Slowing down

Being present and grounded in your life

Remembering the joy of listening to and watching the rain in mid-summer. “Summer Rain”, screen print.

I’ve found myself making a lot of changes this year in order to have more energy, better focus, and to live more fully and with intention. Below, are just a few shifts that I’ve found particularly impactful.

How you wake. We replaced our morning alarm with a programmable coffee maker, waking up to the sounds and smells of percolating coffee. I can’t tell you how magnificent this small act was. To wake up to my own thoughts and in whatever headspace I happened to be in, is surprisingly wonderful.

Eliminating noise. I’ve been slowly removing news sources, social media, non-fiction books – anything that I find either creates noise in my mind or plagues me with what I call ‘shoulds’. As I have worked to reduce these influences, my mind has largely stopped skipping along the surface of things and jumping from one thing to another. Instead, I’ve been focusing on a smaller circle of things over which I have direct control and influence through my actions.

Walking. I have come to find real value in creating the time to think and process my thoughts on my half-hour walks to and from the studio. I found that when I didn’t listen to music or podcasts, I arrived at the studio better-prepared to begin work, and returned home with a better understanding of what had gone well and what could be improved. So, I shifted to deliberately and simply walking and being on these walks. I find there is magic to walking. Something about the movement of your body and the ever-changing city life that you pass, allows thoughts to flow. I feel the air, see the dappled light on the sidewalk, the beautiful shadow colours on a building, or a particularly cheerful window planter. As I walk through neighbourhood streets, surrounded by city sounds, I can hear and organize my thoughts, I am available to be struck by a movement, colour, or texture.

Time is precious, and you are here now in this one beautiful life

Over the past year, I have found my priorities shifting and that my creative work is shifting with me. I am excited to see where I am led next.

As you look forward to the year ahead, I hope you will take the time to slow down and look around you. It’s so important to look around you: at the people, things, and activities that make up your life. Ask yourself about them, and give yourself permission to make adjustments whenever needed. Time is precious, and you are here now in this one beautiful life.

If you’d like a painting or print to hang as a reminder to you to stay present and mindful, consider a print from my online store or a custom piece, just for you.

Pin this quote as a reminder to live with intention: