I love to potter. A day alone with nowhere to be, no-one needing your attention or looking after and no-one to have to explain what you are doing or why you are doing it. A day spent pottering can be overlaid with your favourite sounds, or the beautiful sound of silence. You are the conductor and the home is your orchestra in this soul soothing environment. “Pottering is really a time to be alone, to dream and to get in touch with yourself...to potter is to discover” say’s Alexandra Stoddard.
For me, pottering is a way of life. It is a creative time where I see the same things in an entirely different light and so begins a beautiful waltz as pieces are moved here and there, moved from front to back and brought from back to front, swapped or stored to be rediscovered another day. Drawers are cleaned, cleared and sorted. Bags are filled for charity. Space is welcomed back and new jobs appear. Silly things that I can’t believe I have failed to notice before, like a wooden strip in the laundry somehow missed when previously painting. I find dirt in places that I find it impossible to explain how it even got there! Almost ritually I always start top to bottom. Usually something has been niggling at me and I know that when the weekend comes I’ll give that ‘thing’ my attention. And as always, that one thing will no doubt lead to a re-ordering of things throughout the entire house. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about manic cleaning. There is always something that I don’t get around to clean...usually because I’ve been pottering too long with other things. Sometimes a gentle potter ends up with me, paint can in hand on top of a ladder because I’ve spotted something that now needs attention with my paint brush, otherwise it will niggle at me. I’m amazed at how many times I’ve found myself asking “why haven’t I thought of doing this before” as I have pottered around my home. Sometimes I’ll create a gap and know that something new will now just have to fill that gap! My kids have long given up asking why their rooms/all rooms have been changed around again. It’s a way of life I tell them. Change is good.
Pottering for me is almost a meditative process and it brings me great calmness when I sit back and feel the very positive change of energy in a room. It’s also a time for epiphany moments because by inadvertently turning my brain off from the usual chatter, in the silence and the sublime space fantastic epiphanies appear. The practice of pottering really does open the door to the subconscious. Physically clearing out the clutter also assists in clearing out the clutter of the mind and soul. Physically sorting and getting the house in order also assists with sorting thoughts and getting the emotional house in order. Re-ordering of thoughts leads to revelations and light bulb moments. The forgotten items, objects and things that you discover while pottering will spark thoughts of something you have long forgotten about yourself. You will look at things from a different and beautiful perspective and that simple reorganisation of thoughts and self will lead you to renewed appreciation in all areas.. You will welcome space back into your thoughts and into your life.
The key to mastering the art of pottering is to follow the flow instead of trying to control the flow and not to be swayed by anyone else. Listen to your intuition then follow the breadcrumbs (perhaps literally) on a journey of discovery. There is no rush and there can be no real predetermined order, just be guided by what you feel needs looking at. It may be a pile of magazines, or a box of photos that calls you. It may result in you spending the entire day reminiscing while still getting the job done, how gorgeous!. It may be a cupboard that needs your attention, which upon further investigation holds lost items, items with fond memories, or just junk that by clearing will give you such a sense of freedom. It may look to others as if there is no rhyme or reason to what you are doing but so long as you are being guided by the flow then you are in your creative heaven and many secrets and discoveries are waiting for you.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali.