Recently I read a well-respected life coach say she doesn't even try to work until/unless she's vibrant.
This sort of statement pisses the hell outta me. Not only can I not relate, it spins the dangerous myth that "life purpose" work is supposed to be orgasmic. Or we're supposed to be orgasmic and ONLY orgasmic while we work. And when I don't feel that way, I'm doing it wrong, faulty, less-than, law-of-attractionally frigid, etc. Danger zone, whoop! whoop! whoop!
Her message was that self-care is monumentally important. Yes. It is. I not only agree 100%, I rank self-care my #1 priority. Yet I -- and millions of other women trying to earn a living whether it's via our own company or not -- don't have the luxury of making vibrancy a prerequisite to work. I am single. I am a homeowner. I am not rolling in excess money. I live simply and frugally (other than my mortgage I am debt-free) but I still have expenses.
I need to work.
If I waited until I felt vibrant, I probably would've clocked 60 work hours in the last 3 years. If I waited until I felt better to exercise, socialize, work -- to LIVE -- I'd probably rarely get out of bed. I can't think my way into feeling better, I take the right action (exercise, socialize, work, live) then I feel better.
Life is good, and sometimes life is hard.
Sometimes you've gotta suit up and show up and simply do your best.
Sometimes you have to lower your standards.
Sometimes the "sometimes" feels infuriatingly less than temporary.
So what? Doing your best doesn't mean doing it by some impossible to attain standard. It means doing what's enough. (My friend Jennifer Louden is exploring enough-ness over at ComfortQueen.com. Really great stuff!)
Back in '98 or '99, I watched an Oprah episode where a woman who had started her own business dreamily asserted that now, every day felt like Christmas morning. I sat up straight, pointed at the TV and exclaimed, "Yes! That's what I want!" As I've written before, I know now this woman either:
a.) Had been in business less than 5 years, or
b.) Wasn't telling the truth
Today was a rough day at zena moon. I have an expensive new wax melter I am unhappy with. The situation will be worked out, but I'm tired and frustrated. I want someone else to handle it. But it's part of my job. I have to do what's required, whether I'm vibrant and "on" and fabulous, or whether I'm weepy and angry and dim.
This morning I unearthed a treasure trove of new (to me) quotes. Here's the one that grabbed me by the hand, twirled me around and gave me a great big kiss on the lips:
Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, gasping, confusing, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, rumbling, rambling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning...searching, perching, besmirching, grinding grinding grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO...Try and tickle something inside you, your "weird humor." You belong in the most secret part of you. Don't worry about cool, make your own uncool...If you fear, make it work for you--draw and paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as "to decide on a purpose and way of life..." You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO! I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work. The worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell.
~Letter from sculptor Sol Lewitt to friend and artist Eva Hesse