New Writing Spot

It might seem a usual place one might write – on your bed. But this is one place I don’t write. Maybe I might jot down a few notes at 3am when my mind thinks it has come up with some wonderful idea, which I usually consider lame at 7am. That doesn’t count as writing.

I’ve never written while on my bed. I never studied on my bed. Now, out of necessity I have. Bubs was sleeping and there was a lot of noise downstairs with the council work ripping up the path for some reason. I needed to be near bubs, so I could hear him when he woke. So, I set up to write on my bed, lap top on my lap, with a cup of tea (not the usual coffee), and got writing. The dog was on the floor near me (bed is out of bounds for him), and I’m comfortable and inspired, despite the jack-hammering noise outside.

cup of tea and writing.jpgInstead of allowing the noise, and the disruption to bother me, I adapted to my environment, and got on with the writing project I needed to do. Bubs slept. I wrote. The dog was happy. I even enjoyed drinking my cup of tea during the session.

Then when bubs woke, I had a little writing to finish, so he played on my bed while I wrote. Then my computer was packed up, and we played for a while.

This sounds easy, but I don’t really like writing on my bed. By allowing myself to adapt to the situation at hand, I got to write, bubs slept, and then we got time together.

I’ve often have had Charles Darwin’s quote in mind:

“It’s not the most intellectual of the species that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”

While I might be still at home, my environment is constantly changing with bubs. It’s not always easy to adapt in the moment. I now know what this can be for me in a simple form. Which means I can do this again more easily in the future. And instead of coffee, I enjoyed a cup of tea, and reduced my caffeine intake. Lots of little wins all around!

Have you had a simple moment when you’ve adapted in order to create? Please share below in the comments.

Special Valentine’s Day Memory

Valentine’s Day isn’t big in Australia, well not so much when I was growing up. It has become more commercial over the years and is something I’m more aware of.

I first learnt about Valentine’s Day in my early years at school. I thought it was specific between girls and boys or women and men, and was something to do with true love (even though I didn’t know that was).

When I got a Valentine’s card from a female cousin in America who was coming to visit us downunder in a few months, I was a bit confused because she wasn’t my girlfriend (I only wanted love cards from guys!). In Australia this was a very different cultural thing for me to have experienced.

Mum sat me down and explained it wasn’t that sort of love, but a true friendship love which doesn’t matter if it’s from a boy or a girl. And that this was part of the American culture to give cards to people who were meaningful in your life and someone you loved. I’m not sure I really understood (I was under ten years old at the time).

Mum then started to buy us (me and my sisters) inexpensive gifts each year for Valentine’s Day, partly because some of my ancestry is linked to America and I believe this was mum’s subtle way to open my mind.

One year, much later when I was in my early 20s mum gave me (and my sisters) a purse-sized packet of tissues with love hearts on it. I wasn’t impressed. Even though it only costs a few backs, I told mum it was a waste of money, as it was tissues. She was hurt and upset of course. It was just some fun, something little. Something I realised much later after she passed that required some thought to find something practical and without spending much money. And I was sad. I’d not received the gift graciously. Over time this has turned into the most cherished memories of mine for Valentine’s Day much better than any gifts from guys I’d been dating or in relationships at the time, (including a dozen roses) and a hell of a lot more meaningful than any gift I’d received from a man ~ who was supposedly in love with me at the time!

The gift giving has also been a tradition between me and my sisters each year on Valentine’s Day. My aim is to be thoughtful in the gifts bought and not spend much money. It’s hard to do. It reminds me of the effort mum put in to her gifts to me. How I was ungrateful but also how I learnt (finally) the deeper meaning of giving on this day, beyond convention, commercialism, to connect to the spirit of giving and recognising those who matter in my life, those who stay by my side no matter what. I might not be able to tell mum this. At least I can continue the celebration in her memory.

What special Valentine’s Day memories do you have? Feel free to share them below.

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Pomegranates

For various reasons I stopped art class for a few months, just sometimes there are other things which need attention. I’ve returned to art classes for the three lessons at the end of the term to complete the Intermediate level.

