give from the overflow

graffiti human math equationGood morning good morning, and happy Wednesday to you. How is your 2012 moving in you so far?

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Write Whole starts next week — I know I’ve asked that folks be signed up by Jan 9th, but if you’ve been holding off and have just now decided that you really want to join us, please let me know. We still have a couple of spaces left, and it’d be great to write with you!

Also! I get to read at the first-of-2012 Perverts Put Out on Jan 28, 7:30 pm, Center for Sex and Culture. This is always an exceptional show, and every time I get to participate I’m honored. There’s going to be some excellent and wicked smart dirtiness; just look at this amazing line up: Sherilyn Connelly, Daphne Gottleib, Philip Huang, Juba Kalamka, Kirk Read, Thomas Roche, and horehound stillpoint (and me!). Come on down and join us!

This is a good time to remind you, too, that the first of the year Declaring Our Erotic Saturday workshop series begins next month, on February 5th. Our theme is New Beginnings. It would be great to have you there.

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Yesterday was a self care / mental health day. Do you take those? I spent the better part of the day in San Francisco, first for analysis, but then I walked some, went over to the Mission and spent time writing at Muddy’s and then hit Community Thrift (which I used to call the best bookstore in the city, but that’s shifted since all the colleges in the Mission closed). It felt good, necessary, not to be on any schedule, to get to wander.

This is a quiet-on-line time for me right now, because I’m doing a bunch of difficult inner work. That work takes energy, just as any creative or excavation process does. So it’s important to stop and take breaks, take care of self, do the things that fill me back up. You know, don’t you, from your own experience, how difficult and self-indulgent that can be? And still so necessary. Even after just that one day of quiet, that one day away from the computer, away from email, in the evening, I felt how my energy had increased.

I thought about something I’d read on Monday, about how we have to fill ourselves up and then give/serve from our overflow. How many of us give when there’s nothing left of us, when we are drained and exhausted, when we are overloaded and overwhelmed?

Give from the overflow — I (again) let myself learn what that feels like. I have to keep teaching myself, keep letting myself learn this lesson.

You may (continue to) see fewer blog posts here — I think I should come up with a regular weekly posting schedule, at least twice a week I’d like to be in touch with you here, and writing for this space. But I’ve made some commitments to my manuscript/project group for daily page/word count goals for the novel, and I’ll need to work on that, I mean spend this precious morning writing time there.

Ideally, I’d have time every morning for an hour of notebook writing, a couple hours of novel work, an hour for the blog — all before the sun comes up. Tell me when I’d have to go to bed to get up in time to be able to accomplish that. Right now I’m making choices, which is a thing we so often have to do as creative folks: what do I most want to give to my art/creative self right now? What, if anything, will have to give in order to accomplish that? Am I ready to let that thing go?

This morning, I spent time on morning pages/journaling, but haven’t done my novel writing because I wanted to connect with you here. I’m going to go soon and do that page for the novel, because I didn’t yesterday, and I need to get caught up.

Have you thought about your creative/artistic goals for 2012? Are you getting down into the nitty gritty about how to let them emerge? What decisions are you making today in service of your deep and gorgeous creative self, in service of the art that we need in the world that only you can create?

I think I’ve written before about the sticky note that I have on the monitor of my desk at work. It’s a purple note, and in blue pen I’ve written, “one thing everyday” with a heart drawn below the words. That means, even if you have to be at the day job, Jen, you can still do something in service of your art, your heart-work. Maybe that means taking a walk at lunchtime to commune with the sea lions and bat rays and herons. Maybe that means sending an email I’d been putting off. Maybe that means taking my break and doing some writing. (I also have a note on my computer that reminds me to “be willing to be uncomfortable,” that helps me send the put-off email or make the postponed phone call, for instance. Deep breath, feel the fear, do it anyway. I have to be that inside coach — a good persona to develop!)

One thing. Every day. And often that one thing leads to desire/energy to do another one thing. Do the math — it adds up to a creative life, doesn’t it?

We can bring our creativity all over with us, to the day jobs that keep food on our tables, to the activism that save our hearts and connect us with others, to the service and recovery work we do, to our every minute. And that one thing everyday can also mean one act of self care everyday. Just one. Something tiny, I have to begin there. What works for you?

Thanks for your energy and your quiet, your dedication, your necessary words.