Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The theme for this month's Art Bead Scene Carnival Blog post is...Renewal.

Renewal is a wonderful thing, and there are various ways that I like to engage with it. Doing any of these things makes me feel fresh, alive, and unburdened from either physical or mental baggage, and reminds me to appreciate what's important. Here's a list (in no particular order) from my bag of tricks for achieving renewal.

1. Clean my work space. While I find a great deal of inspiration from a torch table piled deep with remnants from countless creative moments, the clutter can take a toll on my psyche. I sweep it clean periodically and find that new ideas will stream in. If they don't I just wallow in self pride for having cleaned my space. It doesn't happen regularly, so it's noteworthy.

Nature has a way of cleaning her work space as well where I live in the coastal mountains of California, through forest fires. These types of trees actually need fire to thin out competing species and to help their seeds to germinate.

This picture taken on one of my walks shows the charred outer bark of a redwood burned in a fire in the 1980s, with fresh new growth visible through the split. It's a visible historical record of how the tree survived and is growing.

I find some metaphorical inspiration in this observation that through fire (difficult, challenging times) comes new growth, and more importantly, survival and triumph.

2. Deprive myself. Whether its food, activities, routines, or people, sometimes doing without something that makes up a regular part of my day brings me a new outlook, and a refreshed feeling. I don't have to banish this thing forever, but find that even avoiding them for a little while helps me feel renewed, and makes me appreciate the value of this element in my life.

3. Get rid of clutter. My husband (who for the most part requires a lot fewer possessions in his life) is jumping for joy reading these words. Things have a very sneaky way of finding their way into my home, and then going unnoticed for long periods as they gradually weigh down my spirit. I will forever be searching for balance in this regard; to have exactly the right amount of "stuff" to keep me feeling secure, creatively inspired, yet footloose and ready to go at a moment's notice. Occasional purges definitely help me feel renewed.

4. Travel. Sometimes even a weekend away from home can seem like a much longer trip, and when I return everything in my home seems different. I gaze upon things with a fresh eye, and the experiences I have when away help me view my every day routine at home differently. I have my most creative inspiration when I'm traveling and seeing new things. Well, then and also when I'm lying in bed waiting for the elusive sleep fairy to visit. I guess sleep is a form of renewal too, isn't it?

5. Shopping. There, I've said it. The complete opposite of decluttering, but I find that I can do either (or both) and feel renewed. What's up with that? Sometimes carrying a new handbag or having a new bedspread or plant in the garden is all it takes to freshen my outlook.

Anyway, when I'm worn out, and need to feel refreshed, I try these things and they help. What does renewal mean to you?


Jeannie said...

OH Patty these are all great renewal tricks. Especially the "clean my work space." If I don't, I become unproductive and un motivated.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

All excellent suggestions. I so need to work on the clutter!

Snowcatcher said...

I don't want to talk, think or ponder clutter. I'm such a packrat. But I like your suggestions! Especially the sleep part...

Patty said...

Deb, it's a life's journey to declutter, and someday I may get there. But it's not for everyone. On the sleep, from what I hear you've been up to (, you greatly deserve some!

rosebud101 said...

I've hit a decluttering mode now, too. I think I finally have recharged somewhat from all that has been going on in my life. Normal is never again, but renewal is daily for me. Good for you, Patty. I wish you luck with your renewal.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Ah sweet renewel! Reduce, reduce, reduce. I'm beginning to wonder just how much "stuff" I could do without. It's amazing how cleaning your work space helps. I think you've got it broken down pretty good Patty and those steps are do-able. Now I just need a kick in old behind to get me going!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

A good set of tips to help one renew! I laughed about your husband needing far less possessions than you, I live with a husband who is like that too - I'm the packrat and recycler (I find they feed each other, you have to save all the stuff to recycle it).

Michelle Mach said...

This is a great list. All those things work for me . . . plus reading blogs like this or talking to friends. It's energizing to spend time with other creative folks.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas. I think cleaning your work area helps organize your mind too. Also nature and trips are my favorites for renewal. Great ideas.

Susan Z


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