Not all days or weeks flow smooth and sweet and mild. Some days close into darkness. Storms fold in, obscuring any path you thought you were following, screening the horizon from view.
How do we hold a firm heading when things aren’t going the way we expected? When we suffer an upset, or an unexpected roadblock? When we are challenged or tested or rejected?
When darkness obscures the path we are following, when a storm rolls in and blocks the horizon, when the waves loom vast and trackless on all sides, its easy to feel disorientated. It's easy to give up, to surrender to the chaos and let the wind take us where it will. It's easy to endure passively, to wait to be shipwrecked on some distant shore and take it from there.
Surrendering to the storm means surrendering your horizon.
We have to trust our horizon. We have to believe it’s out there, even when we can’t see it. Especially when we can’t see it. We need to trust our internal compass that tell us which is up and which is down and in which direction we should be moving. When the sun and stars and horizon are concealed we need to listen to our heart and our gut and our intuition. We need to fight the urge to surrender to the chaos, to take the path of least resistance.
Easy said than done, right?
A good first start is to lift our feet to avoid tripping. Let’s not add a second upset to the mix. We do this by taking care of ourselves, getting adequate rest and putting the right things into our bodies, getting support and being kind to ourselves. We need to lift our gazes from the darkness and lock it on that horizon, no matter how obscured and lost it feels. And, thirdly, we need to take a step. We need to take a step, and then another one. Taking those steps into the dark, believing in fairer weather and cleaner horizons, is the most courageous thing most of us will ever do.
Creative projects lure us to great heights of pleasure and wonder, then plunge to deep chasms of disappointment and confusion. Anyone can skip along through sunshine and mild weather and easy times, but it’s the storms and chaos that really test our mettle. This could be an upset folding into the space of our creative world, sucking the wind out of our lungs, or it might be a personal crisis changing the landscape of our worlds.
Creative types channel a flow of stories and messages. We have to live and breathe the stories of the creative work we produce: courage, strength, resilience and growth. If our message is worth telling (through stories, song, screen, canvas or clay) then it should inspire us enough to live it.
When storms toss and pitch us this way and that, it’s vital we lock our hands firm and steady on the tiller, holding our course steady despite the storm and chaos.
How firm do you hold in a storm?
(Posted 30 Apr 2020. Follow me on: https://nicolewalshauthor.com/)