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Mind Your Light

Well, congratulations. You made it through January. You made it past Blue Monday, and through typically the leanest and hardest month of the year. Culturally we hang so much weight, so much meaning, on the turn of a new year, and feel like we “should” hit the ground running and guns blazing, but energetically this is the time of year for hibernating, for going inward. Our intention of total reinvention goes directly opposite to our resources, our limits. It’s a tough one to weather.

Recently Leah was scrolling Instagram and a friend’s post caught her eye. Tim Damon (account is private) wrote,

“Today, I was speaking with a loved one about the nature of feeling stuck. While I think it is important to hold space for our emotions to come up, I also think it’s important to get out of our own way and engage in activities that elevate our bodies, minds and spirits (especially this time of year!) That said, I am launching a new project and you’re all welcome to get on board. Between now and March 21, I will be posting images with the hashtag #mindingmylight and invite you to do the same. Many people suffer in silence with their mental health. These images have the potential for creating positive change in our community by inspiring others and sharing a simple yet profound message “You’re not alone”. Let’s shine a light on mental health. We’re all in this together.”
— TimDamon

We love this idea - not just about shining a light on mental health but also the idea of minding your own light. We think of it as a fragile tea light flame, something small enough to cup in your hand yet still powerful. To “mind your light” is to care for that fragile yet fiery part of yourself: your mind and your spirit.

Tim’s project calls us to think daily - How can I mind my light today? How can I cup my hands around the tealight and make sure the winds don’t blow it out?

And most importantly - his project reminds us that we’re all in this together. You, me, your friends, your neighbours, all the people in your community who you’ve never met: we are all human. We are all fragile. We all have that little tealight that we’re each minding. Not one of us has this whole “being human” thing figured out. So let’s help each other - that’s what (we think) we’re all here for, in the end.

Coming Full Circle & Not Giving Up

Real Talk: Our First Year We Heard Crickets

Four years ago, Emily and I launched the first Creative Soul Weekend offering and heard… crickets.

We had put together the weekend of our own personal dreams - there was yoga, there was creativity, food was all included, and there were two lavish nights in a dreamy cabin. The price tag was around $400. Although we had lots of friends interested in coming, no-one signed up. Too pricey, was the feedback.

Well, fair enough. I mean, who were we? No-one had ever been to a “creative soul weekend” before. (Except the two of us and our friend Aleena the year before, the proto-CSW in St Peters). Personally I wouldn’t plunk down $400 either if I didn’t know what I was getting in return, no matter how promising and shiny the website looked. (And it did look great.)

But the cabin was already booked, we’d already paid for it. We couldn’t just cancel! We really wanted to make this work. So we regrouped and decided to eat the cost of one night at the cabin, and just stayed there ourselves. We cut the retreat back to one night, got rid of one of the workshops, and said that food would be potluck - each participant would be responsible for bringing some food. The cost dropped to $200 and we sold out.

>> And then we actually DID the retreat. And it was even better than we had imagined.<<

And we did it again the next year, and the next. Each time, we listen to the participants’ feedback, learn from it, and change the retreat slightly, expanding it slightly each year. And now here we are, four years later, and this year’s offering is pretty much what we dreamed of in that first year! And we’re one spot away from selling out.

So what does that tell us?

It tells us that the old cliche “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again” is true. Only it’s more like, “if at first you don’t succeed, tweak the offering again and again.”

It tells us to put the work in, one day and one year at a time.

It tells us to TRUST your gut. We felt there was magic in this idea, there was something there that other women would want too. Isn’t that what’s at the core of creativity, anyway? You create something out of nothing… and to do that you have to trust yourself.

I feel there are more lessons in this than just those three… if another one jumps out at you, feel free to share it with us!

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We're on retreat tomorrow!

We'll be gathering beach side for a weekend of creativity, connecting, goal setting and complete relaxation. We'll likely be quiet over the next few days as we soak in as much as we can. But we'll be sharing all the goodness and magic with you next week when we are settled back in at home. 

Bummed you can't make it this year? Try to take a moment for yourself this weekend and see what you can do to bring a little Creative Soul Weekend inspiration into the mix! 

Take Care,

Leah and Emily 

Why We Get Together With Other Women

Why We Get Together With Other Women

We all create alone - in studio, in a coffee shop, in our home office, at the kitchen table, wherever. Even if there are people around us at the time, in the act of creation we’re alone - just us and the work. And I don’t know about you, but in both my creative hobbies and my creative work, I tend to go all gung-ho until I hit a wall and burn out. Whether it's my hobby (gardening), or my job (designing and writing), I tend to get frustrated, but not only that, I think I’m the only one who’s ever felt this way.


And the thing that helps me, every single time that happens? Getting together with another woman or with a group of women who share my medium or at least my creative life, and talking about it.