Go with the Flow in 2020

Remember as a child riding a bike down a hill and letting go of the handle bars? I’m ready to feel the wind in my hair. To simply go with the flow, rather than striving for control of the steering. I’m hoping my word of the year, flow will guide and centre me this year.

Like last year, my word of the year found me. I drew an illustration ‘go with the flow’, then I was reading articles and podcasts which mentioned creative flow. It seemed that the word was popping up everywhere and my soul was drawn to it. I sat with the word in late December and by January it just felt right.

I know flow will challenge me. Last year I chose the word bloom and it pushed me outside my comfort zone. I drew and created from within, nurturing my inner garden. I also felt I ‘should’ be blooming quicker, and compared my growth to others.

What bloom taught me in 2019 is that I was blooming in my own time. That like in nature I needed to go within, tend to my soil, plant the seeds, nurture my soul garden and then trust the sprouts will come.

“I had to trust that doing winter work would lead to spring flowers.”

I’m excited to see how flow will influence and guide me. My hope is I can let go just a little bit of the handle bars and feel the freedom that comes with trusting myself and the universe. Here’s to going with the flow in 2020!

What is your word of the year for 2020? I would love to hear! Also you can download my ‘go with the flow’ illustration as a phone wallpaper here.

What are your small joys?

When I’m feeling out of sorts I write down or draw my small joys, the little everyday things that bring me happiness.  I often add to my list and read through it when I need a pick me up. They remind me of all the wonderful things that fill me with joy. 

After sharing my small joys illustration on Instagram people commented and theirs included “eating popcorn”, “a hug from my boys”, “listening to a podcast”, “the first cup of coffee in the morning” and “a warm bath”. How beautiful are these!

A few of mine are:

  • crunchy Autumn leaves
  • my grandma’s umbrella, it reminds of spending the day with her as a child and walking in the rain with her holding the umbrella so I didn’t get wet
  • putting on a cosy jumper in winter
  • reading your favourite childhood book with Harry snuggled on my lap
  • homemade biscuits
  • a letter from a friend in the post
  • a fresh page in a journal or sketchbook to be filled with ideas and drawings
  • Harry’s laugh
  • rain on the roof when I’m snuggled up in bed
  • a bath that is just a bit too hot
  • a pot of peppermint tea
  • fresh sheets on my bed

What are yours? I would love to hear! Also going eating fresh strawberries in summer!

Three tips for making time to fill your cup

Making time to fill your cup. I’m sharing a few ways I’ve prioritised my creativity by making drawing a daily habit.

Allocating a set time each day and making it a habit

For me, drawing fills my cup and makes me feel like me. This year I’ve allocated 20 minutes a day to just draw for fun. This drawing time it isn’t for a commission or to make a product for my shop, it’s just for me.

Making drawing part of my daily routine has freed me up creatively, taken the pressure off and loosened my grip on perfectionism. However, where the real magic has happened is that by giving myself this allocated space I’ve leaned into my thoughts and feeling, and been able to draw new illustrations.

“I honestly don’t think this creativity would have surfaced if I didn’t show up every day, pencil in hand and just draw what was on my mind. “

Some days I can fit in 20 minutes while other days its 2 hours. Some days I don’t feel like it and think everything I draw is terrible, but it’s funny the next day when I look at these sketches I find a thread of an idea that inspires me.

How did I find the time?

I made the conscious decision to allocate time in the evening after Harry is in bed to draw. I traded scrolling through Instagram, watching TV, folding laundry, reading or working on my shop for drawing. I started small with 20 minutes, but it has grown. I actually now find that if I’ve got caught up doing other things in the evening, that I crave my time to draw.

What I’ve realised is that when I’m drawing I’m totally present and not thinking about anything else and that its my downtime. Drawing fills my cup and gives me so much joy that I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not binge watching the latest TV show or missing out on that Instagram post. Though side not, I still make time for a bit of Netflix each week, hello Queer Eye!

How to find your creativity

What I would like to say is this. Make your creativity a priority in your self-care tool box. While drawing is how I like to create,  yours could be cooking, writing, photography, knitting or even dancing. And if you’re not sure what sparks your creativity think about what you liked to do as a child. It was asking myself this question three years ago that opened the door to me drawing again.

Follow me on Instagram and stories to see behind the scenes and inside my sketchbook. And if you sign up to my newsletter I’ll send you my ‘finding your creativity’ worksheet.

Free Printable Calendar and Weekly Planner

One of my goals for 2019 is to be organised and to find joy in the everyday. So I set myself the goal of creating a monthly calendar and weekly planner, which are available as free printables here for you to print at home. Each month includes an illustration, for February its my ‘Fresh Starts’ drawing and I release the new calendar in my monthly newsletter and on Instagram.

“I include fun weekly prompts to find the small joys in everyday like sitting outside at lunchtime, or adventures like visiting your local Farmers Market.”

I also created a free weekly planner as I just couldn’t find one I liked. I’ve divided each day into morning, afternoon and evening I wanted this structure is to help me with time blocking my tasks. Additionally, each week there is space to write things you want to let go of, would like to try, explore or nurture  and to do’s. You can include priorities like letting go of mum guilt and self doubt, to trying a new pasta dish, exploring an art gallery and nurturing your love of drawing by carving out 5 minutes a day to draw.

These free printables are available in formatted to A4 and US Legal sized paper here. I love using my calendar and weekly planner and I hope you do to! So head across to grab yours and remember to tag me on social in photos you take, I would love to them in homes!

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