If You Feel Like You Are Already Behind
and it isn't even January 15th yet. This is for you.
January struck with its own strange ferocity this year.
For me, Christmas was barely there, wrapped in a blanket of trauma that has taken until mid-January to find my way out of.
I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed and defeated before I began.
Maybe you’ve had some of those moments too?
Creative resolutions can be finicky things.
Maybe your wild, brave New Year plans and promises to yourself feel long gone leaving you sputtering in their dust…
Days evaporated in less than a blink of an eyeball, weeks punctuated by the latest Netflix releases. Tell me, I’m not the only one 😉.
Not only could I not jump into my word for the year and start a daily practice, I could barely keep food down. My skin has felt like scratchy steel wool stretched too thin over my bones, nerves an overloaded pin cushion jammed with those pins with the little colored balls on their ends.
I made a commitment to my readers when I wrote from Africa that I would only share words I lived. I am still committed to that here.
That means some posts will be raw and utterly unresearched for the best SEO strategy. Perfectly polished is so 2022. Unless of course it’s my glasses and then I’m over the top.
Do not mess with an artist’s vision. Just don’t.
Sometimes the most important thing in starting a practice isn’t the practice itself. It’s creating and curating the space around that practice that makes a way for it to happen.
Art-making, writing, and creating all require space, energy, and presence to happen.
All three of those things are resources of both attention and action. To be protected, cared for, nurtured, and understood as no less finite than the money in our bank accounts.
Often our most valuable resources are the intangible ones.
And if you’re an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person, hi it’s me…), INFJ, Enneagram 4w5 all the ever-loving more so…
Some things I’m experimenting with:
I made a focus setting on my phone called Creator that mutes every notification until I’m done for the day and ready to emerge to connect with the world. Spoiler, some days I leave it on. Distractions are my brain’s kryptonite. It also has a little paint palette emoji symbol that makes me ridiculously delighted when I see it.
When my nerves are particularly frazzled, I do not consume any media that causes me to feel stressed in any way. Even the fun “ooooooh, when are they going to finally catch the bad guy” kind of stressed. Buh-bye: true crime, Law and Order, nightly news, social media, and anything slightly overstimulating. Hello: calm instrumentals, gently flickering candlelight, and the glory of pure unadulterated silence.
I check my phone for urgent things, but I do not engage online before I’m dressed, with coffee, and have done a bit of grounding work and writing/creating first.
If I need more space (and many times I do), I literally just turn everything off and clear my calendar for a day or two, as I am able to. That means saying no to even some things I WANT to do and that are genuinely good things.
Good things can be truly good and not good for us at the moment.
We make space for what we want to say YES to by what we choose to say NO to. Our attention is a finite resource.
Friend, you’re not behind. Creativity isn’t a race. Art making isn’t an Olympic sport. (Although……….) It takes time and loads of trying things that might not work to learn what is life-giving for YOUR practice.
You have permission to be right where you are.
What’s one thing you are trying out this year to make more space for your creativity?
Share this post with someone who might be encouraged by it.