Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Day Five - Slowing Down

Are you holding all the crayons?  

Being here in Kefalonia with much less choice of 'things' to do, buy, investigate or overwhelm me, I am very much aware that I am looking inward more frequently and asking what really matters.  Back in the UK and now working from home, I find myself becoming distracted by all sorts of inconsequential 'stuff'.  I tell my self it is necessary to spend so much time researching all sorts of 'stuff' as it is of vital importance for my future work.  I also lie to myself.  I pretend I am really busy.
By nature I've always liked  to have two or three projects to be going on with.  I work better under stress or to a timeline.  I am, as Barbara Sher of Wishcraft fame - a typical scanner.  I am an ideas person.  I'm able and love, to jump from new idea to new idea and back again with the greatest of ease.  I need several things in the pipeline to keep my creative juices flowing.  I also become distracted very quickly and am easily persuaded to stop doing one thing and start another as in going for a very fattening double caramel extra espresso machiato.  Are you easily distracted or have a trillion things on the go?  How do you work best?

What would happen if  us scanners just focused on one thing?  When I've tried this in the past, I end up not doing anything at all of any value, achievement or purpose.  Possibly because I have no time frame in which to complete something.  I can easily put off things today, if I have a fresh non busy day tomorrow.  So whats the happy medium?  How can we have a few little projects on the go but still put down all the crayons and use just one on the project in hand?  Maybe the framework needs to change.  Perhaps if we broke the big projects down into small bite sized steps that could easily be completed, a series of small projects in wrapped up in a large one.  Maybe that might be the answer.  Possibly we need to look at our framework.  The frame/s from which we start and finish things.  The frames we construct from which to live our lives in and from.  Pick one project and keep the others in our minds eye but at the back.   Focus on the front project. 

When we think of the word 'busy' what does that mean to us individually? Does it mean ALL the time being busy?  What do we do to fill the gaps?  Why do we want the gaps filled?  What would happen if we left some gaps?  What about 'me' time?  Do you ever practice me time?  Maybe we could all stop at 11.30am every day and say now I am taking a full minute to breathe and whisper to ourselves 'I really matter'.  If we were really self nurturing we could take another minute to feel that we 'really matter'.  Then in light of feeling we matter we could ask ourselves 'What is the smallest thing that I could do today that would make the biggest difference to my life right now?'  The answer will pop up if not right away certainly at some point during the day, probably when you least expect it to.  Then, when we get the answer we could act upon it.  It will be small enough to do that.
Like this artwork - it has to dry first before adding any more stuff!

We're not talking huge here, just small steps easily completed in every project you have on the go.  Possibly no more than three projects is best for me, otherwise I jump into the jar of self sabotage.  Mind sculpting where you see, hear, feel, smell, taste the sensations of what you want to do, often helps if the actions are just too much to start with.  Anything to keep the fight/flight mechanism which sends us into overwhelm and shuts down creativity, asleep.  We can tiptoe past overwhelm and sabotage and still have several little lovelies going that we want to work on.  

In order to do the stuff we want to do, enjoy doing it, love all the crazy ideas, and juggle the lot without become despondent, desperate or overwhelmed, we must remember to ask ourselves important questions.  These questions help us believe we matter.

We have to remember to breathe.  We must create our own creative oasis.  Could we remember to ask ourselves ' how are we trying to do too much?'  Maybe we need to find out whose approval we're seeking.  What would happen if we didn't get that approval - because we rarely do.  Why do we need other people's approval anyway?  

What about the gaps?  Are we so busy trying to fill them all we become exhausted and create a whole load more?  Do we ever take time to reflect and ponder and give ourselves time to hear the answers?  What are we trying to avoid.  If we didn't avoid things, we'd have to do something about them, how would that feel?
What don't we want to see?  

As the spice girlies said 'Tell me what you want what you really really want.....what is it you really want from this one mad bad sad gorgeous life?  The answers, I think you'll find will lie in stillness.

I'll finish with some words from John O'Donohue one of my favorite authors.

"Do we actually let our imagination articulate the inner friendship which embraces nature, divinity, underworld and human world as one?"  

Is our identity so tied up with doing stuff, that we can't contemplate sitting with the loneliness of interiority? 

What could we learn if did - if only for a few precious moments?

Until tomorrow  ~  comments always appreciated!  x D


Drawn by a Star said...

As always your words are inspiring, honest, and so deeply heart-full. Love this question: 'What is the smallest thing that I could do today that would make the biggest difference to my life right now?'

And once answered, I would then have a coffee, and a piece of cake or chocolate if available, and then pose another question:

'What is the smallest thing that I could do today, right now, for somebody else that would encourage them, and assure them they matter.

So I give this to your dear Bernie. Your voice and art inspire and matter greatly in the mad sad wonderful world. Thank you.

myview said...

Bernie, thank you for this gentle jolt. Here I am, many crayons in hand and a mind racing with stuff I want to do, places to go, people to see, stuff I think I need but actually don't.

Even though I follow you wisdom of 'what small thing can I do today...' that I learned from you many moons ago. I can still get carried away by projects or research or dong things for others and forget to pull it back.

So my lovely friend, I have printed off this post and pinned it in my bathroom so I'll be reminded (as will others).

Tonight I'm on a course to learn modern calligraphy and with your permission I'd like to reproduce your words as a gift for a friend who could benefit. Would you mind?

Lots of love and happy days wished.