It's been a few weeks since I downed the tutoring tools and put The Drawing Board to bed. Like the fabled Sleeping Beauty, she is waiting somewhere to be found by a prince (preferably a solvent one) who will give her the kiss of life and revive her ready for the happy ever after. We all know there is no prince, of course, I have to be my own prince, and I am far from solvent...
But, this isn't a blog about woes, I'm not complaining: I'm actually one of the lucky ones. I have a home with a garden. I'm not claustrophobic. I have my creativity. I'm not at all bored. I have my children. I'm not too lonely. I have my love on the end of a phone. I am supported.
But I have guilt - not just because an awful lot of people are contributing and sacrificing just now and I don't feel that I am - but there is a constant nagging feeling around my own existence. I should be producing, earning, pushing, gaining, adapting....
I resisted the urgent flurry to grab a new existence in Zoom, fighting against the mounting pressure to carry on with 'business as usual'. The saturation of offerings in those first days was overwhelming and instead of grabbing my coat and jumping on the zoom rocket, like the dynamic entrepreneurs clamouring for virtual space, I found myself hiding, shrinking back into my interior world. I'm still hiding now to be honest. I just couldn't bring myself to hold space for anyone outside of my family. To be frank, I'm realising the way I lived my life before this event wasn't right for me. Like an awful lot of people I am waking up to the realisation that I was squeezing a hand grenade (missing its pin) and if I let go it would explode.
A lot of folk are experiencing a sense of burgeoning creativity. I have that too. I am overflowing with ideas and a hunger to use materials long abandoned, to play with things and express constantly what this storm of chaos is raising and explore the juice in the unfamiliar channels of thoughts and feelings. And yet in the background is the issue that this is a luxury or an indulgence: I should be utilising this creativity and making work to sell or I should be teaching people how to make work and building my business, adapting to the new online world of Zoom. Even in this enforced state of 'retreat' I am struggling to let go of these judgements and just be. Does this sound familiar?
I'm lucky enough to be part of some initiatives that don't exist in a framework or context of 'business'.
With collaborators who honour truth, connection, integrity and understanding as success and not the familiar toxic elements of capitalism. There is so much to explore and discuss around this. There is a lot of hope that things will change and we will see a world emerge that aligns with our true values but that's maybe a chat for another time. I'm getting into rhetoric so I'll leave you here with one last thing.
Emma Capper messaged the SAP collective yesterday and I wanted to share it because it reassured me, gave me hope and reminded me of who I am, wisdom from just being where we need to be and trusting it. What to do? Do what feels good....
"I am starting to emerge more often now from the fog of emotions induced by this situation to feel some clarity, sense of purpose and direction. and in these moments of clarity it is our collaboration that is a shining light.. together we are stronger and we can do so much just being there for each other as a base line.
All things change and energy ebbs and flows in natural rhythms, sometimes one of us will be in a place to give and take action and others might be in a more introspective and resting place. It is important that we allow ourselves to honour that. I know I can easily guilt trip or beat myself up for not doing enough etc."