Do you ever have a writer, content follower, friend or family member who disappears off your normal orbit path? It’s not like they ghosted you, but like they ghosted their own existence in the universe?
Well, folks, confession, I am one of those peeps.
But not to worry, I haven’t ghosted or abandoned painting and writing, rather, I just haven’t been sharing it online!
I’m still asking that question myself.
I’m stuck. I have so many good things I’ve written and painted -or haven’t finished 😂- that I just can’t keep up!
I am overwhelmed with the next step to take to the extent that it feels like mental constipation! Or maybe just bottle-necked. Either way, a flow needs to happen!
There’s been a lot of life transition and observation even in the last month, not to mention this year, that I am realizing how important it is to keep simple the habits I want to keep -like writing and publishing here.
When confiding my feeling stuck to a new friend, the reply was heavy with wisdom and carried more weight than he may have known: “Maybe a break from it is in order? Clear your head and get a new view of it.”
When I heard that, my gut and my inner artist child breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes, Mom, that’s what we need and really want.” It was kinda like a parched flower garden finally getting a gentle, steady rainfall.
Ever heard of Jocko Willink’s advice “Detach from the situation?” He’s always saying that in the Jocko Podcast and in his and Leif Babin’s book, Extreme Ownership. Walk away for a minute. Change your perspective: in that way you can see more of the whole picture.
Then my ego, the inner critic, paid a visit later that evening. He spoke in bitter, caustic tones.
“You’re gonna take time off? You’re already behind! You’re failing according to your Jame’s Clear ideal!” [James Clear showed up on his email/website consistently every week for years to share his writing -and still does.]
Silence from me.
The inner artist child was sitting off on the sidelines of my mind, worriedly looking on at the confrontation, like a child anxiously watching his parents fight and expecting the worst.
“You really think you’re gonna come out ahead and get back to it? Then sneeringly: “You’re just going to fade and fizzle out…”
…and fail is what he didn’t say, but we both knew he meant it.
“You are afraid?” I asked. “Yes,” the inner critic admitted. And the wind emptied from his sails. He sagged.
And then a moment of grace brought a higher word of wisdom. (Maybe the Holy Spirit?) “Uh, Bridget, how often do students and teachers have breaks during the school year? And how long have you steadily worked on this project?”
Not counting blogging, I’d worked on the Camino de Immaculata nearly every day since January.
“Exactly,” the grave, gentle voice replied. “And hasn’t this been like a huge school project for you? You’re constantly learning, working, making things better, and trying to be faithful with communicating it. If kids and teachers get a at least a week off every quarter, than you deserve at least that.”
My body relaxed. I almost teared up with relief.
I called to mind times when I did leave tense situations: stepping outside my classroom to breathe deeply and pray quickly when patience was hard to manage, asking a friend if I could contact them later with a response, going on a long walk to “sort it out” [name that movie!], or leaving a painting when I was frustrated with it and coming back the next day. Ever single time, the result was better. Not perfect, but full of good will and grace and openness.
Rest assured, there have been [and probably will be] times when I refuse to listen to that inner prompt to detach….ohhhh, the poor victims of my wrath and bulldozing. Pride tolerates nothing to rear up against it. Stubborn, tunnel-visioned ego razes and throttles anything that resists it’s will.
I didn’t want that to happen to this project, much less anything else in my life.
Peace was in that suggestion of taking a break.
And so, my dear reader, I shall be taking an official two week break from this blog and one week from my Camino project starting Monday! I can’t wait to get back to you and share the fruit of the break and the thought gems I’ve collected over this month!
Best wishes till August!
If you’re interested in the idea of detaching from a situation, this book explains it pretty well -using stories from U.S. Navy Seals [how could you resist that?! 😄] (Note: when you click the below photo-links, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Click, and you’re the best! )
N.B. The above book I tried to read several times but couldn’t stay focused, [regardless of the Seals 😆]. If you’re like me, an audio version may help you ingest it and enjoy it more thoroughly!
Also, James Clear, whom I mentioned above, teaches you how to form habits that stick – And good habits = virtue! His motto, 1% better every day, keeps me crawling upwards!
Finally, did you catch the movie quote? Ghosts in the Darkness is the answer!