Procrastination! Why do we do it?

You know how it goes; you get back from dropping the kids at school with the best intentions of ‘getting stuff done’; you might promise yourself you’ll have the next chapter of your book written or make some new stock for your Etsy shop. Maybe you’ve resolved to try a new gym class or tackle the mess in the back room. The next thing you know it is time to pick the kids up already and none of the things on your list are ticked off, where did your day go?

The answer lies not in the how but the why.

In order to begin moving forwards with your life and not from side to side, round in circles, or, even worse – backwards, you need to find out what is causing you to procrastinate in the first place. The little cogs that operate your subconscious have their own agenda and they couldn’t care less about your best intentions. You can’t get in alignment with your actions if you don’t know why you’re not doing them! Once you’ve identified the cause, you can decide on what you want to do, why you want to do it and when it will be done by. You can tell your subconscious what the deal is and refuse to listen to its distractions.

Maybe the truth is you don’t feel like you’re good enough to write a book, and you’re struggling to get the words down because self doubt has come in. Or your Etsy shop has been quiet lately so what’s the point of restocking it? You are worried the gym class will be too hard and you won’t be able to keep up. All of these hidden fears get in our way, they make us feel uncomfortable and our subconscious is very clever at distracting us from the discomfort so we don’t even notice!

Once you are aware of what is literally driving you to distraction, you can look for solutions. With the examples I have listed above; there are writers groups both on and offline that might provide you some support and encouragement. Perhaps you could try swapping Etsy for a different outlet or you could ask your customers what they want more of. Instead of avoiding the gym class, see if you can persuade a friend to go with you or start with a class you know you can do, and move up from there. You know the back room will feel great when the mess in it has gone, but you resent being the only person who will do anything about it. If so, then who made the mess? Can you make it a team effort, a game or issue a reward to whoever clears it up, yourself included.

Once you know what is causing you to procrastinate, you can move past that block and start getting it all done. For me, mindful creativity allows my mind to slow down and hear the solutions to things. Because I’m also focusing on making colours on the page, while mulling over the issue at hand, what happens is my honest brain tiptoes out of it’s hiding place and tells me the things I need to know. The bonus is, in the process of this beautiful self understanding, I have made a lovely piece of art too. This process has literally changed my life!

I used mindful creativity to combat my own procrastination (I was actually secretly scared of just about everything!) and I’ve made a Procrastination Workshop to help you get over your issues too. You can buy it as a digital product from my website. It usually costs £25.00 but as you have taken the time to read this far, you probably procrastinate. So to say thank you for getting to the end of the page, and because you will benefit from it, you can buy it today for just £5.00. Click HERE to buy. X

(offer till midnight GMT on Sunday 13.5.18).

THE Mindful Living SHOW

Last Week I visited the Mindful Living Show in Manchester UK, I wanted to go because I was looking forward to connecting with people who shared my passion for mindfulness and creativity and I also wanted to find out more as I intend to take part in the London show later this year.

It was a three and a half hour train journey each way, which seemed a bit mad but it was important to me that I went. I then saw the cost of the train ticket - to Manchester from where I live in Yorkshire you can only buy a one month open return, it isn't the sort of journey you would normally do in a day. I took a deep breath and booked the train tickets online, then went with my four year old son to collect them the next day - he always loves an excuse to look at trains. As I checked my phone for the purchase code I noticed an email from the estate agent in Liverpool who sold my house there seven months ago. I hadn't expected to hear from them again so I opened it. Inside was a remittance note to say that on the day I would be travelling to Manchester, they were going to pay some outstanding money owed to me. It was the exact same amount as my train ticket, to the penny! 

So I knew then it was going to be a worthwhile trip!

Here are some of my highlights:

Meeting the editor of In The Moment magazine, which is one of my favourite magazines (I read a lot of them). It was great to talk about all things mindful and creative. I plan to stay in touch.

Talking to people who do mindfulness based activities for children, including Max Mindpower the Bear - a teddy that talks you through a meditation when you squeeze his paws, he even breathes with you! There is a brilliant series of children's books about dealing with emotions. I also met the people from Relax Kids who have a whole programme of brilliant resources for kids and they kindly gave me some fabulous wall charts for my children.

I watched a talk by Christine Bailey on Eating to Enhance Brain Performance and Memory which was fascinating and reminded me not to overlook the importance of good nutrition as I can often do. 

