It’s hot, it’s cold, there’s rain, there’s snow, the power is out, the power is back on, a green holiday celebration, maybe vacation, jeans and a sweatshirt then a T-shirt and flip-flops, on and on it goes. I look out the office window and watch as storm clouds race each other across the blue background. I realize, in some logical part of my brain, that all these “things” that are in flux will come and go as quickly as the clouds. A suggestion for meditation is to acknowledge the thoughts that arise (because we’ll rarely be without them) and then let them pass like clouds in the sky or leaves on a river. I saw this on a Hallmark card once: “This, too, shall pass. Maybe like a kidney stone, but it’ll pass.”
Often times, I think the seemingly constant flux the universe sends our way maybe isn’t a test, but more like entertainment for the cosmos. “Which will she choose? How will he handle this? Oh, only one decision at a time? Where’s the fun in that? At least five or six chaotic pieces in this one particular life needs to be in flux, otherwise, how will they know whether or not they can deal with all of this at the same time?” It’s okay if I’m the only one feeling this way.
In brief moments in between those pieces of life that are far from peaceful, I find myself longing to write. The book two’s in three series, book four in another series, more short stories, a workbook for Creative Play: A Guide for the Artistic Path, finishing the two projects that are partly done (both book one’s in two new series), creating those workbooks that I think will help students, prequels to the series to give away to readers, and on and on. All this week, I carried around a yellow pad of paper hoping for spare minutes so I could jot down ideas. Those minutes continue to be elusive. Whether clouds, leaves, or kidney stones, I have hope that time will eventually afford me the chance to do the work I want to do.
Until then, I have an overflowing plate of stuff that isn’t what I want. Did I accidentally go through a cafeteria line in a parallel universe and was handed a tray with all things yucky, slimy, and unappetizing? Step one is realizing (and accepting) there is nothing to be done to change what currently is. The moments and events that occurred which led to this moment are in the past and can’t be changed.
Step two is to process the feelings. The thoughts come first, “I didn’t order this.” Then the feelings arise based on those thoughts. It might be sadness, anger, or the phases of grief. Some people process emotions pretty quickly and move on to resolving the problem without any lingering doubts or attachments to the outcomes. Some may need a bit of time to access a different part of themselves to conjure possible solutions.
Step three, once some problem-solving ideas have been generated, is to choose. Again, some are quick and decisive and usually end up being right (meaning they get the consequences they want) the first time around. For some, the whole concept of making a decision is wrought with anxiety and stalling and worst-case scenario building. They make one choice and find out that they need to make another to correct perhaps the same issue or new ones that have added to the original. For these people, they are stuck in a loop (hopefully not endlessly) of repeating the steps for the same problem.
The first group of people quickly and easily make their way to the trash can and dump their tray, then leave the cafeteria for better fare. The second group can’t find the trash can, can’t get the yucky, slimy, and unappetizing stuff off the tray, their appetite is gone, they feel like they need a shower, and they’re still wondering how they ended up in the cafeteria to begin with, regardless of what season it is. Which group do you find yourself aligning with? Which characters in stories do you enjoy reading most about?
Photo by Michele Venne I had the pleasure of meeting with two other writers today. We all look forward to sharing a creative space, even if "work" didn't get done. As one friend said, "There's just something a little different about the energy of artistic people."...