Tuesday, November 3, 2015

creating in the midst: Gwynn Raimondi

Welcome to Creating in the Midst! This week's interview is with Gwynn Raimondi. Gwynn is a family therapist, women's guide, writer, grief counselor, and homeschooling mom of two. Gwynn reached out to me last year as we were both running online workshops at the same time and we ended up taking each others courses. She's an incredible guide and teacher, as well as a moving writer.  I encourage you to check out her work {links are all at the end of the interview}. I'm thrilled to have Gwynn in this space today!



~Can you tell us a bit about your creative life? Before kids? After kids?

Ha! Before kids I would have told you how I am not creative. How I don't have time for such things. How I had a career and did "real" work (I was an electrical engineer). My daughter taught me the importance of play and how having a creative life is really the only life worth living. She has taught me that being creative doesn't only mean picking up a paintbrush or a pencil, that is about exploring and experimenting and playing and being. It is about having open space. It is about allowing myself to be, right where I am. And sometimes that can look like picking up a paintbrush or a pencil, and it can also look like daydreaming while savoring my coffee or trying a new recipe for dinner or getting us all to the park so we can move and run and be in our bodies. ​

~What does an average day look like at your house?

​Um, chaos? I would say there is no "average" or regular routine. I can count on us all getting up out of bed and food being eaten. Beyond that it all depends on the day and how we are feeling. Sometimes there is a lot of screen time and sometimes there isn't. Sometimes we have play dates at a friends or at our house or at the park. Some days we just explore. Some days we clean. I have been giving myself the gift of getting up before them in the mornings so I have time to breathe and write. And even that ebbs and flows with what the night before was like or what the day ahead has in store for us or if either of them are having growing pains or had a bad dream.​



~Gwynn, you're a writer, homeschooling mama, and a psychotherapist, and you also offer online workshops. Is creativity the thread that ties all of these roles and jobs together? How? ​

Absolutely. First I have to be creative to find time for All The Things. Or at least Some of the Things. Allowing the space for problem solving, outside the box, letting the ebb and flow of priorities shift as it needs in any given day. This is all part of the creative process for me: Letting go of the ideas of how things "should be" or "should go" or "should look like" and not worrying about what others think or don't think about me (and realizing that really, they don't think about me)​. Being true to who I am, opens me up for insights for my clients as well as my kids. I truly feel like every moment of my day is an opportunity for living creatively whether I'm in the office with a client or writing a prompt for one of my online workshops or being with my kids or even sitting enjoying a cup of tea and staring out the window. For me, creativity isn't so much in the doing, but in the being.

~What projects are you currently working on? Do you have any upcoming workshops? 

​I feel like I have my fingers in so many pots right now! I am working on a book that I am really excited about, I'm keeping the details secret for now, in part because I want all my ideas to have the space to be born in their own time. I am hoping to have the first draft complete by the end of the year, but I am not setting a hard or fast deadline right now. I also continuing my work with the (Un)Becoming Circle and am so so SO loving all we are doing there. We are in the second module and I just am amazed every single day by the women in this circle and the growth I see. ​And while we continue our work, I am reimagining the program for the next time I start it in the spring. And I am extremely excited about my 21-day online retreat that starts December 1, called Sacred Self, where we will explore ways to incorporate self-care into our super busy days while digging into the stories that stop us from taking the time to love and honor our Self. And I'm getting back into the practice of writing for my blog and creating stream-of-conscious pieces on Instagram.



While all that is happening online, I'm also working on some in-person workshops and retreats that I'll be offering this coming spring, summer and next fall. And of course I am continuing my work with grieving families and starting my private practice.

~What measures do you take to protect your creativity? 

​I recently started getting up in the mornings before the kids, and getting up early on the weekends (which are my work days). This is a HUGE shift for me and is part of my own self care and honoring who I am and recognizing that I am worthy and deserving of this time to me and to create; that my work is worthy of this time and space. It is feeling really good. And setting boundaries when I am working, particularly on the weekends when my husband is home and taking care of the kids, that my office door is shut and I'm not available and being really clear about that. Yes, every weekend one of them opens the door and tries to talk to me and every weekend I say, I'm working, it needs to wait until X (lunch, dinner, my next break). And it's important to keep reaffirming those boundaries for me to remind myself my work is important and for them to recognize that mama has important work outside of them too.

~Do you create alongside your children? ​

Yes! We do more traditional creating together - coloring, painting, drawing. We also build together and read together and I encourage them both to sit and replenish and daydream with tea too​. :) Also, my daughter (8 yo) and I create intuitive collages together and we just love that time cutting up magazines and arranging it all on our boards or in our journals.

~Do you need absolute silence and space to write, or are you able to carve out moments while in the middle of daily life?

Yes to both. I feel I do my best writing in the early morning silence. And I also take moments in the midst of the day to write a stream-of-conscious piece on Instagram or to create an intuitive collage or to sit and daydream and allow for inspiration to settle into me. ​

~What is the most challenging aspect of being a creative soul and a homeschooling parent?

Honestly, there are never enough hours in the day. I always have more ideas for me and us than we can possibly fit in. This used to frustrate the heck out of me. And I've really come to a place of acknowledging there is a time and a season for Each of the Things, and that I don't have to do them all Right Now. And really I don't want to do them all at once, I want to honor each project and give it its own space and time. And sometimes that means something waits for days or weeks or months while I focus on a different project. ​

~What is the most rewarding aspect? ​

That in most moments of every day I truly love my life and what I am doing; that I feel whole and that I get to raise my kids in a life where their creativity and ideas are honored and encouraged.


And last, but not least... a few quickfire questions:
~What was the last book you read? ​

I'm currently reading (and almost done with) Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. I'm not sure what I'll pick up once I'm done with it. ​



~The last thing you made with your two hands and creativity? ​

The intuitive collage board for my Sacred Self online retreat. The process, and the end product, really helps me focus in on what this retreat wants to be and I am so excited about it!​



~Daily indulgence? ​

TV. Which right now is Gilmore Girls and Once Upon a Time with my daughter or Arrow on my own. ​

~Least favorite daily task? 

​Dishes. ​

~If you had an entire day that was just yours, how would you spend it? ​

Writing,hiking and taking pictures and creating intuitive collages. ​

~Favorite movie?

​Oh, so many!!! But the first one that popped into my head is The Princess Bride. ​

~Coffee or tea? 

​Both!!​

Gwynn ~ Thank you so much for being a part of this interview series! I've loved getting to know you through social media, so this was an added bonus to see a bit of the behind the scenes of your daily life. Thank you!

Links for Gwynn:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram


If you or someone you know, are a homeschooling parent who is in the midst of creative pursuits and would like to contribute to this series, please contact me at crnnoel(at)gmail(dot)com

1 comment:

  1. Loved the interview! Glad you're doing this again, Corrine!

    ReplyDelete