In Part 1 I talked about the process of letting go of clothes that don’t fit and the nostalgic body image I’ve been holding on to. I ended up with the right amount of clothes and a much better attitude towards this body that gave me three spectacular little girls.
Now, I’m working on my books.
It’s definitely been more challenging to get rid of books. I’ve always been a huge book nerd, and so has my partner. Our great love, and the fact that I’ve been working at a used bookstore for the past six years, means we’ve built up quite the collection.
I have to confess that the picture above isn’t even half of the books we have. I didn’t want to break the table. So I didn’t quite follow the Konmari rules, which say you must pile up every single item in a given category. However, I did make sure every single book came off the shelf. We decided if they gave us joy and if they didn’t we packed them up to sell at the bookstore. I went ahead and lumped all the movies, music, and board games in and sent them off too.
I tried to do some magickal releasing as I got rid of my books… but I really struggled with it this time.
Maybe letting go isn’t the right focus with my push to get rid of books. After all, my book life has been abundant and joyful. Maybe it’s more about what I’m keeping. I’m paying special attention to what I want in my life. There’s a wealth of beauty and inspiration in the world, but I have to whittle it down to the stuff that really lights me up. So maybe cultivating my book collection is a way for me to focus on what’s important to me.
My partners graphic novel and Dungeons & Dragons collections are definitely important to him, but they’d been tucked away on a shelf in the corner. I almost let him get away with leaving them sitting in their dust; but just like the rest we pulled everything off and asked if they brought him joy. He thinks the whole concept is a little too woo woo, but he clambered aboard and got into it. Now his favorite books and guides and board games are proudly displayed in the dining room and will hopefully inspire him to start the nerdy podcast he’s been dreaming up.
An important step in this process is giving the things that spark joy a home. Recently we had some water damage behind the shower so there is a big chunk of new wall that needs texture and paint in the living room… right where I’ll put the bookshelves that were gifted to me (shelves that match my other furniture exactly and came at just the right time, thank you manifestation!). So, I’ve still got some shuffling and repairing to do before the bulk of the books can find their home. I recently discovered that that troubled part of the living room is actually the money corner in Feng Shui (that can’t be good). So, I’m trying to prioritize it and I know that lovingly displaying our books and the piano (also gifted to us) is going to help the whole family meet our creative goals and maybe even start using our gifts to bring us some financial security.
I have already made a personal altar of sorts on a bookshelf in our bedroom. I’m admiring my collection of journals now as I lie in bed nursing the baby and writing this. There is endless potential in those blank pages, and I’m going to fill them with ideas and stories and poems and memories.
There’s a trend emerging here: our stuff is very literally a reflection of ourselves. So, what self revelation will I run into next when I start sorting all the dreaded paperwork that’s been piling up?
Why “letting go” and not “tidying up?” because to me tidying up means running around putting stuff in its place, but what I need, and a lot of us need is to let go of a lot of stuff. I tend to hang on to some stuff because I might need it, and other stuff because it reminds me of something (not necessarily a good something).
I know there is great magick in getting rid of things and it’s a wonderful opportunity to let go of mental and emotional clutter that isn’t serving me any more than my excess stuff is.
I’ve finished with the first category of Marie Kondo’s decluttering method: clothes. In going through my clothes I realized that I was hanging on to a self-image that’s way out of date. There’s no reason to pine over the jeans I can’t button anymore and the jacket that’s too tight in the shoulders. I’m the mother of three children and my body doesn’t look the way it used to… and that is okay. I used to think it might be a motivator for losing weight to fit into those old favorites, but all it really does is make me uncomfortable; uncomfortable in my clothes and in my body. I don’t want to be living in discomfort and just wishing for something to change. I wanna be comfortable and confident and taking action to live my best life every damn day.
At first I thought I’d get rid of everything and then have nothing to wear but somehow I now have exactly what I need. I have no guilt and ample room for that perfect tank top I scoured the thrift shops for.
I’m actively, literally and figuratively, making room in my life for things that give me joy. Such as when I was sorting a tub of dress-up stuff (yes all three of my old prom dresses bring me joy – I do have three girls after all) I came across a vintage leather jacket. Turns out it’s worth a couple bucks. I’ll sell it and make a little money, and let it be the beginning of turning my hobby (thrifting) into a side-hustle. During the process of holding each item I own and asking myself if it brings joy I’m discovering new things about myself and I’m getting closer and closer to the life I long to be living.
So, I’ve checked off clothing from my list of stuff to get rid of. Next up is books. I’ll talk about letting go of books and my scarcity mentality in Part 2.
I’m stuck. I want to write and paint and craft and share my ideas with the world – but I’m just not doing it. I want to say I’m just bursting with creative concepts, but I’m not. It’s more like stewing with half formed thoughts and vague ideas. The art form that most calls to me is writing, both the idea of writing epic fantasy that’s been brewing for as long as I can remember and this fresh new idea of sharing my life with this blog. I just need to… cultivate my creativity. Below I’ve made a list of magickal ways to boost creativity. Some I’ve already begun to put into practice and others I know I should be doing.
1. Curate a Magickal Space
Maybe you need to create yourself a little craft corner, or a beautiful altar on top of your dresser, or maybe you need to do a serious decluttering and then organize all your materials. Whatever it is, dedicate some feeling and effort into making a special little chunk of the physical world just for you and your art.
I’ve begun my own decluttering journey with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s been difficult and rewarding and it’s definitely making space for what’s important to me.
2. Look to the Tarot
It is imperative, if you’re going to work with tarot, to work with a deck that speaks to you. Pull a card daily and write a bit about it, ask the cards “What is blocking my creativity?” or “What project should I work with next?” or even use the cards directly to tell a story. Check out Tarot for Writers for a ton of amazing ideas on ways to use the cards to tell a tale.
