Do I Take A Break Or Push Through?
Hello my dear reader, How are you? It’s been a little while since I’ve written and as I settle into my writing nook at my still new-feeling home in LA, cuppa peppermint tea by my side, I feel like I’m reconnecting with a longtime friend I haven’t seen in too long. I’ve been spending more time pouring my heart and soul into songwriting these days than onto the page and now that I’m back here, I’m realizing how much I’ve missed it.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and one of my favourite creativity teachers, Julia Cameron, says that sometimes we need to "fill the well" of creativity by taking IN experiences so we have the necessary supply for our OUTput. In other words, sometimes, it’s ok to take a break from the doing so that we can be replenished and restored by the being. In this moment, after having not written for a couple of weeks for the first time in years (aside from my morning pages, of course), I’m appreciating the wisdom of this directive.
On the other end of the spectrum, Steven Pressfield, another expert on the subject of creativity and entrepreneurship, offers the perspective that "the more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel towards pursuing it". Taking this notion one step further, Pressfield suggests that to be truly prolific, productive and viable in any craft or field of endeavor, we have to show up consistently and stubbornly, even in the face of great resistance. This too, is true and I have spent my fair share of time practicing this commitment to my artistic aspirations and exercising the muscle of lifting my spirits to rise to the occasion on many a day when the task felt too heavy.
So which is it? Is it easy does it, listen to what feels good and go with the flow? Or is it suck it up and push through, even when it feels like we're rolling a boulder up a mountain?
It's both. It's balance. It’s each extreme and all that’s in between. It's taking a day to do absolutely nothing and it's also working morning til night and losing sleep to bring a passion project to completion. It’s being tuned into to what’s really going to serve us on a given particular day or at a particular point on our journey.
You might be thinking, “Well, that doesn’t really help me. I need a hard fast rule of what’s going to work.” I’m as guilty anyone of wanting a formula for success, that ONE tried and tested way that I can go about doing what I do that works across the board so I can just switch the auto-pilot on and cruise to my dreams without too much toiling. That would be nice, right?
But would it really? In my experience, I’ve learned that that’s not the way it goes and I’ve also come to the realization that I like it better that way. The dynamic nature of the journey, whether it’s our spiritual path, our creative path, in our career or our relationships, is what makes life interesting and juicy. The fact that we have to be present to what we’re feeling and navigate all the variables from our emotions to what’s going on around us is what puts the art into "following your heART" and mastering the “the ART of living”.
Life is ours to create and the more we approach our lives like our very own masterpieces, the more we get to experience the joy and excitement that come from living with spontaneity and variety, splashing paint on the canvas in one moment and using very precise, delicate strokes in the next.
So today, right now, in this moment. Check in with yourself. Go within and tune into to what you’re feeling and what would serve you best. Don’t let the noise in your mind cloud the clarity that the feeling in your heart is offering. In that stillness and that willingness to listen, you’ll know what’s just right for you. Go there often and you will always be guided to what the next right step is, whether it’s an action or a pause.
From this place, life can be experienced as a beautiful, seamless unfolding that carries us along like a magical piece of music with its rhythm, crescendos, decrescendos and its moments of rest and silence.