Monthly Archives: October 2015

Big Magic Read-a-Long: Persistence

persistence

image by Justine

You must learn how to become a deeply disciplined half-ass. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Before I even look at Justine’s prompts for this section of the book, I have to say that this is one of the best books on creativity and living a creative life that I’ve read in a long time. And for me, it’s perfectly timed, just what I need to hear at the exact moment I need to hear it. The particular shift it’s helping me make, the shift I seem to keep making and then slipping backwards and having to make again, is moving from working because I’m trying to prove myself, trying to earn the right to have what I want, hoping for permission to live the life I long for, to working because I like it, because it’s a good experience, because it brings me joy, because I want to. On to the prompts for this section…

    • Think about what it would mean for you to take vows for your creative life. What ceremony could you invent? What promises would you make? I’ve done this, but not always with ceremony. I did it when I started this blog, made various commitments to 30 day challenges and created other publishing schedules for myself, signed up for classes and went on retreats. I did it when I committed to yoga teacher training and then after to teaching a regular class. I did it when I stayed with Obi and Dexter all the way to the end, when I brought Sam and then Ringo home and vowed to do the same for them. I did it when I took Buddhist refuge vows, the one time there was an actual formal ceremony. I have four practices that form the foundation of my path, my creative life — writing, yoga, mediation, and dog — and with all four, ceremonially or not, I’ve vowed to stay with them, to show up with an open heart, no matter what.
    • What small, sustaining action can you take daily to show your devotion to your creative life? It doesn’t even have to be the same action every day, though rituals are always a lovely way to ground our fears, to call to inspiration and let them know we’re showing up, shining the homing beacon. I have a daily morning practice: I get up and stretch, meditate for 10-20 minutes, and then write for about half an hour. The other thing I do is I have tiny altars, mini shrines at all of the places I practice, including my CSU work office.
    • What things are you so curious about, enjoy so thoroughly, are so interested in that you are willing to eat the shit sandwich that comes along with it? When in your life did you turn away from a pursuit because you just couldn’t stomach the shit sandwich? I eat the shit sandwich that comes with all my regular practices. Writing is hard, trying to get to the truth and then maybe even create something that would be interesting to anyone other than myself, working my way through all the layers of what’s difficult and scary and boring. Yoga is hard when my body isn’t “perfect” or even entirely healthy, and when I can’t seem to let go of expectations, my own agenda. Dog is hard when they need so much and I don’t have it to give them, or when they need something but I can’t figure out what and they can’t tell me, when they get sick or hurt, when I love them so damn much and they die. Meditation, and by extension Buddhism, is hard because it asks so much of me, specifically that I get over myself, show up with an open heart, stay with whatever might arise. I turned away from the pursuit of a PHD, of a full on academic career, of even teaching in that formal environment because I couldn’t stomach that particular shit sandwich.
    • Have an affair with your creativity. What kind of actions can you take to present yourself as sexy to inspiration, to grab stolen bits of time to create, to fib and maneuver your schedule so that you can get that precious time alone, for you? I feel like I do some of this already, stealing time away from my CSU work and even my tiny family to pursue my creativity. Every morning and every weekend are dedicated to it. The remaining shift would be stealing time away from my own laziness, in all its forms, specifically as Adreanna Limbach describes them. For example, sometimes I watch TV and eat a snack because I’m tired, when reading a chapter from a book like this or listening to a podcast or practicing some yoga would be more restful, more energizing, more nourishing. Or, sometimes I make myself really busy by overcommitting to things, trying to prove something or avoid something, get caught up doing what I “should,” when what I really want is to do my creative work, to slow down and see what might happen. So the biggest thing I could do in that regard is get out of my own way, turn towards what I’m really hungry for.
    • Practice being a “deeply disciplined half-ass”. What does that term bring up for you? How can you change your approach to your work? What plan can you “violently execute” this week? This really struck me, as Justine already mentioned in her post. I really want a tshirt that says “deeply disciplined half-ass” on the front. Being a lazy perfectionist is slick with shame and suffering, whereas there’s a freedom, a joy, a satisfaction in being a deeply disciplined half-ass. It means that you happily keep trying, keep going, don’t give up no matter the outcome because the true measure of value in your work is the discipline, the devotion, the practice, just the joy of doing for the sake of doing. Adreanna Limbach says that laziness is essentially forgetting what we want. The antidote to laziness is discipline, which is simply remembering what we want. This shifts everything for me, again, to making sure that I show up because the experience brings me joy and satisfaction, not because I’m trying to prove something or earn anything. And again, I go back to what Elizabeth said in the last section as the why, “committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, no to become famous, not to gain entrance into the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis…but simply because I liked it.” Shit sandwich and all.

