Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ponder This

This is a shot of the booth at Cherrywood Art Fair last weekend where Ashley & I showed our work.  It is a very good and I hope we can do more together.  I really enjoy working with Ashley but I am tired and I've jumped right in  to rushing helter skelter getting ready for Christmas.  Because we will be traveling every thing has to be finished by Monday.  I am tired and frustrated because I don't have the energy I had when I was younger and my feelings about this LIMBO year are definitely effecting my state of mind.  Not only is all the art packed away but also all the Christmas decorations and that has made it difficult to feel festive.  

How is it that we can know rationally what is important and still not grasp it on a day to day basis? The following came today and is a good reminder of what really is important. I am now going to stop, count my blessings, and slow down.

Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit http://www.artistsuccess.com/.  The following is Leslie's story but I think many of us will identify with it.  I am working on slowing down.  I will probably accomplish more that way and I am sure I will enjoy the days more. 

A Bedtime Story
Leslie Riley

The flu took me unawares this month, landing me unexpectedly in bed for a full week without the energy or, more surprising, the interest in anything except rest. I have been sick before but it rarely kept me out of commission for more than a couple of days or, more to the point, away from the computer.

BF (before flu) I spent my days hurrying from one task to the next, juggling my time between my business, my family and my household, trying hard to get all the many important and necessary things taken care of each day. At least I thought they were important. Turns out, much to my surprise, they weren’t all that important and many certainly were not necessary. Nothing stopped working, nothing fell apart and I got along fine not reading the flood of emails that land in my inbox everyday.

What I realized is that all of this urgency and importance that I lived by existed only in my head - it was all self-imposed. To make a seasonally appropriate analogy, I think I may have started out each day as a tiny ball of snow - one that was on a downhill course, picking up uncontrollable speed and momentum and in danger of running out of control. More than anything, I think the flu (and I have my doubts it was a true flu), was a blessing.

I am actually thankful for that bed-time. I came through it a calmer, wiser woman. Here are the changes I have made so far:

Unsubscribed from dozens of emails – things I thought I needed to know in order to go about my days. I don’t miss them.

Meditate daily – spend 30 minutes unplugged. I have learned to love the stillness.

Move at a slower pace – no need to run up and down stairs anymore.

Don't beat myself up if something doesn’t get done. EVERYTHING can wait till tomorrow.

Stopped worrying. That’s a big one. To stop worrying also means to live in the moment. Qué será, sera. Whatever will be, will be. (Remember Doris Day? I used to sing that song all the time when I was little.)

Lesson learned? Life was not speeding by, I was speeding through life! My engine was revving and I didn’t even know it. I thought it was normal. I’ll admit, I knew it was happening, but never to the extent that I am aware of it now.

So what’s this got to do with you? You tell me. How many things are you involved in that you feel can’t (or won’t) function without you? Are you always hurrying from one thing to the next? Do you feel you can never quite catch up with your life? I place myself here at Artist Success s as an expert and a role model and yet I have lived a life I would not recommend for anyone. Let me recommend this AF (after flu) one now. Let this be a bedtime story for you to ponder.

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