“One must also accept that one has “uncreative” moments. The more honestly one can accept that, the quicker these moments will pass. One must have the courage to call a halt, to feel empty and discouraged.” Etty Hillesum
Who’d have thought this “Project ME” would be the adventure it’s been? And who’d have thought it would change me in so many ways, this concept of nurturing myself, my spirit, body and soul…? It may not be forever, but for now, I’ve taken my foot right off the pedal, slowed down, found new ways of looking at things, begun to explore what nurturing myself might mean in all areas of my life – and stopped planning for and worrying about what I was going to do next.
One example of this is my holiday plans. I’m an organiser – it was evident in my childhood and has persisted through my life, which I’m sure hasn’t been to everyone’s taste! Part of that was necessity – with four children five and under, an elderly aunt to care for, part time jobs and a lot of different church and community activities, I needed to know what was going to get done when. Often, I over-extended myself, and it became a habit. I had lists of daily, weekly and monthly things to do, I would buy cards and gifts months in advance, and I’d nearly always organise the next holiday when the old one was barely past. This year, all I did was book the time off work – and that is an absolute first. I am off work for two weeks, and just know the perfect holiday will turn up for me in the next day or so – so much so, I feel no anxiety about this, even though many of my friends do!
Writing in my journal earlier, I noted that for the first time in possibly twelve or more years, I was just content to be – not strive to be “other”, not pushing to grow, develop, change, encourage others or myself, or even figure out my purpose in life, to see if that had changed in any way. I pulled out of courses I was going to run; not an easy decision, but the right one nonetheless. And several weeks into this void, I am still okay with this lack of desire to do or be or do next. I am at peace; I am slowing down enough to read poetry again and even today reading a poem that made me cry, as it connected with my soul. My husband asked me when I was going to write again, and I said I didn’t know, but when the time was right, I would…
Trusting the process of life
With the perfect timing I am beginning to expect, I have just read this, from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “Simple Abundance”, and thought I would share it, as she shared a time when she was in a creative drought. I don’t feel I’m in such a place, but her words still reminded me to be okay with doing nothing and trusting the process of life, as Louise Hay would say.
“What do I do?” she asked her agent…
“You don’t do anything,” she told me. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Wait it out. Accept the fallow period as graciously as you can, and get ready for a quantum leap in creativity or consciousness.
It is so difficult to come to a halt, especially when we want to get on with our careers, relationships, health, creativity. But when you’re too parched to pray, beyond tears, or too drained to give a damn, it’s time to cease and desist. Not all our hours are billable.
No, this does not mean you can quit. You still have to go through the motions, keep showing up for work: on the page, at the drawing board, stove, sewing machine, computer. Continue to prepare the canvas, mosten the clay. Pretend you’re a creative temp, here, to fill in until your authentic self arrives. In the meantime, defer making any life-altering creative decisions until you receive operating instructions. Your only assignment is to replenish the well… Keep in touch with your authentic self with the daily dialogue…
Often the derailment of too many dreams can bring on a drought, but whenever there’s a dry period, there’s still plenty of Light. We’re just blinded by dark dust storms. Arid despair can often result from nurturance deprivation: not eating well, not sleeping enough, working too hard and too long without anything to look forward to. Dona Cooper, one of the most creative and productive women I know, frequently reminds me, especially when my plans don’t proceed at the speed of light, that “This too, is God.”…..
Today, if you’re feeling uncreative, don’t despair. Start getting excited and save your strength. You’re being prepared for a quantum leap in authenticity.”
Woo hoo! If you’re going to leap, it might as well be a quantum leap!