As 2019 starts to find its rhythm, I’m finding mine as well. I’m working with a new schedule and it is rigorous. This past week I’ve done my best to work within it, noticing where I’ve designed something too structured and too demanding, making adjustments as I go. I haven’t made this schedule to push or punish myself. I haven’t made it so I will “rock my productivity” this year. I’ve created it to support me, to hold in loving care the things that matter deeply. My studio work is on the schedule. My practices are on the schedule. Tending to my home and my life is on the schedule. Time with loved ones is on the schedule. My writing is on the schedule. (In fact, I’m writing to you during that allotted time in the dark morning cold, watching the sunrise. Beautiful!) Art days are on the schedule. I am on the schedule.
With such a rigorous schedule it might come as a surprise that I love freedom. A wild heart beats inside this chest. I don’t like restrictions or enforced limits. I will change my schedule without hesitation or guilt when it is good and healthy for me to do so – but I won’t break from it lightly. I won’t abandon my priorities on a whim. Why not? Because this schedule isn’t a yoke on my shoulders; it is my root. The deeper my roots, the more wildly I can dance with the wind without getting lost or broken. I am tall and strong and graceful when I have ensured the strength and safety of my roots. I do this through devotion.
We can express our devotion to our true priorities in every choice we make.
This week I met with my sister Shannon, who is an integral part of this studio, and we chatted through the season ahead. Grounded in the studio vision, we worked on this season’s projects, getting into the details of scheduling, policies, procedures etc. As we spoke, it became clear the kind of rigour required to support the dream, not simply in terms of what we like to call “work-work” but also in support of the creative process. Showing up to create, to love, to shine requires a special kind of energy, one that needs to be nourished, cultivated and protected.
So this week, I practiced devotion. I said no to things, even things I love and look forward to, in order to tend to my root. I chose nourishing food over convenience. I chose water over caffeine. I chose yoga over Netflix. I chose sleep over choir.
It wasn’t easy but it also wasn’t hard. I simply chose, gently and repeatedly, in small ways, again and again, what mattered deeply.* Little choices made with devotion can change our life.
What are you devoted to?
Choose that this week. Again and again, choose that.