It’s been just over a week of lock down here where I live. Longer because my kids were home sick with stomach bugs before the schools closed.
But a week (ish) of weirdness and surreality, that’s now a word, has settled deep into my bones and I don’t like it one bit. I’ve spent the time swinging from despair and grief for a world irrevocably changed, to one of hope.
I know, talking to other artists, that I am not alone in this roller coaster of emotions.
Here’s the thing: up until this point so many of us have been reacting. We’ve unknowingly given away our agency over our emotions and switched from deliberate action to reaction. And yes, the situation is terrifying, and our collective lizard brains are screaming louder than ever, but it’s up to us now to get a grip.
You have a choice now to make: are you going to continue to react or are you going to be the deliberate creator of your life?
I do NOT mean to ignore quarantine or stay home orders. If you do that, you’re a selfish asshole. What I do mean is it’s time to re-make your life. Decide how you’re going to feel, live and build with what you have right now.
Artists who work from home are especially well equipped to occupy themselves. My own life has only changed in as much as I don’t have to drive my kids to and from school. I’m not running errands. It’s only ME that’s changed inside.
I woke up this morning with a powerful need to decide now whether to be a leaf on the wind (and oh the wind is so very gusty) or add a motor and wings and whatever to that leaf and pick my direction.
I choose to mute everyone who is sharing terrifying and misleading info online. Facebook has been really wonderful for that feature. I have chosen to curate my consumption of information for my own wellness.
I choose to block anyone and everyone who directly messages me with that same info, circumventing my self protection for their own selfish need to terrify me and others.
I choose to have a set work schedule and make sure I create something every day.
I choose to check my fitbit and get back on my daily step count. (Yesterday’s lack of steps was a real eye opener).
I choose to look back at history and see that other civilisations and peoples have gone through some pretty awful plagues and events and here we still are. Individually things can look bleak but as a species we go on.
The thing is, though the world feels like it’s falling apart we can choose how we act and react and in claiming our choice, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and define who we are.
I am a mentor, a writer and an artist. My work makes a difference and it continues to go on.
What about you?
Paula Mould is a fine artist, published author and business coach for Leigh & Paula. Leigh and Paula emancipate artists from sitting under the doctrine of the gatekeepers who keep them chained to a life of failure and starvation. She also swears, mostly on purpose.
Their book, Sell MORE Art is now available on Amazon worldwide.