Half of the real problem of exhaustion comes from distraction. The problem is not being too tired. The problem is having a divided mind.
— James L. Walpole, You’re Not Too Tired to Create. You’re Too Distracted.
My mind has been divided lately. Creating and (softly) promoting the new website meant a lot of doing and task focusing. I’ve had to make a lot of decisions and take a lot of action. My kids have had a lot of activities and personal needs. My man and I have been opposite ends of the physical versus cerebral spectrum lately. He’s all movement and doing and I’m all, I can’t keep up, must retreat to my happy place.
I’ve been feeling uneasy and anxious. This way of living with no slowing down and no space for stillness, stifles my warmth, kindness, patience and openness. I find myself exposed to more arguments, gossipy conversations and frustrating situations. I’m not sure if my dis-ease attracts or causes other dis-ease or if I am putting myself in more negative environments. I just know I’m missing a few things that are crucial to my peace.
Non-judgmental, understanding friends
I had to skip my writing group last month due to schedule conflicts. I really needed to sit with my writing sisters, sharing honestly and vulnerably and feeling absolutely accepted. In that space there is no judgment, only listening, witnessing and compassion. I can’t express in words how much I value the freedom and love found there. We laugh, cry and tell our stories. No one argues. No one makes you feel small. Honestly, along with writing for space2live, it’s my most effective therapy.
I did assuage some of that longing for friendship with a lovely conversation with my writing coach, Lauren Sapala. Lauren puts me at ease and makes me feel understood.
A brief conversation with an old friend the other day helped and I plan to go to happy-hour with another dear friend tonight.
That kindred spirit connection is so vital.
In a harried state, my creativity all but dries up. Writer’s block creeps in the room and sits on my shoulders, commanding me to write forced words lacking color and imagination. All I can compose are complaints and problems. I don’t want to fill the page with grey bitchy chatter. I want to create content that matters. I want to engage and inspire.
I believe creativity requires a certain amount of idleness. The kind found while driving long distances with the radio on. The kind found in the early morning hours before anyone else is awake. Imagination blooms in hours empty of interruptions and multi-tasking.
Yesterday afternoon I read and read. Reading also fosters creativity. It expands me on the inside. It allows my thoughts to play with each other and have ‘idea sex’. Associations are made and lead to inspiration and creative output.
I’ve had a hard time relaxing. I mostly have a wired buzzy feeling. Sleep eludes me. My body feels tense. My Psoas muscle is acting up again. By the way, does anyone else know or have issues with their Psoas muscle? It’s a new discovery of mine. Supposedly, it’s the muscle that keeps us upright and walking. It also is where we store tension from trauma, but I digress.
It’s been a while since I felt like I could sit back and relax. I’ve had too many other things I ‘should’ be doing. I’ve barely watched TV. I just got back into reading (offline). Even the conversations I’ve had with my man lately have felt more like debates than meaningful mental connecting.
For the last two days, I incorporated five to ten minutes of meditation into my day. I need that white space. I need that internal focus to release my stressed muscles and ease my divided/tired mind.
I’m also going to stay away from political discussions with my man.;)
I miss myself
I have not felt warm, spacious and open in a while. I haven’t felt relaxed enough to let down my guard. My relationships have been missing the sweetness and comfort required for me to be me. When I am harried and around negativity, I close up. It’s as if my skin, my brain and my heart can’t take any more. The light inside of me dims and doesn’t shine on others like I would prefer it to. I’m sure this is related to my creative slump as well. It’s hard to express myself well when I feel like conserving my energy and light. This makes me feel bad. I want to be open and available to others.
Solitude, true friends and a relaxed atmosphere restore my sense of self. I need to be selective about whom I spend time with. I need positive environments. I need time alone to come back to myself.
How and when do you feel at ease? What sparks your creativity? What dulls it? How do you get back to good?