I took the picture above last Wednesday on the west coast. It reminds me of how a change in perspective can create a different mood. I woke up this morning with a very different landscape as I live in the Chicago area and winter is in full force. I admit I was in a funk, and did what I do when I feel low. I create my own seat in the Garden by connecting with my favorite people, cuddling with my dog, listening to music, practicing yoga, journaling and eating good food. One of the songs I heard was this beautiful tune by Ásgeir Trausti:
Far up in the north, the nights can be so dark. Biting cold takes its toll on the body. Grýla casts her spell in the depths of the mind, damaging happiness and the joy of life. Hope and faith, don’t you fail me now. Hope and faith, come and warm my heart. Hope and faith, fill me up with strength. Hope and faith, shine down with bright light. Hope and faith, give me back my joy. Hope and faith, in the dark of night.
Learning to accept uncomfortable feelings while practicing new behaviors strengthens our ability to do the hard things necessary to create. Making things or doing something new can sometimes bring up feelings of vulnerability. Engaging in something novel can quietly trigger negative beliefs of scarcity, worth and ability, wreaking havoc in reaching goals. Uncomfortable feelings and negative beliefs often surface when trying something for the first time. It can be helpful to journal about feelings and beliefs that that may come up. Think of a time in your life when you tried something new. What was that like for you?
…stay as light and unburdened as possible… -Elizabeth Gilbert
How does one stay “light and unburdened”? For some of us, this may not be a challenge. I’ve heard that there are some people in this world that wake up smiling. I don’t know of any. Okay, maybe my mom wakes up full of light.
Me? Nope. The moment I reach consciousness, demanding thoughts swirl around in my head space. I have this internal taskmaster that starts to dole out chores and responsibilities before my feet hit the ground, and then I have this part of me that whines about having to do all of those things. I’ve found that there is an art to practicing living a “light and unburdened” life. Key words here are “art” and “practicing”. Here are some of the things I create light and freedom in my life:
“The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you”. -Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear about a Creative Force that is imbued in everything and in us. It is the Big Magic behind sunsets, puppies, works of art, folding laundry and making love. It is swirling around and through, inviting us to be noticed and intentional. This Creative Force wants us to be its form and has infinite ways of showing up. What wants to be created through you?