WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?

As children are back to school and routine is restored, October brings an air of normality.

But do you find you have more time to pursue your creativity or less?

YOU TIME

Anything that brings us joy is usually a treat. It’s something special that we look forward to. A box of chocolates, a massage, watching our favourite film, going for a meal with friends, a nice bottle of wine with a loved one, a book curled up in bed, a long soak in a bubble bath, a duvet day with your pet.

All moments of joy.

Some you’ll share with others, some will be time just for you and you alone.

Writing is one of those such moments for me.

Your creativity may come in the form of painting but It’s still much needed you time. A time dedicated to doing the one thing that brings you joy!

People or things will always compete for that time we’ve reserved for our pockets of joy. I call these – Time Takers.

TIME TAKERS

Time Takers aren’t always people, they come in all sorts of disguises, but all have one thing in common, they need you, but you don’t need them.

They can be jobs that need doing, places you have to go to, commitments you don’t need, want or enjoy.

Feel free to make your own list, as this will be invaluable in taking that time back in the future. Here are some examples to kick start you off:

• Your boss asks you to do over time.

• Your partner wants you to entertain their friends.

• The dog needs a walk.

• The school needs a volunteer.

• Family is coming to visit.

• There’s a course you must take.

• A friend wants a gossip.

• Email & Social Media notifications keep going off.

• Your Sister needs a babysitter.

• Your Dad needs help with the gardening.

• Your Mum needs a lift to the hospital.

• The housework/decorating needs doing.

All feel they urgently need attending to, and all are worthy, loving acts, but you don’t have to be the one who attends to them all, all the time.

Doing too much can feel like you’re being stretched beyond your limit, and this scattering of time and attention, anywhere and everywhere, can result in you going nowhere and doing nothing fast.

It’s about learning to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty or upsetting people, and like anything else, it gets a lot easier the more you practice saying it.

We need to practice saying ‘No’ more often to others, and stop saying ‘No’ to ourselves and our creativity.

The problem isn’t not having time, but how much time you choose to use on your creativity, with the time that you do have.

We should never neglect or underestimate the importance of time for ourselves and our creative pursuits.

Self expression releases tension and negativity and  helps us to relax and feel free to be our true selves.

Book that time in your diary now, at least an hour a day to indulge in creativity.

Let friends and family know this is YOUR precious time to create, and you need to be left alone in peace and quiet, in your own space.

You could be daydreaming, conjuring up ideas, not necessarily physically creating anything.

The point is everyone including you, needs to respect this time.

I write about U Time in my first parenting book The Confident Parents’ Guide to Raising a Happy Healthy and Successful Child, it was vital for me as a mumpreneur, to have this time for me every day.

It’s not a luxury- it’s a necessity!

If you’re interested in hearing more about U Time and you don’t have the time to read, you can now put your feet up and listen to the audio book on Audible and iTunes.

Writing is my U Time treat.

I could choose to use that U Time to do something else, like binge watch a box set on TV, but that wouldn’t bring me as much joy as creating my own.

So, if you want to be a writer / painter/ dancer/ musician / crafter/ knitter /culinary creative /candle maker….. use your precious U Time to do it!

Looking at my writing practice as something that I choose to do for me, helps me to appreciate and understand it for the real joy it is.

When I view this time as precious, I can’t sit there, staring at a blank screen swearing at myself for not writing enough words.   I simply sit there and appreciate the time I’m affording myself to do so.

Yes, I have an intention to write an article/blog/book, always, but if that’s not writing itself today, I’m still going to enjoy this time as part of my precious life.

I’m not going to waste my time.

It’s only a waste of time if I’m sat there angry and frustrated.

I may have quiet periods of contemplation but instead of berating myself for them, I ask myself;

‘What could I write about today just for the joy of it?’

If there was no pressure to achieve 1500 words today, what could I write about?

Could I channel my negative thoughts and emotions into my writing practice and write about my frustrations as they occur, in the moment?

I’m still writing, and those words and minutes will add up to U time well spent.

Every sentence is practice.

Every sentence is without restraint.

Try it yourself and you’ll find; every stroke of that paint is given life, every stitch will have a chance, every note exists in that moment, as all creativity, the good, the bad and the ugly, is being freed from within.

There’ll be no blank page, ball of wool or silence harassing you anymore, unless of course you want U time to reflect, think and daydream – and that’s all good too.

I know from coaching parents on making daily U Time a priority, that finding an hour is not easy for everyone.

I still don’t know exactly why that is, as we all have 24 hours in a day, but I’m constantly met with reasons why it’s impossible to do or excuses of why it won’t happen or work.

Time is precious – waste it wisely 🙂

If you can’t find one hour in your day for you to enjoy your life, then your life needs looking at. You either need to plan your time better or get rid of unnecessary ‘Time Takers’.

You deserve your time more than anyone else.

That’s why its called ‘Your Time’ and not ‘Their Time.’

Creativity isn’t to be rushed but savoured.

