Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mental Margarita for July 16, 2008

I realize I'm jumping around in telling the story of our leaving Phoenix and our adventure to Mexico and up the western coast of the US. I don't have to be organized anymore! Well, that's not really true. You can take the girl out of organizing, but... It's just that as I'm going back and remembering, things get stirred up. So I guess I'm kind of honoring the process and letting it happen in the order it wants, rather than imposing my will on it.

So this week's Mental Margarita brings up for me one of the unforeseen blessings of the journey, which is my ability to see. Even before we chose this path, I used to bug Raymond by pointing stuff out. "Look at that tree! Check out the sunset! Wow, a bug!" (He said that my constant badgering for him to look at stuff gave him the opportunity to work through his knee-jerk response, which was, "Don't tell me what to do!" He now acknowledges me for showing him a world he wouldn't have otherwise seen. Similarly, his natural peace and ease in the world gives me the space to slow down and take it in.)

Our life in Phoenix was good. Very good. And very full. We had too many commitments; demands on our time and energy. Like many people, we were constantly having to manage our schedules. I had to schedule in down time for myself. There's nothing wrong with living this way, but for me personally, there was no space for creativity. No space to just be. To just see. Releasing not only our stuff, but also the schedule we had, granted us both enormous freedom. Too much freedom at first, perhaps, but it was a good detox period from such fullness.

So this week's magnolia is a perfect example of something I may have seen before, but hurriedly. Perfunctorily. I would have missed the yellow and black center all together. Capturing an image in the camera allows me to see it more fully. To see things I wouldn't have seen before. And in all the moving around we've done, it helps me learn a new area. I can identity the flora around me in a way I never was able to before, which connects me to the place.

So let's say you're not ready to chuck it all. How do you make space in your life for your creativity?

Or if you are considering releasing some or even all of it to go on an adventure, what are you grappling with? Please share your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

Hello Karen
your blog and thoughts continue to draw me in...love your writings and photos....as I read your thoughts, I wonder about pace....the pace of our lives and how we are in control of it....although we lose that control from outside forces, if we allow that to happen...you took the control back....when it comes to pace, I think some are scard of a slower pace, of not having things to do. It scares us if we are not busy, it means we are not wanted or needed if a person is not secure in areas of their lives...so to slow down, to control the pace for me, means that I am secure or feel safe enough to not do it all, be everwhere, to allow time for white space to create something new or allow new opportunities to appear and develop...what do you think?


Patricia said...

I'm preparing for my first overseas trip. My inaugural trip will begin in Abu Dhabi (I don't mess around) followed by a tour through France and Spain. This will be a HUGE adventure for me. While I won't have to chuck it all away to go on the trip, I realize that there are plenty of things to give up for me to experience the trip. For example, I do not want to be so overwhelmed by my surroundings that I become dumbfounded and miss experiencing the whole thing. So I started mentally rehearsing the trip in my head. I look at pictures of the hotel where I'll be staying and I imagine myself walking through the lobby to check in. I imagine the cab ride from the airport. How many dhirams do I tip? It'll be chilly in France and Spain that time of year. My head knows it will be cold and that I will need a sweater or a jacket but I'm actually imagining what it will be like to be cold in Paris. I see myself standing in the lobby of the Louvre with a runny nose. Hot chocolat s’il vous plaĆ®t?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to see what there is to see and thank you for helping me find my "voice."

karen ussery said...

Rena, I think you're right. "Producing = worthiness" is an issue I've long dealt with. And even when we first got to Mexico and didn't have lot going on, I felt better when I could point to something I'd accomplished that day. (Heck, I still do that, but I've widened my definition of accomplishment to include NOT doing stuff.) Also, being constantly busy can be a way not to confront issues in life, as well as what you said, to allow space for something new to come up. So ya! I think you're on to something. Thanks for deepening the conversation.