I met the people at Mindful Resilience Enhancement and took away plenty of information, including the learning zones of the brain, a more in depth look into what I've been studying in Modern and Positive Psychology.

I had a lovely chat with the people selling and promoting Thich Nhat Hanh, some of whose books I have read and they shared with me a lovely pebble meditation which I will do with my children over the school holidays next week.

I took part in a fun and insightful workshop by a company called beanddo. We had a minute or so to fill in a page full of circles into whatever we could think of, each circle had to be different. I had read about this exercise online so it was great to actually do it. We also did some blind contour drawing (drawing the person opposite without looking at the paper) and drawing our own portrait by closing our eyes and tracing with the finger of one hand and drawing with the other, then swapping over. 

I met Naomi Kendrick, an artist who is running a project at Manchester Art Gallery called 'De-Stress and Draw'. She had a huge area of plain paper, dotted about with beanbag cushions and headphones. Along the side were pots of coloured crayons and pastels. I was in my element as you can see above! As well as thoroughly enjoying the experience it was great to connect with a fellow artist who thinks along similar lines and gets what I do. Manchester Art Gallery has a whole programme around wellbeing over the next few months and into next year, Naomi's De-Stress and Draw is a part of that. My day in Manchester didn't afford me the time to visit the Art Gallery as well, but I will definitely be going back. 

Who Are You and What Do You Want?

Numerous studies have concluded that when we truly know the answer to this question, well two questions really, then everything else falls into place. At the very least, we know what we are aiming for, and, because we are aligned with it, we are likely to have more success in achieving it.

I made a piece of art around this subject earlier in the year; identity is a big theme in both my artwork and my creativity coaching. Here is my painting, it is made on a large canvas, about 1 metre x 1.5 metres, each letter has been hand cut from reflective fabric and machine stitched on to a painted person, each person is then hand stitched on to the painted canvas. As you can imagine, this gave me plenty of time to ponder the question of identity!
 

Who Are You and What Do You Want?

Do you know who you are and what you want? 

If you'd like me to help you find out, click the button for more info. X

Bye for now,

 

Sophie X

ARCHETYPES

Hello!

This week I’m studying archetypes and it is thoroughly fascinating. I’ll share more about them later.  For now here is a basic wheel of the different types. You might recognise yourself as one of these but in truth we all adopt more than one archetype and use them as we need to depending on our current situation.

 

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Here is an amazing quote from an archetype expert called Carol Pearson.

“The natural way to activate inner potential is to shine a light of consciousness upon it”

YES! That is exactly what I do in my Mindful Creativity Programmes! If you have read and completed my e-book, that is what you will have been doing as well.

If you haven’t read the book you can get your copy here:

If you have and you’d like to make any comments or share some insights about it that would be brilliant, you can do that here:

What areas of your life would you like to shine a light onto?

Bye for now,

Sophie X

PS. If you want to shine that light with a 15% discount (till 31.10.17) you can sign up here.

 If you’d like a free chat with me first, book yourself in here, I’m looking forward to it. X

Perception

I recently visited the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. In the foyer was this. 

Rocks not rocks.jpg

What is a pile of rocks and stones doing in the Foyer of an art gallery? Well, first of all this is a work of art. Secondly, the rocks are not rocks. They are indeed picked up off the beach, but are actually worn down pieces of float foam and fibreglass, collected by artist Alexander Duncan.

This is a challenging point in our perception of our environment: What we perceive to be products of the natural world, are in fact litter, rubbish.

Where else is your perception inaccurate?

For me it is my perception of time and what I can realistically get done. I am always overestimating what can be achieved in any hour/day/week/month/year.

I love to write, make art, do yoga, swim, and read. I read a lot and realise I will never read all the books I will want to read, because there are so many out there already and so many being written all the time.

Until I remember that in the same way, just because a book exists, it doesn’t means I have to read it.

I am not required to cover every canvas in existence in paint and beads. (although I might try!)

I do not have to visit every country in the world even if I think I want to.

This is where mindfulness comes in and helps me to be less frenetic all the time, to savour things and notice them with curiosity. This in turn allows me to see an alternative perspective. 

We can choose what we want to take as our truth.

How much of your perspective is based on what you were told?

Are you sure everything you believe is really true?

Would you like some help in finding out?

YES

If you’d like to make some friends and share your mindfulness experiences, what creative pursuits you enjoy and maybe even join in with my enthusiasm for visual journaling, join the Attentive Art Facebook group, I'd love to welcome you. 

Much love,

Sophie X