When the Shame, Sadness, Fear, and Pain Reach the Edge of Overwhelm: Deload
Today was a retreat to the womb day. I came across the term ‘deload’ connected to athletic training. It signals a time to step away from the weights, machines, & exercise regime, to regroup before falling into the flames of overwhelm. As I feel myself catapulted into the sadness, anger, intensity, and chaos of the world, I have to ‘deload’ for self survival. This means stepping away from news, social media, & updates and switching my focus to creativity. Making, doing, playing takes me back to simpler times when I didn’t instantaneously know everyone’s thoughts in the world. I’m no good to anyone, least of all myself, until I regain inner balance. Only then can I re-enter the world as a whole, sane, loving person again. Less thinking/hurting/anger, more doing.
I gave myself a challenge: a painting with all colors mixed to match the colors of a French Bouquet of Anniversary flowers. This became a meditation of a pink and blue sky with a Santa Fe landscape. I immersed myself into mixing experiments to make the right lavenders, blues, soft pinks, and golden tones, of the original sprigs, roses and sunflowers. Very Monet looking colors. Plus to me, skies are a dream of flying/angel/bird/dragon worlds of escapism, endless miles, and eternity. Skies heal and comfort me.
‘…most of us are both brave and afraid at the same moment, all day long.’ Brene’ Brown
Painting gets me back into the flow of energy, and away from the paralyzing darker emotions. I felt myself move away from the intensity, and into the lightness of being. When I’m in this happier place, I have something to offer, something to grow on, something to share. It lessens the anxiety about things I have no control over, and allows me to ease into the unplugged no time of pure creativity. This also allows Inspiration to enter into the world of infinite possibilities, the land of Big Dreams.
I also reinstated the Jar of Awesome. Many have spoken of this over the years, and it’s time for me to bring it back. Write any good, awesome, ‘fill you with happiness’ moments throughout the day on a slip of paper & place it into the jar. The next time turmoil whacks your emotions, dip into the jar to remind yourself of the goodness there. It’s always there, waiting for us to remember, to snap out of the hypnotic state of mass distraction, and to come back to ourselves.
So retreat to the womb of all creation when necessary. Get away from the land of the Inbox, the Tweet, the message, and ‘deload’ to let your mind wander, roam, and discover yourself again. Visit here when necessary. Go for a day or even for a few hours a day, every day. Give yourself permission to fly with the eagles and explore.
A great book about one mans way of cultivating empty space as a way of life for the creative process is The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin.