This week, I handed over the reins of a project I started in 2017 to another artist/teacher*. It was time.
I started #minimoleydaily on a whim after seeing Tori’s tiny little Moleskine, full of daily art, looking like a glorious brick of inspiration. I tucked in, and utterly failed to complete it because life happens, as it does, but I left the group up, and people just kept right on without me. I loved the first 90 days of this challenge so much, but I had set myself up *badly*. I had started, on a whim, to film every day’s little Moleskine adventure, and let me tell you something true – ain’t nobody got time for that. At least, not this somebody.
Setting myself up for failure is a thing I’m all too intimate with. I like to start big things, huge projects, like blogging every day, or NaNoWriMo, or something I used to call PAD way back in the day (Poem A Day, back before there was any such official thing in the late 1990’s when I hand coded every single one of my web pages). I like reading about other people’s big projects, too, but I often bite off more than I can chew.
This used to be a source of angst for me. Last year, for example. SO much angst, and I had to talk myself down off the YOU ARE A FAILURE ledge before I could get right with myself.
Shit, I failed again. God, when will I ever learn…
But no more. Some things I take on and I succeed to complete. Some things I take on and fall away from. Totally cool. Trying is winning. Whatever I take on stretches me in one way or another, and it helps me learn the edges of my abilities. Ah, there’s a limit. I can’t film, edit, and share a video a day. Impossible to keep up. Here’s another: vlogging every day. I can write till the cows come home, but something about being on camera every day, even in an intimate group of people, is too much exposure for this introvert. I prefer the buffer of words, the screen of light between us when I share my deepest depths. I also like that I can edit my thoughts before I hit publish, because I have a penchant for revealing too much, and then contracting when the vulnerability hangover hits. Another recent failure: I wanted to draw a rune every day in April, and research it. There is no time right now between getting everything done for the classes I’m teaching, and doing this blog along.
Something’s gotta give, right? And that something shouldn’t always be me.
There are times to push my own envelope, like when something is ridiculously good for me, and the therapeutic value can’t be denied (like this blog along, or the #30DaysMagicalRoots project I did in March). Some things can be let go (like a rune a day, or the #minimoley project). I also often have to weigh the value of things against one another, figure out my big ‘why’, in order to stay motivated.
Like, this blogging thing? The time I spend doing this is time I usually spend doing what I call my SoulX. SoulX is a collection of spiritual practices that include a tarot draw, creating an affirmation or mission statement for the day, grounding and centring, prayer, soul alignment, and written journaling. I often include a bit of lettering time in during this practice since making those affirmations or mission statements somehow stand out from the rest of my morning drivel feels good. But when I come in here and do this blogging thing, I have to pare down the SoulX significantly, and some days I skip it altogether.
Weighed against the value of SoulX, doing the blogging thing for 30 days wins. It is a reminder to me that I am a writer. It is a reminder to me of the value of authentic self-expression, unabashed sharing. It builds my tribe (in case you hadn’t noticed, there is a pop up on this site that leads to my newsletter, and every time I do this blog along hundreds of people sign up!). It creates a deeper sense of intimacy with the people I want to serve.
It stretches me in ways that are valuable to me, so for thirty days, SoulX gets a lick and a promise, while this space gets all my juice.
It also makes me miss the meatier sessions of SoulX – the ones where I do get to spend an hour or two in private self-reflection, so by the time I’m done at the end of this month, I will feel a renewed sense of devotion to that. And if I ever get to the point where SoulX feels stale, or doesn’t nourish me the way it is meant to, I will shift, tweak, adjust, and make it work once more, perhaps by taking a break.
Last year around this time, I was burned out. Badly. I mean, two hour crying jag in the bath style burnt out. My teaching schedule (which was half what it is today, by the way) was intense, and on top of it, there was a lot of personal stuff going on. Some guy had lifted a project I had been doing for free right off this site, and transplanted it over to his own without giving any kind of credit for where he got it from. I was running a group of 11 000 people for said project, some of whom weren’t ‘my kinda people’ if you get my meaning. There was unkindness in that space, a weird sense of entitlement, that eventually led to my shutting the program down and revisioning it as a paid, smaller thing where I could have some control over who passed through its portal and entered into my community. My website was hacked multiple times, costing me a lot of time, frustration, and money. I was having some PTSD stuff around the anniversary of my son’s emerging illness and how abandoned I felt through it all. I was feeling a serious lack of ‘casserole people’, because my hermit self had been winning the battle between needing people and needing to blanket fort for *several years*. I was dating a guy who was entirely wrong for me, whose way of being depleted me and left me feeling very insecure. I was creating and filming every single day.
Something had to give, and last year, that thing was my resilience, at least temporarily. I was rendered, jellied, a snot bubble making puddle of omgdoom.
Not so this year. This year, I’m handing #minimoleydaily over to someone who is really good at it. I’m putting a pin in the rune a day project. I’m letting SoulX be a little less demanding, and I’m putting my juice into this one thing temporarily so that I can suck the marrow out of the experience.
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About The Blog Along
Every year, twice a year, once in April, and again in September, I blog every day for a month, and invite others to do the same. We have a Facebook group, and in that group the only rule is that for every link you post to your own blog, you go off and read three other blogs and leave a comment. This is simply a way to ensure that a community happens rather than just a ‘promo’ group. You’re welcome to join in as long as you are willing to read and comment on three blogs for every blog you post. Click here to join us! If you’re too busy for that, you’re welcome to just blog on your own for a month. Easy peasy. No one is keeping score. There are no prizes except that you get to build your own readership by regularly populating your blog with good content.
To read all my entries for the Blogalong, please click here to access the Blogalong With Effy Category on my blog.