Monday, May 29, 2017

Lessons from Stress in Living a Whole-hearted Life

I often compare my jumping from project to project to a busy bee going from flower to flower. This month it has been overwhelming and my normal, lighthearted go-with-the-moment and spontaneity has been crushed by trying to do too much all at once. I reached the breaking point and even my body was saying, “Enough!” 

osteospermum, rose magic
The big yearly project was completed on time and I am … recovering. I still feel mentally exhausted and my health is affected. I really let stress strangle me and various issues triggered adding to the anxiety. Finally, my part of the work on the summer guide came to an end and I can now relax a little and think. 

I’m still putting together the broken pieces of my shattered-ness. There are reasons I let myself reach the breaking point. It is often when I’ve totally crashed and burned, that the phoenix rises (not that I think of myself as a phoenix), and this last week was one of those times where I not only mentally collapsed, I felt stomped into the ground. (Not someone else’s doing, just my own stuff creating havoc within me.)

But I find this life totally fascinating and whenever I reach a breakthrough, I am excited. For instance, the latest was today, in rushing around to get the laundry done, I paused for a drink of water and happened to see one of my affirmation cards tacked to the wall. “I am focused on the present joy of creativity.”

Dahlia, midi pinta
Well, duh! How could I have missed seeing that the past few weeks? I try to read my affirmations every day. That’s why I put these cards where I see them all the time. But I also believe that things happen for a reason. I had to go through this experience. I had to reach that brokenness to get a better understanding of some of these life lessons. (Other revelations came up during the past few weeks, too – I’m only talking about today in this writing.)

One of the biggest issues adding to the recent stress is guilt that I am gardening instead of painting. Yes, it is a conscious choice and something drives me, just as I’m driven when I spend time at the easel. Working in the garden is my present joy of creativity. How can I find fault with that? Beautiful, colorful flowers make me happy. Creating new gardens and digging in the dirt bring me joy. Planting pretty annuals in flower boxes add bright splashes of color against the too-much green of trees and bushes or the dull white of the house. 
If gardening is my current focus and it’s bringing me much happiness, why should I feel bad about that?

Yesterday the affirmation card that caught my eye was “Creating beauty for myself creates beauty for others.” That is true about my art work and the flower gardens. My walls are adorned with drawings, paintings, and photographs. Friends and neighbors comment on how beautiful my yard is looking. Plus, I post photos every day on Facebook in my attempt to balance positiveness with the too much negativity that’s out there these days.

Creating beauty and focusing on the joy of creativity is part of living the whole-hearted life, and I can’t begin to describe how amazing that feels when I allow myself to be OK to do so. Let’s all focus on beauty and creativity and push away the guilt that we are not doing something else. 

No comments:

Post a Comment