Summer Solstice: Creativity, Integrity, and Gratitude

 

Apple Blossoms, hand colored block print
Apple Blossoms, hand colored block print

Happy Summer! I’m so pleased with how my apple blossom block print turned out–and excited to report that my next print is well on its way.

Since the Solstice marks the midway point through the year, it’s a great time to re-visit the goals I set for myself last winter. In this I get inspiration from Sara Avant Stover at The Way of the Happy Woman–she shares her process here in 5 Steps Toward Your Vision at the Summer Solstice. Rather than concrete goals, I focused on feelings I wanted to manifest over the year. For 2015 these are: Creativity, Integrity, and Gratitude. Here’s what that has looked like so far:

For Creativity, I found I had to define what that means for me. I discovered that to feel like I’m creative, I have to be regularly producing artwork (seems obvious, but harder than it sounds.) Setting myself on a schedule has helped immensely, because the act of creation is no longer tied to how I am feeling–it happens regardless.

Integrity means that my actions are in line with my values. When I chose this feeling, I was thinking of my work life, and how working often conflicts with other values I have (specifically family, self-care, and creativity.) My goal is to find meaningful work I can do while also honoring other parts of my life. In writing this blog and deliberately not choosing between art and math as a topic, I feel a huge shift in integrity, because I am no longer ignoring one piece of myself to promote another.

Gratitude is probably the most important of the three. For me it is a feeling I need to cultivate, not something I wait around for to show up. The best advice I have gotten about how to manifest more gratitude in my life has been to write a daily gratitude list. This simple action has yielded surprising results. Not only does it improve my attitude, it has shown me what I value in a day. Once I become aware of the little things that have a big impact on my happiness, I seek them out more readily, which boosts my well-being even more.

What are you manifesting this summer?

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