Lately, I have felt like I don’t have much of value to contribute. Like I have no business writing a blog, or being a teacher.
This is a common experience, and the common solution is to do whatever we can to not experience this kind of discomfort.
Here is a quote from the book When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron :
“When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.”
We can become so resistant to our own pain that we actually trap ourselves in the cycle of suffering, instead of moving through it.
So, when I realized I was trapped in the cycle, I put away the books, computer, notes.
The need to ‘fix it.’
I let myself feel this sense of not belonging.
I let the sadness introduce itself, say what it had to say, showed it (and myself) compassion, and then invited it to not stay.
Once the heavy mind clouds passed, I went out. I went out with a heart made tender, not harder, by my own suffering. For a tender heart is ready to receive.
I headed straight for the local arts fair, a pilgrimage always made this time of year.
While wandering through the stalls of pottery, paintings, silk clothing, blown glass, sculptures, handmade instruments, and other miracles of human creativity, my well began to fill again.
With hope. With a desire to get to work.
Then I met artist Caitlin Dundon, as I was gazing at one of her mixed media collages. We talked about color, and making living rooms cozy, and her methods of work. ( She can be found at One Heart Studio, or on twitter @oneheartstudio )
The collage came home with me, as a reminder that creativity comes in cycles.
We don’t have to be happy all of the time, but we can always be grateful. We may not always be ready to work, but we always have the power to make a choice.
I am grateful for my inspiration slump. Without it, I would not have had the opportunity to reaffirm what I value most.