If you’re writing a novel enjoy the story unfold in its own sweet time, get to love and know your characters so that ending the story is not the only goal. If you’re writing to get published and make money, and there’s a deadline, then you’ll have to pick up your pace to stay in the race. But writing for money, and writing to express your creativity, are two different things.

One will be about perfecting for others, while the other will be a messy out pouring of joy for you.

If you’re happy to write for enjoyment, with the possibility of getting published and maybe making some money, then your mind will be freer and your words will flow faster.

Being creative is an end goal in itself because it helps us to relax and feel free.

So why aren’t you?

Grab your notebook, pen, and a cuppa, and let’s see where you’re spending your time.

WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?

Where is your time going and what are you doing that’s more important than spending time on your creativity?

Try this simple exercise; make a list of all the things or people you spend your time on each day. Next to them, put how many minutes or hours you dedicate to each one.

Here’s a rough guide fill in the bank with the number of hours you use on each one or minutes.

YOUR LIST:

  1. Sleeping – hours
  2. Work – hours
  3. Housework – hour
  4. Time with my children -hour
  5. Studying -hour
  6. Writing /Reading – hour
  7. Having a bath -hour
  8. Hobbyhour
  9. Watching TV / Social Media – hour
  10. Time with friends/partner – hour

It’s impossible to segment each activity/ person into a time slot, as our time usually interlinks with more than one.

This ‘Where Does Your Time Go?’ listing process, highlights time given to a particular person or purpose and physically shows how we do have enough hours, we just need to choose what we feel is important to do with them.

Physically seeing where most of our time is spent, and where time for creativity is lacking helps us to change how we use our time, making it easier  to swap watching TV or social media for your creativities.

LESS IS MORE

It’s not about finding more time to pursue creativities, It’s about finding time for you to do less.

It’s about being able to sit and gaze out the window at the world, while you have a coffee daydreaming or plotting.

It’s doing less of those unenjoyable things, so you can spend more time doing things you do enjoy. 🙂

Muma, keep Creating,

Em x

SECRET STORY

Do you have a secret story to tell?

It has become apparent to me that I’m not the only person in the writing community that has a secret story.

It seems common for us writers to scribble away on a piece of writing we never plan to let see the light of day. For whatever reason, (embarrassment, fear of what others will think of us or the judgement our words may receive) we decide this will be a private rendezvous between ourselves and the page.

A sordid little affair that we indulge in when the urge takes our fancy. Nothing serious, just fun. Or maybe we take it so seriously that, we pour our heart and soul and the wounds we’ve incurred onto the page, in the hope of self-healing somehow?

Writing from the heart.

Either way, we are afraid that someone might read our words and get to know us. The real person deep inside. Whether that’s the lighter fun side of ourselves or the deeper darker self, we want to keep that part of us a secret.

Its unfortunate if we do, as this is likely where our passions, talents and our true beliefs are kept.

Like nuggets of gold that need uncovering and sharing, with a world of interested people who, if of like mind, will appreciate the beauty that’s been buried for so long.

But there’s a block in mining those treasures. It keeps the riches of our souls to ourselves. It’s the one thing we need which is within.

CONFIDENCE!

SELF-CONFIDENCE

Confidence is the only thing that impedes our progress on our writing journey.

No one is born a great writer.

No one has all the answers.

No one is truly original.

No one can write something that will appeal to everyone.

But you can write your truth, your way.

You can learn to be a great writer, with practice. And you most certainly can write something that will appeal and resonate with someone.

I’m sure your secret story is not a one off. There are other people who have shared similar stories. If not, you can help others to avoid experiencing the same story if unfavourable or help them to achieve the same story if its a good one, teach, reach or at the very least entertain.

No matter how new or old you are in your writing life, with nearly 8 billion people on the planet, someone will laugh at your jokes, cry at your sorrow and get motivated by your anecdotes.

READING FOR WHATEVER REASON.

Anyone who reads your words will certainly undergo a change in some way, whether positive or negative, consciously or subconsciously, the mind is moulded and modified by the information it receives.

So, allow yourself to be exposed, get naked in your writing, this is your sea to go skinny dipping in.

You may pen a far-fetched fantasy, that some won’t stretch their minds to envision. Their imagination is not your problem. If you’ve had fun on the adventure, others will surely too. But if its left festering in a drawer somewhere, like a deep, dark, dirty secret, then you are denying yourself a chance to find out where your words can take you. Worse still, you deny your readers the gold they may be seeking in their lives.

Have the confidence to try.

The truth is, you’ll never know if something you write is good or bad, until you let it go out into the world and let it be judged. Then it’s only the person judging’s opinion and not necessarily a fact. Every reader will perceive your writing differently, as every person perceives their reality differently in life.

I can watch a film with my husband where he laughs all the way through, when all I feel like doing is crying. You see, we are hearing the same words and watching the same characters but feeling different feelings.

You have to be brave. Be bold. Be honest. This is what it takes to share a secret. To be open and vulnerable takes trust.

Trust in yourself.

