I spent the last week painting my “new” office. I love painting so much. I am usually by myself. I can pop in headphones and listen to my favorite music. It feels creative while also being redundant and tedious. It is productive and you can see your progress. There is a clear end result and it is oh so satisfying. (I love a good before and after.) As I was painting, my brain was roaming, per usual, and I realized so much of what I love about the painting process is the same as my work, my parenting, caring for our home, etc. I think I just really love working towards creating a more beautiful life.
I know painting isn’t for everyone. In fact, I know more people who strongly dislike it than who actually enjoy it. But I love the whole beautification process. Recognizing there’s room for improvement, having a vision or idea, taking steps towards making it a reality, and then seeing it through. I love literally everything about it.
When I sit down with a client it is my job to help them tell their story. Many of them either have existing content that we are working to fine tune, tweak, and edit; or others have all these ideas in their head but don’t know how to make it sound like they want it to. Oddly enough, I use the same process to plan a room in my home as I do to help them with their project. First, we talk through exactly what it is they need to be different or what they want to function better. I listen to them talk about who they are, what they do, how they serve people, what their goals are, etc. Then I draft a vision board. We get clear about how working together will help improve their messaging. Then I get to work. In the end my biggest goal is to help them tell their story better and in a more beautiful, authentic way.
With my kids and my parenting I think the heart of my philosophy is to support them to grow into the most full and beautiful versions of themselves while also working to create a more beautiful world for them to exist in. So many decisions come down to what is best for that child at that moment based on who they are. There has to be a receptivity though. I have to be open to letting them tell me their story about who they are, what they want, and how they could function better. Then I get to help them imagine a life that allows them to be just that. This is their “vision board” as guided and created by them in whatever fashion they choose to communicate it to me and the world. Then I get to support them in living into that bigger, braver, more beautiful life.
I wish work and parenting were as simple as painting a room and that the before and afters were as clear and concrete. Sometimes they are. But more often they’re slow, incremental improvements or changes only really visible to us. The satisfaction isn’t quite the same as that perfect ceiling line, but it’s close. I’m thinking of a moment recently where Molly chose a behavior that in the past would’ve made me cringe a little bit (or a lot). Her shyness can be hard for me because the people pleaser in me worries she’s going to be perceived as rude. But I’ve been working hard on this. I’ve been trying to find ways for Molly to feel empowered to choose how she shows up and I’ve been working on being ok with what she chooses and supporting her. The before and after here is my internal turmoil and now the lack thereof. Nobody else can see that, but I’m certain my kids can feel it. We are all benefiting from living into that tiny but more beautiful space.
I saw a quote recently that said, “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” I believe it is from Elsie de Wolfe. I think that may be my new life’s mission and mantra. I may have finished painting my office but my mind is already looking ahead to the next project. Whether it’s another room, my writing, my parenting, or just life I’m keeping my eyes and ears open to see what I can make a little more beautiful.
I’ll be sharing actual updates of the space as I design it and put it together over on my Instagram.
With so much love and gratitude,