Shining Girl, Ubud, May 2008.
Energy creates energy.” Albert Einstein
This long weekend was all about a shift in energy for me. After a few weeks of soaking up in the lovely memories of our wedding and honeymoon, I began to notice that the house and my attitude were all a bit of a mess, actually. Lots of bills needed to be reconciled, phone calls and emails had to be returned, the laundry basket was overflowing, thank you notes were waiting to be written and mailed, I was irritable and my studio had clearly become a storage for several uncategorized items brought back from our trips.
Have you ever noticed how that happens? It appears to me that every time I let a list grow insanely like this, I begin to think everything is a major annoyance. So, evidently, my first instinct is to hide from it all. You wouldn’t believe how good I am at formulating the best excuses for why I should not do what I am supposed to do. Sadly though, busy work aside, I’ve learned the hard way that it is my creative life that really suffers when I go into an “idle state”. Eeek! How I fear that “state” and the word even! The muses! The muses! They won’t come if I am idle! And I will tell you why. It is because the next step after idleness is called guilt. Oh! But clearly, if I am guilty for being such a “bad” procrastinator, how could I dare waste time writing, making a mess on the floor with paint or going for a walk to take pictures? That guilt will punish me until I feel utterly depressed for being the least creative person on the planet. And of course, in the midst of such drama, who can remember to tide it up and get to work?
So, this weekend, not wanting to fall into that old idleness trap, I finally snapped: “Okay, Alex. Move!” When I am stuck, I find that moving helps me lift that heavy energy. Once the energy moves, it can be released. Movement is cleansing. Sure it is hard to snap and get right to the dreadful job ahead. But when you move first, you awake the body and feel connected to it. You could do anything to achieve that momentum: dance, run, hike, sing, swim, pull weeds… Whatever gets the energy flowing. Then, the next step for me is to buckle up and follow Anne Lamott’s advice: Take it bird by bird. In her book(which I know some of you are familiar with), Anne tells a story about one instance when her brother was overwhelmed trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had 3 months to write, which was due the next day. In the midst of her brother’s idleness caused by the huge task at hand, her father put his arms around the boy’s shoulder and said, “Bird by Bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird”. These advice is truly one of the teachings I follow the most these days, in order to get anything accomplished in my life. If I can just settle for that first bird, I always get to the next and the next. It is a simple and powerful step to take and it really works wonders.
Finally, as you expected, (with no small animals harmed in the process) I made it through. The house is now lovely “in its new acceptable level of tidiness”, and I am back on track… with my wants, dreams and projects. Phew. I am relieved. I even put Maddie’s package in the mail, which I’ve had sitting here on my desk for almost 6 months (Sorry, Maddie!)!!!
And since it was a holiday filled with such movement & joyful energy, it is no wonder that I also had the pleasure to meet a new blogger friend, Tango baby, via the amazing Tara. Julie is a renaissance girl, movie “conessuire” and an avid dancer who practices tango and flamenco regularly! Can you guess how much spice she has? You guessed right! Tons!!! And to add to it, this woman has the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever seen, and they spark every time she talks ~ in her soothing voice ~ about her exciting views and projects. How amazing is it that she lives in my neighborhood? I’m so lucky :)
What do you do to get out of your… dare I say… “Idleness”, “funk”?
And is there an area in your life where you need to add movement?
Let’s get shaking!! :P
Archive for May, 2008
May 27, 2008