Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothing is Still Doing, Sort of

Beach at Dusk, close-up cropped
@2008 The Artist

I know, I know, where's the painting?  How is the bagpipe coming along?  When are you going to finish that thing already?  What's the problem, the hold up?   

Believe me, I ask myself these questions every day in the Artist's Way morning pages that I write.  The "censor" in the pages beats me up each day that I haven't been to visit the bagpipe watercolor.  I want to strangle that nasty "censor"!  She's mean and she keeps talking to me nagging.  Thank goodness for the morning pages or I'd hear her scratchy voice all day long.  I hear here right away when I awake and she doesn't stop bothering me until I write her words in my morning pages journal.  Then she gets quiet for the day.  Every day that I haven't played with that painting I hear her shooting off her mouth again.  Blah blah blah. Why this? Why that? How come? What's your problem? 

I could list all my excuses for avoiding this work, but they're all lame and you've heard it all before.  No one wants to hear someone complain.  Let's be real.  We can identify that there's a block, some negative energy floating around I'm allowing to get to me, stopping me from going there.  The trick is to get through the blocks, but when I think about it I get tired.  A couple of days ago, sorting through my stuff was helpful to move through to some creative activity.  That was good.  Being able to identify that there are blocks to begin with is a step in the right direction.  A quick artist date to the book store on Sunday was helpful just to be out in fresh air on a sunny day.  A small distraction away from the "doing".

But if I'm feeling drained and tired I'm just going to do nothing.  The Artist's Way says we creatives need time for nothing.  In fact, doing nothing is still doing.  It's just an active nothing, a spiritual nothing.  Nothing in the form of quiet, down time.  I can do nothing really well.  No knitting, no reading, no doodling, no TV, nothing.  The only something is anything repetitive like vacuuming, walking, mopping, or cooking, baking to relax the body and the mind.

Feel the feelings.  Say "yes" to the feelings and move on without guilt, judgement, or criticism. 

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