Like many, I’m up and down, exhausted and hopeful, trying and then resting. I’m incredibly grateful to be home, safe, well, with my family. I’m grateful to be able to show up here in my writing, occasionally on social media, and in my studio (happy place).
The conversations with friends and the things I’ve been thinking about have often brought moments of “This! We need to think about THIS!” shortly followed by, “But we have always needed to think about that…”
I’ve named it the “Now Even More So” principle.
Here are some examples:
We know, don’t we, that comparison is the thief of joy. Right now, it’s not only the thief of joy, but also the thief of sanity and survival.
While real life is kind of shut down — shops are closed, we’re not going out much — the internet is very, very alive. And some of the internet is amazing, supportive, a truly great place.
But I know that for many of us, comparison has increased dramatically. We’re looking to our peers and our leaders and our favourites to show us what to do. We’re not sure what we should be doing. And so we slip into a comfortable groove among all the uncertainty:
We compare ourselves to others.
Friends, if this has been you, and most likely it has been, I offer compassion. It is natural to compare. It’s so easy. But no one is you. No one has your exact skills or experience or situation. And no, you don’t have to keep up with anyone right now.
Whatever you can do to reduce this very human form of self-torture, prioritize it! Don’t drive yourself insane.
I think this is where a lot of us have been hanging out, too. The money worries.
Again, we can worry about money at the best of times, can’t we? And yet Now Even More So.
Friends who don’t usually worry about money are freaking out. People who’ve been in business for a really long time are struggling. Because none of us have ever been here before.
Know that any situation you’re in right now is not your fault. It’s really easy (for me, too) to blame ourselves, to think that we should have prepared more or that this has hit us harder because we messed up.
This is not your fault.
Any time we worry about money, it hinders creativity, which is ultimately how we get out of sticky situations. The aim, as ever, is to release the worry — or at least put it on pause — while you allow your wisest, most creative, most resourceful self to be in charge.
You have survived. You may need to make hard decisions. You may need to ask for help. But right now, you just have to make the next decision, the one right in front of you.
There are, on any given day, about a billion possibilities. This is still true. There are SO MANY options available to you.
I find this a comforting and encouraging thought.
But it also means we have to flex our discernment muscles. During normal times (remember them?), we practice discernment and prioritization. Well, Now Even More So.
Discernment isn’t about making perfect decisions. I repeat: this is not about perfection!
It’s about choosing the things that matter to you, and the things that don’t. Sometimes, it’s about choosing ONE thing that matters most, and letting others take a back seat for the time being.
It’s about saying no to one thing so that you can say yes to a better thing.
Discernment is a muscle. It requires head and heart. In these uncharted waters, we need both Now Even More So.
There are more of the Now Even More So’s. Impostor syndrome, focusing on one thing at a time, grieving past decisions, creating community, marketing with authenticity… Not to mention environmentalism, activism, dismantling the patriarchy and white supremacy. They needed our attention before, and now they need it even more.
We’re still going. Even if your creative practice is on pause or hibernating or becoming a different size or shape, you’re still going.
Even more than before, it’s vital that you believe in yourself. That you keep putting one foot in front of the other (even if it’s right back into bed). That you live closer to your dreams than your fears.
This post was previously published on Change Becomes You.
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