I got nothin’.
I’ve sat down to write this month’s column more than a few times and, ultimately, my steadfast process seems to have turned on me. Nothing (and I mean, nothing) has flowed from my creative brain through my heart to my fingertips to put “it” (my feelings) out into the world. Writer’s block? Perhaps. Running out of inspiration and ideas? Dear Buddha, I hope not! Typically, between last month’s column and the next one I am inspired by something. Some life experience, some lyric, some quote, some interaction with a stranger, some lesson that life has taught me, some memory, some challenge, something. It’s a beautiful thing when it happens effortlessly, when I can sit down and it all just flows like a mountain stream during a particularly rainy season.
I usually pride myself on being in tune with my consciousness, my soul, my feelings and even my seven chakras. But nope, not this month. I’m drained, I’m depleted, I’m spent, I’m distracted and I feel like a robot just going through the everyday motions. This month, I seem to have given everything away to everyone else and forgotten to leave something for myself. Even meditating is proving to be most difficult. One of my favorite quotes by Ernest Hemingway reads, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” I suppose he would know, but for me, this month with all of my distractions and lack of inspiration, I choose to sit down and watch as many episodes of New Girl as I possibly can as an avoidance strategy for life.
As I write, I am sitting at my kitchen table surrounded by boxes up to my eyeballs (literally). I don’t have my desk, it’s packed up, I’m working on my husband’s unfamiliar computer because mine needs a new battery and I haven’t had the time to buy one, and my hyper-organized personality can’t handle the clutter and perpetual mess. I’ve been training extensively and traveling to Sacramento for work while we’ve been in escrow to buy a house for the last five weeks; anyone who has ever done so knows what a tedious process it can be. Also, five months ago we took in two additional dogs that were living in a really bad situation. I couldn’t sit back and watch so, along with the rest of our brood; we began to foster two new babies that needed love, patience, understanding and medical attention multiple times a day (don’t get me started on people who refuse to be pet responsible because they are just sucky people that lack compassion and a good heart).
Please don’t read this as me complaining because I assure you I’m not, except for the mistreatment of animals’ part. This particular moment in my life when all feels out of my control and a good reason to just stay in bed most days I can say that it has been a great exercise in looking for that silver lining, a lesson on perspective, if you will. Every time I am overwhelmed or frustrated I try to remember to quietly ask myself, “What is the alternative, Tiffany?” The alternative to being in escrow is to continue renting and, ultimately, living by someone else’s house rules. No pride of ownership, no ability to paint walls or to create my meditation studio in the backyard (something I am practically giddy over). The alternative to having to use my husband’s computer is having no computer to work from at all. The alternative to my crazy work schedule and work trips is no one hiring me, which would leave us broke and in no position to buy this house for which we’re in escrow. And the alternative to taking in our new foster babies would be, well, you can guess what the outcome would have been for them.
I see looking on the positive side of challenges as a muscle of sorts. The more you can do it the better you become at it. It reminds us that life isn’t really as bad as we perceive it to be in the present moment and that, in fact, this too shall pass. It’s only because our present reality looks and feels different than we expected it would (or should) look and feel. That difference in what it “should” be and what it actually “is” is what causes the grief and sometimes, agony.
Now, if someone would have told me this while I was knee deep in pain while going through my divorce I might have told them to stick their positivity up their you-know-what. But you have to believe me on this one, changing your perspective, shifting the energy ever so slightly in the way that you look at a situation, any situation that makes you feel stuck or overwhelmed, can help you to get through the rough patch. I promise. Just try it, even for a moment. Then the next time, try it for two moments. Then three. You get the idea. Pretty soon, you’ll understand one of my favorite poems Invictus by William Ernest Henley:
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the keeper of my soul.
Now, if you’ll excuse me dear one, I have a New Girl to go watch.
Tiffany is an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and change agent. Find her at www.TiffanysTake.com and Instagram: Tiffanys_Take.