Campfire: Strong tea, permission and a plan

campfiretagforposts      Good morning!

So here we are, it is morning and there is snow and wind and a day stretching ahead with a 2 year old cooped up in a small apartment and… OY.  Oh well, even when it is not ideal, even when there is not much space, creativity needs to anyway!

When I begin, I try to take a moment to gather myself in the present moment. I try to breathe a few times, slowly, being aware of the breath moving into my body and then, slowly, moving out. I try to feel my feet on the floor, feel my shoulders move away from my ears, and try to imagine being ready for whatever is to come.

Today, being ready-ish feels a bit like sitting at the top of a slide, maybe a bit too steep and a bit too long… nothing  *bad* but an awareness of pushing off into the unknown.

As adults, we so rarely let ourselves be this new, begin something, be willing to be bad at it, or really bad at it, or fail even.

Today I will be trying some new things: Strumming the guitar. I already suck at it. That is firmly established so there is no where to go but up. I have anti-rhythm, but I am hopeful I will suck slightly less after practicing. I will deaden the strings with a bandana, and let myself channel my inner Ted Nugent (only liberal, and female, and… oh never mind), my inner Jimi (never mind, he was not a strummer), my inner Janice… my own inner strummer.  My plan is not to practice until I am in tears. But to practice, move on, do other things, circle back. I have noticed that taking time between sessions allows my brain to do something magical. For my muscles to do something magical. For something to settle in and down in a way that makes the next time easier. So I will practice, and then I will move on and make space for the offline magic to happen.

I will also be trying pastels.

I already know I don’t have the “right” paper. I don’t have any idea what I am doing. I will use my non dominant hand so I will have low expectations. My goal is simply to try. I am not thinking of this or that as my goal of what to capture, my intention is simply to explore.

I will also try being more patient as interruptions happen, as power flickers (if I vanish, feel free to assume power is out and please, go on without me, I’ll catch up)…

I have some other things to try too if I get bogged down or discouraged. Trying to learn a tiny bit of sign language, for example.

I encourage you to do the same.

Have some strong tea, have a plan, give yourself permission to try but also to walk away, be gentle with yourself, be kind, and move on from trying when it is time to let offline magic happen.  Have other things to move to for a while, and then…. don’t be afraid to try again later on in the day.

I’ll be checking in at around 1, then again around 7. You know, unless the power is out.

Comments are more than welcome– please let me know what you’re trying and how things feel for you!

Trying new things can be so liberating, and so great for our brains (like brain yoga) but it can also feel a bit like being on top of that slide– unknown territory, and a bit unnerving for those of us who are used to feeling semi-competent at least much of the time.

Good luck!

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About Kate

... recognizing there is beauty and value in mended things. www.kate-johnson.com I also blog about parenting after infertility at www.icantwhistle.com
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2 Responses to Campfire: Strong tea, permission and a plan

  1. Susan says:

    Good Morning! This weekend, I am hunkering down for some writing. I am so much more comfortable behind a camera lens, or behind the scenes, just observing.
    So, blogging/writing and finding my tone or voice is what I am focusing on this weekend.
    What a great weekend for a campfire and some tea!
    Thank you, Kate!

    • Kate says:

      Hi Susan! So happy you are here!!! You’re a great writer, and it will be such a gift to have your voice find a larger audience. xox Kate

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