Maybe this title is a little misleading.. I have a brain that can never stop, envisioning, delighting in, frowning upon. But my body can stop.. yes.. I am highly skilled at relaxing in the evening, finding a familiar film, a cup of tea. I can always find somewhere to sit on our many toddler visits to the park, to the woods, a rock at the river. To shift my body into action takes much more effort. I have to trick it into exercising by promising it before a run.. oh we’ll mainly walk, we’ll listen to that audiobook whilst watching the morning light in the trees, it will be easy, you won’t need to do much.
But my mind. Wow. A barrage of thoughts. All day. Every day. The only thing that stops the mental flutter is eventual deep sleep. And then upon waking, the first flicker of my eyelid, here we go again. I can quieten it.. through meditation, moments of mindfulness. Relieving, but not easy. After a few ‘surprises’ lets call them over the past few years, I’ve realised the necessity to my own mental wellbeing to sift through these thoughts, to work out negative patterns and to break them, to work out which ones are true, which ones I truly care about, which ones to curb. And mostly I can do this now. But new things fill my brain hourly, it’s so incredibly noisy up there.
Thoughts about new things I want to do, time being the only thing that stops me. Keeping on top of my weedy allotment, my house plant friends, just enough yoga and running to keep my body healthy, the occasional freezing wild swim, to get a move on reading that pile of books, each one so inviting. Oh and my child, children – dog and human. Husband should fit in there somewhere too. And then there’s the extras, the wanting to make a new duvet cover, get back to making clothes (some nice tunic tops and loose dresses for making in would be great), painting for my newsletter, writing for here and for mental therapy, singing lessons (my dream of being a west end star could still happen you know….), embroidering birds and flowers onto the long white curtains I made pre baby. Never ending and existing to do’s thought up by my brain regularly.
You might think that’s it’s great to have these ambitions, and its true, my whole life it will be impossible for me to feel boredom. I’ve a lifetime and many more wants and dreams. But I wonder why I can’t focus on just a few and do a really great job on them. The initial excitement is there, but then something else steps in as I start making some progress. Maybe apathy? My mind after telling me what a good idea it is and I start getting into the flow, getting quieter, my mind gets left out. Starts whispering me words of discouragement, words to knock me off, telling me I have no time, no resources, I’m not good enough. Why bother. Yes, then apathy. The drive of determination halted and mind wins. Confidence shifted. Hmm, move onto the next. Try something different. Its a pattern I’ve noticed throughout my adult life. Even as a child I moved from craft to craft, but I guess then my time was determined and controlled by schooling, not much room for movement.
So I’m writing this in case you’re a little like me too.. Flitty, fanciful, curious… An imagination that whispers to you all the wonderful things you could experience and learn but a mind that holds you back with strong ropes when you get going.. Making you seem to the outside world that you are unreliable, inconsistent, fickle. So called negatives that I think are just part and parcel of many imaginative personalities. Traits that come with the territory. The trick is to somehow find some consistent focus. To recognise first the patterns of thinking that the mind repeats to you. Persuasive repetitions of the mind telling the body to quit. For the first time in my 37 years I am noticing my minds tricks and I’m starting to overcome them. What helps me and might help you too is.. when starting a working day I begin with:
- Reading the vision I wrote for my ceramic business to remind me what I’m doing and why. Then I write down what would be the most important few things to focus on today in working towards that vision (I try to put no more than 3).
- Then I write down 3-4 thoughts that I want to watch out for (i.e I can’t do this, no one will be interested etc..). And 4 thoughts I will switch to when I notice myself saying the negative ones. (i.e I can do this, I make beautiful pieces that people enjoy).
- Throughout the day I check in on myself, just a few minutes each hour grounding myself, sensing my body in space, clearing my mind, noticing any thought patterns that arise.
It takes practise and I’m still testing the results but so far I am definitely noticing less negative self talk, higher spirits in general and if I do get in a slump and loose my flow its easier to come out of it.
I think to summarise, having an imaginative, flirty personality is a wonderful thing, but can be associated with difficulties focusing where you need to in order to grow. Small techniques practised consistently can really help. The people who have most helped me focus are:
- my friend Aleksandra .. I met her here in Hebden Bridge and we both have toddlers. She is also a mindset coach. This instagram post on your vision is the tool I use every day.. https://www.instagram.com/p/CCu_i7DnxWx/
- Every morning I look for a new Joe Dispenza instagram post and if there is an exercise I follow it. He is who I got the idea of the 4 thoughts from. There are also tons of free talks on you tube by him. This is a great one that springs to mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8C3HZpWKAM
- One of the few other instagram accounts I specifically look for each day is Jamila Reddy. I take notes from her posts in my journal and soak in what she has to say. It always helps.
Hope this is helpful for my fellow flitty types, would love any recommendations you have too on harnessing a creative spirit without getting lost,
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