Sunday, August 12, 2007

Low Pressure Area*

Hey y'all, do you ever hate to do something just because it's expected of you? Is there a name for that particular condition? Label or no, I am a complete lame-oh when it comes to what I now use quotations to call "responsibility." Commit to something completely? Ok, but only if it's fun, man, and not if anyone else can have expectations of me.

Dude, like WHAT is my deal?

I mean, I feel like a complete washup as an "adult in society" but, maybe my husband is right--for me it's just a matter of redefining responsibility to fit in with what it means to me rather than what society-at-large "says" responsibility means. Which I guess is a nice way of saying I don't fit in, but what I know deep down is that I haven't gotten comfortable in my own skin. Haven't formed my niche yet. And the more I keep trying to play by someone else's rules, the more I rebel. The more I try to discipline myself, the more I dislocate or disassociate from the world at large. Sure, I may not be "normal," but by the same token, "normal" may just never work for me and faking it sure as heck is NOT cutting it.

I like what Julia Cameron says about the difference between discipline and enthusiasm, which I conveniently and, for me, appropriately, translated into obligation and inspiration. It's the difference between external motivation and internal motivation, and for some reason, the lesson I have chosen to be confronted with in this lifetime until I get it "right" is how to choose enthusiasm and inspiration rather than mere discipline and obligation. There's nothing wrong with being disciplined and obligated, as long as it is with and to something that is your heart's desire. I am determined to discover and to live an inspired life—guilt-free.

Aye, there's the rub. Guilt-free.

At any rate, here's what Julia says in her lovely book for guilt-ridden, blocked artists, a.k.a. The Artist's Way: "[Enthusiasm] is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us. Enthusiasm (from the Greek, 'filled with God') is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself. Enthusiasm is grounded in play, not work. Far from being a brain-numbed soldier, our artist is actually our child within, our inner playmate. As with all playmates, it is joy, not duty, that makes for a lasting bond" (153).

And so that's exactly what I'm a-gonna do! I have signed up for a variety of continuing education courses at the community college and I'm going to jump in and just do some of the things that I've been dying (literally) to do for YEARS!

I'm taking two art classes, one is Design (line and space) and the other is painting. I have had dreams of Painting for years. (Running too, but I have to stay off of the cigarettes—and I pretty much quit the day I signed up for my classes, no coincidence that happiness equals no desire to self-destruct!)

I'm also taking a Jazz class because I've learned lately that I just LOVE to dance, and Jazz will not require a partner—the only frustrating part of taking Two-Step lessons these last couple of months! And then I will be taking a full semester of Tennis and six weeks of Golf because I love to be active and have always felt unable to be involved!

And, I'm also taking a Yoga class that meets only once a week for an hour because that's another class that has been calling to me.

My first thought was, "My goodness! I can't possible do ALL of those fun things in one semester can I?" Silly me I told myself. OF COURSE YOU CAN!!!! And I purposefully am taking these courses as continuing education because I don't want a "grade" put on my creativity. I just want to DO and enjoy the DO-ing! Low pressure.

My second thought was, "You're spoiled!" Silly me I told myself. IT'S ABOUT TIME, RIGHT???!!!! LOL! I mean really. My inner Censor was working overtime to try to get me to put the pressure back on myself and conform to misery. To avoid choosing what I really want right now, just because. I have "permission" for goodness sake! In other words, there's no reason why I can't enjoy the heck out of my life for a while. Low pressure is what I wanted and now I've got it!

Can't wait to start the DO-ing. One week from today I will be in the path of following my bliss. And hey, I may not LOVE everything, but gosh it's gonna be fun to find out what unfolds!

I'll leave you with an image. Hopefully you've had the blessed opportunity to see this and enjoy it—I know that not everyone was a follower of Jim Henson after all, but this is just so contagious!

I have described myself as feeling like this on the inside from the moment I decided on which courses to take and hit the make payment button. Remember and imagine if you will, Kermit the Frog, especially the Kermit of The Muppet Show era, when he is joyously excited about something (usually a guess introduction) as he throws his wiggly arms up over his head which is thrown back with his mouth wide open shouting, "YAAAAAAAAAY!"

That's how I feel. No pressure. Just JOY!

© Nicole J. Williams, 2007, all rights reserved.

*The whole post was inspired by the lovely Texas weather (I always start with the title). All I've heard about for months is the Low Pressure Area hanging over Texas that has kept our grass from drying out and burning but has kept other people soggier than they would like to be and seems to be egging on the hurricanes that are forming this year. Yeeeehaaaaa! I don't so much mind it, but it has been in my mind meteorologically as well as psychologically! :)

© Nicole J. Williams, 2007, all rights reserved.