We often hear quite a bit about me time these days, being mindful, loving myself, and those kind of concepts. So what is important about me time, if anything, and why should I have it?
It is becoming more and more recognised, actually, how important it is to have time for ourselves. There are many different ways in which we can do this and in a busy lifestyle the problem is usually trying to find time to fit it in.
So let's take a look firstly at why it is important.
We have so many demands on our time these days, and depending on what stage of life you are in of course, will depend on the types of commitments that are eating up your life. All of which means there's less time to do what in your heart of hearts you would really love to be doing. I worked in a factory once, it was the most deadening, anti creative thing I ever did. Mind numbingly twisting little bits of wire on a plastic plinth - all day long for 6 weeks.... I shudder even now thinking about it.
So often we find ourselves working in a job that does not lift our souls, in fact quite the opposite, or we take on too much in the service of others i.e. school committees, sports teams, volunteer work, helping the homeless - whatever else your thing might be.
Of course that is not to say that you don't enjoy doing these things, however we often do them at the expense of doing something purely for ourselves, that we love, and sometimes those things that we began with a song in our souls, become somewhat of a noose around our necks. A noose that we have committed to and don't know how to get out of. Not only that, we know we will feel guilty if we stop. Our sense of responsibility for others is weighing us down. And therein lies the problem.
If you are at all like me, you might have been brought up in a "Christian" family and taught the value that everyone else is more important than you. Good samaritan stories and all that. In fact it even went so far as to instill in me that you should always put yourself last and that to do otherwise was basically sinful.
Coming from this background, you can probably understand why I initially had a problem with 'Me Time'. I have to say it took me a long time to get over the guilts, even fairly recently when I began going on regular weekly artist dates, I would often feel guilty taking that time out for myself. It seemed, well, so self indulgent. Even being an artist seems to many people as a self indulgence. How many times have you heard people telling you to get a 'real' job. They get this sickly trying to be nice aura about them as they gently say, "Yes thats lovely dear, but when are you going to get a career, you have responsibilities you know"....ad-nauseum! If only they knew how hard it is to really be true to your creative calling. How brave you have to be, how vulnerable ..... they have no idea!
Anyway, I digress, what I have found is that the benefits far outway the initial guilts and my Art Practice has blossomed ( quite literally - into gorgeous flower paintings - am I allowed to say that? LOL) as a result of my Artist Date, Me Times.
NEXT WEEK: What is the Elephant in your room?