apostle of hustle

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on apostle of hustle

apostle of hustle

It’s been a while since I’ve come by here.  I’ve been largely silent on the writing front this whole summer, sheepishly sneaking away from the computer after some quick Facebook updates and email checks, avoiding a confrontation with my website so desperately in need of updating.  It was summer, after all.  I went camping, I hung out with my kid, I did a lot of yoga.  Call it cellular memory if you like, but summer triggers my inner sloth-brain and not only am I unable to create interesting pieces of writing, I can barely hold up my end of a conversation.  My summer off-switch was tripped at the end of June, long after my days as a student, long after my days as a school teacher.  And just as unconscious and habitual as my two month mushbrain is the autumnal plugging in.  I wake up in September like a fog has lifted.  I want to get out and learn and be stimulated and my inner creative urges begin finding the surface once again.  So here I am in the full swing of my son’s “back to school” energy, and I’m right there tapping the source with him.

Yesterday I registered for some fall courses that will contribute to my creative writing certificate at the university.  I’ve struggled with this for some time.  As helpful as school can be, I do believe there comes a point when a person needs to look up from the textbook and just get to work.  For people like me, though, perpetual learners, information seekers and school junkies, it’s hard to know when to stop the acquiring and start the applying.  I am in love with the theoretical.  I am in awe of those who are able to go jumping into the experiential, the “baptism by fire” school of education, and plug away at their talent until it emerges from their labour as skill.

The one thing I’ve seen come up again and again in books about the writing process (yes, because of course I read them) is that no matter what, you just need to write.  Every day, sit down and create words on a page- just show up.  As Pattabhi Jois has said about yoga, “do your practice and all is coming.”  But what about the mushbrain months?  What about the busy days?  Whether it’s yoga or going to the gym or writing, the work has to happen on those days too.  There’s always time for what we want to make time for.  A friend of mine told me that a friend of hers had confronted her for not returning phone calls or always being busy when she needed to talk, and rather than being defensive and listing all of the things in her life that were chaotic, she stopped and thought about it.  What she recognized was that she was actually guilty of choosing to be busy rather than choosing to be a friend.  No matter how frenetic our lives seem, no matter how tired or spread thin we may feel, we are always making unconscious decisions about how we are willing to spend our time and energy.  When you get up to do the dishes instead of watching tv, when you don’t help your kid with homework because you need to answer emails, when you miss yoga to have coffee with a friend- all of these outcomes are the result of a cost/benefit analysis.  We need to recognize that we are agents of our own decision making.  There is always a choice, no matter how much we feel the weight of “requirement”.  We  must first identify what it is that we want and what it is that we truly value (this is essential), and then dedicate non-negotiable time for this- no matter how seductive the alternatives.

So here I sit, in September, slowly sweeping out the cobwebs and feeling the need for re-dedication.  The lackadaisical summer approach to my yoga practice over the last few weeks has resulted in a creeping self-consciousness, maybe even anxiety.  I should know by now that when I put yoga to the side, shadows are eager to fill in the gaps.  It’s humbling, actually, to know how just much I still need it, how much the practice contributes to holding me up, keeping me together.  And so I choose to set aside my time for yoga (because I need it), to schedule in time for my creative projects (because it makes me happy), and to lay down written words every day (because I want it).  It’s never been a secret that dedication to process is the key to success in any field but commitment can be a drag.  Lately, though, I’ve been feeling underused, under-stimulated.  I can feel things shifting.  There is an urgency now in my desire to define my path.  I’m still deep in the briar patch of figuring it all out, but am clearer about what it’s going to take once I’ve found my angle.    As Anais Nin has said, “good things happen to those who hustle.”

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.