me walking with fresh greens in my hands in a blue dress

Creative Living

I had no idea what creative living actually was until it snuck up on me. I realized after almost two decades of healing and deep work on my mind and body, I had arrived at this peaceful existence where I felt free as a bird.

At first, I panicked. Because you know, that’s my survival patterning. I was conditioned to live in chaos and busyness – living on adrenaline instead of creativity so this freaked me out a bit. Perhaps you can relate.

But then I realized this is what I’ve been inching towards all these years and I started to acclimate myself to this new way of living. (Note: this took time, lots of it). From there, it felt like whole new vistas opened up for me.

I often think people must wonder, “What’s the point?” Like, with healing. Why bother? Why not just take the easy way out by numbing ourselves with social media, food or (_________ fill in the blank)? Well, now that I’ve arrived at this new reality beyond survival mode, I can honestly answer that question.

Fourteen years of what felt like a living hell healing my mind and body with thirty-one diagnoses that felt unbearable not only from symptoms but from merely trying to have the mental capacity to remain conscious and for lack of a better word: alive did often make me wonder, “Why am I doing this? What is the point?” But, I’m tenacious and somehow I pulled myself up and bounced out of those low points to keep on trucking. I had no idea where I was going or if I would ever get better. Looking back, I realize I lacked the self-awareness to realize I was completely numbed out – unable to realize this was the only way of living I knew existed.

I had forgotten what it felt like to truly live.

I had forgotten there was a reality outside of illness.

I had forgotten I was a little dot on a ball spinning in a gigantic universe and there were many possibilities outside of survival mode existence.

It really wasn’t until a few weeks before my 41st birthday when I started to truly feel safe enough to actually be fully in my body and safe enough to create from a new place. It took many years of peeling heavy layers of PTSD to get here. I felt glimpses of this safety and creative energy throughout my late 30’s and even at 40 and while they’d stay for a bit and let me create for a day or a week, they’d soon vanish into thin air.

Before this newfound feeling of safety in my everyday life, I created (and lived) from a frenzied place. You know, anxiety and overwhelm, which fuels many of us. It was like being a fish in water who didn’t even know what water was. In survival mode, I didn’t even realize I was in it. It’s all I knew. It’s how I was raised. It’s how everyone around me functioned. So, I didn’t have the consciousness to even see other options.

That was, until I landed in a whole new place. A place I like to call, Creative Living.

sunflowers for my creative living kitchen
rows of colored pens on shelves against a white wall

I’m sure creative living can be many things to many people but here’s what it means to me.

It’s starting my day by watching my thoughts. Not getting lost in the insanity of the mind trying to loop me round-and-round into a bunch of junk thoughts that are not-at-all important. It’s realizing I can numb out and inhale my breakfast while my mind is racing about the day or I can place my breakfast into one of my new handmade pottery bowls and sit down for a few minutes to eat while being as present as possible.

It’s listening to and trusting my intuition. That soft voice (not the voice yelling at me to get busy or to hurry up) that gently nudges me in new directions even though I have no clue where it’s taking me.

It’s about learning how to enjoy the sensual elements of life. The warm water on my skin in the shower, the smell of essential oils in my kitchen, the cozy sweater I snuggle myself into that caresses my skin. This was NOT easy for me. Feeling anything was terrifying so this took time (years).

It’s about being curious. Not settling. Asking questions. Going out of my comfort zone. Attempting to look silly in front of a lot of people as I’m trying something new that I don’t quite understand because my intuition (gut feeling) is pulling me in a new direction.

It’s about doing things differently. I think we all know my recipes are quite different than the average Joe.

It’s about doing what lights me up. Not what I think I’m supposed to be doing. Things that light me up increase my energy. Anything that starts with “I’m supposed to be doing this” feels heavy and decreases my energy. I tune in very closely to what increases and decreases my energy. Period. People, clients, foods, restaurants, healers, etc. Following this has never led me in the wrong direction but it’s taken me many years to learn how to trust myself enough (and feel) what feels good and what doesn’t.

It’s about creating an environment that feels safe. My loft is filled with lots of natural light, branches, fresh greens in water, Inspiration Boards in my little creative nook, elements of wood mixed with some of my hand-thrown pottery, remnants of fabrics from the Garment District here in NYC and fresh ingredients in the center of my kitchen. I’ve found ways to make my living space intimate, something I need for creative living. I’ve managed to decorate the handful of Manhattan apartments I’ve lived in with soft, muted colors and trinkets that feel special. All of this was done on a very small budget (most items have come from Marshall’s and always from the sale rack of any store because I’m a bargain shopper)!

For me, getting to this place where I fully feel immersed in creative living has not been easy. It’s taken me until 41 to finally feel it and live it. It doesn’t happen overnight or even in a few months. At least, it didn’t for me. It took small changes each day, a tenacious approach to healing, dedication to my inner growth to increase my state of consciousness and most of all, to watch the unconscious thought patterns keeping me out of the dream of creative living I have longed for.

AmieValpone.com participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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