afraid of heights…

Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.  ~ John Lennona97765_g269_10-canyon

the new year is here…and finally for me, i can feel it.

As I have alluded to, i changed my life last spring.  I wish I could have written aloud to others during this past 8 months journey, but it was simply too personal.

But today, on this morning, i feel like I have poked my head out of the dark…that I have crossed a huge chasm- HUGE…and I am looking back at it with astonishment.  And all of the fear and apprehension of seeing it looming ahead for so many months is gone…and I am lighter because of it.

I have learned some things about myself:

  • I am capable of doing what I set my mind to
  • Being separate from people is more about emotional distance than physical distance
  • I don’t control everything, nor is everything my fault or responsibility
  • Having time and permission to create is essential to my mental health
  • I need very few ‘things’ to be happy
  • I can spend an obscene amount of money on groceries, if I don’t keep track!
  • Its OK to ask for what I need and its OK to say ‘no’ to what i don’t want.

I have also learned that before one of these epiphanies, I tend to get really emotional- like crying-in-the-produce-section-of-HyVee emotional…embarrassing, as I am counting my items, thru tears, to see if I can use the ‘express lane’.  But that is another thing I have learned…feel your feelings…nothing wrong with that.

One of my daughters has the quote above tattooed on her feet, and she has repeated it to me on and off thru the past 8 months.  Until recently, I am not sure I really understood this part of my life correctly.  And who knows? I may not have it figured out now either…but the first major chasm is behind me

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Aside

how to begin.

the only joy in the world is to begin…~ Cesare Pavese

beginning…i have trouble beginning.  Of all of the creative parts of a project, beginning is the toughest part for me.  I can go thru preparations, gathering, mulling, but the actual STARTING…that sticks me.

Once i start, its gravy.  I can see all the things that work and don’t work, what falls apart, what worked better in my head, what LOOKED better in my head, and it is energizing to actually SEE in a concrete sense what i have been seeing in my head, what i have been theorizing.

So how can you get yourself to START?

Here it is- step by step

1. Put your hands on your sketch or if you have no sketch, close your eyes and picture your finished project in your head.

2. Gather your materials and put within reach in your work space.

3. Picture your finished project in your head.

4. Deep breath…reach up high, and reach down and touch your toes.

5. Picture your finished project in your head.

6. Pick up each of your materials and put them each down.  Do this several times.

7. Picture your finished project in your head.

8. Put everything away for the day and go for a drive…just kidding 🙂

Actually, this is the sticking point- do it! Put pen to paper, start writing, or pick up your paint brush, or put the clay in your hand – but it is time to try to make what is in your hand match what is in your head…

and here is the deal…if this project was going to go easy, you would have already done it- so be prepared for 2 or 3 or 27 false starts or practice/trial runs…in fact, try to figure out how NOT to make it work first- trying the beautiful floaty, ethereal idea you have in your head first may be what is stopping you flat.  So test your ideas out on trials first and see how it goes.  Get those out of the way!  Don’t even attempt to make the first thing you try the Golden Finished Product.

I have, at times, been paralyzed by the fact that i only had enough of a certain material…i didn’t want to waste it if the project didn’t go right, so i just didn’t begin.  In this situation, practice with a lesser equivalent of your coveted material, or pull it out of your project- its a problem.

once you know what will work and what won’t, that beautiful floaty ethereal idea in your head will begin to take on concrete dimensions in your head, AND in your workspace.

Go forth and conquer!

breathing in the present

Going down the slide

Going down the slide

Sometimes I am so caught up in the future,

  • What about tomorrow?
  • how much money do i have left this month?
  • what if i lose my job?
  • maybe (fill in the blank) will happen and…

that i miss out on this moment…this one right now…i miss listening to Journi snore in the early morning, while I am still sitting in the dark, waiting to become verbal…i miss out on the fact that I might have just as well poured my coffee grounds right into the coffee pot this morning…i miss seeing the steam that seems to hang in the air  as the sun comes up.

Stop right now, stop reading right now for just a moment, and breathe in the present…what do you hear, see, smell, and feel?

Those future worries? for me, those are what anxiety is made of.  Being in the present moment, enjoying this very second can sustain me til the next second…

There is time enough to consider the future and its needs, in the light of day, when I am verbal and able to reason those things out and do the math.  For now, enjoying the present moment is enough.

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