To Live Deliberately
To paraphrase Thoreau:
I moved to Nova Scotia because I wish to live deliberately, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Making the decision to move geographically was almost the easy part. To live deliberately meant evaluating what I wanted to keep doing with my time, what I would let go of and what I wanted more of. Nova Scotia would become my gateway to a new life with new priorities.
My friend Joan talks about ‘the moving stupids’ – that place in between old habits and new ones. Changing your living space (whether you move or rearrange all your furniture) disrupts the neural pathways that support old habits. I would literally get out of my rut to find a new path.
My “Live Deliberately” List
During this time of introspection, I explored the hard question – “if it all ended tomorrow, what would I regret not doing?”
No contest. A deliberate life, for me, must include creative expression. Tired of working hard to “make something happen”, Flow,Trust and Ease made my list.
Finally the day came to pull up stakes and go. Nothing was familiar. It felt like I was in someone else’s home. A tourist in my own life. Everything was in flux.
In spite of spending a lot of time sorting before packing them there were still a lot boxes to unpack. I wanted to be done with moving but I took the time to continue sorting on this end of the move. If there wasn’t a need for the item – utility or beauty – I gave it away.
Saving the best for last, I tackled my studio. I’m not completely organized yet. I find it harder to be ruthless with art supplies (she says with a smile). However, enough is in place to support my creative practice (I’ll share photos of my space in the next post.)
First steps on my new path
It was funny but that first morning in front of my painting table, I felt shy and nervous. Perhaps it was the new space but I suspect a lot of was this shift in my priorities. I can’t remember the last time I felt this focused, this confident of what I want to do with my life.
To help me stay on track, I’m establishing rituals as part of my creative practice. I love to walk and physical movement is important to get the creative juice flowing. (The dog likes this one.) I also find introspective time with my journal helps set my focus. Reflection keeps me on track.
I’m all in, 100% honouring the call to be in creative flow. I started with this small piece. Kind of like warming up my paint, my brushes and me.
What does living deliberately mean to you? I’d love to hear from you.