Actually, I was going to write this post on my other blog, Belle Author. I pondered the artist’s path which has its ups and downs; productive and non-productive periods. And then, I realized that every path works this way. And sometimes when we feel that we are not making progress, we develop through a gestation period.
1). Similar to planets that retrograde one to three times a year, we too have our retrograde periods. And it’s wonderful when our retrogrades coincide with the planets’ retrogrades.
This is a time of taking stock, pausing, reflecting, and resting. I think of Colette Baron Reid’s Resting Tree card. When we rest, we charge our batteries and this allows us to stay healthy while we pursue our dreams.
2). Inaction and laziness are not the same things. And running around getting stuff done, making the calls, or doing the work does not add up if the timing is off. Inaction leaves us poised for our next move. We conserve our energy as a master martial artist.
I understand the tendency to equate action with getting stuff done or getting ahead on the ladder. However, keeping busy is an ego trick that runs us ragged. Then we unleash our monkey mind and we wonder how we’re measuring up or if we are making the grade. This leads to anxiety and depression.
3). Stop competing with others. Some people say that competition brings out the best in people. I disagree. I have witnessed that competition brings out pettiness, spite, resentment, and arrogance. Competition is based on lack and limitation. People who still follow this patriarchal behavior (think divide and conquer), suffer from low self-esteem if they lose the competition. They live their lives like a rabbit chasing a carrot on a stick. They push themselves to their limits and often fall into a time of disgrace where they beat themselves up.
I prefer the cooperative model where people share with one another, honor each other, and lift each other up. Think of a world based on cooperation rather than the current dog-eat-dog model.
4). While it’s true that an artist creates art and that even doing a bit of art every day keeps the momentum going, we don’t need to produce gallery shows, plays, music, or novels every year. Life happens and events force us to take time out. A family tragedy or a personal tragedy throw us off track. But we can do a little something each day to keep us on track. And bless the small acts. Sometimes our greatest victories are in our personal life even if we get derailed from our career path for a time.
5). Meditate every day for at least five minutes. And spend another ten minutes on self-reflection by writing in a journal. And say affirmations each day too then release negative thoughts that come up during that time. This helps us stay mindful.