Rest and Trust
"The creative process is a process of surrender, not control." —Julia Cameron
It's Sunday as I write this, the perfect day for rest. I spend most of my Sundays working, setting up for the week ahead. The truth is that I've been working too hard. The only solution to working too hard is to let some things go.

I am not letting go of writing these weekly Life Is The First Art posts but rather, letting them arise as time allows. My original intention was to write these posts twice a week. I adjusted that to once a week. Now I have to let them arise as they can.

I ask myself (or you might ask) Who cares? Well, I like to finish projects (or not abandon them) and to look relatively consistent to the outside world. But no one really cares! It's my project, I care about it and will now allow it to develop at its own pace.

So this will unfold but some plans, projects, ideas - well, they just don't work out. After college, I worked in a bookstore. The owner made several choice comments that have stuck with me. One was "There's no rule that says you have to finish a book. If you don't like it, stop reading it." What a concept! So it is with anything. Some little streams just dry right up.

I spell this out because most of us spend an awful amount of time burdened with a tremendous weight of responsibilities we're convinced are important, tasks that we take seriously, compulsions to meet expectations. Next time you're either strung out by too much responsibility or exhausted by the same, my suggestion is to ask yourself, really, how much does this really matter? Not in the overall scheme of things, forever, but right this minute?

The fact is that the ground of life is ever-shifting. Balance is key. What I need for my balance now is rest. I am beat. I am surrendering to rest.

The issue of allowing enough time for and giving myself permission to rest comes up a lot in my life. I think that one of the reasons I resist rest is because there is a part of me that fears my little world will fall apart if I relax. I think that mode of thinking is not uncommon. It's a matter of fear and security.
"Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." —Gail Sheehy
Rest is critical for growth. So, I'm surrendering to rest and also to trust because trust is critical for rest. What happens when I lay my head down and close my eyes? I trust that my little world will not fall apart as I'm sleeping. So, why should I worry while I'm awake?

I'm working on a post about Eric Sloane for Drawing America and came across this passage in his book, Eighty: An American Souvenir. It a good way to close with a giggle.
"An ancient graveyard in Martha's Vineyard has the remains of an artist, a lady who left a rich legacy of her thoughts and beliefs; the tombstone says simply
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Visit the source at Suzanne McDermott


Anonymous said...

Things matter a lot if you really take time on it.

Responsibilities matter a lot. Because the moment we stop taking responsibilities, might be the moment our lives might spiral out of control.

But it's true; Life's tiring. It's full of everyday challenges and duties, I think it maybe right to rest once in a while. :)

<3 <3 <3

Casey said...

Suzanne, I absolutely love that quote! You do so much - you are right to give yourself some time to rest - especially in the summer.

Barbara Weeks said...

Enjoy yourself! I certainly enjoy your blog. I also loving Draw America!

RHCarpenter said...

Always remember that you deserve to rest and relax - before your body makes you do so. And not just for an hour or so...take a day. The world keeps on spinning. We'll be here waiting. May you have a pillow, soft, welcoming, and as cool as the hint of winter on an autumn morning...

Cathy Gatland said...

I've recently come to the same conclusion Suzanne... getting slightly panicky when I haven't done a blog post for a while... it really doesn't matter! Though I would certainly be very sad if you (or I) disappeared altogether, I would wish that this is always only a pleasure and it's delivered if and when you're in the right space. Love that quote!