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Ideas & Inspiration for a Creative Summer

06/13/2024 19:01:31 +0000
Let. It. Go.

It's the quiet whisper of summer.

An invitation to change the pace, the speed, the intensity.

At least for a little while.

And, perhaps while we can't let it all go (most of us still have jobs to go to, children to care for, and other responsibilities), the heat of the summer encourages us to drop the fervor and seek restoration.

But, we can slow down for a while.

I love what I heard on a recent podcast – summer isn't about the week long vacation you may or may not go on. It's a season. Several weeks of longer days of light, both morning and night when time seems to slow down just a little bit.

What will we do with it?

I like to ask myself that at the beginning of the summer because if I wait too long, it will be Labor Day weekend! Time flies, even in the summer seasons.

To fill each bit of space in the season of summer would be a bummer. That is not the intent. I want space.

But space for what?

To do nothing is to inevitably draw me back to the phone (and I've got to say that is one thing I want LESS of this summer).

A gentle plan to do pursue rest and joy for the body and soul? That sounds better.
9 Ideas for Creating and Infusing Space in Your Summer
So, with that, here are 9 ideas for creating in the summer of 2024!

1. Focus on being present to the gifts available to me each day, as they come. Record the gifts of each day.

Even as I write this, the summer season is already whittling away. Two weeks into June and it feels like yesterday I was turning the calendar over to May.
I can feel the anxiety rise, just a little, in my throat as I think of how fast it all goes.

That anxiety erodes joy and rest and chokes out my ability to see clearly.

In my journal, I am adding in a "summer gifts" section. I don't write every day, but when I do, I am going to add in the daily summer gift I received / found / discovered.

Could be simple- lingered with a book after work. Enjoyed a phone conversation with Krislyn. Watched the sun set behind the park on an evening walk.

2. Clear the calendar of what you don't want to do.

What needs to get eliminated?

If I don't knock a few things off, it is easy to have a summer crammed full.

And that is the opposite of what I want.

This doesn't have to be huge things. It may simply be eliminating adding anything else to the calendar that is obligatory and not life-giving.

For example, I'm eliminating some podcasts this summer I usually regularly consume. Not all, but I want more space for quiet and listening. I realized I was using some for "filler" and they were wearing me down with not-the-happiest content 😊
3. Add in time for creating.
If you are reading this and part of The Creative Season community, you are probably a creative of some sort. So many times, everyday life crowds out time for creating: journaling, painting, embroidery, resin art, and so forth.

Add in time for creating. How often? As often as you can as long as it is fun and restorative (not exhausting or stressful). For some it might be once a week, for others twice a month.

4. Relax with Picture books, Cookbooks, Coffee table books & Magazines

Do these seem like a luxury to you? Maybe you have them, but you don't take the time to browse through them. I'm pulling out a few books I've wanted to peruse, but always seem to be "too busy" to do so.
What ideas or inspiration might come from them? Or, perhaps the simple joy of enjoying the beautiful pictures and words someone else has carefully and lovingly put together. What joy there is in seeing others share their gifts and add to the beauty in the world!

5. Create with others

One time this summer, take some time to create with someone else. One woman wrote to me recently, saying she and her sister are getting together and will be painting together. I love that.
I'll be seeing a dear friend this summer and we'll sit and talk and work on our embroidery projects together. Maybe your creating involves something more physical this summer – hunting for antiques in a vintage market or going for a hike and photographing the wildflowers you see.
6. Allow a Shift in Your Schedule

Does the early morning sunlight inspire you?
How about the longer light in the evenings?

Why not let the natural shift in the season's extended days influence a change in your schedule. I know I can be so rigid in my routine. I miss the joy of doing something different.

Summer reminds me there is joy in mixing things up a bit! The soft morning light is inspiring me to work on focus projects, like writing, before I do other things.

It's not for a long time – twenty or thirty minutes – but it is enough time to shift my outlook and flow through the rest of the day.

Another idea is lingering with a book for twenty minutes in the morning instead of turning to email, news, and other online activities.

What small shift in schedule might infuse life to your routine this summer?

7. Finish a project

For some time, I wanted to collect my "memories" of the last several months into a memory journal. The envelope where I add in those memories: cards, ticket stubs, pictures, etc. is getting fatter and fatter as the months go by!

All I need is probably two good nights to finish this project – or maybe a half day on a Saturday. Scheduling time on the calendar to work on and finish this project before the summer's end.

8. Experiment with less tech

This doesn't have to be a total elimination of technology (but it could be, for a time). It's more of letting go of current rhythms and practices.

Pausing some podcasts for a time.

Limit time spent on email and / or when email is looked at. I'm trying to do this and kind of failing (right now), but I'm hoping to be better in a few weeks!

Have a "no-tech" day where you avoid social media, YT, and focus on more tactile activities.

It's all an experiment. At the end of the weekend, week or however long you decided to go for, what things do you notice? What do you love about your less-tech time? What did you do more? Notice more? Think about more?

9. Start with fall / Christmas projects

I know, I know some of us cannot bear to even think of the end of the year. BUT, if you are wanting to make projects, whether that is a photo book or a family cookbook or making ornaments.

The summer season may be the time to start. There is extended light and the sense of time being a bit more generous and laid back!
What is this list inspiring you to do differently for a more creative and slightly less busy summer?
I'd love to hear your thoughts, plans, and goals!
Email me at [email protected] or share with me on FB or Instagram.
Author: Melissa AuClair
Melissa AuClair is a floral painter. She loves to help others discover their God-given gift of creating, finding beauty and learning how to paint and create paintings of flowers and other nature-inspired art.

You can find her art, stationery, and stickers on the website as well as online workshops including Praying & Painting through Psalm 23.

California, United States
The Creative Season © 2021

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