Black) I’ve been lacking focus for the past month. Something I need to commit to regaining. Unexpectedly, a new person came into my life, and most of my commitment to self-actualization has flown right out the window. I’m having a good time – don’t get me wrong. I’m having a very good time, and it feels good to be all giddy and girly. Oh, and I adopted a puppy from the pound last week – so I’ve been doting on her and giving her much of my attention, too. But it’s high-time the focus comes back.
I haven’t created any artwork since the end of March. That’s nearly three weeks. In fact – it is three weeks! Luckily I had created quite a bit more than my “one a week” challenge, so technically I’m probably still on-track number-wise. And I have much more inspiration right now because of some of the things I’ve been doing lately, which also is causing me to re-think creativity. Couldn’t creativity be: planting a garden (which I did two weekends ago), drawing cabin plans, writing, building compost bins? All things I’ve been doing and planning lately. And life can be creativity as well. Living creativity not only encompasses physical pieces of artwork, but it also encompasses the flow of the beauty of life. And that’s something I’m doing right now as well. I’m going with the flow, and the flow feels good.
I also need to regain my Voluntary Simplicity flow/focus. Culling the possessions, re-evaluating how I live (purchase versus make), and continuing my personal preparedness. Re-dedicating myself to whole foods instead of purchased crap. Cooking and bringing lunch instead of buying it every day. Learning new skills to better prepare myself for the paradym shift to off-grid, homestead style living.
I feel a need to make a list of things I want to do and learn over the summer. So why not post it here? Here’s the beginning of that list:
- Master bread making – I think I have this down pat now
- Learn to make cheese – Didn’t try this over the summer
- Learn to make soap – Didn’t try this over the summer either
- Plant some edible plants in containers (peppers, tomatoes, herbs)– Planted a garden with LLM instead. Much bigger “container” 🙂
- Increase my food storage – Done, but never enough
- Buy fresh veggies at the farmers market and can them– Got them from the garden, a friend’s farm, farmer’s market, and a local organic store.
- Learn to shoot the guns I have – Done, plus bought a .22 rifle that I’m having fun with
- Find a rural home to move into in August (chickens, garden, pet-friendly, wood heat – preferably west of Missoula)– Done, but I didn’t “buy” it – it’s still a rental, and I still fear debt.
- Explore non-conventional living situations– Thought about some, but didn’t try any out.
- Build a solar oven and try it out– Didn’t get to this over the summer
- Cull my possessions to the bare minimum– Culled, but far from “bare minimum”
- Adjust to living and using less electricity– Having skylights in the new place helps – but still using more than I’d care to.
- Re-read The Good Life (about Scott & Helen Nearing) – Didn’t re-read that book, but did read many others that revolved around Voluntary Simplicity.
I think that’s a good start on the list. I know there are more things, but for a Tuesday at 9 am, it’s a start. (Especially when I should be focusing on work, not on my personal development!)
It helps to list these things. List sort of constitute a commitment on my part. So I’ll copy this list into the book I keep in my bag, and will look at it daily to see what I can get done. Perhaps today’s goal will be to buy a couple plants at lunch and start them in the windows.
Knowing that I did actually accomplish a lot this summer – some things not on this list – this serves as a reminder to re-focus on some of the other goals I have for Ditching the Grid and continuing on with my journey of voluntary simplicity.
Autumn also helps to settle me down. Instead of running out the door to play in the creek, hike up one of our local mountains, or go out exploring the back roads, I actually have the time to sit down and examine with I’m after in life. It’s my season of nesting.
I think one of my favorite quotes from the entry above is: “And I have much more inspiration right now because of some of the things I’ve been doing lately, which also is causing me to re-think creativity. Couldn’t creativity be: planting a garden (which I did two weekends ago), drawing cabin plans, writing, building compost bins? All things I’ve been doing and planning lately. And life can be creativity as well. Living creativity not only encompasses physical pieces of artwork, but it also encompasses the flow of the beauty of life. ”
It helps lend flexibility to what I’ve been up to lately. Living creatively is sometimes the best creativity of all.