Saturday, February 7, 2009

Secret # 5- Committing to Self-Focus

Let me preface this post by saying... I'm not quite sure how I want to respond to this week's 12 Secrets chapter. I haven't been able to clearly sort out my thoughts or ideas -- especially on the subjects of patriarchy and social conditioning of women-- although the wheels in my mind have been churning around and around. I may end up with more than one post on this chapter, check back and see. But for now...

Thoughts on selfishness:

Do I feel selfish about my creativity? Oh boy, do I ever! The cost for supplies, the space my work and supplies take up, not to mention the time. I look at everything and I think, this is so self-indulgent. This is only worth it if you're making money off of it. You are wasting valuable time and money. You're cluttering up the house with all this stuff. You should have a real job, you should be cleaning the house, you should be doing something of real value.

And yet... and yet...

There is such a draw to create. The way I feel when I am sitting at my work desk creating something is often invaluable-- nothing else makes me feel so content, nothing else fills the space inside me. Having battled major depression all my life, being able to step outside of that sucking muck into a golden halo of inner peace is worth the cost of clay and stamps and tools. The joy that creating brings me is something I cannot put a value upon. The creation process is a lure, a sweet siren that beckons, a cloak of joy that wraps around and enfolds me. How can I go back to feeling the way I did before? Why would I want to?

Is this selfish? Or is it self-preservation?

Thoughts on focus:

This week, I have been very focused on creating. I have been claying up a storm! Rune sets, pendants, lentil beads, tube beads... also taking care of some loose ends business wise, restocking at a shop and reassessing the best wares for the atmosphere there. Taking photos of pieces, preparing to add more to my Etsy store. I've been quite productive this week and it feels very good.

Would that all my days were this productive. Some days it is so hard to focus. I can't remember what I wanted to accomplish. I sit at my desk and nothing turns out right. Wasted supplies, wasted time. Guilt creeps in.

I'm a list maker, often I have to be, to aid my faulty memory. I don't know if its the affects of meds or depression or age or what is called fibromyalgia "fog"-- probably a combination of all of the above, but I really struggle with my memory. I can lie in bed at night and review all I want to accomplish the next day, and the next day, completely have no idea what I want or need to get done, or if I remember then I can't seem to focus on what I need to do.

I like it best when I have a To Do list, a set of goals, little deadlines in mind. It helps me organize and prioritize. It helps me remember. It helps me stay motivated. I like to see things crossed off my list. It feeds my sense of accomplishment. I need to be better about doing these things when I'm in a good space so that when I'm in a bad space I already have these tools at hand and in the works. Good habits for bad days.

So, a list:
  • glaze Chinese calligraphy pendants
  • string CC necklaces
  • 2 more herbal rune sets: heather & mint, lavender & rosemary
  • sand and buff runes
  • sand and buff lentil beads
  • string lentil bead necklaces
  • make scarab beetles & varnish
  • string scarab necklaces
  • finish journal cover decoration
  • take rune sets & CC/scarab necklaces to WB
  • more photos of finished pieces for Etsy
  • trip to PO with items to figure out postage for Etsy shipping
  • enter Etsy listings
  • egg-shaped goddesses
  • goddess vessels
What's on your list to focus on this week?


Pearl Maple said...

Congrats on deciding to post, that is a tricky subject. My copy of the book arrived yesterday and reading fast to catch up with everyone. Lots of thinks to think about but guess it is all about deciding what to do and doing it. Thanks for sharing.

Olivia said...

I do the same, Into the Dawn. I think of the cost of supplies, the studio (which would otherwise be an office for me and husband to share, now he has a corner), and the time. Ditto it being only worth it if I can recapture some of the expense. And the real job stuff too.

Yet I feel the same way. I do feel as though I'm getting away with something, even after reading Chapter 5. It's a feeling, not anything rational.

Thank you for sharing this. Blessings,


D said...

Lists are very helpful in staying on track with my goals and checking in with myself. It also feels really good to cross things off the list.

Diana said...

It's a tough line to cross when guilt takes nips at us. But by fulfilling your creative needs bring happiness which spreads to family and friends - right? so it IS good in the end. I like lists too. because there is so much going on, that some things slip from my mind and I wonder what it was that I was going to do. Lists are our friends. :)

dolci said...

Thank you, Into the Dawn. Your comments on this reading ring so true. Self-focus is a tricky thing. So much pushes and pulls on our consciousness. Keeping lists is an excellent resource to help keep those other stimuli in control.

Genie Sea said...

It's not selfishness; it's self-fulfillment. I admire how you go for it, despite the challenges. :)

Today, it's very hard for me to focus. I am completing things in a haze. Rest is on my list :)

magicalmuse said...

Don't remind me of the cost. Ahhh. :) I realized early last year that I can sort of stick to the things that I really love and that also don't cost that much either instead of trying to figure out supplies cost, product, hours, etc. I like the idea of the to-do list though because it's sometimes the only way I get things done. I love what's on your agenda!

KathrynAntyr said...

I too am a list person. I love, love, love my lists. This week I am going to be brave and call and make an appointment to see a dentist. This is a big one for me. I know this is the right time as I can type it without crying. I'm also planning a fun party for Valentine's day on my Soul Journal blog. I have both scary and fun things on my list.

Great observations from the chapter. I hope you learn soon that you deserve all of the art supplies and cool stuff ~ you are an artist and a creator.

intothedawn said...

PEARL MAPLE~ Wow, you had to wait a long time for your book to arrive! Lots to read and think about, hope you don't rush so you can enjoy absorb it all.

OLIVIA~ Exactly! Even though you feel the same, I'm glad to hear you're not letting it stop you from creating!

D~ I think that's my favorite part-- crossing things off!

DIANA~ That's what I want to believe-- that by being fulfilled myself, I can spread joy to others.

DOLCI~ its a constant struggle with my conscience, but most of the time, I think I'm winning. :)

GENIE SEA~ Oh, I hate those days, functioning in a haze-- hope you can enjoy a luxurious nap!

MAGICAL MUSE~ I try to purchase most of my supplies when they are on sale (especially clay) or with a coupon, but it still adds up over time...

KATHRYN ANTYR~ I don't blame you about the dentist! Hope you can cross that off your list early, so you can enjoy the fun stuff on your list for the rest of the week!

Shawn Borror said...

i resonated with the part about self focus or feeling selfish...i hear you about the supplies and time and more supplies...and with me i'm not even an artist, i just like to muck around and try my hand at i hear you...which is it? anyway thanks for posting it!!

Lissa said...

Last week I was in a creative frenzy, for the past 3 nights I have fallen asleep before 9pm. This weekend I was feeling guilty about the dirty tub, not having a real job & not being organized. Your post meant so much to me & if you have more thoughts on this chapter, I look forward to reading them.

intothedawn said...

SHAWN~ I'm trying to change my perspective and apply "artist" to myself, but like you, I feel like I'm just doing an awful lot of mucking around...

LISSA~ I'm right there with you-- in a creative frenzy, yet seeing things around the house that need done-- but don't stop me now, I'm on a roll! LOL