This week, I wanted to write something uplifting. After all it’s spring, most of us our celebrating some form of Easter or Passover, and in Southern California we have had a break in the rain. Yet, although I try to focus on the positive, I find myself vibrating with a new kind of fear. As I make my way through my days, I am afraid to look at the news that regularly pings on my cell phone– and I’m afraid not to.
I went to a party this weekend held in an airplane museum in the desert. The theme was “retro” which meant come in a costume that represented any decade in the 1900’s. I wore my 1980’s black jumpsuit with padded shoulders and a popped collar. I looked, as I did back then, much like the dimensions of a yield sign.
I already have a headache and it’s only December 8th. The season, and the anxiety that seems to go with it, reminds me of an important formula I will need to keep in mind. There is the normal stress of an experience, or time of year, and then there is what we glob on to it. The “globing on” is what causes most of our anxiety.
One of my favorite posts from last year and worth repeating.
I am not a huge fan of Halloween although admittedly I enjoy the candy. If I wish to be horrified I watch the news and would prefer that to a full-grown vampire, or blood dripping corpse at my door. Yet, what redeems this night for me each year is one little girl.
I lost my cell phone this week. I was panicked at first. Surely people were texting me. There were important emails I couldn’t check, and what if somebody after texting and emailing actually tried to call. I was, for a moment in time, unreachable.
Then something happened inside of me. The yearning I felt for instant communication turned into a ferocious appetite for soft swirl yogurt. Suddenly, I didn’t care about who might be calling, texting or emailing, all I cared about was finding the closest frozen yogurt bar with the greatest variety of flavors. That’s when I realized. Yep, I’m addicted. Like most American’s in a recent study, I too check my cell phone at least 46 times a day.
I found my phone several hours later, but by the time I did, I was more saddened than relieved. Right after the soft swirl yogurt, I drove to my daughter’s house and we had a touching conversation without interruptions. Two things I would not have done if I had my cell phone.
Wishing you a digital break this week and the joy of a real conversation.
“Write drunk and edit sober,” was Ernest Hemingway’s advice to aspiring writers. In its literal interpretation, it doesn’t work all that well for me. However, the sentiment behind it I find to be highly effective.
At the heart of the message is a reminder to loosen up. To allow ourselves to be creative without restrictions. Without form. To relinquish ourselves to the greater energies that want to release themselves from our confines. From our self-imposed sense of smallness.
When we bring in structure too soon, we limit possibilities. We take over and try to control an outcome before what wants to emerge has had a chance to be seen. Before we really get to the core of our message, our solutions, our best creative endeavors. So in the spirit of Hemingway, let life intoxicate you this week and do something wildly creative. Don’t worry about what it looks like. You can always edit later.
At times a reader shares something inspired by my blog that takes the sentiment to a whole new level. Such was the case a few weeks ago when I wrote about the resilient spirits shining through the amputee musician I met in Cambodia.
The reader brought the story home when she shared that her work colleagues have been collecting ring tabs from soda cans. When they collect 1000 tabs they send the metal through the Lion’s Club to Cambodia where it is melted down and made into a prosthetic limb.
Something we typically throw away, combined with raising awareness of a need and a little ingenuity can make a big difference in the lives of others. If your work environment does not have a social impact program, it might be a very cool career move to start one.