Are you working or pre-working?

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.

The end of an era

Perhaps only if you've been to Artfest you will understand why this image fills my heart with peace. Walking back to Officers' Housing after breakfast, catching deer grazing on the green, I am quietly filled with joy as I know that I am surrounded by so many beautiful, creative souls, each on their own pursuit of something virtually indescribable. About to dive into a day filled with art, with finding friends both new and those known only across the wires of cyberspace.

I was saddened today to read that Teesha Moore has decided that Artfest 2012 will be the last. She explains it so beautifully in the announcement on her blog, that I do believe she has made the right choice. I am grieving though. As for so many others, my first visit to Artfest changed my life (saved my life?). I have found friends and mentors and a whole community so very dear to me, so very necessary. I have found courage and direction and the tools I need to follow them, even when I'm not sure where they will lead me. So yes, I'm grieving, gently, and with curiousity and optimism about what the future will bring.

And I am so grateful to have been part of something so wonderful, and to have crossed paths with so many wonderful people, many of whom have been guiding lights to me, knowingly or not. Thank you, Teesha and Tracy.

Teesha Moore

Tracy Moore

Judy Wise

Carla Sonheim

Liz Lamoreux

LK Ludwig

Anahata Katkin

Susan Wooldridge

Anne Bagby

Theo Ellsworthy

Dawn DeVries Sokol

And there are so many more, but these have had an impact on my life in a way that I can put my finger on in a very specific way. If you were here I could show you. I may have to yet.