Enjoy the process, don’t rush it

Enjoy the process, don’t rush it

After all my uncertainty about revealing such personal information in my last article I have been overwhelmed by the responses I’ve received here and on my personal Facebook page. Thank you. I knew deep down that sharing my fears and vulnerabilities would serve me personally and would be helpful to others. But, nevertheless I was a little afraid to go there. In retrospect, it was the right thing as it helped me gain some clarity and it resonated with so many people.

First Rothko ..no glaze

I’ve been thinking about one of the comments, from a midlife woman, who related to my reference to being Stuck. Her fear of moving backwards instead of forward popped up this morning as I sat down to journal. Over the last week or so I have a swirl of ideas and impulses kicking around in my head. Yesterday I woke up at 5am thinking about coloring. I imagined a Rothko-like drawing with all my new colors (and yes, that’s Rothko above, not me). Why? I have no idea, but I decided to honor the feeling and, while the coffee brewed, I got out my colored pencils and doodled in my daily work/life journal.

I was honoring my intuition.

The problem I’m having is trying to impose some sort of order on this process. I keep wanting to see a visible sign of progress…and as I told my reader;

“For me, the challenge has come when I tried to measure progress–how do I do that? In small increments, or over the course of a year? It’s kinda like the ‘are we there yet’ thing. What’s moving forward and what’s stasis?”

What about writing down about the moving forward–what would be a tell-tale sign? What do you want it to look like when you’re moving forward? Is there a goal, a desired state, something concrete that would help you see the forward motion? Create the reality you want to experience.”

I have goals; I check off the list and note accomplishments. I just don’t know of a check list for “getting my shit together”…again.

I think what’s often needed in the ‘falling apart and putting it back together’ phase is to be present to the process. To rush in and fix things isn’t productive. I don’t want to squelch what ever might be bubbling in there. I have to work hard right now to stay on track and do the required work while letting the creative side of me play with crayons and work on a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle. That’s my ‘off the clock’ time.

I view the process as similar to that of bread-making—-you mix the yeast, warm water and a sprinkling of sugar and let it sit in a warm space. The mixture bubbles and transform from a murky liquid to a thick living slurry. It needs nurturing–the right temperature and a good environment in which to do its thing. It will happen. It can’t be rushed. And, the resulting mixture gives form and shape to the final product.

We have to differentiate between being stuck and in a formative place. To distinguish slow progress from sliding backwards. It may not look like you’re “doing” anything but that is for you to decide, not an outside observer.  This creative muddle is a place to be honored and nurtured.

What’s the hurry? I figure I’ve got another 25-30 years to go–I can afford to spend the morning coloring. What about you? What do you do to honor your creative needs? How do you sit with transformation and allow the process to unfold in its own time?

  • Carol Cassara
    Posted at 09:47h, 04 December Reply

    We do have a need to measure and yet some things move more slowly…part of it is sitting back and savoring the moment….

    • Walker
      Posted at 13:37h, 04 December Reply

      Yes, Carol. And we’ve become such a “now, now” kind of society that sitting back to savor isn’t cultivated as it should be-in my opinion.

  • Editor (Retired)
    Posted at 14:14h, 04 December Reply

    It’s possible to be too introspective. To overthink. It’s good sometimes to DO something, anything, rather than THINK. Alternate thinking and doing, or think and do simultaneously.

    I personally can’t think things through in a short time. If I try, I simply become obsessive. I usually find clarity only after thinking things through over a long period of time.

    • Walker
      Posted at 15:35h, 04 December Reply

      I guess so-it varies don’t you think? I sometimes think I should do more thinking and slow down my pace a little. It’s easy to let ‘chatter’ of all sorts get in the way of useful introspection.

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