In the creative process, letting one's self go quiet and perhaps even get bored is at times necessary for new ideas to bubble forth. As creatives, we live in unusual times. We have tools, techniques and technologies to help us share our vision with the world while at the same time many of us are also wanting to simplify, reconnect with nature and get back to our roots, away from the hustle and bustle of urban demands.
One of the challenges I had while working on my book that is about to be published, was the amount of time required to be on the computer. Here I was writing about being inspired by nature and all the tactile nuances that come from connecting with the elements yet I was typing away on a laptop inside my home for most of that period of time. The romantic notion of an author sitting in a remote cabin in the woods with an old typewriter is not a very realistic portrayal of the current methods of publishing. I found myself torn as I was so excited and inspired to be working on this incredible project yet I longed to be experiencing summer at the same time.
Within myself I've always had a strong duality. One side of me is very driven, full of ideas with lots of things I want to create, very happy to roll up my sleeves and work hard with many projects on the go that I love bringing to fruition. For example, you cannot keep a brick-and-mortar shop alive if you're not devoted to it. Especially when you feature one-of-a-kind treasures that you actually go out and find yourself! Though I don't really consider it work because it gets me out into the countryside and as my book reveals treasure hunting is truly one of my most favourite past times.
Yet I also have a sensitive spirit and physical self that needs to unwind, be nurtured and restored by nature. Walk to the sea. Pick berries. Soak up sunshine and witness sunsets.
So how do we carve out this time? How do we say 'I'm leaving all those obligations and tasks and lists of things yet undone behind?'
My strategy is to get as much resolved as I can before going away so that I feel my energy is free to be present. Admittedly this might mean I push and overdo it a little before an escape, but that facilitates a gentle unfolding of relaxation once I arrive to my destination. I know there might be a better strategy for managing this but this seems to be what works for my personality. Then I tried to surrender as much as I can.
We can't control ferry schedules or weather patterns. We can't control surprises, upsets and changes in plans. It's best if we don't even try to control ourselves.
So this is how I am writing this blog post. I am standing in a field in my bikini and I hear a mixture of ravens and crows in the air. I am speaking into my iPhone using Siri and will edit later. I've given myself enough time to settle in and let all my discombobulated feelings rise and fall. I observed a mother dear and her two spotted fawns bounding across the field earlier this morning. I've eaten blackberries picked fresh from the vine and apples picked fresh from the tree.
I watched my girlfriend hang laundry on the line and pick tomatoes from her garden. And now I contemplate balance.
Sometimes we can't fully embrace all that we've accomplished until we stop the doing. It's hard to let go of striving. I could not fathom how much work creating a book would be! And such a learning experience! Not only about books and publishing and editing and editors but also about myself. It has been a labor of love and a dream come true so it's been something I happily pushed through to get to the other side. I told the editor I thought this book would change my life, and indeed it already has in ways I could not have anticipated.
I am thankful that I took a few moments in between writing and file management and meetings and deadlines to find eagle feathers, heart shaped pebbles and observe the call of birds soaring freely in the sky.