pathways

I have been thinking about pathways... the sort that we follow through life... the sort that make connections in our brains... the sort we walked along this weekend along the beautiful shoreline in south Cumbria... somehow they all meet up along the way as we try to make sense of the journey.

As my aim for this year is to learn how to be kind to myself, I have been thinking about how my thoughts go along certain pathways when I don't actually want to go in that direction... how thoughts throw you off course and you suddenly find yourself wandering aimlessly and wondering how you got there.

When I am emotionally drained and feel burdened by the pressure of responsibility, I can't be creative. I just can't. But I'm not sure why. I become angry and full of a destructive energy that works directly at odds with creativity. I spin into a strange state where I simultaneously wish to deprive myself of stimuli and also manically sort things out into some kind of order. I need to work out why I do this and what would be a kinder way of reacting... this way I hope to learn how to continue creating at some level even when things feel difficult.

This weekend marks the two-year anniversary of my list-keeping exercise over at Listography. Five things that make me happy every day... it opens my eyes, makes me notice, makes me thankful, keeps me a little bit sane some days... it's a wonderful way of recording the rhythms of the year. You can read about why I started it here.

17 comments:

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Ah, being kind to oneself is not the easiest of things is it, but it sounds like you're making a good start x

Thrifty Household said...

Being kind to yourself is a very wise thing to do...
I like your daily list of 5 things that make you happy. I know that I shall mull that idea over during the next few days.
Thanks for the inspiration & the lovely photos!

Carol said...

It is like when you want to close down your mind and sleep, it doesn't always work. You count sheep, you think about waves on the beach but then you realise you are thinking about whatever problem you were trying to escape from.
Yes, be kind to yourself. Lovely photos.
Carol xx

Frances said...

Hmmm, Sue, I have found much to consider here. I love the photo, and admit that I've been doing a lot of visual playing around with grey this past few weeks.

As a few minutes of daylight are added on each afternoon (I notice that more than the morning additions) I begin to have a quiet little celebration. This happens to me every year.

This year is bound to bring many changed to my life, some of which I've already arranged, some of which will be surprises.

Don't know if I would dare to make daily lists, but know that I do try to notice daily joys, even if minute, as they pop up.

Still, time continues to pass by so very quickly.

xo

Anonymous said...

That's a great New Year's Resolution, and I also intend to be more kind to myself. I did a thing in a book, where you list all the things you'd like to do if the doctor told you that you only have six months to live. It's a good reminder of what is really important to you. It made me realize that some seemingly small and trivial things actually bring a lot of pleasure and happiness and sparkle to my life. Things like slowly eating hazelnut Italian gelato!
Also, have you checked out this place? Don't be put off by the busy facade, it has a lot to offer in terms of tools and support and teaching you how to be kind to yourself : http://www.divineopenings.com/

Thank you for your inspiring blog and happy 2012 to you!

Beatrice

Jennifer Tetlow said...

Beautiful photo, I am wanting a little path in my veg plot, and this is a perfect look, and I have plenty stones - summer project! Also thanks for the link to Spreaker, new to me, also now enjoying the Kettle's Yard lunchtime talks.

marigold jam said...

If you discover the answer please post it as I need to know it too! I thought that when I was older I would become the sort of calm, gentle person I always wanted to be but so far it hasn't happened! Like you I feel a compulsion to clear things out in an attempt to stamp some sort of order in the rest of my life - doesn't really work although it does concentrate the mind a little. I have come to think that maybe the key word is "acceptance" of how we are and how life is and that desperately trying to change things is perhaps not the answer. I like Annonomous's comment about learning to realise what small things bring us pleasure and like the old saying about looking after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves perhaps if we could only concentrate on the small things the bigger picture would look after itself. I love your gentle muted palette of photos and your path photo is so exactly right for this post. Take care which path you set off on though eh?!!

Toffeeapple said...

I have no answer for you but can only wish that you find your direction, your path. I hope that you'll be painting again soon. Sending hugs!

Sue said...

Thank you for your lovely comments - apologies to those of you who are 'no-reply' bloggers as I can't reply to you personally.

sue said...

That's such a good thought to have, you must be kind to yourself, always! I think that the paths we find ourselves on are usually the right one even if it's difficult or unpleasant because it leads us to a place or decision that's right in the end!

ljw said...

It's the smallest of things that can give such pleasure - the flash of blue of a kingfisher, helping a stranger off the train, a thank you card for something you hadn't given a second thought, memories of a successful physical challenge. Those are the things I use as an anchor if my ocean of life is becoming stormy.

kate fern said...

Hi Sue, Your post really resonated for me, my resolution for this year is to be positive - I also get bogged down in emotions that make it hard to get anything done!! Your blog is wonderful and one of my favourites, congratulation on 100 followers! Best wishes for the new year and being kind. xx

Gloria Freshley Art and Design said...

Hi Sue, I've been following your wonderful work via your flickr site for some time now. I'm not sure why it took me so long to find you here but I'm awfully glad I finally did! I look forward to returning again and again. Thanks much!

Sue said...

Thank you Gloria :-)

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Much easier to be kind to someone else rather than to yourself I find!
I haven't been very creative during January because I decided that this was going to be the month that I did my spring cleaning and I didn't allow myself any time to make. How crazy is that!!
Vivienne x

Pam said...

This space of my mine is probably feeling a little raw just now - lots and lots of sorting, tidying consolodating. But it does help in the long term - once that creativity returns then there's space for it all!
Great post as always.
P x

Theresa said...

Thank you for 'liking' my blog and leading me to yours, which I shall return to again soon.