rediscover the joy of childlike exploration

give yourself freedom to explore

Do you remember when you were a child
and were given free reign to explore?

Maybe it was out behind grandma’s house
or the nooks and crannies of a library.

Can you remember how it felt?
How free you were?

What if you could feel that way again?
What if you decided to go exploring?

get rid of the pressure to be productive

The pressure to be productive
is all too prevalent in this culture.

The pressure to accomplish something
makes us forget that we need peace
more than productivity.

We are humans beings,
not humans doings,
so why this pressure to perform?

Shake it off.
Slip out of the chains of productivity
and step into the freedom of creative exploration.

Begin a new project
and let yourself be completely free
to enjoy the process.

Let go of the pressure
to produce a beautiful finished product
and step into a beautiful process.

set a clear goal for yourself

Decide what you want out of this adventure.
Perhaps you want to explore a new stitch
or to use a new material or tool.

Set a clear goal to help you focus
and judge whether you’ve done
what you set out to do.

Perhaps you will try some new technique,
giving yourself freedom to fail as you move toward
successfully learning the new skill.

Or maybe you will try using a new tool,
allowing yourself the freedom to take it slowly
and learn all the quirks of this new thing.

Maybe you will try a new fabric,
something completely different from what you typically use,
that will make for an adventure.

Or perhaps you’ll come up with something else entirely.
What is it that would being you the most joy in the journey?
What would you try if you had complete freedom to not finish?

Don’t take this step lightly -
establish for yourself exactly what it would look like
to accomplish your goal.

Keep your goal process-oriented,
and not about the finished object.

Perhaps in the midst of exploring, you will create something.
But that is a byproduct, not an accurate measure of success or failure.

If you choose to try a new fabric, for example,
give yourself the goal of simply learning how to handle it
and don’t worry about whether or not you end up with something wearable.
Even if you only learn that you hate working with this type of fabric,
the journey has been successful - you learned something!

consistency is key

Set aside time each day
when you can focus,
leaving behind pressures
and setting aside distractions.

Consistency is key.
Let it not be a question of whether or not you will do it.
Add it to your schedule.

Once the time is set,
it is your responsibility to fill it with exploration.
This is your time to play.

Remember that this journey
is not about the destination.
When you set your time schedule, don’t set a deadline.

A deadline implies pressure to produce something,
and within a limited time period.
But your intended goal is exploration,
which is never quite over.

Even if it’s simply fifteen minutes before bed,
give yourself a regular time to relax
and lean into the process of creativity.

love the process

Since it is playtime, treat it as such.
Enjoy the process and love the moment.

Set aside everything else.
Leave it all behind and lean in
to the moment.

Engage in the present
letting yourself forget the past
and the future.

Invest yourself completely in the single step in front of you,
whether it be a specific stitch, a careful cut,
or a precisely-placed pin.

Eliminate distractions
so that you may engage fully
in the experience.

Shut yourself up in a room with your phone turned off.
Or go outside, leaving digital devices behind.
Choose a place of peace.

Who wants to have his attention torn between two things,
especially when there are discoveries to be made?

If you were exploring a wood,
you would not be checking social media
while dashing among the trees with your friends and comrades.

Speaking of friends…

share your joy

Exploration is more fun
when you share it with others.

Whether or not you invite a friend
to join you in the exploration,
tell someone about it.

Social media
is the first place we often go
when it comes to sharing something.

So yes, when I encourage you to share your joy,
I could mean taking it online,
but try to think beyond that.

Since the whole focus of this exercise
is to lean into the present moment,
and to be present in it,
it follows that in order to really share this sort of thing,
it is most natural to share it with someone
who can be present there with you.

So think of one person “in real life”
who you might tell about the adventure
you’re about to embark upon.

Now, go tell them.
Face-to-face, if you can.

Share the joy you are setting out to discover on this journey,
and tell them of your commitment to explore daily,
so that they can keep you accountable to actually do it.

Mostly, I ask you to share
because too often, people are afraid to go exploring.
If you do it, and share it, you may inspire someone else
to courageously go where their heart has been pulling them.