Eat For Stillness

779. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I am exhausted today. I spurned all work and cleaned the studio. I prepared canvases. I stayed away from sharp objects and power tools. I made sure not to cross the street until I looked three times. During days of exhaustion, personal safety is the best I can do.

During my cleaning frenzy I cleared space in the studio. I made space. I created space. I needed space and that meant that things had to go. I made a rule that if I hadn’t touched the book or the tool for a year, I had to get rid of it. I got rid of a lot of stuff! Had you walked by my studio today and mentioned that you liked a painting, it would have gone home with you. I’d have given you two paintings because the spaciousness – the feeling of space – was energizing in my exhaustion.

This evening, Megan shook her finger at me for not taking good care of myself. Yesterday I forgot to eat. It happens when I get focused and busy. It won’t surprise you to learn that lack of food and exhaustion are connected. Making space and eating are both great remedies for my low energy. Megan read to me a passage from a book. The passage was about listening. According to the book listening is about stillness. Inner chatter disrupts listening. Her message was about taking care of myself inside and out. I am not listening to what I need. I am not listening to what my body is telling me. She was prompting me to return to my practice of stillness with a reminder that stillness inside is impossible if I am not caring for myself outside, not eating well, not resting appropriately.

Now that I’ve created spaciousness I intend to regain my stillness. To that end, I’m going in search of some very big, very hot, very yummy food.

Make A Nap

735. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Today is one of those post travel days. I’m exhausted. I avoid the mirror because my face feels like the face of a Basset Hound: droopy, blood shot eyes. My synapses are lethargic. Like half-hearted trapeze artists they leap but do not reach for the catcher. My thoughts fall to the safety net where they bob and refuse to get up. “This feels nice,” they say as they relax into the net, smacking their thought-lips while slipping into a nap. “I’ll be there in a minute,” they call to me from a sleep state, words slurred and intention clear (you are on your own without synapses so find something useful to do).

I used to call these “no-power-tools” days – as I appreciate my digits and I know better than to get near blades when my thoughts are asleep on the job. When I wear the mask of the Basset Hound I usually spend the day filing papers. I am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of guy so I have no expectation of finding anything once it is filed. Since I am on the road and away from my files and my paper stacks I had no truly safe activity to keep me busy.

I managed to take Bodhi the dog for a walk. I couldn’t find his leash so I used my belt, which sounded like a good idea until I realized that using my belt for a leash created a whole new set of problems. While Bodhi proudly wore my belt I struggled to keep my pants up. We looked like a clown and his dog. I have the same problem going through security at airports, especially now that they make you raise your hands in the full body scanner. Three seconds is an eternity when your pants are edging down. With this knowledge in my memory bank you’d think that I would have solved my leash problem another way.

With my belt safely restored to my pants I watched Bodhi settle in for a snooze on the floor. Although his face is Australian Shepherd and not Basset Hound, Bodhi has a legitimate dogface; he was in no way resisting his impulse to nap. He wasn’t resisting his need to sleep. As I watched the natural wisdom of this special dog I wondered why I needed an excuse to nap. Humans are funny animals; rather than follow the simple impulse, rather than do the thing our bodies are telling us to do we need to create a reason. Bodhi snored and I remembered a quote from Jarod Kintz. He wrote, “I made a nap this afternoon. I made it out of two pillows, a bed, a sheet, a blanket, and exhaustion.” Perfect.

You’ll never guess what I made this afternoon.