Are you too busy to think? Do you feel the need to slow down a little and smell the roses? Fear not, you are not alone.
Where does time go?
Most of us feel that we have less free time than 10 years ago. It's also pretty common to have an ongoing to do list. Psychologists have found people do actually equate time with its monetary value (i.e. "Time is money."). At the same time, people have more opportunities than ever for multi-tasking. The result is time not spent working feels like a waste.
"Multi-tasking is what makes us feel pressed for time," Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, told the Economist.
Apps like Asana and other organisational apps have never been so popular. We need to be as organised as ever to fit things in and not waste our precious, dwindling time. And when we do get free time, the irony is we tend to squander the opportunity by heading to our phones or tablets.
The art of finishing
So it’s now more than ever that finishing something we start is even more important to us. These days I seem to be drifting from job to job, barely breathing trying to tick all the items off my ever expanding and depressing to do list.
However this is not the case when I make candles. Candle making allows, and insists, that I slow down. I can definitely recommend trying your hand at a project that allows you to be fully present and in the flow. Students on my candle making workshop say how luxurious it is just to take time for themselves and make something from start to finish.
Find your flow
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is famed for identifying the state of flow, the peak human experience when one is so absorbed in a meaningful task that time effectively disappears. It’s the state that artists and thinkers say is a requirement for creating anything of value.
Crafting is the perfect way to put mindfulness into practice and find your flow. Why not try sketching, pottery, candle making, knitting, sushi making, cake decorating. It doesn't really matter what you do, just whatever takes your fancy.
The Makers Movement
There is a wonderful shift taking place in our time. Using your hands and creative brain allows you to really focus on what you’re doing. You are 100% in the moment and when you are making a work of art or pouring a candle. You can’t help it.
Going slow...sounds appealing doesn't it? With candle making you have to go slow. It takes time to gently melt the wax. It takes time to choose the essential oils that you want to fragrance your candle with. It takes time to stir your molten mixture 30 times one way, 30 times the other. And this extra time taken, is well a kind of bliss and time well spent.
Making something creative in a group also allows for chat and conversation. Nothing intense as eye contact is on your make, and not fully engaged on your friend or group member.
How often do you take time out to do something for yourself? Time is the biggest luxury we all have. The most valuable asset we have. So claw some back for you. Why not learn something new or rekindle an old passion you used to do as a child.
If you fancy getting crafty, join me, Sally-Anne from Cotswold Pure Botanicals, to make your very own natural candles scented with pure essential oils. Learn how to make soy candles in my 2 hour introductory workshop.
During the class you will be taken step-by-step through the candle making process and you will have the opportunity to create two hand poured candles. These classes take place at the very beautiful Broadway Tower and at The Old Post Office Antique Shop and Cafe in the Cotswold. It would be great if you can join. For info on booking click here.
Finally, may I wish you good luck in carving out an hour or two for yourself and freeing your mind of lists and jobs. It's good for the mind. Treat yourself!