Whenever someone asks how I am and the response, "Frantic!" comes out without thinking about it, it's a sure sign of trouble. Over the past several days it has become increasingly clear that my commitments have once again taken over the amount of actual time and energy available to give to them. Not quite to the red light stage of coming to a screeching stop, but to the amber light stage of warning and slowing down.
One thing I am grateful to learn right now is that the spring and summer are the busy seasons for artists. There are contests and fairs, workshops and festivals, gallery strolls and group shows. What riches! I have been very blessed this year as the work I am doing is affirmed by others and receiving a broader viewing. The amount of legwork and artistic work that accompany such acceptance is both exhausting and exciting.
As with all seasons of great busyness, it's tempting to say yes to each new challenging opportunity because I think I'd be missing out on a wonderful adventure if I were to say no to anything. If I said no to entering a piece in a particular show, would I get the opportunity to do it the next time? If I chose not to teach a workshop, would I ever be asked again? If I dropped my summer intensive design class to go on vacation with my husband, would I be able to reschedule it during the regular semester?
Well, I don't really know. But I do know that the things that are the most important to me are the ones which I want to invest with my most pure spiritual energy. Put another way, to focus sufficiently to generate the finest creative force possible, it means drawing back in those areas which don't really reflect my calling.
An older friend of mine let me know today that she won't be attending my gallery stroll opening this Friday due to her decision to put her energy this week into healing a low-grade infection while she rests and recovers. The wisdom of acting in her own best interests struck me as prudent counsel if one has ears to hear. Reflecting on our shared disappointment, I appreciated that she is being true to her calling to care well for herself and once again modeling good discernment for me. This is something she has often shared with me over lunches together.
In response and thankfulness for the reminder, when I took my break for lunch today I took a real break. I got out one of my grandmother's luncheon plates and made myself the fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad you see above. As I was preparing the food, I thought over some of the things I had accomplished this morning and some of the things I still have to do this week. I was more peaceful than ever about saying no to a few things I truly do enjoy and would have enjoyed, with the promise to myself that if they are truly important, I will find other opportunities to engage in them.
As I sat and ate my lunch, I made an attempt to be really present to that moment, instead of juggling a forkful over the computer keys. What a refreshing thing to do!
You deserve a break today...we all do. What will you do for yours?