I confessed to you in yesterday’s blog post I had one of the largest blocks of my lifetime last Fall after having a near-death experience. It wasn’t only the almost dying that shut down my creative will to make things, it was the unsupported recovery.
In the perfect world, I would have had numerous caretakers hovering nearby ready and able to be at my beck and call but in reality it was Emma and me… and since I never trained Emma to “adult” – my mom never trained me, I just became an adult from about age eleven and increasing as I grew older – so there I sat in my corner recliner doing nothing except walking to the restroom back to my chair and walking to the kitchen and making myself not to terribly healthy meals and back to my chairs and at the end of the day, I would either sleep in the chair or wander to my bedroom.
I had friends swing by and take me places, doing the best they could, but no one really knew what my life was like inside my house.
I wasn’t about to tell them because that would make me a creative failure, a wannabe, a nothing. After almost dying, I felt so lackluster that being “a-nothing” was where I hovered the most.
I would look at the computer, but wouldn’t use it. I wouldn’t go on the internet and scroll, I would look at the turned-off screen, not interacting with the keys or watching videos or anything.
I would hold my notebook in my lap, but I wouldn’t move my pencils or pens or crayons.
In retrospect, there were two necessities that were far from my experience. I needed an intention and I needed someone to give me a bit of a believing push.
I needed someone to say “I believe in you. Your work is important to the world! It’s time to love and live an inspiring question because you love the people in this world and sister, they love you, too.”
I existed through November and early December, normally exciting times for me. I slowly started feeling better.
It wasn’t until a December sunrise shortly before I went to visit my daughter Katherine and her husband, Donald, that my creative will started to move through me with any sort of consistency.
What made this shift happen? I decided to live and love a question while keeping my heart open to the forward flow of intention:
“What is it that I used to do that made me feel better that might make me feel better now?
Some possibilities that rose up were good, but I couldn’t do them without the help of others. I love karaoke, but my lungs and voice didn’t feel ready. I knew my recovery would take at least six months. I would adore being on stage again, but same challenge – PLUS I would need to have a director who really wanted to cast me. I couldn’t imagine that happening anytime soon.
I chose writing haiku which combined writing – which I have always loved – with haiku – which was a very short poem and therefore, an easy idea to put into motion.
I also knew if I failed, it wouldn’t be heartbreaking because… it is only a short poem once a day. Besides, no one would be paying very close attention. I made it even easier because I said “Must complete in the morning,” which meant I didn’t have a long time to think about how much I really didn’t WANT to write a haiku.
I didn’t have time to think about how much I didn’t want to do anything but sit alone in a corner.
After a week which included quite a bit of family travel which is wonderful and stressful and tense, I realized my question, “What will help me feel better?” changed everything when I loved the question, was patient with myself in allowing the response to find its way to me, and I took a very small baby step every day.
Interesting to note it was that same week when I insisted I was going to visit my parents in Flagstaff sometime around my birthday, an idea and an intention I had been holding for over a year but other people’s needs and my own lack of planning continued to interfere with the actual implementation of my plan.
I will forever be grateful I visited my parents in the middle of February. It was only a few weeks later a simple visit with them would be impossible due to Covid-19.
A simple question: “What would make me feel better?” and a contemplation of which activities were do-able yet also a bit of an inspiring stretch, has changed my life in ways I never expected.
It is important to make considerations as to what you are willing to…. do or be or accept or let go of in order to feel better or do better or be better. You may have to let go of your perfectionism or be willing to get up earlier or be willing to drink more water or take something out of your schedule or you might have to be willing to make people angry.
In the long run, none of those small annoyances – or what may feel wildly uncomfortable now – will compare to how great you will feel by consistently aiming for what it is that will make you feel better. You have the wisdom within you right now to determine what that is.
I believe in you. I look forward to seeing your “what’s next” with a little extra nudge of intention added to your experience.
Even with the challenges of 2020, I am more alive and more connected and more compelled to make a difference than I have been in years. Often during my visioning work, I imagine 5 or 10 or 500 or 25,000 people feeling better, too. I imagine the impact that would have on our planet.
Do you have five minutes to write in response to this prompt and others like it? It’s all waiting for you to simply say yes. Thank you for reading.
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Julie JordanScott, the Creative Life Midwife, is a writer, a poet performer, a Creativity Coach, A Social Media Whiz and a Mother of three. One of her greatest joys include loving people into their greatness they just aren’t quite able to realize yet.
Julie is also one of the Founders of Bridge to the New Year. Access the visionary prompst from the mid-2020 in #Refresh2020 to reflect, connect, intend and taking passionate action to create a truly remarkable rest of 2020.