21 June 2012

Conscious Living: Is Something Missing?

This post is written by contributing author Shelly Kerry. 

Is Something Missing? This can be a very loaded question but does it ever happen to you? Are you ever just moving along in your work/creative projects or dealing with life’s many curve balls and you think all is fine? You are moving forward, head down and then BAM! One morning you wake up and you just don’t feel right. You feel that something is missing. Maybe you have been working way too much. Maybe a project that you have been working on has secluded you from your friends. Life is becoming normal again after a huge life changing event and you realize that you haven’t had the time to do the things you love for months.

I am going to be very open here and share that I had that morning today. It started pretty slowly. One night too many spent last week at home alone. I have almost finished the new post fire studio and remembered that I haven’t created a piece in months. Summer vacations and camping trips are popping up and I realize that I haven’t left town since December.  I noticed that these thoughts were starting to gain momentum and today I woke up in a small state of discontent that grew to a feeling of panic. Many things completely out of my control have happened since December. Major life shifting events and even though I know that now I have the time and new home to be able to make really awesome things happen, I got upset thinking about the time that has passed. It is just a place I go from time to time and the panic aspect can be very difficult to manage. These feelings have been the main reason I have committed myself to living a life of reflection, awareness and growth. Writing about conscious living is also a way for me to process these thoughts, share my reflections with you and inspire you to live a life of awareness too.  And I am taking major deep breaths as I write this post.

My practice of late has been to sit with the anxiety, give it space and fight the desire to find quick fixes. That being said I think there are so many gentle ways that we can deal with feelings like this. Staying up all night searching and signing up for every jewelry designing class in your area might not be the best idea. Allowing time to find the best one and not overwhelming yourself with the desire to make up for lost time is probably a better way. Maxing out your credit cards with an overly expensive trip to Caribbean that you cannot afford right now might also not be the best thing to do. Possibly a weekend trip to a nearby coastal town would be a lot less stressful and you can plan for the big trip over time.

A super healthy quick fix can be just putting your work down for the day and give yourself a break. Call a friend to meet up for a drink or dinner. Surprise your husband with a spontaneous date night. No one is free? See if there is some other type of inspiring event where there might be a possibility of meeting new and interesting people. Or just go to a feel good movie and treat yourself to your favorite food at your favorite restaurant. Just do something that treats your senses and feeds the desire for change. Stop to enjoy the simple things. My favorite bowl of spaghetti at the bar with my favorite bartender can be really healing. Giving your senses a little treat can be super beneficial for us creative types.

If you are like me and anxiety starts to expel some serious energy try these exercises for a few days. 
I will be working through these too and I will also benefit from your feedback.

Start by writing. Whether you prefer automatic writing or creating lists, just dedicate a few mornings to let yourself just spill out all your ideas. Just let it all roll out. Practice non-judgment. If what you are writing doesn’t make sense at the moment you are probably just being hard on yourself. Many creative people have a lot of thoughts and ideas running around in our heads and it is often beneficial to process by allowing them to spill onto the paper. Give yourself time to walk away from this writing and just sit with your thoughts.

Next you can make a list of to dos. After things in your head start to slow down hopefully what your heart is saying can be heard a little more clearly. More than likely you will be someplace in between but this is a good time to start a list of all the things you want to do. I create the same list on New Years Day – 50 things I want to do in the new year. If you do this too then bring out the list and reflect on all the things you have done already and see if any of your desires have changed.  If negative thoughts come up about all that you have not done then make yourself stop. Highlight everything you have done. Then give yourself a little pat on the back for your past successes.

Give yourself a day away from the list and then revisit. Pick a few things that you can make happen soon. If it is a new writing workshop that you want to take go ahead and sign up for it. Is there something else you want to sign up for three months from now? Set up a calendar reminder. Sometimes having a plan to do something if it is even a few months away and help settle those uneasy feelings.

It is easy for some of us to get in a downward spiral when thoughts of discontent arise. Giving yourself time to reflect can be beneficial. It is taking me years of practice to develop faith in my own personal way of healing.  

Can you try and see how this time of feeling lost might be the best gift, offering you insight and opening your mind to new and exciting things?

Shelly Kerry is co-owner of Lightbox SF. She is an artist, designer, and motivator. Since 2006 she has been working to build her own jewelry design business, em’s studio, and she wants to share all she’s learned. Shelly knows that building your own art or craft business can often feel lonely and overwhelming. She also understands how much of a struggle it is to balance a “day job” with a budding creative business. Read more about her here. Connect to Shelly via twitter or facebook.


  1. Oh, Shelly, thank you so much for being so open with us and for offering such excellent advice!

  2. Take care Shelly and be gentle with yourself. xxoo

  3. Thank you both so much! A great person I know just brought up another great idea - a vacation day all for you. You don't need to go anywhere just promise yourself to have one day with no plans at all, not even laundry. Doesn't that sound awesome - one a month is my new goal.