Creating Space

It’s been a while since I last updated this website and I feel compelled to write why. Whilst writing this, I wondered whether I was making an excuse for the lack of recent blog posts, or, an explanation of future down-time. Either way, I’d like to share why it has been, and might continue to be, a little quiet on here:

I have been creating space.

Creating Wellbeing has always been about creating space. Firstly, I was driven to create a space for people to share their wellbeing stories, journeys and tools; a space I felt was so lacking in my own recovery journey. But in creating a space for others, whilst working full-time, I made no space for me. I was exhausted.

Arriving in Melbourne I knew I needed to a different tack: I was determined to turn it into my full-time job. Despite meeting all the right people, doing extensive research to conclude Melbourne is perfect for what I was offering – I kept putting it off. Blogging, flogging, pitching and furiously networking had become activities that made my heart sink rather than sing. I was exhausted at the thought.

So I reluctantly buried the 500 newly printed CWB business cards, paused the blog and found myself a job. Whilst I feel I have landed the mental health job of my dreams, I have to look deeply at my own recovery to support others with theirs. I am forced to create space for my own healing, and this is what I’ve been doing.

I began by creating space in my calendar, then environment and eventually, my mind.

It wasn’t easy at first, and a part of me still felt I’d deserted my Creating Wellbeing dream. Now I’ve come to realise that Creating Wellbeing is me, so I have pursue what Creating Wellbeing for me. Recently, it’s looked liked this:

  • I say No to some social engagements
  • I say Yes to spontaneous suggestions
  • I turn my phone off
  • I walk along the sand barefoot
  • I feel my body supported by the salt of the ocean
  • Inspired by Naomi Liddell I now block out Wednesday evenings for #MidweekMeTim
  • I meditate with the help of Headspace Ap
  • I plan little at weekends and spend lots of quality time with my partne
  • I stretch if it feels good, at home or at a local yoga studio, always practicing with Ahymsa (non-violence to body and mind)
  • I cycle as slow as I can back from work, watching the water move on the Yarra
  • I read books from the library
  • I go to the movies
  • I make simple cushion covers, rejoicing in the history and colour of the fabrics
  • I put my face in the sun
  • I look at nature blossom and change in the Botanic Gardens

So if this is what Creating Wellbeing is for me, what does Creating Wellbeing mean for the wider community for which it was originally intended? Well, I have faith this will evolve naturally, and I think it’s already started to. Mid-last year, very organically, a small Creating Wellbeing Melbourne group formed. I kept meeting people who passionately promote wellbeing and creativity in the community but needed a space to concentrate on their own creativity and wellbeing. A small group of us share the creation of that space and meet on a bi-monthly basis at one of our homes. It truly is co-created, with each of us taking a turn to organise and facilitate a session. And it is the opposite of exhausting. It’s exhilarating.

What’s Creating Wellbeing for you? The Creating Wellbeing FaceBook Group is also a space for you, me and the wider world to share thoughts and ideas and attend events together. And whilst blogging still doesn’t come naturally to me, I enjoy posting about #CreatingWellbeing to instagram.  I hope to see you there.

Creating Space and Wellbeing

How I have been Creating Wellbeing.

#HappinessDay

Today, I joined people across the globe to mark International Day of Happiness, by taking to the streets of Sydney to ask ‘What makes you happy?’ and sharing the responses worldwide, with a hashtag.

Happy Signs

Happy, homemade signs

Why was I so happy to walk around with a homemade sandwich board, pipe-cleaners and crayons with a fellow Happy Hubber? Because this is exactly what Creating Wellbeing is about! Acknowledging and sharing what makes us feel Well. Calm. Balanced. Happy.

Reflecting

Such a simple activity; yet Happiness can feel like a complex and unattainable concept.

So let’s reframe the question by asking ourselves and others: What makes your busy mind calm? What helps your shoulders relax? What makes you smile? What is Happiness for you?

In Sydney people stopped us and we stopped them to reflect on Happiness in this way:

Happy people

Happy sharers on Sydney streets

Unbeknownst to our participants, the UN’s theme for today was Reclaiming Happiness. Finding Happiness in the simple, everyday things. It’s not in those new shoes, faster car or fad diet, it’s in us and in the now. But even without knowing this, everyone’s response to our question were the simple things in life:

Love. Swimming in the ocean. Friends. Ice cream. Sunshine.

Hub Happy tree

Hub’s Happy Tree

Sharing

Sharing is so important, and a crucial part of Creating Wellbeing. First asking yourself what makes you happy then asking and sharing with others. Share within and outside your comfort zone. Ask your partner, parents, colleagues and even Donny at the deli (below). Because it’s in sharing that we connect, inspire and realise we’re not alone. 

Deli Donny

Deli Donny was happy about everything

Being a slave to social media doesn’t always make me happy, as I feel it takes me away from being present. But today I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the twittersphere, hoping to capture Happiness in it’s simplest form. Surprisingly, it actually made me more present and aware of the passing moments of Happiness. Knowing I was to be sharing them with the world, made me recognise these things for myself and articulate them.

Creating Wellbeing 

With these simple and complex conversations about happiness and unhappiness, we help ourselves and each other create our individual ways to wellness.

What today showed, is that Happiness is here. Not just today but to stay. We just have to think and talk about it.

CWB in 1 minute

Recently, I was asked to present what Creating Wellbeing is, why it was born and what it can become. Easy! But I only had 1 minute.

When you have a minute, have a read of this to find out more:

I dreamt of Creating Wellbeing 2 years ago.

Apparently, 1 in 4 will experience a mental health problem over the course of a year. It’s a hot topic with many services catering for the increasing need. That is, if your need meets a certain criteria.

But if you have a bit of a problem, there isn’t a lot for you.

You might know someone with a bit of OCD or a bit of anxiety ? Holding down a job, running a household. Brave enough to go their GP only to be told ‘You’re not that bad; come back if it gets worse’.

I’ve met lots ofpeople with a bit of a problem: At my meditation, sewing group, Reiki course. All there for the same reasons: Using crafts and holistic therapies to stop the ‘bit of a …’ from becoming ‘a lot of a …’.

I started Creating Wellbeing to provide a space for people to explore these tools with others, and a psychologist (when appropriate).

So you can tell your sister who’s stressed, partner who’s panicky or dad who’s down ‘don’t wait until it gets worse’. Go to CreatingWellbeing.org or local CWB group to start your own path to well-being.