"Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories since I heard my first. They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything - we need only listen."
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
I'm in the beginning of my third 100 day practice (or if you allow me to break up the 366 practice I also did, my 6th).
It is amazing so far!
25 brave and courageous souls are on the journey with me and I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to travel together for the inspiration and encouragement and accountability and grace.
One of the things I am trying to be conscious of during this 100 days is consuming less.
And as serendipity always does, I came across this article on Day 4 of the 100 Days of Building Creativity E-Course that reinforced and supported my plan.
It's titled, "What Do You Want to Create and Why Haven't You Done It?", and in it, Neil Strauss advocates for going on an information diet to accomplish your creative goals. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Here's why I had planned on reducing my input and how I am practicing consuming less in this season:
First, my input is a strength. Literally, I took Gallup's strength finder and out of 34 strengths the strength of input was in my top 5. What this means to me is that I have to be really careful about what I allow in, because once it's in, I'm developing it (another one of my strengths). But seriously, I take in a large capacity of books and courses and information. I love learning new things, but I also realize my ability to retain and share doesn't always happen. And because I am interested in so many things, I feel very scattered and overwhelmed at times.
So for me, I wanted to focus this 100 days on bringing together what I already have, and I've committed to taking on nothing new during these 100 days. I will continue to invest in what I have already said yes to, but no new courses, or online summits, or free email series. I want to step back.
That also means less checking on my phone (which honestly hasn't gone so well so far, in fact, I've noticed more, maybe because my heart knows what is going to happen and is trying to fit it all in). My brain is super sensitive to the dopamine hit and I know it will be hard to limit how many times I check my email and social media to an intentional two or three times a day, but again, finding that article helped and I'm trusting I can get through the experience as Neil describes it: "When you’re not constantly stimulated, it may feel uncomfortable at first because your brain wants its quick pleasure fix, but within 24 hours, you’ll likely start experiencing a clarity that drives you toward true creation and meaning." I've also got an accountability partner in it with me! Today was day one and so far, so good!
Two others areas I have intentional stopped consuming in are alcohol and TV shows. These started before the 100 days began, but I am continuing them throughout the 100 days.
I told a wise sober friend that I had stopped drinking alcohol for a season, and she told me that she loves how I am willing to stop doing things, not because they are ruining my life or because of addiction, but because they just don't bless my life.
I had never thought of it that way, but she's right. Alcohol was not blessing my life, and I felt it was keeping me from connecting more to my source and from finding truer ways of unwinding and relaxing. It was numbing the same way I was noticing that I had been increasing TV shows I was watching and also numbing with them in the evening instead of connecting with myself, my family, and my source. There was a season when I did no TV. That was also a season where I felt the need to make a statement about it and be different by not having a TV in my living room. I have a TV in my living room now and that's totally fine with me, but I am back in a season of only watching movies, and only on movie nights.
Here's what I am saying yes to and what I'm hoping will be created in this season:
I'm doing tea meditation and intuitive art each day because I want to be connected to my source and myself. I want to see what's inside me each day, ready to be expressed, not filling myself up from the outside or numbing myself from what I'm truly experiencing and needing. I want to find out what all these seeds I have planted have to produce in my life, what strange unique fruit will come. And so that means I am choosing less consuming, less input, less checking, less scrolling, less distractions. I am choosing more creativity, more slowing, more stillness, more being, more life.
Whether or not you are with me on the 100 day journey, I hope you will take a moment to think about what it is you are wanting to create with and in your life, and think about those things that are consuming you or you are consuming that are getting in the way. And I hope you will consider making one small change or shift that would allow you to spend that time and energy on an area of your life that is desiring your attention and focus. If you feel called to share I'd love to hear what those things are for you in the comments below or feel free to email me!
If you are needing some daily inspiration to create instead of consume, you are welcome to follow what I do share from my 100 day journey on Instagram @DaringDiscoveries or #100daysofbuildingcreativity or #100daysecourse.