Life has been a little unpredictable lately. I am grateful for some downtime as the second vaccine dose threw me for a loop. I think I am beginning to come out of the side-effect roller coaster of debilitating headaches, heart racing and chest pain, fatigue and moodiness. I find great solace in walking on the beach, exploring fragrant paths in the gardens of new friends and along the road we live on. I love it (and get quite excited) when I am able to capture minute details with my phone camera…
I have also spent some time reading. With more time to myself since we are on a summer break with the Creative Cluster, I have pulled some favourite books from my library to revisit certain writings and individual passages. “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron is an old stand-by and every time I open this book I find affirmations and insights I need as reminders to keep life moving along more smoothly. If you are not familiar with this book I suggest you find yourself a copy just to have on hand. In 1997 I bought a copy and actually worked through it. Each week I covered a chapter and it ultimately catapulted me forward helping me gain confidence and making a strong commitment to my art practice. I started the book a couple of weeks before I began my formal training and, while slowly working through the chapters, I acquired skills that have sustained me over the years.
This week I rediscovered the passage on “Crazymakers” under Week 2. Julia Cameron writes: “Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centres.” The essay goes on to brake down the typical behaviour of such a person, they are the type who takes over your life, they create drama, expect special treatment, they discount your reality and they are expert blamers – nothing that goes wrong is their fault… They move into your life and take over in such a way that you miss the timing and when you recognize the signs it is often too late to gracefully extricate yourself from the situation.
I have encountered crazymakers throughout my life but over the past several years I was very careful not to open myself up to such persons. Well, I guess I have been in my happy space and somehow missed the moment when such a person let herself into my space without an invitation. The alarms went off and I am now fully alert and taking measures to get myself back on track.
The really distressing thing is that when one lets a crazymaker into their life your own crazymaker behaviours tend to surface and take over. I found myself drifting all over the place, I became distracted and experienced a lack of focus. My creativity went into hibernation and I let myself get pulled along. My intuition had somehow abandoned me. However brief this experience has been it was a great wake up call and an opportunity for a complete reboot!
I am back to smelling the proverbial roses and am re-establishing equilibrium. My sister and I have been discussing the “helper syndrome” we both suffer from and how we easily get sucked into wanting to help someone and how they often turn out to be a person described above. Meanwhile, our stress levels rise and our physical and mental health suffer.
Luckily, I have countless opportunities to refocus my attention and escape to the beach with my camera. If you are interested in images from hikes and excursions I have participated in please visit my other blog. I used to post regularly on FaceBook but I am cutting down on my social media activity. Pulling back helps me in staying focused on what really matters right now, my daily contemplative art practice which making images and writing have become a vital part of.
And then there are always our steadfast companions that are a constant reminder how much fun life is…
Ash (left) and Teak are two little busy house companions that put smiles on our faces regularly as they bounce around the living room and entertain us with their playful antics. Teak is one year old today and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to welcome him into our family last September. He is affectionate and rough and tumble at the same time, always happy to meet new people and other dogs. He deserves some pup cakes today!
Wishing you a day filled with sunshine and happy moments, Anna