Creative Chaos and an Unexpected Journey
For a little over a year and a half now I've been in this crazy, chaotic, non-productive state. This is a really bad place for creatives to find themselves in. It's not that I wasn't busy and working; I was busy...doing "unpaid" work for others. Common sense will tell you that you only have so many hours in a day. When creatives wind up utilizing their time and energy for others; they will find themselves with little to nothing left at the end of the day for their own creative processes. This is both counter-intuitive and unhealthy and results in, "creative burnout." That is where I've been for the last almost year and a half. Creatively and emotionally burnt out.
A professor of mine once said, “If you don’t listen to your body; it will find a way to get your attention.” I haven’t been listening to my body solidly for the last four years. It’s been trying to get my attention, but I've been too busy doing things for others. Doing for others is important; however, “self-care” is as equally important. Balance is the key. The “self” is a triad of mind, body, and spirit. Any imbalance creates chaos in the overall wellness of “self.” Although knowing this, I was quite guilty of “self-neglect.” For the last four years, my body has been trying to get me to listen. It’s manifested in chronic eustachian dysfunction, a frozen shoulder, bruxism, and depression. And most recently an upper respiratory virus that has led to chronic bronchitis.
It was the latter manifestation that finally got my attention. I began listening. For the first time in years and years; I unplugged. I started focusing on “self-care” and interaction in real-time. I spent quality downtime self-evaluating what was truly important and relevant to me for literally the first time in my life.
My peers had a running joke in grad school about “going down the rabbit hole” - I never quite got there at that time. Looking back, perhaps I was meant to, but my then life chaos was so overly distracting and it left no room for that. For me, this has become that journey “down the rabbit hole.”
For the last six weeks I have delved into that space. And truthfully, I am still down in there delving and processing. Yet, I am also clearing, cleaning, and accepting as I go. There is sorrow, pain, anger, and unhappiness. But there is also joy, kindness, peace, and love. I find myself resurfacing up for air briefly every now and again before going back down. And allowing myself the space and time to process each level of depth I travel. It has been an amazing journey so far and at this moment I am filled with both gratitude and humility.
I will be less present on social media (I have completely deleted my Facebook account) and more present, focused, and active in my own web spaces. I am an artist. I wear hats for others to enable them to be and do their passions and dreams. However, the time has come to let them be more autonomous in that and for me to step back quite a bit and pursue my own dreams and passions.
Wishing you all light, love, and peace in your life journeys!