Trust in the writing process.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

It takes confidence to overcome resistance. Whether you are guarding a far-out spiritual manuscript on unicorns, a hot and steamy erotica or an encyclopaedia on steam trains, you were inspired to put the pen to paper for a purpose.

Don’t shy away from your story, embrace it and others will too.

Can you summon that power that calls you to create and share?

Keep Scribbling,

Em x

P.s. don’t forget to join me and the Writing Community on Instagram and Twitter, for daily writing inspiration and support 🙂

LOVE YOUR SELFIE

Embarking Into 2020, a new decade, my only goal was self- love and nurturing.  My New Year’s Resolution was clear, and unlike many I’ve made in the past I actually stuck to this one, which was no alcohol during Dry January.

As a result, I’ve not only detoxed my body of all those toxins but I’ve naturally ate a lot healthier and less than I would have, had I succumbed to my ruby rioja.

Now as I approach February the month of love, my focus is shifting to loving others. But we can only truly love others when we learn to love and respect ourselves.

LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF

There’s a true saying;

 ‘If you don’t love yourself, then who will?’

 We must look after and love ourselves, mistakes, imperfections and all.

If there’s something we don’t love about ourselves, then others may not love that aspect of us either.

Not because it’s not lovable, but because we will transmit the message of how we feel about ourselves to other people that we meet.

Our partners may think we are beautiful, but if we think we are ugly, over time, we will start to dress and look the way we feel.

Self-love shouldn’t be reliant on others loving us though.

We should replace any damaging, empty, unhealthy relationship with another, for a more meaningful, loving relationship with ourselves. 

Getting to know who we really are as individuals is self-love. The relationship we have with ourselves influences all the other relationships in our lives, and our love for ourselves is more important than any other love we may, or may not, receive from others.

Fat, thin, rich, poor, happy, or depressed, it makes no odds; you can love yourself regardless of who you think you are, or however your past may have been.

Loving yourself does not need to depend on past or future events or relationships. Anyone can start afresh today and learn to love themselves, no matter what.

It’s the single most loving thing we can do for those we love.

We are ALL important in some one’s life, so we must take good care of our own health and happiness. Should we become ill, we would not be in a position to love and care for them. Surely If only to keep us in a strong position to take care of our loved ones, that’s all the motivation we need to ensure we love and care for ourselves?

We need to learn to love ourselves the same way we love our parents, children, partners, and friends.

ENCOURAGING THE FLOW OF LOVE

We will always feel loving, loved, and lovable when we surround ourselves only with people and things that we love.

As babies, we love everything, even the ordinary is extraordinary.

Yet, somewhere along the line, as we learn to compartmentalise and realise what things are and what they do, we lose our love. It’s as though the magic is lost.

The secret is to start to notice, love and appreciate it all again.

Even the neglected old dried out potted plant in the corner and the junk in the drawer.

If we don’t, then we are going to let it go and release it to someone who will give it the love and attention that it deserves. Leaving us only with those things that we love.

LET IT GO

When we are surrounded by love, it flows freely to others, so it’s time to let go and free up some more space for things we love, as opposed to hanging onto things, we’ve accumulated for no reason.

Look at your house hold belongings and choose a category, such as books, and go through your whole house looking for books, discarding or giving away those, you no longer want or need.

Then store the rest in one place in your home, ideally on a bookshelf.

It’s easier to choose categories, rather than individual rooms, as most of us scatter our belongings throughout the house. This is especially true if, we share our house with others such as our children.

LOOKING LOVELY

Clutter can zap us of our energy and old things can stagnate.

After this de cluttering process, we will feel good, it’s not only quite cathartic but it frees up space for nice, new things.

Having fresh space and only surrounding ourselves with things we love, we look and feel better. From now on promise yourself that, you will use and love everything you own.

Surround yourself with beautiful furniture, music, ornaments, paintings, photos, books, candles, scents, pets or plants, that uplift you, and use them all.

LOTIONS & POTIONS

Next go through your make up collection, throwing out any make up passed its use by date. Most cosmetics have a twelve-month shelf life.

Then jewellery boxes, discarding any fashion items that may have changed colour or gone out of fashion.

Potions and lotions such as perfume and shower gels or fancy soaps, need to be used.

Don’t keep them for special occasions, every day you are breathing is a special day, so look, feel and smell special.

Soaps are meant to dissolve and candles are meant to be burnt. When kept for any other purpose they go off and gather dust.

When we hold onto things, it’s like saying we don’t deserve them, or we are unsure if we will ever be able to afford them again?

But we are special, and we are deserving of everything we own.

That’s why it’s ours in the first place. We can always replace what we use in the future, for something even better.

When we are surrounded by love, it flows freely to others and by making space in our environment we are inviting love in by creating room for it.

Looking for love?

There are 7.7 billion people in the world as of October 2019, according to the most recent United Nations estimates. Just ponder that thought for a moment.

That’s a lot of people.

A lot of friends, family and lovers you’ve yet to meet, will never meet and who are looking for you.

Your Time is the Present, Enjoy the Gift,

Em x

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