I've finally resurfaced from a reclusive writing period. At the end of May - after weeks of seemingly endless computer work, I turned in over 200 pages worth of writing. It is such a relief to finally have that behind me (now if only that writing project was my dissertation... then I would be close to being done with my degree. But no...). As stressful as it was, I welcomed the challenge. I didn't quite welcome the stress (and its associated neck and shoulder pain, achy wrists and back, throbbing eyelids, etc) with open arms, though. But I have to say that at the end of the project, I felt pretty proud of myself!
As much as I enjoy (and need) writing in a leisurely manner, like on this blog, somehow I just didn't feel like there was any more space in my brain. So leisure writing and journalling certainly took a backseat. Instead I churned out pages of research and other academic "stuff". It was definitely a process... of saying "yes" to the challenge, from starting from a blank page to one page, two pages, several... seeing the process of how it slowly took shape. I found myself reaching towards yoga in the process - especially the principles of practice and non-attachment. I knew, that if I were to take on this endeavor, I had to detach myself from the very high stakes involved, from the result, and instead just commit myself to writing. Because high stakes = pressure. Interestingly, I'm not sure how "acceptable" this concept of non-attachment is in the workplace and in a product/outcome-oriented world. When I mentioned this to my superior -- about how I would just write and let go of the outcome (in different words) -- I think she misunderstood me and thought that I was not going to give my 100%. But I did - 100% and then some. Because I was so overwhelmed by this project in the beginning, I just had to detach myself from thinking about the result in order to just take that step forward and do it. Hmm. Makes me think about how I should maybe keep some thoughts to myself and out of the work environment.
Now that the project is done, the question that has been on my mind is, what if the thing/activity/work that you love is also a stressor?
I read an article somewhere (wish I could remember the source) in which the author wrote about how sometimes we unconsciously seek more drama (stress, chaos, deadlines, etc...) in our lives, and behave in such a way that we end up having more of that. Could this be true? Do I really seek more stress in my life, and if I do, why?
That line of thinking portrays chaos as something negative... and then I remembered that I have a magnet that reads: "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." (Nietzsche)
I love that. I think it explains this state of being. Chaos (i.e., challenge, stress, etc) will always be there. Even if it comes from something (or someone) you love. I'm not a parent, but I would guess that parenting is like that - yes, it's stressful, but it involves someone you love so dearly. It involves someone that matters so much. And in my world, my work matters to me. I love what I do, stressful as it is. So it's how we deal with it - it's what we do with that chaos. Because it's the chaos that pushes us to evolve, to adapt, to create...if, within that chaos, we can come to a place of stillness and focus. If we can gather all that chaotic energy and somehow transform it - to "give birth to a dancing star." (or in my world, 250 pages of work)
Perhaps chaos isn't a bad thing after all. How do you transform the chaos in your life?