Gratitude Friday

PicMonkeyPumkinCollage1. Fall. How fat the squirrels are getting eating goodies from our compost pile and our pumpkins (see the above before and after shots for proof), the little girls from down the street who knocked on our door and told me they liked our pumpkins and took a few home with them even though they were the last ones left and total Charlie Brown Christmas tree pumpkins, how Eric left a bunch of them at the end of the driveway with a sign “take a pumpkin” expecting a few to be gone when he got back from hiking with the dogs only to be surprised to see them all gone, the cooler weather, down blankets, wool socks.

2. Skyping with friends. Technology makes it possible for me to hang out with people who live in a whole other time zone the same as if we were sitting at my kitchen table. It’s magic, and it’s medicine.

3. Roasted Butternut Squash with olive oil, a ton of garlic, and a bit of sea salt. So good.

butternutsquash

4. Making stuff, like a writing class for Inky Path, another Wild Writing Crazy Wisdom workshop as well as a shorter version without the yoga, blogging, Wild Writing, taking pictures, art journaling, collaging, cooking.

5. Sweet Sam and Ringo Blue. We are in the sweet spot with these two right now — no one is a baby and no one is dying, no one is sick or hurt. Since it’s fall, Eric has been hiking with them a lot again, so when they are home they are so tired they just lounge around. Such good boys.
eaglesnesttraillazycouchingBonus joy: new music which means I’m making myself a new playlist, flowers from Eric because “they were pretty and I knew you’d like them,” teaching yoga, reading Big Magic, documentaries about musicians (I watched one about Paul Williams and another about Glen Campbell and want to watch the one about Amy Winehouse this weekend), birds still feeding on our sunflowers which are so wilted and dead you’d think there was nothing left to them, a podcast of my favorite morning radio show without commercials or music, trusting myself.

Three Truths and One Wish

balancehorsetooth

image by Eric

1. Truth: My theme in my yoga classes lately has been “balance.” Specifically what balance isn’t. We often are confused about what it means to find balance, think of it as a fixed point, a place we can get to where we’ll be happy and safe, a place where we can stay. But balance is actually about awareness. Because the conditions of our experience are constantly in flux, changing and shifting, finding balance is really about cultivating an awareness of what is arising and being able to adjust and adapt. The energy of our emotional and physical bodies changes, sometimes as quickly as from one breath to the next. Our health and environment changes, culture and our communities are living things constantly evolving, and the people around us contribute their own shifts. Nothing stays the same, there is no fixed reality. As soon as we find a still point, something comes along to upset it. So balance isn’t about a stable place, but rather about becoming a stable person amidst the chaos and change.

2. Truth: Balance can be hard to find when so many bad things are happening. My health has been a struggle recently which leads to frustration and disappointment. Last night I found out someone I know not only has breast cancer, but got pneumonia and went to the hospital, where she had a heart attack! Other friends are letting go of their sweet dog today, which breaks my heart because I also love her. Another friend has not one but two sick dogs. I could widen the circle to people I don’t know, to world events, and the list would quickly become overwhelming.

3. Truth: Even though it’s complicated and hard, balance is a worthy pursuit. It seems a little crazy, considering the point of balance is constantly shifting, and that you’ll never be able to stop your effort, but what’s the alternative? I’d rather keep trying, stumble and get back up, even if the steadiness and stability I manage doesn’t last. I know from experience that the longer I work at it, the stronger I get — it’s harder to knock me down and I get up much quicker. I’m not indestructible, I’m vulnerable, but I’m not giving up.

One wish: That whatever knocks us down isn’t so big we decide to stay down, that no matter what happens we are able to get back up, that we ask for help if it seems like too much, and that no matter what we never give up. Along with that, a little sweetness wouldn’t hurt. ❤

Something Good

atriumfall

So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Good stuff from Seth Godin, The two-review technique and Are you interesting? Both of these are helping me to reframe the way I think about and approach my work.

