Tag Archives: critic

Good Enough

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The way my emotional system works,
I am a failure,
unless I am perfect,
but I am never perfect,
therefore I am always a failure.
Recently I have begun challenging this assertion.
(Thank you therapy!)
I have begun toying around with the idea of
good enough.
Good enough mom:
Look, my children are still alive!
Good enough yoga teacher:
I show up to class on time, sober!
Good enough neighbor:
There is no trash in my front yard!
Good enough meditator:
I show up to my cushion every day!
I like this idea of adequacy.
It’s so much more human than perfection.

NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 7: The Artist Responds

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Hmmm…for some reason I keep hoping that these NaPoWriMo prompts will get easier, but they seem to be getting harder, perhaps because of what is happening in my external world.  But anyway, here goes.  Today’s prompt asked us to write a list of all of the identities  with which we associate ourselves, and then divide that list in two more lists, one list of identities that make us feel powerful and another list of identities that make us feel vulnerable.  Then we write a poem in which an identity from one list is speaking to, or contending with, or challenging an identity from the other list.  What a head game.  Luckily I’m always game to play in my head, so, let’s see what happens.

I wrote my list, and artist and critic were both there.  I figure that this a great place to start.

Critic:
Hey! Me here.
Who do you think you are
getting those art supplies out?
You aren’t any good
and no one cares what you
are trying to create.

Artist:
Oh sweetie, there you go again.
Why do you think you need to be good?
This act of creation is just for you….
you don’t need to impress anyone else,
and especially yourself.
Drop the pressure and radiate your light.
Life is your work of art.
Let your genius shine.
You don’t have to try so hard, friend…
Just relax and let your genius shine.

 

Climb the Mountain…Blow It Down

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Just a quick check in to say, I have a mountain of laundry that threatens to bury us all, and an equally large mountain of resistance to doing the laundry. I want to finish my daughter’s rainbow tote, I want to rest, maybe do some restorative yoga–I feel exhausted from this week. I’d rather create than do more work to keep the house in order.

This morning, as I was trying to help smooth the breakfast routine along, I was rinsing dishes at the sink thinking about what stands in front of me when I sit down to write. I always have this feeling of being blocked, like I really don’t have anything interesting to say, and even the first words I type will be wrong, meaningless, unimportant. If I try to come up with a title first, then there is resistance to that process, and the thought that the title won’t be pertinent.  I might try to reassure myself that I can choose a title later, but then there’s an argument to that thought too–I need to have an idea before I proceed, otherwise this will all be blather. A title gives an idea of what is coming. It helps to bring some structure to a piece.

So it came to me in a flash, all of these fear thoughts from the perfectionist and the inner critic–they really have no substance. Like really well-designed scenery on the stage of a play, they look substantial, impressive, maybe even quite real–but in the end, if you stroll behind them, you’ll see that they’re just an illusion. But they’re BIG, and intimidating, and it takes a minute for me to step back and have a good look at them; very often because they are so relentless, I might not even realize that I am not those thoughts I’m having about myself.

If I do step back, I see Mt. Everest. It’s huge, it’s impassable, and on all sides of me there are boulders, crevasses, huge chunks of ice. But no wait. That’s not really Mt. Everest. That’s just the scenery on the stage of a play. If I stroll behind it, I see–it’s a cardboard Mt. Everest! One great big breath and I blow the scenery down. Now the path is clear ahead of me.

Now I can write.

So today, I will climb the mountain of laundry…I will push through the mountain of resistance…I will blow down the mountain of fear. The first mountain will take some time to tackle. The second will take some discipline and will. The third takes just one big breath.

I can do this.