Spring is here and a lot of us are really busting our asses (including nature) to produce–busy bees, caffeinated, technology enabled, probably over-stimulated, probably overworked and a bit worn out. Are we on the same page?
I’ve always marveled at the people who do all the crazy things we do during the day and then come home and play the piano, paint, craft, dance, write poetry, tinker. Where do they get all this energy? – I’d wonder. Typically, when my work load gets very heavy and my stress peaks the only thing I feel like doing at the end of the day is getting horizontal like a russet potato and watching some Netflix.
But then I recently started taking this figure drawing class, which was super challenging but totally exhilarating. I was pissed at it, I felt like I was wasting my time, I hated it, I loved it, I felt uselessly terrible. I knew I had to continue. So I figured, if I forced myself to draw a little bit each evening some of the internal fighting would settle a little bit.
So one evening a few weeks back I said that I would start this drawing thing – anything – the dog sleeping, our potted plant, Drew programming…just a little bit of drawing. I felt so tired. Totally zonked. Brain fried. Ready to be a russet potato – but I had agreed to do just a little bit of drawing. So I picked up my pencil and my paper and just started drawing. And something weird happened: my energy came back. Relaxed, rejuvenated, recharged- ready for more evening. What happened??!! After all these years the secret cult of creative people were holding onto a big secret – our creative work actually rejuvenate us.
And I can only venture to guess why. So much of our fatigue is stress (apart from those sleep deprived mothers of toddlers). When we can stop the tape, focus, and let our creative soul shine, we actually can create space to re-energize. We can put our day and mostly petty stresses into perspective and then we can start to love our whole life.
My mom recently started playing the piano again and joined a band. And now she thinks about her music constantly. She wakes up thinking about it. All the things that were stressing her out and gnawing at her attention are not so bad anymore because she gets to play music and she has fallen in love with it.
If you don’t already know this secret- please try it for yourself. It will change your life.