Jumping on clothes
So far the beginning of 2011 has been really insightful.  I’ve taken some time away from blogging mainly because I’ve had to be honest with myself.  (I’ve missed you all!)  I have about 553 ideas, projects, goals, and dreams that I want to pursue all at once and I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it just isn’t possible.I’ve had to slow way down to enjoy some concentrated time playing with my sweet boys.

Ash at 12 weeks

And also to clear my head.  I’m still learning how to run a creative business from home while being a full-time stay-at-home mom.  And I’m learning a lot about my limitations.
Keeping my children out of daycare and being fully present during their foundation years is extremely important to us.  My husband and I have made some sacrifices to make this happen and we feel an enormous sense of gratitude that so far our choices are working out pretty well.
BUT…there are days when I think, “How can I do all this and stay sane!?”

How can I nurse, change diapers, potty train, keep up the house, cook healthy meals, blog, run an e-course, paint, workout – all day and night – without going just a little big crazy?

Well…I. can’t. do. it. all.

So I have to let some stuff go, pick the things that are most important to me, and find peace in the middle of the challenging and chaotic times.

My mom laughed at me the other day when I told her I was staying home because going out would involve taking a shower.  (Along with doing my hair, finding pants that fit, getting the boys dressed, packing up the diaper bag, getting snacks ready, trudging through the snow…um…exhausting!)

Being a mom is hard work.  We get very little breaks.  We love our children and we love what we do.  But we MUST, for the sake of our own inner peace (aka: sanity), nourish our creativity and personal dreams, and this may mean having to let go of other things to make sure it happens.

Living Room Mess
I may not have the cleanest house on the block, but I know that when I make time for my art, for inspiration, and for playingwith my kids, I am much less likely to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed out.  Of course we still put our toys away at the end of the day, but to me that’s just as important as carving out space to nurture my creativity.Reducing clutter and creating space was my theme for 2010.  My theme for 2011 seems to be reducing MORE clutter to create MORE space for what matters most.  I’m learning how to let go of the stuff that doesn’t matter, so that I can fully embrace the stuff that does.

Playing Dress Up
So in between jumping on beds, adjusting to a new baby, messing up the house, and playing dress-up, I’ve been preparing space for the fourth session of my e-course, Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery.My heart is exploding with excitement as the explorers who have signed up this time around have already been sharing their introductions in our private community forum.  Their energy is contagious and they remind me why nourishing our creativity and connecting with other like-minded souls is so important.

I do have limitations.  I can’t do it all.  But, with a little practice and an open heart, I’m dedicated to living NOW and making space for what matters most.

Family Sign
This is a plaque that my husband made me for my birthday.  It’s the first thing I see when I wake up now and it offers a great reminder for me as I start out each new day.
Play, be silly, laugh and create!
xo,
Shannon

Your Personal Reflection:  Are you making enough time and space in your daily life for what matters most?  Do you have a theme or intention set for the new year?  Now that we are a few weeks into 2011, how do you feel and are you staying focused on the change you’ve set out to make?

(psst…There are a few spots left in my art-journaling adventure – wanna join us?  Inside Out starts Monday, January 17th!)

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