Thursday, November 5, 2015

Coming Back.

I've been traveling a lot the past few months. I went to Europe, then new York, then Denver, then Montreal and other parts of Quebec, all since May.

What I found over and ver again was:

1. I get anxious just before leaving, and think I have too much to do before I go.

2. Have a really hard time when I come back getting my momentum back up for painting.

In June, I wrote myself a letter titled "When coming back to painting (and life) after being away (or what to read when anxious, overwhelmed, or just plain having a time of it)".

It goes like this:

Make your space feel neat and safe. Take time to do this. Then, give yourself ample time to paint/do your task. Remember that worrying about future painting/plans feels much worse than actually just sitting down and painting/doing the steps. Play music and podcasts that are grounding and make you feel focused. Try to wake up early- remember morning is quiet and new. Put in a full work week, then make sure to not work when you need to. List people each day you need to email, classes you need to plan, tasks to do, then do them and be done.
When painting, put out lots of paint (don't be cheap or fearful of this) and premix as many big puddles of color as you can for the painting you will be working on. Take fish oil daily-it helps you concentrate. Try to still yourself . Eat a lot of vegetables and proteins.  When painting, remember that when you smooth a passage, it is hard to make it broken/choppy/painterly afterwards, so better to leave smoothing until the end when you have full choice where/how much/how.
Do a few kind deeds every day. Watch for overwhelmed feelings/anxiety/stress/fantasy when you are tired. Know that those are normal, and be kind and forgiving with yourself, but also know they can very dishonestly take over. Plan actions, not thoughts, to pull yourself out of any funks. Don't make big decisions on days you are overly tired/stressed.  There is not enough time to rush. Remember you have a great life. Make a gratitude list. Care for and love your paintings- they will be someone's sacred thing, they are your sacred act. Send a kind text to a friend asking how they are doing when you are being overly self-focused. Don't listen to radio pop songs. Try to feel your own feet. If your phone is too much for you some days, TURN IT OFF! You are NOT on-call. Plan a walk or lunch outside.  Try centering every morning.  In the end, procrastination is the source of a  lot of your anxiety.

I thought I would share, since I think probably a lot of people are on the same boat sometimes.