Self Empowerment

Be gentle with yourself

Today I really don’t feel like being creative.

I’m tired. I started a new job this week and have to get up very early to get there before the traffic starts in order to avoid a long commute. It was pitch black when I left for work this morning.

I already get up early to journal, so an earlier start with the new job is tough. It will take me a while to adapt to this.

So tonight when I got home, I had a hot shower, made myself a hot water bottle (it’s winter here!) and climbed into bed.

As much as I love being creative and using my time after work to do pages in my art journal, or create found poetry, or do any number of the ‘productive’ things that bring me joy – today I’m just too tired.

And that’s ok, too.

I think to myself, what would I say to a friend who told me that she was tired from starting a new job? I would say:

Just rest. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself kindly.

Often I think we pride ourselves on keeping busy – people rant about all the things they have to do as if to show how important they are because they are so busy. We associate busyness with importance, with meaning.

And we have come to associate rest, quiet and slowness with a sign that something is wrong.

But I think there is as much joy to be found in being gentle with ourselves, in resting, as there is with being productive.

It is in the quiet time, the time between the rushing and the doing, that we nurture ourselves. By choosing a book and a cup of tea curled up in bed instead of my art journal and paints tonight, I am listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I am refilling the well of creativity inside, so that I can be productive and creative another time.

It’s all about balance: you need to receive rest and nourishment so that you can create and share your gifts with the world.

Take time out to rest and nurture yourself this week.

4 thoughts on “Be gentle with yourself”

  1. such wise advice.

    it’s funny how we insist on applying the Rules of the Busy World to our creative time…which is such a different sort of entity.

    hope you’re feeling more rested. i know the pinch of the earlier morning — i’m on summer hours myself just now which means a very early start. if i wanted to keep to my morning pages, i’d have to be up at 4am…which, most days, doesn’t happen! so i just jump in later in the day or only write for 15 minutes rather than 30.

    xo

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    1. Yeah, I’ve found that I have less time for journaling in the morning (I used to have an hour! What luxury!) – I only do about 15 minutes now. It’s not quite as satisfying but it’s still good. It’s hard because it makes me so tired at like 7pm, right when I want to be doing my creative things! But you’re right, our creative time is a totally different thing and we have to treat it differently – it’s like it’s a sacred act that follows its own rules!

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  2. This is SO true! It’s also something I SERIOUSLY struggle with, BIG TIME. I’m VERY much a perfectionist, and all it does is make me miserable. We all need to be productive, but we also need to find balance in this world, like you said. We need to learn to be patient with ourselves, listen to our bodies, and give them what they need. They take care of us, so we should take care of them. The Bible says that one’s body is “A Holy temple”; It’s God’s temple, so we should take good care of it. Thank you for the reminder, of being patient. 🙂

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    1. Hi Olivia, I’m a perfectionist too, so I totally understand! It’s hard to force myself to just do nothing, when I feel like I should be doing creative stuff, or at least cleaning or something! I’m really trying to work on taking more time to rest so I don’t get burnt out.

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