Hitting The Wall

Tonight I hit the wall.

You know the one. The impenetrable bricks and mortar one, not the flimsy version that you can dissolve with a thought. No this is almost like hitting your mortality in the face.

I had to have a crazy scribble on the paper then run off to the loo for a little cry then escape for a coffee and a chat with Sarah.

Thank god I know what it’s all about. It’s almost certainly one symptom of burn out. I’ve been moving the house around, including the studio. I’ve also been watching other artist’s at work and simultaneously getting inspired and dejected.

The comparison game is deadly for sure.

My wall tonight was composed of the following elements:

  1. I can’t do this
  2. I am not able to be this ‘artist’ thing
  3. I’m not flowing tonight
  4. I’m in my head
  5. I can’t do this
  6. I am crap…..

…you get the picture. Not very inspiring stuff to have in your head. I really do have a lot to learn, and that’s ok. You never stop learning art. Same as life, no different, but I do know one thing; I am learning how to know when to stop and what to do when I’m stopped.

It’s such a relief to go “You know what. There is no pressure but my own here, I can get off whenever I want to. It’s supposed to be fun!”

And that’s where I started the night. With the intent to have fun. I did. I got to talk to fellow artists, and you know what? They all understood, in their own version, what I meant, what had happened and shared a little bit more.

That’s it in a nut shell really. Being vulnerable enough to let it out, let it out and let other’s in.

I never used to do that.

I have grown. I am happy with that.

photo of a strip of light on foliage by phoebe thomasson

What Does Being in Balance Mean?

It might be easier to start with what it doesn’t mean…

  1. It doesn’t mean being ‘perfect’; either our generic idea of what perfect ‘is’ and ‘does’ or what our culture may laud as the present ‘perfection’.
  2. It is not about being a model, physically or otherwise.
  3. It does not mean unchanging or static, unresponsive, dogmatic, programmed or reactive.

So from this we can more easily see that it does mean…

  1. Being the best of what we, personally, are capable of being at any given moment with respect to our personal attributes, circumstances, conditions and predilections.
  2. Fulfilling our own criteria for ‘goodness’ and ‘decency’ that may not depend on any external source of approval or expectation.
  3. Constant and consistent adjustment to each new moment’s challenge, each event or situation.
  4. Being flexible and intelligent as we may have to compensate as we create new patterns moving forward.

Key words:

FLEXIBLE, DYNAMIC, INTEGRAL, NATURAL, ELASTIC, DANCING, RESPONSIVE, RECEPTIVE, FREE, SPONTANEOUS, CREATIVE, CYCLIC…

Perhaps this is why we so look up to the artists in our culture. They actively practice living and being these attributes. That is what being an artist is about. That’s not to say that artist’s are perfect (remember!) but they do demonstrate how to be, for maximum joy and fulfilment on planet earth. The artist spends her time mimicking and maintaining the rhythms of growth and renewal as set out for us by the natural world.

NATURE! There is our muse. Keep an eye on the seasons and get a feel for the cyclic patterns. This is our blueprint for balance.