Can you remind me? I’ve forgotten. Why exactly should I get out of bed this morning?
Okay, it’s a little less dramatic than all that. I mean, I’m up and dressed and made tea and even eaten the eggs my son didn’t eat from his breakfast. I’m up. I’m at ’em.
But this morning I’m sad and tired and discouraged. Lonely AF.
I got an email from someone wonderful and very famous sharing a recent success in her writing career. I don’t begrudge her success, but the scope of it socked me in the gut and triggered a spiral down to nowhere good.
When it comes to my business and writing career, my “voice” is small. On a good day, the peace I’ve made with that fact shines bright. Not so much on days like today. I’ve been singing at the top of my lungs, giving it everything I’ve got, for nearly two decades. And my “voice” is still barely audible.
I call this my “WHY BOTHER” hole.
WHY BOTHER is what it sounds like when I howl from the bottom of familiar pit that I fall into sometimes, a fall that strangles me and obliterates the sky.
I meditated. And still felt shitty.
I journaled. Blah.
I called two girlfriends. They listened well, but didn’t throw a ladder down to me to get out of the hole because that’s not how it works, unfortunately.
One asked me if I had any new insight on this hole this time, given I’ve shared the same story with her multiple times.
“No, actually. That is what it IS to fall in these types of holes!” I wanted to shout but didn’t. They are the same shit, different day, and there’s no obvious escape. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have called. Just sayin’.
So I got off the phone feeling worse — with an added vulnerability hangover from showing my underbelly and imagining they respect me just a little less now.
But I DO feel a little better now. Want to know what helped?
Part of my WHY BOTHER hole happens because I’m a fucking busy modern day superwoman and my batteries run down often. (Maybe you can relate?)
I currently manage a small team, do ridiculously deep, time-intensive work with my private clients, run an online community, teach 2-4 classes each week all of which I research and prepare for, and run an immersive mentorship program with complex live retreats, caring for the hearts of some very awesome women. Oh, and concurrently I write regular (hopefully heart-opening, meaningful) blogs and posts like this one, and create webinars and web pages and workbooks and countless emails to launch the next and the next and then the next program.
And that’s just work. I have a 7-year old and that’s a whole career in and of itself with lunches and breakfasts (yay, leftovers!) and play dates and laundry and homework and modeling being a grown up human and tickles and tag and snuggles.
I am severely limited in what foods I can and can’t eat, so I cook most of my own food — healthy, fresh, organic, and with love. And time-consuming, yo.
I dance and workout four or five days a week. I take 20-30 supplements each day. I try to maintain friendships, see some art now and again, and meditate in the mornings. Most of my life happens in front of a computer and sometimes it’s many days at a stretch before I see anything or anyone different than my bed, my home office, my Amazon packages, and my son’s school.
It’s a lot.
I’m not whining. It’s all good stuff I’ve privileged to steward. And it’s still a LOT.
Sometimes holding all the moving pieces is too much and I fall in the hole called “WHY BOTHER?” because I’m working harder than I can maintain, and it’s still not enough, smooth, or sustainable.
(Maybe you can relate?)
If I could wave my magic wand, I would start researching and writing my second book. I would step away from the laptop and step into the zone of ART. I’d would hold a bit less and would have time to paint.
I haven’t painted in about three years. I have a series I started working on a few years back which I recently titled, “Her 99 Names.” One of her 99 Names is Despair, pictured above. Hello from the bottom of the hole.
But guess what? I DO have a magic wand.
In a gesture of sticking my tongue out and sticking my fingers in ears and wiggling at the Capitalist Patriarchal Culture that is the architect of my “WHY BOTHER” hole, I just set aside WEDNESDAYS FOR ART.
Do I have the time? Nope. Will I miss deadlines and disappoint people? Yep. Will my email pile up and will I make less income than I actually need? Yep and possibly.
But I’m ante-ing up. Throwing myself a rope ladder out of the hole. Stretching my creative neck out, for the sake of saying damn it, I’m making art anyway. I can’t wait until the proper time. I won’t worry about money. I need the numinous now.
And I know that a trust fall into the arms of the Creative Feminine more often than not opens things up in unforeseen and graceful ways. So either I’ll splat hard or something cool and magical will result.
As I go, I’ll share the art I make during my Wednesday sojourns out of Capitalist Patriarchal Fuckedtown.
Come along with me,
PS: Image “Despair” by yours truly, LiYana Silver