Lately, I haven’t been able to get my hands dirty in the studio as much as I would like to. I’ve been working hard on all things Wellness for Makers while trying to find a balance between having a studio practice, running a business, and becoming a foster parent to my nieces. It’s been a busy year filled with unexpected changes and road bumps and unfortunately my studio has been shifted around from one room to another along the way.
I use my creativity all throughout my business, but I believe that maintaining my own studio practice is so important for my wellbeing. So I decided if I couldn’t make as much of my artwork as I would like at home, then I would have to apply for a residency. Residencies are a great option for mamas/aunties out there who need creative time. When I found the Getaway House’s Artist Fellowship Program, I applied right away.
I recently had the opportunity to escape for a few days to the Getaway House in the Catskills (NY). I was invited as one of their Artist Fellows to stay for 2 nights in their “Frieda” tiny home. The Getaway House is also pup friendly, so my pups and I drove up for the much needed escape. Here are three things I learned on my Getaway house adventure!
Unplugging from the electronic world can be a challenge, especially when you run a business that you love and are expected to promote and keep up with. Finding the balance between staying connected to our online communities and resources and disconnecting to connect more to ourselves can feel like a challenge. Getaway’s goal is to help you recharge and connect to the physical world around you.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the sounds of the branches waving in the wind. I walked into my cabin to find a welcome note, a package of smores, a booklet with prompts of ways to reconnect and a bark box for my pups. So cute!
I’ll be honest, I didn’t completely unplug 24/7 because I wanted to use my phone as my camera for my trip. However, I used it minimally and with intention rather than just jumping on impulsively. It is an interesting challenge to begin to notice how often we use our devices without intention, just to scroll and swipe.
Did you know apps like Instagram will actually give you a report of how much time you are spending on the app? Have you ever tracked your phone activity? Try it out. If you have an iphone, go into your settings, click on battery, then tap the icon that says “Last 24hours” or “Last 7 days” to get your daily and weekly reports. This section will provide you with a report of which apps you use the most. You can then click on each app individually to see exactly how much time you are spending on it for the week. Have you ever said you don’t have enough time to stretch or meditate? Well this exercise can really shift your perspective to realize that you have been spending 10 hours a week on Instagram. This week try to scroll less and move more!
Don’t waste your breath
How often do you find yourself scrambling to fill an order, finish a piece, complete preparations for a big show, or rework image files to submit to your next call for entry (But seriously, why does every call request images at a different size?)? Do you ever feel like the stress of your creative practice is so overwhelming that it's hard to stay connected to your body? I'm right there with you! Has anyone ever told you to "Just breathe" or "Focus on your breath"? Sometimes those phrases can sound so ridiculous. I mean, I'm always breathing, right? And if I wasn't, I would have bigger problems!
Being out in nature at the Getaway house helped me to remember that it’s easy to take the action of breathing for granted. We get so worked up about the next big (or little) thing that we lose sight of our breath. Let me remind you that the fact that you are breathing, the fact that your beautiful heart is beating, is evidence of your resilience. You have made it through every unfortunate circumstance in your life in order to make it to this moment here. Your breath can act as a beautiful reminder of that. It is also a wonderful tool to help you reconnect to yourself.
Did you know that noticing the sounds, feelings, and movements of your breath can physically calm you down by sending signals to your nervous system? It only takes a few moments, but it goes a long way.
While I was there I started creating a booklet about the breath and meditation that I would love to share with you! Register here to be the first to get access when it’s available.
How often do you play and connect to your childhood sense of wonder? Did you know that playing can actually stimulate the mind and boost your creativity?
As an Artist Fellow at the Getaway House, I was invited to use the time to do just that; play, wander, explore, and feel inspired. I spent my time carving into wood, drawing portraits of my pups napping, painting bodily imagery, taking photos, and writing. It was a great opportunity to reconnect to my childhood sense of wonder and creativity.
For me, it is always fun to go on creative adventures with a buddy! So I brought my talented friend Jillian Zoltner Wolf with me on this creative adventure. Jillian is a textile artist and we were both rambling off ideas the entire time. We were so inspired by the space we were staying in that we moved some things around and set up her loom! It looked so cool! We also did a posture check and took a few before and after pics of Jillian working to share with all you weavers out there! I am so inspired by this space that the next time I go, I’m totally bringing my jeweler’s bench! I seriously can’t wait to go back!
The Getaway house has locations in New York, Atlanta, Washington D.C. Los Angeles, and Boston. Use the coupon code WELLNESSFORMAKERS25 to get $25 off your stay! Enjoy! And let me know how much you love it when you go! You deserve a little getaway!