A magical quality of Nature that I have observed is the ability of a tree to adapt- bend toward the sun, flex its leaves toward the fresh air, even grow roots over a home to find it’s way to stability. This stretchy, bendy resilience and strength and intelligence is a kind of wisdom that can’t be underestimated.
We can all benefit from more of the resilience of trees. The wisdom to shift our course and chart new paths in the face of roadblocks and obstacles, changes of plans and deadlines, all with a grace and openness that is epic.
I’ve found myself in need of more resilience more times than I can count because I like to know how things will go. I like predictability. I like habits. I like order.
Are you the same?
That love of order is so genius in many ways, but it can be a major obstacle in the face of life throwing us daily curveballs. Small things that toss us off in a new direction create stress only when we’re committed to “the way we want it to go.”
Creativity can be the energy to free you of this stress, and it can help perform that magic act I like to talk about— turning obstacles into gifts.
Roll with things.
What I have learned most from the absolutely iconic artists I have had the pleasure of spending lots of time with in both work and life is that happy accidents are a form of a gift- a lightning bolt of inspiration that can help us rise up to greater heights. The spilled paint that creates a breakthrough in a painting, the late night working where you stumble upon a momento, a thought or hear a song that changes everything. The schedule hat gets shifted so that you have no time to think and can only have time to show up and bring your best of what you’ve got.
This is not often welcome in our daily lives when it immediately triggers stress.
One suggestion is to flow instead. Breathe instead of reacting. Pause instead of firing off what’s wrong.
Ok, so the paint spilled. What can I do with this paint? Ok, so I missed this flight, how can this be an opportunity? I have this deadline I didn’t expect so how can this shape my project in a better way?
Practice making art and you’ll have greater perspective on the unexpected.
One thing I suggest everyone does is something free flowing in creativity. Paint. Dance. Make improvisational music. Sit down and don’t stand up until you’ve finished. Or stand up and don’t sit down until you’ve finished. Let yourself make any kind of thing you feel and shape it from there.
It’s not a waste of time in my experience to practice flowing in this way- it’s a major way to start building a new way of thinking and feeling and moving with the moment.
One other thing I suggest often is getting into a groove of space making. Give yourself time- tiny breaks or a big time if you need it- every day, week, as often as you can. Making space in your schedule and your mind creates more space to stretch and flow. I know, you are busy. I am right there with you. But, when I’m at a loss for words if my schedule gets thrown off by a few hours or find myself in a race or a panic, I know I need to recalibrate my own space to make lots more of it.
Making space in your days allows you to bounce back. It gives you room to be. It takes the pressure off.
If you are under pressure, chances are you are not as creative as you could be. So, you are leaving a lot of genius ideas and actions on the table, sort of wasted.
Take off the pressure with extra time to do very little. Don’t fill it with more stuff to see and do— let it be.
One more suggestion if you’re needing to work on your flexibility is to work on your flexibility in fun ways!
Yoga, stretches and all sorts of simple movement and dance that flows is a great way to get your energy systems in a humm rather than rigidity. Rigid bodies are often mirrors of tense minds and emotions. I have learned so much from the softness message of Strala yoga and the flexible philosophies of the arts.
The major message— it’s all about how we choose to flow. Our mind may want to scream, “Whoa, this is not supposed to be happening and I am in trouble!” but a few deep breaths when you oversleep, miss the subway, find yourself in a logjam of problems to solve or have an incredible amount of stuff built up to handle can stop the “fight or flight” panic.
Stopping things there creates an opening. From there, you can observe.
Then you can flow, finding ways to make whatever is happening exactly what is meant to be happening. It’s way easier when your emotions are more chill.
From that space of presence, you’ll have your energy systems intact and you are far more likely to find the genius in whatever has come your way. Those wild and busy times full of curveballs can be a catalyst.
Breathe deep and flow…!!!
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