It's like a switch was flipped and suddenly, it feels like Spring is goosing Winter to get out of the way. Temperatures shifted from single digits to mid-sixties in days and right now strong winds put me in mind of Van Gogh's mistral or "the devil" as he referred to it and its challenges to his working outside. (He resorted to lashing his easel down: "My easel was fixed in the ground with iron pegs, a method that I recommend to you. You shove the feet of the easel in and then you push a 50-centimeter-long iron peg in beside them. You tie everything together with ropes; that way you can work in the wind.")
In addition to the winds disrupting everything and everyone (I was awoken in the middle of the night by the rattling and blowing) there is the matter of mud. Everywhere.
So besides finding it difficult to think or focus it is also impossible to move!
This is the time of year (any period of transition is tricky) when I lean into practice to help carry me forward. I've been neglecting this space because I am consumed by another. Year after year I seem to forget that running an online offering is hard work. I have to show up daily, pay attention to what is happening, think and write. But it is the very best way for me to get unstuck.
Taking action, applying effort and exercising discipline ... it is what the Yogis call Tapas which translates as"heat" or "fiery disciplines that burn away impurities." Tapas is balanced by introspection and surrender ... applying that discipline towards self understanding, development and growth.
My discipline these days centers upon study. Or rather, curiosity. (If you haven't watch it yet, this talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on living a life driven by curiosity speaks to the multi-passionate soul.) My focus this year is upon learning new techniques and ways of working with favorite mediums (watercolors, drawing, pen and ink, mixed media) which afford me a broader creative vocabulary. I am loving these online courses:
Scribble Art which is way harder than it sounds! I have a long way to go in terms of really working with shading and creating a wider range of values using the scribble to express volume and the sense of an object in space. Being loose and making meaningful marks takes loads of practice.
Then there is this course on watercolor and mixed media called Creative Girl: Land of Light and Shadows.
I am eyeballing a few more (but not until I finish what I have started!) including Reflections: An Art Journaling Workshop (this bit caught my eye:
"unraveling your own story and creating authentic art that only you can tell") and All Creatures Small and Lovely (hello? Watercolor AND animals?!)
Not that I am lacking in things to keep my head and heart busy. There is a pile of books by my bedside. Currently immersed in Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott, the first book in her trilogy on the Celtic Warrior Queen Boudica. The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse was recommended to me by several wise friends. And then I won this new title The Other Side of the River by Eila Carrico which I've started and realize is a book to be slowly savored and enjoyed.
Oh, and then there is this fun and insightful course on developing a personal approach towards working with and interpreting the Tarot ... which had me adding to my Tarot collection with these lovely cards (The Anna K Tarot)
It seems staying stuck may not be in the cards for me ... as long as I find my footing with all this creative study and keep moving forward in practice. Action grounded by consistency and regularity is what supports and anchors me when both the winds and the mud threaten to upend me.
Meanwhile, fundraising for the therapy horses of Hetra.org continues. To date, my creative communities both online and at home have rallied in support and close to $800 has been raised for Team Star. It is pimping I do willingly as the horses deserve every dollar, every oat for the incredible work they do week in and week out.