Saturday, October 20, 2012

128/365: Changing with the Seasons

Today I made:
the gloom lift...

I've been in a funk the last month or so, feeling a sense of detachment and loss. Couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I attributed it to the imbalance caused by a more hectic schedule, the stress of taking on new responsibilities and the lack of time for contemplation and art making. Surprise, surprise- I have had a hard time adjusting to these changes. I spend an exorbitant amount of time in a weird limbo of uneasy feelings when my "normal" gets disrupted, stumbling my way painfully slowly to getting a grip on new situations and circumstances. I know this about myself and suppose this could be the case for many of us faced with curve balls that life throws our way. Even if we see the change coming, like I did, it's still often an uncomfortable adjustment. I figured I could remedy this some by spending time reassessing my schedule. Problem is, I haven't had the focus or energy to do so. Even when the inspiration is there, the motivation to move forward is not.
There's something more to it.

I think I might have gotten a clue today. I was walking my pup after a morning rain, jumping over puddles and breathing the crisp air. I had finally gotten a good night's sleep and had set aside the day for thinking, both of which I've been desperately needing. Because my spirit was able to look on the bright side, I was more aware of the beauty of the day. I noticed this leaf lying among the yellow ones. I marveled at its color and instantly thought of the pink-orange hue that found its way into my painting last night, the one that sprung from a need to create to move past the frustration. I was reminded of one of the many reasons why I love the Fall. Suddenly, something lifted. I felt more connected to the moment, and the many other moments that have been building this season for the last month started to make more sense. I have to stop lamenting about the loss of the warm long days, easy-going lifestyle and creative freedom that filled my June, July and August. I have to shift with the seasons and find a way to make this new rhythm of life work for me. It was as if, in that moment, I made my peace with the loss of summer and the joy I always find there. I let go of what was and accepted what is, and the gloom seemed to lift instantly. This is what I needed to get a better perspective over my current situation.

So it turns out, when the summer went and turned to autumn (against my wishes) it threw me all off kilter. I don't exactly live in the harshest of climates for season changes, but that doesn't seem to matter. I think it's entirely possible that all this time, my spirit has been reacting to the subtle changes of the seasons, and the change in light and temperature that come with them. I am so very much like a plant in this way. Looking back, I can see a pattern. This happens every year at the shift of most seasons, and somehow always manages to catch me off guard. It doesn't last long, but it's enough to throw me off balance and affect my perspective, which totally zaps my energy and motivation to act on inspirations. I become unsettled, unfocused and impatient. This is not prime time for creativity and that just adds to the frustration. Until now, I hadn't really made the connection, so it was easy to beat myself up for being in a funky mood, thinking I should have built better coping skills for small life changes by now. But this idea of being so connected to the rhythms of natural cycles kind of fascinates me and encourages me to be more gentle with myself to let the inspiration and energy find their way back into my days. Now I can get back to the happy business of celebrating a new season and new undertakings. I'm looking forward to working on my painting again tonight and I know this discovery will feed my inspiration for it.

The big dreams I'm learning to be brave for, the adjustments I'm having to make to have more room for my creative life, they are all part of the shift to becoming an artist and part of the journey of a life by design. Now I understand, this is the season for leaving the warmth, comfort and ease that I've gotten so used to and for stepping out into the chilly unknown. It's not going to be all sunny skies from here, but I'll be rewarded with glorious colors, from Autumn and an artful life.

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