It is always weird when something one does so naturally is sought after by others or when you find out that friends, especially close friends don’t do what you find such a basic part of your day. It makes you feel a bit like a freak!
I have recently realized that I naturally do the ‘check-in’ on a consistent daily basis in one form or another and that many other people rarely do the 'check-in'. This boggles my mind!
I thought everyone did regular check-ins.
The realization came to me as two more people asked me to help them do the ‘check-in’ in their studio space to help them be more orgnaized, professional and creative. Conversations with friends made me realize they don’t check in with their bodies or their spaces either.
You may be asking what is a 'check-in'?
A check-in is simply that…taking time to check in with why something is working, isn’t working or could be improved. I guess it could be a form of mindfullness. Maybe it is just an awareness.
When I walk into my studio, my office, my house, the Thread Lab, and even Cottonwood Center for the Arts I do a quick mental check-in to see if things are working well or if there is an annoyance that can be improved. What has been undone for so long that I no longer see it?
I started this when I was managing a Pier 1 store way back in the day. It takes a bit of mindfulness to remember to do this and to be able to look at a space you enter every day with fresh eyes.
As an artist it is an excellent skill to cultivate!
Sometimes it means taking a look at why I am not doing something I want to do. Recently, I realized that I was spending less time with my stitch meditations. I checked-in and saw that the space wasn’t working for the inward focused task. You can see that quite clearly…
What a mess...there is stuff everywhere. Piles on all the windowsills, on the plant stand, and on the floor. Where did I put those scissors?
Fabrics and cool bits are all jumbled in a basket getting all smooshed and wrinkled, threads are everywhere!
I did a little reorganization and now the space is welcoming and makes me want to sit and stitch.
All the fabrics are sorted by size-no longer a wrinkled mess, papers and cool bits are in a separate bin, I can even find my base flannel pieces! All the threads are on the top shelp with my scissors.
I do the same check-in with my body every day. What feels good, what feels less than great, am I tired, achy, how is my energy level? I don’t stop there though. I question why. Did I eat right today? Did I exercise enough? Did I get enough sleep? Maybe this is because I was so sick for so long and it is partly by asking these questions daily that I was able to figure out what foods make me sick and which ones don’t.
I do the same thing with my emotional state….how do I feel? Am I on top of things or feeling overwhelmed? Why might I feel that way and what thoughts do I need to look at changing in order to get back to happy?
Check-ins are a huge part of self-care whether we are talking about your space or your health.
Have you done a check in lately? The winter solstice is a great day to schedule a check-in!
My check-in today is telling me I need to clean out my email in-box. :-)
I have a gift for you to help increase your mindfulness and gratitude practices in 2016. 30 days of Gratitude texts from the gratitude coach, Terza Ekholm.