Whilst picking up art supplies on a sunny Saturday morning I stumbled upon the creative centre in down town Malmö. The morning had not started well with parking difficulties, time restraints and it was whilst I was walking the extra few blocks that I noticed a flurry of people coming and going from a large building. The sound of laughter first drew my attention and after 6 years of quite conditioning to the reserved Malmö citizens my curiosity got the better of me.
This centre was buzzing with people of all ages, all walks of life, people happy in their space, it was down right refreshing. Inside this large 3 floors building I found a warren of creative spaces. The large well stocked studios had every conceivable piece of equipment imaginable. Courses were offered in ceramics, painting, waving, silver jewelry making, quilting, glass fusing and much more. Caught up in the excitement of the moment I sign up immediately for a Saturday morning course in glass fusing. My justification for this impulsive commitment of my time was the need to improve Svenska uttal (spoken Swedish) while expanding my creative knowledge!
At first I found it difficult to focus my creative energy on glass. Much of this was due to the age-old sin of not allowing for “Me Time”. Riddled with guilt that the precious family weekends were taken up with my selfish needs, the guilt of missed rugby games, ice-skating shows or gymnastics displays did take its toil. After several weeks of struggling to focus or find direction in class, my inner conflicts subduing my creative flow until finally I give my self a severe peep talk.
My mantra to adult students ‘You need Me Time!’ is about giving yourself permission for “Me Time”, if only for a few hours a week. This precious time allows you to focus on your needs not the needs of others. Don’t worry about what’s for dinner, the recycling, the dirty dishes, the laundry or taking the dog for a walk, this can wait, but you can’t. For just for a few hours each week don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list. Recharge your batteries and celebrate you! It really does not matter what you do this is your ‘Me Time’, read a book, sip a coffee in the garden, doodle, be creative, yoga or meditate. Just be still and be present in the moment. I am a better person for ‘Me Time’ and you will be too. Just take that leap of faith.
‘Me Time’ does not come easy, you have to change your mind set and the mind set of the loved ones around you. You have to reconsider being everything to everybody and claw back some quality time for your own sanity’s sake. Prioritize yourself, you are important and your loved ones will slowly come to know the signals for Do Not Disturb. The tendency to be put ‘Me Time’ on the back boiler especially during life’s fluctuations is strong therefore practice and cultivation of ‘Me Time’ is important. I try to practice what I preach and hold onto ‘Me Time’, giving myself permission to celebrate and be creative. If I am unable to create I consciously try to clear my head to make room for creative thoughts. If this not possible I don’t force it I just simply take out a pad to doodle doodle doodle.
Here are some wonderful examples of my students giving themselves permission for some creative ‘Me Time’
Please don’t leave without leaving a comment below. What do you do for Me Time?