space to be creative

Geoffrey & Grace - creative playSomething has been stuck in my head since the weekend, so I wanted to share what’s been buzzing around my brain on here, in the hope that it would help shift it.

I have been describing the 5ftinf workshop to friends and family and sometimes I get the impression that people are finding it difficult to grasp hold of what I was actually doing… “so you were playing with flowers”?! Granted these are mostly people who live outside the world of Instagram. For those of us who love Instagram the way we do, a world without Instagram is hard to imagine. Of course when I show them the photographs, they see how beautiful they are, it all clicks into place, and they get what I was talking about.

Now you should bear in mind I am someone who often has three lists on the go at any given time. I like to be achieving and crossing things off my list. I am not so good at leaving spaces in my day for nothing, and tend to cram every second of time with something.

Geoffrey & Grace - creative play

For me creating images like the above, and like we did at the 5ftinf workshop are a fun activity. I like to take my time to get them just so. It’s one of the only things I do that feels like I am not achieving anything – I am just having a play, with no real purpose. I spent about an hour creating and shooting these images here and I think some people would see that as frivolous.

There is the term and popular hashtag #faffingaddiction that gets used on Instagram a lot with these sorts of photos. This is something I spoke to Phillippa about at the 5ftinf workshop, she also wrote a post about the workshop and talks about what she thinks of the term faffing in association with this sort of task. If you have time, do have a read of her blog post because it’s really very interesting.

To faff – to spend time in ineffectual activity. That’s the key word, isn’t it… ‘ineffectual’, I would argue that the time I spend doing this isn’t ineffectual, and in fact it has a big effect on my day and on my well being.

Whether you call it faffing or not, why do people not place more importance on an exercise like this?

Geoffrey & Grace - creative play

The main problem is we are all so busy. When there are lots of things that ‘need’ to be done, like paying the bills, looking after your family, answering emails, washing up, laundry etc, people (myself included) have a hard time justifying the time one would spend on an activity like this. It doesn’t sit well with us.

Perhaps though, we have our priorities wrong, and we need to shift our perspective. Time spent doing a task like this, or something else creative, or meditation, is actually just as important, if not more so! As human beings, we need those gaps in our day, those spaces for breath and pause are just as valid as the other stuff.

Geoffrey & Grace - creative play

I must remember this (or re-read this blog post) next time I am having those pangs of guilt for ignoring important ‘grown-up’ stuff and choosing to enjoy an hour playing instead.

So that’s what has been rattling about in my head this week. How do you feel about it all? Would love to know.


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