Are you doing the work? Or are you stuck in the pre-work? Lately I've been thinking about what it means to show up and do the work. I was inspired in part by this article by Aimee Bender, about showing up at her desk, day after day. I thought she was the one who mentioned 'pre-work' but she doesn't seem to be, so apologies to whoever it was. If I remember, I'll share. Anyway, aside from being a made-up kind of word, 'pre-work' can be necessary preparation, left unattended however and it can turn into sticky pools of avoidance, denial and procrastination.
Say you want to start doing yoga.* Are you going to find a local class or choose a video and begin? Or are you going to spend weeks researching the perfect class or video, reading yoga magazines, finding your ideal pair of yoga pants (you know, the ones that give you the tone and grace you were planning to acquire through yoga?) and internet shopping for gorgeous yoga accessories? It's your high-school study timetable all over again, with the bubble-writing title and meticulously colour-coded study blocks, three of which had already passed by the time you finished colouring the border.
I know I'm not alone in complaining that I have no time for my creative stuff, that I'm stuck, that I haven't done anything lately. So I try and get inspired, by reading blogs, buying 'unleash your creativity' books, planning marvellous sessions when I have more time, or sorting out my studio space. The trap is that all of those activities are useful in their time. The trick is knowing when the time has come to just get to work.
For me, that time is now, in a few areas. I have a few weeks off, so I am going to show up and do the work. I'll share a bit about what that means for me over the weeks to come. What does it mean for you, these days?
*And if you do, in fact, want to start doing yoga or bring more yoga into your life, you could do worse than check out Marianne Elliott's 30 Days of Yoga.