Creative Excursions

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy defines a creative excursion as regular solo rendezvous with your authentic self designed to get to know her better. Where you will celebrate yourself, find pastimes that make your heart light and your spirit sing. Creative excursions require an investment in time not money and if you are too busy to find two hours a week you seriously need to reconsider your priorities. There are ways to do it once you realise that nurturing your imagination and developing a relationship with your authentic self is an investment you can no longer afford to put off.

She suggests starting with the following creative excursions with your authentic self as you follow the simple abundance path:

Plan a creative excursion to go browsing in a home furnishing and decorative accessories shop. Go somewhere you’ve never been before, so that your looking at everything with fresh eyes. What startles you, calls to you, excites you? Write it down in a small spiral notebook that you keep in your purse. Is it the shape of a teapot, the colours of a rug or the textures of a dried flower arrangement? You’ll know what you love the moment you see it, its that familiar WOW reaction. Trust the impulse, capture the encounter, record the clues, It will be important later on.

Next time go browsing at a new clothing boutique. The kind of place that intrigues you but you stay away from because its too expensive. The autumn fashions should be arriving about now, go see what’s new. Be open to authentic aspirations, record the colours and styles you like.

She also offers the following suggestions for future weeks creative excursions:

  • Take in an English period drama at the movies
  • Have an early breakfast before work at a new French café
  • Cruise the isles at an incredible Italian market
  • Browse in used book stores
  • Visit an art supply store & imagine all the wonderful ways in which you can start expressing yourself

Remember this is not about shopping, its about letting go the opinions of the media, magazines, family and friends and figuring out again what it is that you truly love.

Julia Cameron in her book The Artists Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self refers to them as Artists Dates and considers them to be a very important basic tool for opening receiving and yourself to insight, inspiration and guidance. She defines it as a weekly two hour block of time especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. The artists date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers. You do not take anyone on your artist dates but you and your inner artist AKA your creative child. Commit yourself to a weekly artist date and guard against your killjoy side trying to wriggle out of it.

She recommends for your first artists date give yourself a few bucks and take yourself to a junk store to buy silly things like gold star stickers, tiny dinosaurs, postcards, sparkly sequins, glue, kids scissors & crayons. Now you can start rewarding yourself with gold stars again , just for fun.

The also gives the following suggestions for future artists dates you might like to go on:

  • A long country walk
  • A solitary expedition to the beach for a sunrise or sunset
  • A sortie out to a strange church to hear gospel music
  • To an ethnic neighbourhood to taste foreign sights & sounds
  • Go bowling

So whether you call them creative excursions or artists dates I feel the important thing is to remember to give yourself two hours a week out in the world alone to rediscover the sense of wonderment we had as kids discovering for the first time new and exciting things that interest us.

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