I’ve had a couple of weeks where the stress monsters have been circling, threatening to take charge and make me feel totally rubbish about myself. You know the kind of thing, comparing my work skills, my social skills, my artwork, my home life, all to others much greater than I, wondering how on earth they manage so well and with such sparkle. That then leads onto ‘Is anything I do actually good enough?’, which is snugly followed by ‘Is it worth trying in the first place?’. Whilst I accept that life is one grand old rollercoaster I came to the point at the weekend when I felt enough was enough. Time to stop the unnecessary worrying and stressing, to stop allowing my mind being taken over day and night. Also no more overanalysing until the cows come home ( I am extremely good at that one). Instead of this: time to mindfully go with the flow and trust that what will be will be. The crunch which made me realise how bad I was feeling was that even my creativity was becoming another path I didn’t feel I was fulfilling, I mean what is that about? Surely making my art is where the value lies, engaging with my creative soul for the sheer love of it. Not because I have committed myself to a multitude daunting projects; some begun, some waiting impatiently on my desk, some neglected for some time and that feeling that I should be completing them all perfectly piece after piece, all in a neat order and according to a controlled schedule. And so I gave myself a stern talking to along the lines of:
It is exciting that there is so much to explore. You are so lucky to be on such an amazing creative adventure. You fought so hard to reclaim that creative goddess inside, don’t you dare silence her again. DO what you love and LOVE what you do. Simply be happy.
I also needed to grab a bit of that thing they call perspective, because actually my needs are a walk in the park compared with the destruction and sadness that are raging the globe currently. I have been humbled in many ways this week: by a friend whose family is facing the nightmares in Libya, by the horrendous tsunami in Japan causing such devastation beyond what my mind could possibly comprehend, and by a programme by the BBC for the powerful Comic Relief Appeal documenting the absolute poverty and awe inspiring resilience of the people living in a Kiberan slum in Africa. I will certainly be donating. Time to see the bigger picture, to be a little more thankful for the goodness in my own life and to think of ways I can offer support to others in these awful times of need.
And you know what, it is hard work actively going against the natural grain of worry, and I have been chanting my ‘go with the flow’ mantra over and over again. It is working though, I am seeing the signs like a faint rainbow beckoning. For example, having just begun reading the definitive ‘Women Who Run With Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes I came across this passage, which describes so passionately the solid foundations I wish for women everywhere and reminding me of my chosen word for 2011, Connection:
“...to establish territory, to find one’s pack, to be in one’s body with certainty and pride regardless of the body’s gifts and limitations, to speak and act on one’s behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as possible.”