creative intrigue | SusannahConway.com
I woke up tired on Saturday morning and needed something different. I had a to-do list that I just couldn’t face and as I felt the need to cocoon at home, heading out didn’t appeal. I wanted to create but I didn’t want it to be for work. So I grabbed a pile of magazines and a notebook, made myself a big-ass coffee and camped out on my bed with some Hay House interviews. I had no end goal in mind, for a change, and simply fancied making something out of nothing. To tune out my think-y mind and ease into my feel-y body. To get glue on my hands. To play.

creating calm fire | SusannahConway.com
I began by tearing out images, clipping the sort of words I usually snip when working in my Creative Dream Journal: LOVE, confident, CONNECTION, joy. I created a few pages, but the visioning felt a bit perfunctory. Without thinking too much about it, I laid out my collection of words in front of me and began putting fragments together. I’ve been really drawn to orange lately, and when I spotted “creating calm” and “FIRE” near each other I stuck them down and felt the Nudge. I’m on to something here, I thought.

SusannahConway.com
That first word combo lead me to other random pairings, words I might not have typed onto a page, but pulled together with the serendipity of collage they suddenly seemed to make sense. As more words found each other, I ended up with a series of collage poems that feel silly and serious, loose and free. Worlds away from what I’d usually do, and all the better for it.

lovebombing | SusannahConway.com
My spontaneous creativity reboot felt really decadent — I didn’t do any real work all weekend! — which is why it was exactly what I needed. Being self-employed is great and I pour everything into what I do, but sometimes you just gotta shelve the to-do list and do something DIFFERENT. I try to remember this, and am getting better at taking time off, but this weekend reminded me that it’s okay to indulge in creative play that has no specific destination in mind. It’s the best-ideas-in-the-shower syndrome — by doing something else you make space for epiphanies. By Sunday night I’d downloaded the name of my next course, the one I’ve been composting in notebooks for months. I hadn’t even been thinking about work, but there it was, fully formed and ready to jump start the new inspiration that’s now bouncing around my head.

join life imperfectly | SusannahConway.com
So the lesson is: boost your creativity by doing other creative things. It’s hardly ground breaking is it? But it’s been a timely reminder for this self-employed workaholic. The challenge now is to do it more often. Can you imagine?!

red chaos | SusannahConway.com

bluebells | SusannahConway.com
How freaking amazing are these action figures for girls (and boys! Noah will love them)

It’s the question that just never gets old: what happens after we die?

All of these (especially this print)

I want one in my future garden: the ultimate granny flat!

Sweet + spicy fridge pickles | strawberries + melon with lemon sugar + mint | carrot salad with tahini + crisped chickpeas

A tiny Austrian town is reinventing bus stops (thanks Tina)

How the words we choose shape our lives

Podcast recommendations for creatives, small biz owners, bloggers + pop culture lovers

Inside the mind of the octopus

[video] Will Ferrell and Chad Smith’s drum-off

And finally, Photo Meditations starts on Monday! I’ll be closing registration on Sunday xx

Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

From And Still I Rise by Dr Maya Angelou

Rest in peace, you truly phenomenal woman x

[Photo from MayaAngelou.com]

sunday2

Reading…
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. Oh this book, this BOOK. So many ahas, even though we share such different backgrounds.

Feeling… filled up from yesterday’s workshop with Sally Kempton and conversations with new friends.

Smelling… minty lipbalm. My new favourite perfume oil.

Tasting… a perfectly ripe white nectarine. Iced coffee.

Listening… the sound of my washing machine. The cars passing by. The hum of my laptop.

Creating… making notes about the oracle cards, ready to send to my co-conspirators this week.

Wanting… more time to read. I’m craving a whole month to just lie on my bed/sofa/in the park and devour books.

Pondering… the bravery of beautiful Jenna, who had brain surgery last week. She wrote to me yesterday: ‘Hi Susannah, I was part of the first Sacred Alone group. I just wanted to write a quick email of thanks! Right after the class doctors discovered that I had a brain aneurysm. This meant weeks of tests and just a week ago brain surgery far away from my home (I live in the United Arab Emirates). I just have to say a huge thank you because the meditations from that class have carried me through this really rough time. So often when scared I meditated – the lake meditation I found especially helpful. Also the doctors continually remarked how peaceful I was and how perfect the procedure was (like my body was helping them!). I am so thankful to you and to that class. It is part of my life, my soul, and my spirit. You have touched my life and helped me to go through the most difficult thing I’ve every faced – brain surgery. Thank you is not enough. I hope each who takes this class is as blessed by it as I have been. Thank you.’

Holy WOW.

* a post inspired by all the lovely lists I’ve seen around the internet. If you feel inspired do share your own check-in in the comments or if you blog your answers leave a link!

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