2. Screw Finding Your Passion from Mark Manson. This post is really great, and yet I can’t offer it to you without also giving you another perspective, equally great (or maybe even slightly better), from Laura Simms: Why You Don’t Need to Find Your Passion to Do What You Love and Instead of Finding Your Passion, Find *THIS*

3. Mom, I’m Not A Girl: Raising a Transgender Child. I’m so glad there are parents willing to move beyond their own fear and confusion to parent with love.

4. Just F*cking Journal Class, an awesome four week course. The next session starts TODAY.

5. Big Magic: Resources Week 1 on Allowing Myself. Are you reading with us?

6. The Power of Maybe…A Story About Accepting What Is from Meg Casey, a powerful post about how we might shift our perspective. “If we are able to drop the story of ‘good or bad’ and just greet our life exactly as it is without judgement we create the maximum conditions for healing in our life. We also by the way, free up resources to help us through whatever life is throwing at us.”

7. Humorous Street Signs and Other Contextual Street Art Interventions by Michael Pederson, an artist in Sydney, Australia, who clearly has a partner in crime in Jeff Wysaski, a comedy writer in Los Angeles, because There’s a Man Scattering Very Funny Fake Books, Signs and Pamphlets Around L.A. It makes me stupid happy that there are people who are willing to make this sort of effort just to make other people smile.

8. 50+ Of The Cutest Baby Animals Of All Time on Bored Panda. As I put this post together, there are 149 submissions so far to this list. I’ve tried to figure out which is my favorite, but how is a person supposed to choose?! And if you were able to survive that, check this out, 15+ Animals Enjoying Autumn Magic (as I post this, the list is at 49). Baby lion playing in a pile of leaves?!

9. The Essence of Hayao Miyazaki Films: A Short Documentary About the Humanity at the Heart of His Animation. “His aim was to make films that would help us all further understand the human condition.” If you haven’t seen any of his films, I highly recommend them…all of them.

10. What I Wished I’d Known Before Setting Out to Become a Writer a guest post from Nicole Baute on Sarah Selecky’s blog.

11. My Lonely Robots Experiencing The Quiet Wonder Of The World, a collection from artist Matt Dixon on Bored Panda. These little guys are so sweet.

12. Did you hear that Oprah bought 10% of Weight Watchers? Here’s some good stuff that got written about it that says what I feel better than I could articulate it: Dear Oprah from Julie Dillon, and Oprah and Weight Watchers, a Match Made In… on Dances with Fat, and Dear Virgie: Oprah Buying 10% of Weight Watchers–WTF? I especially love what Virgie says, “you cannot be actively investing in the diet industry and actively investing in the improvement of women’s lives.” Word.

13. A Soulful Exploration of Inner Wisdom with Susan Piver, an episode of The Unmistakable Creative podcast. I could listen to Susan tell her story all day. What she says right at the beginning is friggin’ brilliant.

14. 17 Beautiful Rooms For The Book-Loving Soul. And yes, I want to go to there, BuzzFeed.

15. Wisdom from Virginia Woolf, “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

16. Why I Focus on Simplicity (and How You Can Simplify Your Life in 2016) from Blonde on a Budget.

17. Qwerkywriter. I don’t know how comfortable this would be to type on, but I love the way it looks.

18. This Is How The Pro-Gun Crowd Sounds To … Well, Normal People. *gigglesnort*

19. Beyond Happy by Omid Safi on On Being, in which he suggests, “What if we strive for something beyond happiness? What if we aim for a life that is about being whole?” I love the poem at the end of this so much.

Here is to a life, everyday and spiritual,
Both individual and communal,
Meditative and ritual,
Embracing all the emotions that make us human,
Leading us to happiness,
And beyond happiness

To being
and becoming
whole.

20. 10 Fast Ways to Become a Better Writer from Sarah Kathleen Peck.

21. Good stuff from Zen Habits, The Underrated, Essential Art of Coping and Why You Should Write Daily.

22. Finding Your Creative Flow: 17 Writer’s Tricks to Get Un-stuck and Start Creating.

23. Beautiful Peace Mantra sung by Tina Turner.

24. Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul.

25. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Love is your calling.”

26. Purification. Pain. Passion. And marrying your soul. Or…How to tap your deep creativity. from Danielle LaPorte.

27. 8 Amazing Things Will Happen To Your Brain When You Keep Writing Every Day.

28. 5 Mantras for When You Hate Your Job from Laura Simms.

