So I’ve been away for a bit. Guiding has sucked up my life for the past two to three weeks and of course what falls to the wayside but my creative explorations. The TAW process is extremely valuable but for the almighty high standards that I set for myself, I sacrifice that valuable process for others. Don’t get me wrong – the girls in the unit are worth it. The thank you’s and hugs and cards on Tuesday were a testament to me that the team did a good job. I will own that I did most of the work – I try very hard not to own that. I’m still not sure why. Maybe the pressure of success or fail all on my shoulders is just too much to take.
And how big are those shoulders anyway ? How much pressure am I willing to put on myself to succeed at something ? It seems that I am willing to sacrifice not only my creative voice but my health. The pressure of the past few weeks, not only Guides I have to add, has resulted in a lovely case of pre-TMJ. I am carrying so much stress because of my ridiculouly high standards that my jaw aches. Constantly. Painfully. No, I am not having a heart attack of which jaw pain is a symptom. What I am realizing though is that I seriously need to relax. The world will not end if I don’t get everything done “just right”.
And I came to this fabulous conclusion this morning as I stepped back in to taking care of myself creatively and did some morning page work. Oh my pretty pens, how I missed you so !
This is the back of my morning page scrapbook and my beloved pens. Lovely hues of purple and blue and orange that help me get my thoughts down in technicolor and make a noticeable difference in the clenching of my jaw. My high standards are a pain in the ass with my stationery equipment as well as I had to search for a couple of months to find pens that write smoothly, are cost effective and last a long time. See what I do to myself ? No common dollar store pens for me ! Ugh. However, having said that the satisfaction of pulling it all together is immeasureable. Here is the front of my MP book:
Who doesn’t love sock monkeys ? They are bright, colorful, cheeky and fun. They brighten my book of thought which I equate with a monkey climbing in my brain anyway. How fitting and satisfying it was to find these moneky stickers when of course nothing else in the entire damn sticker department would do… it was exhausting.
Maybe what my inner critic needs to do is find a friend who can shut her up ? Maybe give her a piece of her own medicine. Criticize how critical she is so she sees the folly of her ways and finally goes away. Hmmmm. The pressure of trying to live up to my expectations is making me want to go away so why not try the same technique on that unwanted visitor ? Maybe it’s time to see how big her shoulders are and what it will take to make her shrug those shoulders as she admits defeat. Maybe it’s time I admit that failure is not only a viable option but a necessary step on the way to success. Maybe my shoulders are big enough after all.