On the eve of this definitive American election, and on the cusp of the holiday season, this month’s Must-Reads for Creatives are about finding our essence. I’m reading Greg McKeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. It’s about “making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” To create healthy families, meaningful social change, or beautiful creative projects, we must find a way to prioritize them. The rest is noise.

Must-Reads for Creatives: Make Time for the Essential

Must-Reads for Creatives is a monthly curation of articles + art for thoughtful creative parents. Each post arrives tied together by a gentle thread—because I’m not here to add to the noise. Let’s simplify creative living, shall we? (At the end of each post, I share how I’ve been doing just that.) Bookmark these posts. Savor them slowly.

On Making Time for the Essential:

On the eve of this definitive American election, and on the cusp of the holiday season, this month’s Must-Reads for Creatives are about finding our essence. I’m reading Greg McKeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. It’s about “making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”

To create healthy families, meaningful social change, or beautiful creative projects, we must find a way to prioritize them. The rest is noise: saying yes to each imposition on our time, giving in to busy work (at work or at home), keeping up with the Joneses, or distracting ourselves with shopping. All of these things sap our time, energy, money, and mental energy (fueling what mindfulness teachers call “the monkey mind.”).

Deep down, we all want to reserve the best of ourselves for our children, partners, passion projects, and causes. This season, let’s advocate for less materialism and greater minimalism. Let’s find the strength to speak our minds, share our stories, and support one another, above all. Because, what could be more essential?

This Month’s Must-Reads for Creatives:

Are You Taking the False First Step? >>>

The Profound Joy of Completion >>>

Materialism Doesn’t Work: Self-Care Without Stuff >>>

Stop Waiting to Feel Inspired (or Motivated) >>>

Break the Silence, Sister. Your Story Matters >>> 

Latest In Tandem Post:

Breath as Metronome: How to Transform Creative Obstacles

On the eve of this definitive American election, and on the cusp of the holiday season, this month’s Must-Reads for Creatives are about finding our essence. I’m reading Greg McKeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. It’s about “making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” To create healthy families, meaningful social change, or beautiful creative projects, we must find a way to prioritize them. The rest is noise.

How will you prioritize what’s most essential? My priority is informal mindfulness practice. This fuels my goals of being present with my kids, myself in mind and body, and my projects.

The other day, this looked like a spontaneous slowing down and sitting in the pillow-filled nook my daughter Odette had created. Together, we belted out six Raffi songs, with frequent eye contact and snuggling. At first, I thought I was giving her what she needed in that moment. Then, I realized it gave me a lot too: connection, physical comfort, and playfulness. I’m trying to have more moments like these, while setting aside the often unnecessary to-do list items. It’s a constant struggle as a parent, but I believe we can move in the direction of what’s most important to us.

In addition, I meditate many days. But, mostly, I tap into awareness of my body (interoception), as often as I can. It helps so much with lessening low-grade anxiety and just being in the moment—because wellbeing for myself and my family matters most.

I’ve already scheduled in my other priorities, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. These include writing (for in this space and by signing up for a journaling workshop) and exercise (Pilates and Zumba).

Share a Comment: What are you working on this month, creatively or health-wise? Spread the word; share your story!

Get In Tandem’s Monthly Notes on Creativity + Wellbeing:

Photo Credits: Mom + kid by Josh Willink and girl by Swaraj Tiwari.

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