I claimed 2020 as the year of “Follow Through” for me. With this daily practice of following through and being intentional, I noticed that my mindset is shifting. The things that I used to dwell on are no longer rooted in my mind, which has left me with room to plant new seeds.
One new seed that I have planted in my mind is the act of adding value to my life. You may wonder what that means, but the truth is that this looks different for each and every one of us. There's no textbook answer for how to add value to your life, as you will need to decide what you consider valuable. Also, what you consider valuable may change over time. At this moment in my life adding value looks like reading books, expressing myself through multiple artistic mediums, and spending more time writing.
First of all, I haven’t read for pleasure in years! The benefits of reading are so difficult to contain in one brief list but here are a few that I look forward to experiencing:
- Mental Stimulation
- Vocabulary Expansion
- Reduces Depression
- Relieves Stress
- Improves Memory
- Strengthens Focus
- Strengthens Writing Skills
These are just some of the many benefits that come from reading consistently. Last week I saw a novel by Toni Morrison posted on Instagram, called The Bluest Eye. I immediately thought to go grab it and read it, but then I took a step back. I have books in my home right now that I either have never opened, or I never finished. The first book I will be reading is a classic, Kindred by Octavia Butler. I originally bought the book for a college assignment but ended up reading something else. My plan is to read 30 minutes a day (more if I have more time).
More specifically, expressing myself through multiple artistic mediums. You may think...OK Whit, isn’t that what you already do with crafting? YES! It is something I already do, but I’m looking to change HOW I do it. The best way for me to describe this is that I want to be more intentional (yes, that word again) in how I use art. Right now, my only goal within most of my art is representation of Black people. This isn’t a bad thing, however that is only expressing one part of me. The part of me that wants to see myself and others who look like me represented. Keeping that goal in play, I want to add expression of more aspects of me. The things I like, the things that make me feel whole, the multifaceted nature of me. Putting myself out there is not something I’m used to, but I don’t see any reason to keep everything within. As an artist, it can be difficult to use yourself as a muse, but this is what I feel inspired to do. Below is a piece of my digital art practice.
Writing more is another great way for me to add value to my life. Yup, what I’m doing right at this moment. Writing blogs, journal entries, poems, stories, etc. the benefits from writing are a lot like the benefits from reading. In a sense, writing will allow me to put the benefits of reading into action! In order to really feel the benefits, writing every single day is the goal.
I know that I am a busy person, but I almost always make time for self-care. Although I love a good face mask, or nail painting sesh, I felt like I needed more substance from the things I do. Who knows, I might even do a face mask while I write! I may or may not have a face mask on right now! Afterall, I’ve grown to love and appreciate my ability to multitask.
I hope that this input is something that helps you. Especially if you are in a season of adding value as well.
Until next time,