Over the last few months I’ve been working really hard to create a fresh new website for members of my online school. It’s going to be an inspiring, beautiful, clean, organised online home with a fantastic atmosphere.
But whilst I was working so hard, my real-life home had started to disappear into chaos and clutter. Quite literally, as the shrubs in the front garden were beginning to encroach on the windows and block the light from my studio!
And as the clutter built I began to feel drained and lacking in energy and creativity – not a state I enjoy being in!
But luckily my mum mentioned in passing something to do with Feng Shui and it prompted me to do some research into it – and also take some action!
And I was so glad I did.
I took these 3 actions and straight away experienced a HUGE boost to my creativity and energy levels.
If you’re struggling to get inspired to get your paints out at the moment – or you just want to gain the enthusiasm to take your painting practice to the next level, give these a try this weekend and I am certain it will help:
This was the big one for me at the moment.
According to Tisha Morris in Feng Shui Your Life: The Quick Guide to Decluttering Your Home and Renewing Your Life :
Clutter is anything that no longer serves a purpose that is in your highest and best interest. In other words, clutter is stagnant energy that blocks the creative feng shui energy flow and instead drains energy from you.
Because clutter takes up both space and on another level, your personal energy, Morris therefore explains that getting rid of clutter is more about making way for the new than it is about clearing out the old stuff.
And clutter very subjective – becoming more of a problem energetically the more loaded it is with negative emotion, as Jessie Sholl observes with an example I’m sure many of us can relate to:
A chaotic corner of art supplies can feel like an inspiring springboard — and a year later, if the supplies haven’t been touched, like a landscape of failure – Jessie Sholl ‘The Emotional Toll of Clutter’
This isn’t about needing your painting area, or your home for that matter, to be a sterile, minimalist environment. It’s Ok to have plenty of stuff, and a creative ‘mess’ is also OK when you’re in the middle of a project, but it’s important that things get put away once they’re no longer being used, and are organised to keep the energy flowing.
This is singularly my biggest problem! I always rush on to the next project and don’t make the time to tidy away properly. I thought about posting a pic of my studio ‘before’ at this point but I’m afraid I’m just too embarrassed!
And sometimes we need to go further than just organising – we need a proper clear out. Morris makes the rule on this quite simple:
“If you don’t use it or love it, then get rid of it!”
This also applies to finished paintings that you keep but don’t look at. Find friends or even a charity shop to donate them to so they can be looked at and enjoyed!
Try giving your whole home this treatment and see how much lighter and full of creative energy you feel. Then watch the creative ideas and new paintings appear in the space that’s been created.
Or if you’ve not got much time to spare, at least focus on the room where you paint and make that a clutter-free environment.
Tweetable – [bctt tweet=”“Whenever you feel any stagnation in your life, it’s time to clear out your closet.” @TishaLMorris”]
2) Finish the unfinished
A project takes time. And a detailed painting takes time. So there will necessarily be a stage when the project or the painting is unfinished.
But as Sholl describes, when those projects stay unfinished for too long they start to ‘broadcast troubling messages’.
They start to be ‘accompanied by a sense of failure’ which is often liked to perfectionism. ‘If I can’t get it perfect, I’d rather not finish it.’
So when it comes to unfihsined paintings you’ve had sitting around, take stock and finish the ones you think you can finish quickly and get them hung on the wall of your painting room – as a symbol of your ability to complete paintings.
Those painting you really can’t face finishing should be chucked – to rid yourself of the feeling of failure they bring and to make way for the new!
3) Rearrange your painting room
The idea here is that our home mirrors the energy patterns that are within us, so if WE feel creatively (energetically) stagnant then our home contains stagnant energies too. Just as clearing clutter can get the energy of your home AND your creative energy flowing again, so can moving the furniture around in your painting room.
If you really want to order the room where you paint according to Feng Shui principles there’s lots of information here on that.
One key tip for increasing well-being and creativity as you work such as making sure you face the door so that you can see people coming into the room as your work.
A move will disrupt the stagnant energy and get it flowing – especially as it will require you to clean the spaces where the furniture was – underneath the desk etc.
After reading about these Feng Shui principles, I went on a 2 day mission to clear clutter from in and around my home. I cut the shrubs from around the windows, cleared out my wardrobe, tidied and rearranged my studio, even cleared out the spare room of boxes of junk and got the windows cleaned. I chucked things away and even burned things! And I finished off a couple of half-finished jobs. I was unstoppable!
And afterwards I felt so much lighter. And so much more creative and energised.
If all this talk of energies sounds a little ‘woo woo’ to you, I know you’ll still be able to relate to how much you feel better when your home are clean and tidy and ordered.
You may not have thought in terms of needing to clear away the old to make space for the new to enter. But I’m certain that our creatively does work this way and that making ‘space’ externally will influence you internally and inspire to pick up your brushes.
Give it a try – you’ve got nothing to lose – except clutter!
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve used these principles to help your own creativity? Let us know in the comments below.