The usual block wasn’t there for me. I wasn’t feeling as critical towards my art or self-conscious or worried whether or not I’d create a mess or not. I even went straight into a small painting of a pomegranate, no sketching beforehand, just marking out the outline with a paintbrush and a little watered down Alizarin red. I’ve never done anything like that before. I wasn’t nervous, critical or even doubting myself. I stepped up, and outlined in paint, then I got painting. What had changed?

pomegranateMaybe I feel a little more familiar with drawing and painting. I wasn’t attached to the outcome, because I wasn’t trying to be perfect first up and I wasn’t trying to produce a masterpiece. All I wanted to do was to finish this small painting in one lesson as best I could.

Reflecting on how I felt, I also noticed that I was more connected to my art, just as it came out, just as it was. I wasn’t tyring to force the process, but simply be. Without being critical about my art or doubting myself I could also be more connected to it, find the flow and let it out in whatever way that was going to be.

It was a more harmonious process. It was refreshing not to have an internal tug of war with myself. This particular art class marked a turning point in my painting journey. Before I was so out of my comfort zone, but now less so to the point where I could begin to enjoy myself and not be crippled by fear and doubt.

This was also the first time I’d been more aware of this change during a creative journey. In the past I’ve not been so self-aware. By being self-aware of the process I can ensure I repeat this positive outcome in the future when trying new writing projects or any new creative project. my painting

And of course it’s a gentle reminder to keep persisting.

Has there been a time when you were completing a creative project and you noticed a shift in how you connected with your art? Please share below.

Lilliana Rose

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Review and Renew

My gorgeous friend Rebecca from A Blissful Existence is offering a guided review of 2017 and renew for 2018 with a series of reflective questions and mandalas to colour.

She is generously offering this in a free PDF or if you want a little more detail there’s a more comprehensive version to purchase.

Click here to check out her Review and Renew.

I’ve downloaded and printed mine and can’t wait to work through and release the year that was in all its glory and dilemmas and dramas, to help clear the way for the new year.

What I really like about what she’s presented here are the mandalas to colour. I write a lot, so I really like the chance to approach my personal reflection differently, with colour and meditation. It’s a nice change for me and helps to bring in new insights.

This time of year is when I do deep reflection about my life and the direction I’m taking. This year I’ll be doing it a bit differently with the help of mandalas from Rebecca 💖

Do you have any particular ritual you like to use to reflect on the year that was and herald in the new year?

Lilliana Rose 🌹

www.lillianarose.com

Swimming

As part of a series on journaling workshops I presented over winter, one of the activities centred around using a sentence to help start writing. Members in the group wrote down the first sentence to the beginning of a story then passed it around the group where all members continued the story with their own sentence.

Each story took unexpected twists and turns than the creator had. This is part of the magic that happens when creating, there are influences you don’t always have control over but it can be worth going with the flow and seeing where you end up.

This was true for the four sentences that were added to mine.

My first sentence was:

Fish swimming all in one direction without thought.

The sentence was inspired by the art work of fish on a canvas in the café where we met.

The photo shows where the others in my group took my story.

first-lines-from-group.jpg

The story went in a completely different place to what I was going to write about. I’m not sure exactly where I was going to take the story of swimming fish, it was going to be something about conformity.

I like how the other four group members influenced the direction of the story and how it changed with each direction taking me to a completely different place. Inspired by their words and influence on the story I decided to change what they had written into a poem (shown in the photo).

swimming poem draft one and two

This is the first draft, raw and messy, and in need of a few rounds of edits. But at least I have something to edit. By allowing myself to flow with this process I managed to write a poem without indenting to and tell a story I’d not otherwise thought of. Also by going though this process, and by going with the flow my logical mind was pushed into the background with all its should and should nots, allowing the process of creativity to unfold naturally.

Of course this process might not have worked. It’s always a risk when creating. By surrendering to the process and outside influences, I as the creator became absorbed in the journey instead of attempting to control every step as an observer. My writing benefits when I’m swimming in the journey and not sitting on the sidelines.

Thank you Carol, Lauren, Jeremy and Nikki for your sentences and influence on this poem. The final poem is in the image.

poem swim

 

Please share below your unexpected influences on your creative projects.

Thank you,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com