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. This month’s Must-Reads for Creatives tap into the bigger picture: the public good and the great outdoors.

Must-Reads for Creatives: On the Public Good + the Great Outdoors

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.

This month’s Must-Reads for Creatives tap into the bigger picture: the public good and the great outdoors.

They remind us that:

  • We’re not alone.
  • We’re only human.
  • Our struggles are common, and we can handle them.
  • We’re not failing to meet our potential.
  • Cultural expectations are out of whack (and filled with distractions.).
  • The personal is still political.

Step back and let go of your imperfections and worries for a moment. You’re more than them. Set those burdens down.

We are connected to the public good and the greater world around us.

Sometimes, busy modern parents feel like they don’t have the bandwidth to consider large-scale social and environmental issues. They feel like they can barely hold things together each day.

I’d argue that we can’t afford not to consider them.

Our personal struggles exist because we have so many unresolved community and cultural issues. It does take a village and, often, that village fails us.

To remember the big picture is to let go of the culturally-imposed anxieties to be the perfect parent, with the perfect home, the perfect kids, the perfect body, the perfect time management systems, and the perfect life. We’re more than consumers of products, media, and life hacks. We don’t need those things to get in tune with our creativity and our wellbeing.

What a relief that this isn’t all personal! To be sure, we often judge ourselves for not meeting cultural standards, and so often forget to question these standards as unrealistic.

Of course, that leaves us with solving large-scale issues. I think that’s where the anxiety kicks in, and we revert to business as usual. But, we can choose to turn to one another and to approach the challenges together. We each contribute a piece toward the whole. That’s plenty. This mindset clears space for fresh ideas and solutions that potentially serve us all equally. Plus, it builds in breathing space for mindful moments and fun adventures along the way. You don’t have to tackle it all; you just do what you can, when you can, in your circles of influence.

That’s not to say that personal self-care doesn’t matter. (You’ll notice I write about it a lot!) I wouldn’t recommend waiting around for social change to happen before taking care of your own and your family’s wellbeing. Obviously, you’d be waiting a long time!

I believe that we have to “molt” cultural restrictions regularly. Only then can we re-connect with awe, wonder, the natural world, and the communities around us.

We find meaning and purpose through connection with the common good and the peace of the outdoors.

These Must-Reads reflect that…

This Month’s Must-Reads for Creatives:

A Guide to the Basic Anxiety of Life >>>

In Defense of Silence >>>

Have We Lost Sight of the Promise of Public Schools? >>>

Mental Minimalism: Paring Down Thoughts Which No Longer Serve Us >>>

Billboards That Advertise the Surrounding California Landscape by Jennifer Bolande >>>

A Cinematic Love Letter to the Wilderness and John Muir’s Legacy >>>

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. This month’s Must-Reads for Creatives tap into the bigger picture: the public good and the great outdoors.

What are you up to this month? I’m cultivating short and sweet practices—for my wellbeing and my creative pursuits.

I feel acutely aware of the cultural anxieties swirling around me; for that reason, wellbeing goals come first these days, even before my creative ones (though, often, they cross-pollinate!). I aim to meditate, and to go on short walks, for at least 10 minutes a day. I’m self-compassionate if I miss a day, but the goal is consistency.

I’m writing each day, as part of Explore: 31 Days of Intentional Writing. I write for 10 minutes each time, in a stream-of-conscious style, mainly for clarifying my priorities, and for emotional release. To keep up my activism goals during these political times, I’m eyeing participation in a few rallies; I’ve even made the ones I’ve gone to so far family time! Plus, I value the occasional night out;  I’ve got a book club gathering coming up, and plan to try out a new restaurant with my husband.

Share a Comment: As spring nears, it feels good to set gentle intentions. What will you aim for this month?

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

Photo credits: Woman outside by Ben Loader and landscape by Karsten Würth via Unsplash.

 

2 thoughts on “Must-Reads for Creatives: On the Public Good + the Great Outdoors

  1. I love that you’re talking about short and sweet practices. The same is true for me. My Explore process takes less than 10 minutes–I close my eyes and breathe for one minute, review my intention page, and then write to a timer set for five minutes. I would love to increase the time a tad, but I need to get into the habit first, and keeping it totally doable is what helps most. Then I meditate–on the floor of my office!–for 3 minutes, and read through some reminders I’ve written down about why I do the work I do. In about 15-20 minutes, I’ve done these practices that really help kick off my workday. It’s hard sometimes to lose that 20 minutes when I only have an hour and a half or so set aside to work, but I’m really finding it gets me feeling much more aligned and I think I do better work in the remaining time. I also do 10 minutes of Pilates most days and take a short (15-20 minute) walk when M gets home most days. It’s all split up and sort of wedged in there, but really, that’s almost an hour total dedicated to myself, which feels like a win for this mom! Oh, and thanks for sharing about Explore. 🙂

    1. I appreciate your thoughtful response, Erica. Yes, short and sweet is key, especially for parents of young ones; it IS a win! I have similar goals–writing, meditation, walks, and Pilates are often woven into my days. I’m gaining so much from mind/body practices, and from spending even a few moments out in nature. I’m less overwhelmed and more centered on the days I make time for them. I like to think there’s a movement of women changing themselves and their families and communities by leading the way with these practices!

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