As someone who lives, what some call, an ‘unstructured’ life, which is to say; unconventional, or, ‘creative’ as kinder people say (though I claim not to live any kind of life tethered to a label) I often deal with voids. Maybe there is a better word to use when describing a lack of content but, mostly, it feels like a void in authentic content, so I suppose that’s what I’ll stick with for right now.
Some folk call it writers block but, I don’t get that. Which is not to say that I don’t experience that, I just don’t consider it a block. I’m not blocked, I write daily, I just have periods of time where what I write doesn’t feel authentic to share. I’m ok with that, mostly, since, I don’t use this blog to make money. So there is no pressure for me to angle anything toward an audience.
But, I’ll admit, these void periods can seem like they are trying to take me in a new direction and I battle whether I am just being ‘lazy’ or it really is a time for reflection and a new direction. I do believe we are in a period of mercury retrograde right now, so it would make sense that I am feeling the need to slow down and reflect.
If India taught me one thing, it is the power of slowing down. I was more productive and precise and authentic in everything I did when I was there. Mostly because I was forced to be more alert ( particularly as a woman traveling on her own) but also because I was given no choice but to slow down. India doesn’t rush in the same way we do in the west. It’s wild, it’s frenetic but it seems to move in circles rather than a constant surge forward.
And, since I’ve been back in the States, I’ve been rushing around a lot. Perhaps it’s the American way to feel like you have to say yes to everything but, I’ve been saying yes to everything and it started to burn me out and I began to falter. Faltering doesn’t feel cool.
I no longer fight these ‘void’ periods since I think there’s great value in not producing all the time and in taking periods of rest. It’s the kind of rest which is not meant to check out, but to check in.
That being said, that’s not what this little rant is about – though it could go anywhere at this point.
These times, when no thought, or idea, feels right to produce, are great times for gathering. Today, in my gathering I came across this poem, that’s really what this rant is all about.
There are so many lines I love. In every stanza a sentence, or phrase, jumps out at me. I am quite sure it is a popular poem that just slipped by me. We can’t all discover the same thing at the same time. Nothing would have an extended life if that were the case. Perhaps there is something here that resonates for you, I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Or, feel free to use the share buttons below and share it with your friends. It’s a nice reminder.
~ Max Erhmann
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.