29. “How I dearly wish I was not here,” a beautiful, heartbreaking story of what it’s like to lose your dog, to let them go. I read it a few days ago and I still can’t even read the title without crying. I don’t want to do this again, e v e r, and yet I keep getting more dogs knowing that this is exactly what will happen with every one of them — it’s a particular flavor of crazy.

30. Just Between You & Me, an unedited and unreviewed weekly conversation between Jen Lee and author/illustrator Tim Manley.

31. Why I opt out of the holidays: A Simple & Meaningful Christmas from Paul Jarvis. This is really, really tempting…

32. It’s Not You, it’s the Clothes from Sally McGraw. It’s so important to remember this.

33. 3 Ways to Say Goodbye to Busyness on Be More With Less.

34. Meditation teacher, medical expert Jamie Zimmerman dies in drowning accident. Yet another reminder to not wait, to not give up, to love what/who you love now.

35. Good stuff from Chookooloonks this was a good week list: “National Geographic is currently accepting entries for its 2015 photo contest, and you can scroll through the best ones so far here“, and “my friend Justin had an adventure in Peru, and since he’s a gifted photographer, he shows us how gorgeous it was.”

36. Bill Murray Talks The ‘Kasbah’ — And The Merits Of A Life Lived Phoneless.

37. After 59 years, Mattel gets it right: the new Barbie ad is awesome.

38. Behind the Scenes With Dani Shapiro, “Memoirist and best-selling author Dani Shapiro shares what she’s learned about herself from her daily practice of writing and completing her books.”

39. Starting a podcast for people who don’t want their lives taken over by podcasting from Paul Jarvis. SUCH good advice.

40. Raise Your Hand Say Yes with Paul Jarvis. Tiffany has interviewed so many great people. You should check out her archive.

41. 7 things I did to reboot my life from Wil Wheaton. “I deserve to be happy. I deserve to feel good about myself. I can do the work that I need to do to accomplish these things.”

Day of Rest

officeshrineI wrote something in my Wild Writing class with Laurie Wagner that I really like. As I shared it, it felt like something I could post here, and Laurie reinforced that by emailing me later to say it was “blog-able.” This particular writing process, wild writing, is completely magic. The way it works is Laurie reads a poem, and then suggests a few lines to use as prompts. We write for about 10-15 minutes — as fast as we can without stopping, no editing, no judgment. Instead of spending my time trying to make the writing perfect, precious, this practice takes me right to the messy truth — beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible. Sometimes stuff comes up that I don’t want to write about, that I’d otherwise avoid, but I write it anyway. Sometimes what I write is dumb or boring, nonsense. Other times I get to a place I never would have found without the permission given by the practice to be wild.

Wild writing is similar to what Natalie Goldberg writes about in Writing Down the Bones. She suggests in her chapter “First Thoughts” that “The basic unit of writing practice is the timed exercise.” Her recommendation for how to approach the practice is a set of six rules:

  1. Keep your hand moving.
  2. Don’t cross out.
  3. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar.
  4. Lose control.
  5. Don’t think. Don’t get logical.
  6. Go for the jugular.

In her book, she includes a bit more commentary for the rules, but you get the gist. Laurie amped up the magic by adding the poem prompt, and asking that we share what we write, giving no commentary and receiving none. The combination of the three (timed and prompted and shared without commentary) propels my writing in a way that nothing else does. Wild writing lights a fire that burns right through all my crap, my ego, my resistance. And it doesn’t just work in the moment, but spills over into everything else I’m working on. It’s what I was able to recently teach in my Wild Writing, Crazy Wisdom workshop, and it’s why I hope to keep sharing it, keep doing it.

The prompt for this piece was “How to Pray” by Annelyse Gelman. I could have started with “let this be the year of the rough draft” or “it’s not enough that…” but I chose to start with “Bless the…”

