Two weeks ago I took my son camping to see the eclipse in totality. It was wonderful making memories with him and exhausting. There was the energy of the eclipse, the eclipse traffic, launching an online class, being shorthanded at work and by Thursday evening I was drained.
I found myself laying in bed wondering how on earth I was ever going to muster the energy to get up and create something. I had worked at my day job all day and finally gotten my son to bed, it was 8:30 pm and I hadn’t done anything for me since my morning journaling practice.
I decided to give myself a little time to rest. I set the alarm for 20 minutes and did something halfway between meditation and a nap. Too soon the alarm went off. So I set it for another 5 minutes. Again the alarm went off. Again 5 minutes.
Twice more I re-set the alarm until finally I asked myself, “When you get up tomorrow is this what you want to remember your day was? When you look back a year from now is this the life you want to have been living?”
So I decided right then and there that I was getting up this time. While I lay in bed waiting for the final alarm to go off I thought of 3 things I could do to get energized again… to motivate myself to get up and spend one moment in this day nurturing myself, connecting inward, and tuning into spirit.
Make a cup of tea, do my daily breath work, put some paint on a canvas.
I repeated it over and over to myself while I waited for the last alarm to go off and when it did, begrudgingly, I got up. I made a cup of herbal tea, went into my studio and did my breath work.
I put a little paint on a work in progress painting. I wasn’t excited and inspired about what I was doing but I had a piece that needed a few things I could do. I promised myself 5 minutes.
When 5 minutes came around I still felt good so I kept going. Soon my tea was gone and I was still painting. Soon I was ready to go to bed, feeling good about my day, feeling excited to get a good nights rest so that tomorrow I would once again find the inspiration to put paint to canvas.
Here’s the thing. I didn’t have to get up and do anything creative. I didn’t have to invest in the things that inspire me. It would have been easy to put on a TV show, go couch potato and call it a night.
It would have been easy…. but it wouldn’t have felt good.
Whatever it is we are trying to create whether it’s a painting or a book or a consistent daily practice the best way to accomplish the goal is one step at a time. One decision to show up for yourself after another, after another, after another.
What one step are you taking today? Tell me in the comments.