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 >>>
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?
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