I had a “lightbulb moment” this morning in my creative thinking time: the USE IT OR LOSE IT CHALLENGE…
We are in a life-altering state right now, as a GLOBE.
I want you think of this period as your “Frida Kahlo time”. Frida Kahlo, one of the greatest artists of all time, in my opinion, possibly would never have painted her great works and given us the gifts of her soul’s pain in the form of the art that she did. Her life took a hard left turn after a bus accident and landed her in bed, in deep pain, for extended periods of time. Did she throw away that time? No. Likely she spent much time wallowing and sad and angry at her situation…but who wouldn’t? Medical advancements were not amazing in Mexico City in the mid-1920s. It is documented that she was in incredible pain but she channeled her desire to improve and BECOME a true artist while in bed in a body cast. I share this from Wikipedia:
“Painting became a way for Kahlo to explore questions of identity and existence, and she later stated that the accident and the isolating recovery period made her desire ‘to begin again, painting things just as [she] saw them with [her] own eyes and nothing more.’ ”
She is described as “self-taught”. Does this not blow your socks off? (If you have never seen her art, it’s powerful, frightening, captivating and repelling, all at the same time. Her whole life’s story is. You can lose hours reading about it! But finish reading this blogpost first!)
Another example is Wesley Hamilton who was shot when he was running around in tough crowds and was rendered a permanent paraplegic…consequently he established the “Disabled but not really” movement and his mission to empower others in similar circumstances to focus on health and fitness. He truly and firmly believes that his injury that landed him forever in a wheelchair was the BEST THING that ever happened to him. The trajectory of his life was altered radically, but he turned that into a positive, not only for himself, but for countless others.
And take Drew Lynch, after getting hit in the throat with a baseball and his vocal cords forever rendered with a severe stutter, became a STAND UP COMEDIAN following his deeply depressed recovery. Now, he shares that it was the BEST THING to happen to him, because he knows, in retrospect, that he was a 1st class jerk. He treated others terribly. It took a completely life-altering injury to shine a light on himself, and he transformed that experience lesson to now bring laughter to countless others: laughter mostly at his own expense!
My husband, a super-smart man with a big brain and talent for decades, just last week, finally wrote an article that had been in him waiting to be unleashed as soon as he could find time, which he had none of in his crazy travel schedule. Out it came, with ease! Thank you, quarantine.
You have so many options as to how you’re going to deal with this time. And we have no idea how much time it is!
There are active and passive methods. You can just “ride it out” and get up every day and do your regular stuff like exercise, eat well, work, and wait for the world to give you the next instructions. That is not a bad tactic, if you are content with that. That is the passive method, and you can look back on this time of change and note, “I kept on keeping on” and I assure you, there is nothing wrong with that.
You can also 100% commit to running around your house cleaning up all the messes that others are making, and your house will look better for that. That is your choice if you make it. No one is making you do that, so accept that you are choosing that route. (And you can un-choose that FYI)
Or, and this is my wish for you, you can be open to EXPANDING YOURSELF in this time of change! You have way more time at home and so much less running around either on kids’ schedules, or social schedules, or travel schedules. Remember that freight train hamster wheel? (It will be back…)
What program(s) or group(s) did you sign up for, paid MONEY for, and have barely ever even logged in? What were you hoping to gain from that? It’s very common to envision that improved you, sign up, and NEVER follow up. How about now?? NOW???
Please view this time as a gift with which you have choice. I can’t stress this enough: DO NOT beat yourself up for any past choices or money spent. JUST LOG IN. Sit there and learn what you told yourself you wanted, and likely paid money for. GO. Expand yourself.
Personally, I am walking around my dirty, dirty house with its piles of laundry and sink of dishes and doing stuff I CHOOSE to do (like writing!) Funnily, I don’t find the laundry and dishes as high on my list as they used to be, because we are all home. It will get done. It’s liberating. I may go on a 30-minute cleaning spree, or I might not. I will follow my energy!
People, I am an ENFP and I take it seriously: I am an “inspirer” and I find it my mission to nudge you towards your creativity and saying “yay me” often.
So, what’s it going to be? Just be OPEN. Be STILL. Receive your energy and use it where it needs to be used! It’s a gift. NOW. Allow it to land on you.
Cheers! You’ve got this.