No one has or will ever call me a clean freak.
Words you might associate with my living space are clutter, creative chaos, (delightful) disorder, shabby chic, bohemian, artistic, free-spirited, and so forth.
...but hopefully not the words disaster or disgusting....
Lately, I've been doing some thinking about living and working spaces, noticing what I admire in other people's spaces, as well as what is working for mine, or has worked for me in the past. There are qualities I am consistently drawn to: spaciousness, flow, comfort. (I think in particular about my friend Beata's home which is always a pleasure to be in.) I want to work and live in a functional space that is full of these qualities. And I also want it to all be under one roof, which has led me to the exciting discovery that, actually, I want my studio back in my home. Fantastic!
......well, except for the whole part of actually making it happen.
See, it's actually been a really hard process moving the studio home.
Of course, there have been a lot of practical things to do like moving everything back from the other location (thank you for helping M&M&B!), asking the landlord to remove the bed from the second bedroom so it can actually be a full time work space, taking apart furniture and putting it back together, and going through all kinds of junk that's been sitting around too long, donating and returning things, getting rid of stuff, reorganizing everything.
And yet, this morning I finally realized that this has really all been challenging because of the internal stuff going on.
Are you still with me? Because this is where the cool stuff happens.
I have noticed that for the last several days (basically since we moved everything back here on Saturday) I've been wavering in the anxiety, worry, apathy, boredom end of the spectrum which (duh) means that nothing has been much fun.
Next thing to note is that this chart is about perceived skill and perceived challenge. bing bing bing!
This is when i realized that, oh, right, it's about what's happening internally, not externally.
Okay so clearly based on the kinds of things i've been feeling, i perceive my skill in this situation to be very low. The skill in this case being organization.
Another observation: how i've been perceiving the challenge/goal (in this case, having a functional organized studio) has been changing from day to day (or even hour to hour really). Possibly because I haven't really spent time clarifying the goal in a concrete way.
Here are some ways i have been experimenting with these observations to move into the other half of the chart:
Bringing in the internal scientists/investigators and ask them for examples of ways that I am organized/methodical, etc. (increase my perception of skill) (what ways am i organized? before i do the dishes, i arrange all the dishes by type, which always makes it go faster and is more enjoyable for me. when i am making patterns i'm very meticulous about measurements. when i write i value clarity and ease of understanding which is totally related to organization. i'm very good at taking machines and furniture apart and putting them back together. etc.)
Continuing to check in and acknowledge where i've already made progress (increase perception of skill and decrease perception of challenge).
Clarifying the challenge/goal by spending more time definining exactly what i'd like to see and feel in the studio space.
Breaking down the challenge according to how skilled/capable i feel at any given moment; if i'm feeling good, maybe tackle a bigger chunk, or if not, maybe go through one shoebox sized amount and then get out of the house for a bit.
Play with how I perceive the challenge/goal: set inriguing goals like "go through that stack of stuff in detective mode and search for secret messages from past you" (this exercise was great! the penciled notes i found while going through a few piles of papers: "following your heart really means opening the door to giving and receiving. totally scary at first and totally worthwhile." "stepping in to being an Artist means allowing yourself to be vulnerable." "my cup flourish over" "cradle your idea, hold it gently in your mind's eye")
I'm sure there are many other ways to play with this, if anyone has ideas, please do share! Can you see ways you could apply this to a challenge you are facing?
P.S. I've got a facebook page now! I'll be updating that regularly with inspiration and projects i'm working on, so please check it out!