Watercolor, 7 x 10
"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."So little time...
― Bertrand Russell
I forced myself to take last weekend off. What a concept.
Last Wednesday and Thursday, I kept popping at the proverbial seams and wondering why. I didn't have to wonder long. After a couple of over-reactive episodes, it dawned on me that, in trying to rebuild Rome in a day (as it were), I'd become overwhelmed and exhausted. I ordered myself to rest.
I didn't rest completely but took time out for play, socializing, and laying around in bed.
I actually used to call up friends and ask them to give me permission to rest. I wasn't quite that direct but, essentially, that's what those conversations amounted to. They could also be loosely translated as follows: if I quit working (pushing, figuring things out, trying to achieve, hustling) for a day (or a week) won't the world fall apart?
Dear reader, I don't have to tell you the answer to that question! Embarrassingly ridiculous, I know. I can only confess to this in public because I don't do it anymore.
Now, I recognize the signs of fatigue and take my foot off the pedal to coast for a while. I wish I could say that I always catch myself in time but I don't. That has to be okay with me because, as a human being, I am always becoming. There is no there there.
There's only here here and now now!
What saved me last week was remembering my favorite (or most helpful) Thomas Merton quote.
"Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity."Rest is trust
There are more forces at work than my own little paws spinning my own little hamster wheel. That's what I've learned to remind myself. Regularly.
When I get out of my own way or take a nap or order myself to rest in other ways, problems are solved or disappear and sometimes, miracles happen.
No miracle but today, as I was wondering how I was going to do x amount of tasks in y amount of time, my wireless keyboard gave up the ghost. The only thing I could do (if I wanted to continue working) was to drive to the Apple Store and buy a new one. At some point on the errand, I realized that, by flipping my priorities, I could manage my work load and better my situation.
I didn't take a nap (although I'd have preferred that to the mall), but I provided my head a rest of sorts from the particular problem I didn't know how to solve. I moved my attention away from the issue and a resolution arose.
The point I want to make is that by allowing myself to rest, I am allowing myself to trust. This may be a foreign concept for some of you but I'm guessing (an educated guess) that I'm not alone in this.
The not being alone part? That's critical to resting and trusting, too. It's also another article but I would not have noticed how crispy I was (as in burnt out) last week had it not been for my interaction with others.
It's funny how difficult it is to see in ourselves what is obvious when we look at someone else. That's one of the beauties of working in community. What are those Robbie Burns lines?
"O, wad some Power the giftie gie usUntil you're experienced and practiced (and sometimes even then), it's the same with drawing and watercolor. It really helps to have a group of others through which to better understand ourselves and see the excellence in our efforts (when we may only find the fault.)
To see oursels as ithers see us!"
I'll have a new online drawing and watercolor course starting in March of next year but, I'm offering a long awaited coaching course starting after the first of the year. One of the benefits and wonders of my online course is the group dynamic. I'm excited to watch that unfold in my coaching course!
"During periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight."Foundation and Community
— Fritjof Capra
In addition to rest, there are other elements that help build strength and prevent melt-down (amongst other things.) Eating right, exercising daily, operating in some sort of regular supportive community. Basic, common sense, approaches to living and reminders of universal principals that really work to guarantee a pretty awesome life.
A good foundation is key to good living, working, playing, building, and any sort of creating. A happy, systematic program, with encouraging guidance and a compassionate support group is a super fun way to rebuild and realign ourselves; to climb out of the straight jacket of old habits and to formulate new disciplines and practice.
Life is the First Art is my new group coaching program launching in late January 2014. More about that in the future but I'm launching the program with a small group by invitation.
To put your name on the waiting list, email me and ask me to add your name. No obligation, just information and notification.
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