I am writing from the little bubble that has become my world. I do write from home it’s just that like many people I don’t have a choice about it anymore. I have been trying to reorganize my life to accommodate this and just like many I’m sure, having some difficulties. My friend and housemate is working from 9 to 5 online so I have both The Ginger Gentleman and Junior during the day.
There are phases of creativity and I have been in the chaos stage, yes that’s really a stage. It is when we invoke a swirl of ideas to find a starting point. This is what our chaos stage looks like. I think the problem is I have needed to step out of the chaos stage, in order to move forward with this plan. Before Covid-19 hit I was consistently using the app “Calm” to direct my meditation practice, it was helping me release anxieties and fears in order to see the bigger picture.
I did a meditation last night guided by Tamara Levitt the “head of mindfulness “at Calm. As fate would have it she was interviewed by the CBC about her work and shared a simple breathing practice. It helps! When you complete a meditation the app generates a #dailycalm quote, one from a notable person in health and wellness or the literary world etc.
This morning it was written by Tamara saying “it’s when we step back from a single brushstroke, that we can see the whole painting.”
What is interesting is that on the rarer-than-I would-like-occasion when I paint, I still do this. I climb up on my chair to get a better perspective of what the small things I’m creating on the canvas look like altogether. I then was seized by the need to paint as well as get out of bed and start the day differently. I got up and had some breakfast and did my yoga all the while thinking about how being in a pandemic is exactly the same situation to step back from.
The chaos stage is vital but when you can’t step out of it, it is too overwhelming. It takes us a while because it is surrendering the need to control everything in exchange for controlling one thing at a time. This is practicing mindfulness because it puts you in the present, the place where we do have control. Like if you are concentrating so hard on the fact that there are bars on the window you completely miss the little door that is completely open. It is hard to be objective about your own situation in a time of uncertainty.
I realized I needed to make it easier on myself and pick one thing. Not that the dishes can’t be done and that toys will not be picked up, as they damn well will be. What I mean is that because I literally don’t have time to do all of these things every day I have to pick a theme for the day and today it’s going to be self-expression. For me when the feeling of frustration and suffocation comes up that is how my necessity to create manifests.
I need to surrender to it, I can’t keep thinking about the things I can’t do. Like I can’t go to the coffee shop and write, I can’t go to the yoga studio and take a class, I can’t go to body blitz to take care of the aches and pains that are surfacing, as I remember what it’s like to physically take care of a toddler all day. Staring at the bars never opens them.
So today I am going to surrender to the tide. I will endeavour to be kinder to myself and keep things simple. We will clean the dishes, we will pick up the toys, we will eat a healthy meal and we will play outside, at the appropriate social distance from our neighbours. However, when the time comes for Junior to nap there are some other things that will happen.
Today I will write the things I want to write, to the extent that I am able. I will encourage my son to do the journal entry his amazing teacher set for the class on the online platform they have been using. If I have time to paint I will paint, if I have time to read and drink a tea I will read and drink a tea. Above all no matter what I do or do not do I will surrender to what I am able. I will not put pressure on myself to accomplish more. That is the plan and even if it is not executed perfectly it is the intention that helps.
For a more in depth discussion on mindfullness catch her video and her great way to practice it, wherever your bubble might be. Good luck and take care!