Bless the rain, the wet and the mud. Bless the wind that tears through. Bless the sound of the furnace running, working, warming. Bless Ringo happily lying by the vent under the kitchen sink, hogging all the warm air for himself. Bless the last of the tomatoes and the watermelon we bought even though we knew it probably wouldn’t be any good. Bless the butternut squash and the olive oil and the garlic and the oven. Bless the muffins mysteriously so much better this time even though I’ve baked them hundreds of times. Bless the not knowing, the mystery. Bless the longing to know why even when there are never any answers. Bless the confusion tucked right in next to the knowing. Bless my bones. Bless the wind that keeps blowing even after all the leaves are stripped. Bless the plan for lunch. Bless the to-do list. Bless Adele, bless her voice, bless the words, even bless the sadness I feel knowing I can’t do that, can’t make that sound, can’t open up my throat like that. Bless the longing. Bless the disappointment. Bless the recipe we made a special trip to the store for, spent hours on, and that didn’t turn out. Bless its awful taste. Bless the writers who string the words together, make a mess, find a through line, somehow manage to put it all together. Bless the laundry. Bless the bills. Bless the windshield wipers propped by the door week after week waiting for someone to put them on the car. Bless the men who fixed our car. Bless the car. Bless the road. Bless the precious lives speeding along those roads. Bless the ones who don’t make it home. Bless the ones waiting, wondering where they are, whey they are late. Bless the work. Bless the brain and the energy. Bless the machines and the electricity. Bless the bread and the butter. Bless the toaster and the fire. Bless the mystery of the wind, the not knowing why or where it comes from. Bless the remaining two minutes. Bless the sound of a key in the door and the sound of their feet running down the hallway, the sound of a head banging into the door. Bless the wanting to be let in. Bless the closed door.

Bless this day of rest, and bless you, kind and gentle reader.

Big Magic Read-a-Long: Permission

image by Justine

image by Justine

My friend and one of my favorite bloggers Justine is hosting a read-a-long for Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Justine provides prompts for each section of the book on her blog, and invites readers to respond in the comments or send her an email. I decided to blog my responses.

Justine’s prompts for the third section of the book are:

  • As you read about the idea of permission what came up for you? Are you seeking permission in any areas of your life / creativity? Permission is a huge issue for me in terms of my creative life, my life. For many many years, I knew what I wanted, who I was, but I thought I had to wait for permission. I thought there would be an invitation, or that I had to earn a certification. I misunderstood completely how the whole thing worked, so I waited, got stuck there, almost gave up. The permission I’m looking for now is to live without apology, to want without guilt, to know that I don’t have to earn the right to be here.
  • Gilbert explains the attitude of “insouciance” that allowed her parents to do whatever they liked when it came to their creative living, and how that influenced her own path. What are some of the attitudes and assumptions of your family-of-origin? And, as Gilbert suggests, go back through your family history, where are the makers? Where do you come from? And then, it doesn’t matter. We’re all creators. Make your art. I think there was a lot of fear and compliance in my family history, being rewarded for doing as required or expected, punished for not, and trying to control the chaos in a way that stunted freedom and joy. There was a lot of hurt and struggle. The conditions of living were just so different. Gilbert’s own experience with strong willed, stubborn, smart and gifted parents felt familiar to me. I come from a long line of teachers, fixers, farmers. All the women are crafty and all the men can repair stuff. They built things with their bare hands. They were funny and smart. The conditions of their lives didn’t always allow for full expression of their creativity, but it was right there, just below the surface all the time. In my family of origin, there’s a writer and a photographer and an artist, all who didn’t get to fully experience or express that, which only fuels my desire to keep trying.
  • Gilbert writes of her dad: “He didn’t quit his day job to follow his dream; he just folded his dream into his everyday life.” How can you fold your dreams into your everyday life? Gah. I’m totally doing it. I complain and want out of it (all of which I wanted to take back after reading this chapter), but this is how it’s working. I wake up early so I can practice before going to work at CSU, and then my days are a mix of work I do in the service of others and my own creativity — but they don’t really stay neatly separated, are blurring together and tripping over each other all the time. Like conjoined twins, they are two separate beings and yet they aren’t independent at all. They feed each other at the same time they steal from each other.
  • How are you living your “most vividly decorated temporary life”? By not compartmentalizing things. Practice isn’t just practice. My CSU work isn’t just work. My creativity isn’t just of and for itself. When I teach I learn. When I write, I simultaneously dig in and let go. When I’m by myself, I’m not alone. Being tired is its own form of energy, and work can be its own kind of rest. The lines between things, the boundaries fall away, and there’s nothing but wide open space.
  • Pretend you’re in your own hostage negotiation with those negative, internal voices. Speak directly, but lovingly and make your “statement of intent”. I’m not giving up. It’s that simple.
  • “I enjoy my creativity.” Go on, say it. The whole thing she says right before that is so great. “I told the universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, no to become famous, not to gain entrance into the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis…but simply because I liked it.”

