What started out as a year that I wanted to work on Healing and Patience, quickly turned into a year of Rest and Presence. I can’t say that every year, I start out thinking I am going to do everything a certain way and it just continues to go my way. I also, can’t say that I am unhappy with the results.
Every year, I choose a word to follow and I make it the theme of my year. For I’d say a handful of years, I have followed it to a T. I quickly jump into a goal, theme, focus, and I stick to it no matter the pain that it might be causing me. And I would say that a lot of people think that this exercise can be very business oriented or goal-focused, but I find it to just aides me in seeking awareness and matters of the heart and soul.
Each of us have our seasons. Mine tend to fall in alignment with Nature. I harvest my goals in August like many farmers do with crops, I rest and rejuvenate in Autumn and Winter, and I Spring with ideas in the spring and summertime. It’s just how I have always worked and it’s the advice that I give to many artists. Please, find awareness in your seasons.
But you know, I’d say that after the great deal of years doing these really intense times of growing, learning, and jumping into projects, my soul, my heart, and my body just wanted to rest. I quickly noticed that I had been less interested in inspiring myself. I was even becoming disinterested with art. Things that excited me about creating were almost chore-like. I had lost inspiration in it. But for me, losing inspiration just is a message to get lost. And that’s just what I did.
I spent quality weekends and weeks with close friends and explored different social circles. I read a bunch of books, joined a book club, took a week to explore a random city, and even had a house party. In the beginning of the year, I found myself trying to excuse myself for the fun I was having. Telling myself that I needed a reason to celebrate and constantly saying out loud, “I graduated from college, cheers!” I was letting loose and laughing. I was doing silly things with my family. I went on a beer tour with my best friend where we just ended up discovering that we are obsessed with ‘Goses' and a great night cap is a margarita. Do you like going on beer tours? Check out this app called Untappd. I had a blast (still have a blast) looking up the different micro-brews and seeing what other people have said about it. It’s even more fun when you are on a beer tour and while your Bestie is trying to get you to go get gigantic matching tattoos, you look up the next beer place that you guys can hop into. lol. But by the time I got to November, I was more accepting of the fun and realized how little I had integrated in previous years to see and be present in the fun. (not that it wasn’t there- just my mind wasn’t paying attention to it)
I spent quality time in Nature with close friends and family. I hiked up Mt. Washington, Mt. Marcy, Cadillac Mountain. I discovered what I liked about the North East of the United States. The views alone from the mountains were just breathtaking. The Appalachian mountains are 1.2 billion years old and in places where the mountains have spent a great deal transforming, you can feel the energy. The two mountains were absolutely from different moments in history. The textures, greenery, and vibes of each mountain had it’s own personality. While Mt. Washington was almost like a granite field, Mt. Marcy was almost like a molten lava field. To the top of Mt. Washington’s is also 6,288 elevation. Marcy was a little shorter at 5,344. But, you can find any and all inspiration when you get your body moving, stand on top of some of the oldest mountains, and nearly touch the clouds. My Dad came along for the ride and it was even more cool to chat with him and bond over things like me falling off the edge of some of the boulders. lol. He kept calling me “Slider” and hey, maybe that’ll be my mountain name :P
I rested. I spent quality time with myself. When people talk about self care as if it is all bath bubbles, reading, and yoga. I laugh. Not everyone sees self care in that manner. Matters of love language, mine is Quality Time. By spending quality time alone, with my friends, with my family, and remaining fully present in these experiences and adventures, I was able to feel myself recharging and getting over creative burnout. A soul sister of mine and I visited with each other a couple months ago and she asked me, “What are you up to?” and I at first felt guilty for not having a long intense mind bending list of game changing things I was doing, but then I just responded with “I am chilling.” lol. She was at first as shocked as I was, but then she recommended that show Sabrina and empathized. She knew where I was at. I bought myself a new blanket for the couch and I recharged.
As I sat down today and I pleasurably took a moment to think about all the things that I have done this year, my focus had been on all the things that are inspiring me, recharging me, and refilling my infrastructure. I would say I took this year to recover from creative burnout. I didn’t realize that I was even recovering from creative burnout until I read that article from Create! Magazine and aligned with everything that Ekaterina said in the article. Creative burnout is real and although, I might have thought about being patient this year, I think really being nothing this year was meaningful to my path.
The thing that I want to always remind artists and others, though, is that although, you might be resting. Those seeds you planted will STILL bloom.
The seeds that I had planted before taking a year rest came into bloom this year.
I got a new job. I graduated with a Professional Writing and Psychology Degree from Old Dominion University and I landed a job applying Organizational Psychology to real things in real work. I have inspired nearly everyone at my job to believe in magic and even put crystals on their desk! They believe in the work I am doing and hopefully (fingers crossed), I am making a positive impact. I have inserted my values, my beliefs, my personality, and my energy into the business world and it HAS truly done some good.
I was the Featured Artist in the Alexandria Times to present my work done in the community. I had Volunteered at Del Ray Artisans for a good amount of years and was short co-curator for the beginning show of the season at Del Ray called Sensorium. I was able to promote the work of over 52 artists and got people to come out, buy art, support our artistic community, and I got to do it through collaboration, and fun.
I completed a fluid series of works for my show at Greenspring Gardens where I emphasized the mother and daughter perception on the lens of the garden.
The City of Alexandria bought a painting of mine for their collection, which hangs up in public city establishment’s regularly.
I published my first poetry book with 333 copies sold. Representation by Barnes and Noble and Amazon and overall, amazing support from the community.
These things made 2018 magical. I was able to take my unicorn theories. my unicorn values, faith, and pixie dust and apply them to practical things in my life all while still taking a rest. And now I feel more inspired than EVER to continue on my journey.
If you’re burnt out, don’t give up, just honor your resting phase. It counts. It matters. It must be celebrated.
And if you are burn out, don’t lose hope. You are doing a wonderful job creating the life that you want to live. Just keep at it, but go and define that hope, again. Don’t quit where you are headed just because you need to stop and look up at the clouds for a minute. Breathe in all that is around you, it is worth it. I promise.