For instance, this winter I laid low., very low, lots of resting and napping to get me through the cold winter and lack of light. On sunny days, I sometimes laid on the rug with the cat and dog, soaking up the light. I made a lot of art, collages and SoulCollage(R), but no lesson plans.
My coach had suggested to look at my calendar and schedule a year in advance, and notice in which parts I felt most inspired and energetic, and when I usually felt low energy. Up until now, I used to begin teaching classes every January and April following the school year. But this winter, I realized I'd be tired after the holidays and put it off.
And put it off, and put it off.
I spent the months of January til March recuperating, as well as dancing and singing in a Broadway show, but I didn't teach any classes. (I did lead my first long distance retreat, in Costa Rica, which was fun & challenging). But I kept thinking my energy would come back, and it finally did - once the play was over, end of March!
In some ways, this has been a Year of Living Selfishly, by which I mean, soulfully listening in to my Self to see what need comes up first - what my body, heart and soul need. (and since my kids are studying out of town, it's mostly 'me time' anyway). It's taken a lot of patience, (and I am not by nature very patient) but I'm learning to listen in. Actually, I keep thinking I've found the "next thing", the next project, the ideas on the back burner come forward, and then go right back to simmer mode. It's been hard to not dig up the roots and stir the earth around the little shoots to pull them up out of the ground.
I did, however, come up with a Seasonal Retreat plan. Instead of deciding last minute, I've actually got a women's spring retreat http://jenniferboire.com/event/sacred-self-care-retreat/, booked for April 30 and one for August 6 (Summer Retreat). The Fall and Winter retreats will be end of October and end of January. 4 Seasons, 4 Retreats.
What have I learned about myself in this process? that there's no point pushing things - I'm a Type A person who likes to organize and plan ahead - but this is not a full-time job for me, there is no where to punch in. I am my own boss and I can adjust my schedule. What I do need, at this venerable age of 61, is to envision my work as a cycle that feeds me as well as feeding other women - all the Creative Circle classes and retreats I've lead in the last 8-10 years, have been very fulfilling. But as a teacher and facilitator, sometimes I'm on the "leading" side of things and not receiving as much as I need to.
I'm just musing here, but it is slowly become clearer. I journal every morning, and that helps me see patterns. I practice collage in my Art Journal and SoulCollage(R). I make myself mini-retreats to check in on a weekly basis and ask for guidance. Having a creative life is not a linear thing, and surprisingly, I'm just learning that. The spiral of life, and of life energy, moves in and out, around and back. The cycle of the year, of the months and the moon, is connected to my energy cycles and even sleep cycles.
So it begins with listening in. It begins with circling my self, with keen awareness. Sitting down and paying attention, hearing the still small voice that guides me so subtly. Making a friend, yes, befriending that soul energy that is flowing underneath my list of 'to do's and my activities. Changing gears at the last minute, if it feels right to.
Mapping and making art with Cat Caracelo has been very nurturing and nourishing. thanks to this artful process, I'm gaining new insights.
Spring Energy is definitely here!