Fluidity & Self-Discipline

balance boundaries leisure self-discipline

I read somewhere that consistency doesn’t equal frequency & it resonated so well for me. It gave me the perspective that consistency is more about delivering a certain quality each time, not so much about how often you do something. Reading that was a catalyst for me to release limiting beliefs surrounding creating “content” and focusing on how consistently creating art feels according to my own stride.
As someone whose creative fuel comes from the life I develop and cultivate offline, I naturally flow according to a rhythm of needing to take occasional breaks from social media. To those who have been here since the beginning of Weaving Artisan in October, you may recall me taking an extended hiatus that lasted a few months. & I appreciate you if you’re still here. Before revamping a month ago, I dedicated some time to redefine my goals & expand my mindset on what it meant to create in a way that felt more like me. This turned out to be a period that I used to explore inward & outwardly what rest meant to me, how to create a better work-life balance, & rediscover my own standards of self-discipline.
In order to introspect, I paused on how active I was on my social media platforms. I understood that I held standards to keep going, but if I wanted to show up intentionally in this space like I do, I would have to accept the temporary discomfort of a detour. So, I gave myself ample time to pause, figure things out, & rest. I hear this all the time, but it really is more challenging to thrive at doing what you love when there’s depletion or exhaustion also there.
A common misconception about rest is that it automatically means to asleep; While sleep is an essential aspect of resting, rest for me looked like allowing myself to let go of what was becoming dead weight: strategies, work habits, materials, & mindsets. It looked like somedays giving myself the space to do nothing but garden and plant some seeds, simply because I deserved to do something gentle, that recharged & grounded me. Other days, it looked like reading a book for leisure & personal development. During this period, I did occasionally feel a sense of haste that taking my time in such a way would cause me to lose something, I had no idea what - but the scarcity mindset was there. I met those concerns with affirmation to trust in my inner navigation, while reminding myself that it didn't make sense to expect myself to go so hard while I’m feeling called to show up in softer ways.
To help myself manage my ideas in preparation for the moment that I would feel ready to restart my work flow, I wrote things down as they came to me. As random as they came, I put ideas into a note. I began restructuring my boundaries, so that I can improve on & establish a better work-life balance that feels both productive and fulfilling. Set Boundaries, Find Peace written by Nedra Tawwab Glover was an instrumental read that helped me realize how much I needed support in that area. & I understood that if I wanted to have different results related to my new values, my overall feelings of being well, and personal success, that I would need to support myself with an updated set of healthy habits and methods that work for me. I summarized what has been helpful as of late in 5 practical tips that support a healthy relationship with self-discipline & fluidity below.

  1. Creating a personalized schedule: There are factors that can help creativity flow better like creating a rising routine. This can be a list of activities that feel good to you, or that put you in a mood to show up as your best self when you’re ready to rise to work. A few of activities that I like to do to start my day with momentum are recalling and logging my dreams if I have any, because dreams are a way for the our subconscious mind to communicate information. Doing breathing exercises & stretching, taking a shower, talking to a loved one, reserving time to make it to a coffee shop, etc. Feelings fluctuate and some days require different types of attention, so this is why a list of options are helpful. These things are meant to inspire, fill up your energy tank, & give you energy to pull from.
  2. Getting organized: Lately, I’ve been remembering how useful a dry erase board can be. I use one to write out my daily/monthly/weekly goals & clarify my priority action items in my mind. Something about seeing the goals I have in the order of least-to-most effort required, helps me with accountability. Even if its just writing a reminder to read something I love for 30 minutes. Any kind of organizer can serve as a visual aid for this reason.
  3. Affirming the version of the emerging self: It helps to create a set of personalized affirmations to support the version of myself I wanted to show up as. For example, “the woman I am becoming trusts in her ideas.” “I am innovative & full of brilliance.” The more specific you are the better, because affirmations condition your mind to create your reality from that belief.
  4. Making sense of my expectations: One of the ways in the past that I burned myself out was by imposing too many expectations on myself at once. Which resulted in me doing parts of everything I wanted to instead of completing an idea and moving onto the next. I feel like becoming more organized helps me with this, because breaking ideas down to what needs to get done & what it takes step by step makes it easier to meet and check off goals through a process. This also provides me with perspective to see if any parts of my goal need to be reimagined or enhanced.
  5. Limiting distractions: Distractions will always be present, but it’s been helpful accepting that everything doesn’t require my immediate attention or reaction. In the past, saying yes to things that I didn’t have the bandwidth to hold space for was my form of self sabotage. Unless I have space to spare, I find it best to minimize how much  I extend myself. Being honest with myself about my availability has helped add balance to this aspect of my life. 
The order these tips are listed in, are not always how I flow & that’s okay. Sometimes a routine serves as a reminder to get back on track & reign in your focus wherever you are.
& it’s important to remember that nothing ever stays the same forever, so I expect myself to revisit this strategy and alter it as needed as I change. 
What are some essentials of your own routine that keeps you grounded, disciplined, focused, or balanced? 

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