Friday, February 10, 2012
Feet on the ground, peering into that pocket
Longtime readers of this blog may have noticed a certain energy in my writing over the past month or so. Certainly a few friends who know me through this space have commented on it. You seem to be in a good space. I was.
There’s this thing that I do in response to strong and uncomfortable emotions. I keep busy. Extremely busy. Maniacally busy. Tidying. Artmaking. Organising.
In this case, it was the fallout from Christmas, and a long stretch of rather hot weather that had me a bothered and restless.
It had me enthusiastically finishing art projects that had been languishing for months. Signing up for new ones. Declaring intentions to develop new skills. Visualising and manifesting. Tidying, clearing, acquiring. Setting deadlines, feasible and artificial. Rarely taking a moment to sit down.
A bit on the exhausting side, for sure. But nothing inherently bad. And certainly a deliciously rewarding productive time.
Not exactly sustainable.
And also, if I am going to be honest: avoiding.
It's a curious thing: avoidance through doing things that make me feel good, rather than the traditional formula of avoidance through doing things that make me feel bad (e.g. numbing out with food or alcohol).
I also found there was a lot of validation for what I was doing, on one level at least. I mean, one doesn't have to look very far to find exhortations and encouragements for women to carve out time for their creative pursuits... though, that said, they rarely advocate avoiding things that are important!
Yet here I was, avoiding. Avoiding sitting down. Sitting with my family. Sitting with my feelings. Sitting and peering into that little pocket of sadness I’d been assiduously ignoring.
And, of course, when I visited my therapist on Monday after a break for a few weeks, that’s exactly what she invited me to do.
It’s fair to say that the sheen has rubbed off my lively little life since then.
And those closest to me noticed and were a little put out (apt to blame the therapist: you were doing really well until you went to see her). And I have to confess, I was a little annoyed: it felt so good, while it lasted! Like a sugar rush. A crazy sweet life.
But this space where I am now, it’s actually not so bad.
I still feel good. Grounded. This energy feels more natural, more real, more sustainable. I’ve been making a real effort to sit, every day for even just a few moments, with courage and openness and curiosity with that thing I’d been avoiding. Some days it’s easy. Others it feels I’m trying to tango with a cheese grater. Mostly, it feels rewarding. It feels right.
But that’s life, isn’t it?