For a while I only used my Rider-Waite deck. It feels classic and easy to read and I really enjoyed it… until my two year old chewed the corner off one of the cards. I was devastated. I tried to use the Wild Unknown, but it just didn’t do anything for me; looking at the beautiful artwork of wild animals and tribal people just wasn’t sparking any inspiration. So I gave it away – I gave away my shiny deck, book, and workbook and I didn’t look back. Then I went on the hunt for a deck that I would love. I finally settled on the Tarot Mucho. It is reminiscent of the Rider-Waite but the art is elegant, ethereal, and much more feminine.
3. Read a Book
I love to read, mostly fantasy… but if I rely on the epic tales that I love so much to give me inspiration for my own stories I’m gonna accidentally rip ‘em off. So, I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction. I’m currently working through The Artist’s Way since it’s basically the Bible of cultivating one’s creativity. But I also intend to explore some how-to books and artists’ biographies.
Beautiful stories and poetry can uplift and inspire you. There are countless books on self development that could inform your self and therefore your art.
Just don’t forget to do the work… otherwise it’s sort of pointless
4. Look for Inspiration on Social Media
Speaking of sort of pointless, who doesn’t love the addictive scroll? Whatever your drug of choice (I prefer Pinterest and Instagram), don’t just scroll on through the things that light you up. Make sure you always have a notebook handy when surfing the web. Or stop immediately when an idea strikes and run with it.
Don’t forget to credit the creators, even just in notes to yourself! I’ve found awesome quotes and inspiration in old notebooks with no idea who said it and it’s pretty frustrating.
5. Do Some Journaling
The thing I hear referenced most often from The Artist’s Way is the morning pages. It’s an excellent idea to do a brain dump (even if you don’t manage it until 6pm) to loosen up that inner naysayer. Also, take notes of the all the little strokes of genius you have throughout the day. Use a cute notebook if you’re so inclined, or one of the million apps available on your phone.
I’ve been dabbling in automatic writing… although I’m still not sure of the difference between that and stream-of-conscious writing like the morning pages. What matters though, is that I’m putting the pencil to the paper.
6. Record Your Dreams
Try to record your dreams whenever you remember them. The more you do it the easier it becomes. Once you’ve got a handle on recording and therefore remembering your dreams it should be possible to ask them for inspiration directly; maybe even experiment with lucid dreaming.
It’s so much fun to create stories from the most wild things my unfettered imagination can come up with. I’m not a painter… yet, but it would be amazing to capture some of the intense images that I’ve dreamt. As long as I keep writing them down they’ll be there when I need them.
7. Create a Vision Board
Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned vision board? They’re popular… but I have to admit I’ve never actually created one. I used to collect magazine clippings, but I never got around to pasting them up. I could never find the right images, and in the end they were really just more clutter clogging up my life.
Now, a Pinterest board? That I can get down with. The exact right thing is just a quick search away. Just don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole. Maybe set a timer and the put away the phone or computer and actually create something.
8. Set an Intention
This might be a bit vague, but you can use just about anything to carry your intention of creating a piece or simply to boost your overall creativity. Be it a cup of coffee or a mug cake, a crystal or mojo bag, or even some sexy sex magick… just deliberately declare that it is and it will be!
9. Work With a Deity or Archetype
I don’t personally work with deities much, but I have an awesome candle holder figure of Thoth. Different sources say different things about what he represents, but for me the god of language and writing really resonates. Other gods you could invoke or learn about might be Calliope the muse or maybe Saturn if you’re needing a little more structure in your life.
10. Connect with Nature
Whether it’s a stroll through a deep mystical forest, hanging out on the beach, or simply digging in my own little garden, connecting with nature always makes me feel more alive and magickal and often spurs new creative ideas.
11. Potions, Oils, and Herbs
What’s a potion? I’d say it’s any liquidy substance with a magickal purpose. So I’d put teas, cleaning solutions, and miscellaneous non-potable concoctions all in this category. There are so many possibilities for creativity here. Some of my favorites are brewing a light fruity flowery tea with the intention of brightening and beautifying my imagination. Or, I’ll infuse some citrus in water with the energy of the sun and use it to brighten up my space to get the ideas flowing around me. My girls love to mix potions in rain buckets with sticks and pine needles and other treasures… that never fails to get their imaginations, and mine, buzzing.
Essential oils are great for getting synapses firing and it’s easy to customize blends to suit your mood or needs for the moment. I like to pop something in the diffuser or a roller ball, like rosemary and peppermint for focus or ylang ylang, peppermint, and lemon for peace of mind.
I can’t talk about herbs and creativity without mentioning cannabis. It’s well known to be a creativity booster but it’s easy to become dependent on it. If you’re a heavy user it might actually boost your creativity to take a break and utilize some other techniques. If that doesn’t work it should at least give you a new boost when you partake again. If you aren’t a fan of the hallucinogenic properties of THC there are lots of CBD products available that may help you relax and allow the ideas to flow.
12. Magickal dress and accessories
There are definitely benefits to choosing a color each day to provide specific powers, or wearing certain crystals or jewelry to get the effect you’re looking for. However, there’s also great magick in putting on a costume of sorts. Dress like a French poet, a hipster DIYer, or the High Priestess of a prestigious coven and allow yourself to become someone who can create the art that’s there within you.
13. Experiment with other art forms
If you’re a writer, paint something. If you’re a painter, dance like no one’s watching. There’s magick in creative expression and sometimes my mind just needs a different outlet and often it helps to just try something new.
So there you have it, my 13 magickally mundane methods to get your creative spark going.
For now, this blog is really a way to get myself going and have a framework to hold myself accountable. However, I do hope someone finds some value here.