Something really amazing happened when I got my critical mind to shut up...

I just had to write about this because it is my first experience of a very profound synchronicity. Something that I made ended up being exactly what someone else needed and arrived at the perfect time. It was all too perfectly orchestrated to even call a coincidence. All I did was follow my own creative idea. The whole “follow your bliss” concept. I believe the key was getting my critical mind to shut up and let myself follow a creative spark.

Here is what happened:

A few weeks ago, I decided to make art kits for my two friends. The kits are designed to encourage open ended creative exploration. I was pissed off at the “art teacher” at the toddler art class who told the kids exactly where to glue things.

It was really fun investigating and testing materials and putting it all together. Then I thought I would make ten art kits and try to sell them at a Christmas Market, just for fun.

The prototype for my little art kit that is intended to encourage open-ended creative exploration

The prototype for my little art kit that is intended to encourage open-ended creative exploration

I decided tin would be the perfect container and found someone selling a lot online. She had 28 tins. I thought, ok, I’ll make 28 art kits. With the two prototypes, the total became 30. I also made seven of a sensory play kit that I had dreamed up.

My sensory kit prototype. I ended up going with a smaller container and omitting the trucks because I couldn’t get them on sale. Trucks are super fun in this sort of activity.

My sensory kit prototype. I ended up going with a smaller container and omitting the trucks because I couldn’t get them on sale. Trucks are super fun in this sort of activity.

There was that voice in my head that was saying “Nicole why the h*ll are you doing this? This is a stupid waste of your time. Why are you making so many. Are you delusional?”

But I had learned to quiet that mind during my three-month Yoga Development Course at Yasodhara Ashram in 2015. I had learned what beauty I was capable of on a creative project if I just quieted that mind and allowed creativity to flow. I started then telling my mind “Don’t Argue with Creative Flow”.

So I kept going and followed my idea through. I cleaned out Walmart, Scholar’s Choice and The Dollar Store of washable glue and safety scissors.

I took 37 kits to the christmas market last sunday.

I sold two.

During the later half of the market, I worked really hard at not letting the critical voice in my head call me a failure. I made a conscious effort to keep my spirits up.

My husband was supportive when he picked me up and loaded 35 kits back into the car. I knew we didn’t have any extra space to store the kits and started googling to find a place to donate them. He was supportive of me trying to keep selling, but I had no desire to.

Sherrie, her granddaughter and I donating her books and my art kits to the school. If you are in Calgary and have gently used books or art supplies to donate to schools in need, please  contact me.

Sherrie, her granddaughter and I donating her books and my art kits to the school. If you are in Calgary and have gently used books or art supplies to donate to schools in need, please contact me.

My friend Sherrie has been working on her own personal endeavour to collect books to donate to schools. She was amazed to find out that some schools are in great need and that some students have no books at home. She has collected and donated over 1500 books to 6 schools!! I texted her to ask if she knew where I could donate the art kits. She said yes. She seemed excited. She said she would pick me up on Thursday to deliver them.

I didn’t feel bad about losing the money or time invested in the kits. I had fun putting them together and could have easily spent almost the same amount of money on a quilting project (let’s not talk about the actual $$ number). I had no desire to keep trying to sell the kits. I guess part of me did believe that I was a failure.

Today I went with Sherrie to meet the librarian of the school and drop off the kits. Here is the amazing part: The school has just adopted an initiative where the libraries are becoming more than reading. The school had created a space adjacent to the library that was to be a “maker-space” intended for open-ended creative exploration. The space was there but there was no funding for materials. The kits I made fit perfectly into the intention for the space. Perfectly. The librarian was so excited and floored at how perfect my kits were for her curriculum. This is a school where in many of the student’s homes there are no books and no art supplies. The librarian (who seemed also to be in charge of art) didn’t even have yellow paint.

I have heard that things like this happen. That people end up doing things that help others and they say they don’t feel like they actually did anything. That is exactly what I said to Sherrie on the way home when she asked me if I felt good about the donation. I don’t feel like I did anything. Its as if the whole thing was orchestrated to fit perfectly together and I was just part of it. It’s the first time I have had this feeling and I hope it’s not the last.

Sure I feel good about helping kids in need. But everything that I do doesn’t have to end up helping someone in need. Being in creative flow is beneficial in and of itself. It can bring similar benefits as meditation, and makes me feel happier. Just creating is enough. The key to experiencing creative flow is to shut your critical mind up.

Thanks to my wonderful connected friend Sherrie who is an inspiration to me and I’m sure many others.

My little Art Kit and Sensory Kit. I designed them to encourage open-ended exploration. I also designed an instruction guide with 6 activity invitations. If you are interested in an art kit for your kids or classroom, I’d be happy to make more! contact me at aslowerkindoflife@gmail.com.

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