Big Magic Read-a-Long: Enchantment

image by Justine

image by Justine

In case you missed my first post, let me explain. My friend and one of my favorite bloggers Justine is hosting a read-a-long for Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Justine provides prompts for each section of the book on her blog, and invites readers to respond in the comments or send her an email. I decided to blog my response.

Justine’s prompt for the second section of the book are:

  • When it hits you, what does inspiration feel like in your body? Fluttery, like my whole body is suddenly buzzing and jittery, stomach full of butterflies and head full of bees, but also floaty, like gravity has stopped working, and hot, on fire — but weirdly, considering the previous descriptors, completely still and quiet, calm.
  • How have you said “yes” and how have you said “no” to ideas and inspiration in the past? I’m going to flip my answer and give the bad news first — I said “no” to ideas and inspiration for almost 35+ years. I got “the call” in the 2nd grade. It was so clear and I was so sure, so excited and ready, but from then on it got very, very confusing. There was still the occasional buzz, but I just wasn’t available. I had to work through so much before I could be ready, and yet, in the end, it wasn’t about being ready at all. I wasn’t ready when my first dog and my dear friend were both diagnosed with cancer. I wasn’t ready when they died. And yet, that experience happened anyway, and it broke me open. I couldn’t go back to the way things were, so I really didn’t have a choice. I said the biggest yes ever — to finding myself again, to living a creative life, to staying awake, to being present, to keeping my heart open.
      
    And with that, I said “yes” to starting a blog, reading and studying and learning, attending workshops and retreats and conferences, finding a community, publishing places other than on my blog, being a teaching assistant for Mondo Beyondo, putting together the Self-Compassion Saturday series and then the ebook, becoming certified to teach yoga, getting another dog (then losing another dog to cancer and getting yet another dog), becoming the Communications Coordinator for the English department at CSU, shifting the way I thought about money, working to simplify my life, taking Buddhist vows, teaching yoga, teaching workshops and classes that are a mix of yoga and writing and meditation, working on a book, forgiving myself, befriending myself.
      
    I said “no” to doing things because I thought I should, pleasing/perfecting/pretending/performing, staying in projects and relationships that were toxic, alcohol, waiting for permission, dieting, starving and stuffing myself, people who don’t love or even see me, anyone else’s idea of what I’m supposed to look like, things I don’t need anymore, teaching for CSU, denying myself, smashing myself to bits. Maybe these yeses and nos don’t seem like they are all related to inspiration and creativity, but believe me, they are.
  • Is there an idea trying to “wave you down” right now? What’s keeping you from saying “yes” to it? There are a few — some classes and workshops I want to offer, a creativity club I want to start, and “the book.” The poor book doesn’t get the time or space it needs to come together, even though I’ve already written probably at least 70% of it. I let myself get distracted by work, by constructing new work, by other writing, by all the stuff and projects of my life. I sure hope it doesn’t give up on me, pass me by. When I think about it, I feel like I should pray or something, but all I can think of to say is “please don’t give up on me, please wait for me.” I think there’s some part of me that doesn’t understand how to write a book, worries I won’t be able to figure it out.
  • Do you identify with the tormented artist or the cooperating joyfully approach more? What can you do to make creativity more of a partnership? I think I’m a tormented person in general, dissatisfied because I want SO MUCH but I’m only human, only have so much time and energy. I see the list of ALL THE THINGS, hold it in my mind and heart all the time, and the longing can feel overwhelming, so much bigger than what I can actually do. And I skip right past celebrating where I am, enjoying what I’m doing, into “but what about…” I do try in my regular practices to offer an invitation, to open myself up to what might arise. I do this when I meditate every morning, and I do it when I write my morning pages, even addressing them to “Dear One” and signing off with “Thank you.” A partnership would require more focused attention from me, I think. To be with what is right now without rushing off, to slow down, to balance my effort with ease. I think creativity needs me to spend more time staring at my toes, day dreaming, doing nothing.
  • What are your expectations surrounding your creative genius? Are you showing up consistently, upholding your end of the partnership? I am definitely doing the work. I show up every day. Discipline in that way isn’t my issue. I think my problem right now is I’m not letting my creative genius help. I’m so busy with the doing that there’s no room for it, no space. It can’t get a word in edgewise. I haven’t left a place for it, need to scoot over, slow down, surrender to it.