I started writing this post with just a couple of words in my head and a lot of overwhelming thoughts, but that’s part of writing. Getting chaos down on paper in a structured form. The words were: lagom, summer, self-care, creative block and productivity pressure, so you can sense already in what direction this post is going.
Let me start with the most problematic words: creative block and productivity pressure. In the past 2 months nature came to full bloom in this part of the world and I was enjoying it to the fullest. This Spring and early Summer vibe had an impact on my creativity. I had a lot of ideas and was also quite productive. Around half June my son got sick and was admitted to the hospital for a couple of days. He’s better now, but somehow I can’t get back into the swing of things. I work for the European distributor of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and Fusion Mineral Paint, also sell both paints, and all that is going well. The same goes for my coaching work, no issues there. When I mean ‘the swing of things’, I mean on a pure creative level. That’s actually very normal when you had a lot on your mind. Worries and creativity are not a good marriage.
This creative block bothered me a lot. I started thinking about why it bothered me: because I feel a productivity pressure. Did I impose this on myself or is it society? A little bit of both I guess.
I moved to another country and will probably compare cultures until the end of time. Well, the Belgian culture is very focused on productivity. There’s always that voice telling me to ‘deliver’ (yes I admit, it’s also in my personality, I want to get things done), but it was really difficult. I had some ideas in mind, but they just didn’t come out.
Slow & mindful are words in the tagline of my blog. It was time to put them into practice again and spend some lagom summer time . Lagom is Swedish for not too little, not too much, just right. It’s a Scandinavian lifestyle and I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’m not taking a complete break, I keep some things going, but I’m definitely taking things more slowly this July.
Two of the entrepreneurs I’m coaching right now did exactly the same thing. They asked me to pause for a month, and I was perfectly ok with that. That’s the rythm of life and seasons! Taking it slower for a while is not a step backwards. It’s just part of the process and circle of things. A stronger focus on spending time with family, reading on the porch, chatting with our customers in the garden (we have a sourdough bakery, you can read it here if you missed that), creativity just because like putting a couple of beautiful flowers together or decorating something at home. Things like that! A lagom summer. Nothing really special but that’s what makes it special.
An observant reader knows that I’m an advocate of an act of daily creativity. If you’re that reader, you also know that I sometimes take a break. You might wonder: ‘what helps against creative block, that daily creativity or the break’? Well, to be honest …. it depends. Sometimes a new daily creative practice such as my midsummer challenge helps me to get into the swing of things, sometimes that’s just not working, and a well-deserved break and time for reflection is more important.
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