Last week I got pulled into urgency by my old friend the urgency troll. Ironically, it happened while I was writing about how to work through urgency fears.
I was taking a long time to say what I wanted to say, and telling myself to hurry.
The time is now.
If you wait too long it will be too late.
You have to act, there’s no time to think.
My urgency trolls seemed to believe that I NEEDED TO TELL YOU HOW TO TURN AROUND URGENCY TROLLS IMMEDIATELY.
I did not get it done, and lo and behold, a week later I am still alive.
Looking at the self portrait and freewriting poem I drew last week and taped over my urgency troll — I can see that it was a magic spell, and it worked.
You can do this too! (Scroll to the bottom for my urgency dissolving spell.)
Using creativity to work through big questions
Let’s talk a little more about the thing I wanted to urge you non-urgently to do. I had decided last minute to revive my online course, the Creative Magic Workout, and I wanted to remind you to sign up for it.
But a funny thing happened when I gave myself permission to slow down: I realized something didn’t quite fit. Something about the way I’ve been describing my offerings this summer is off.
I’ve been focusing on the creative project, the creative practice — I can help you develop them and get to work on the thing you want to do. And don’t get me wrong, that’s a wonderful thing to do … but it’s not exactly what I do.
What I do is use creativity to work through big questions in life. For most of us, the most pressing issue in our lives is not making time for creative projects. No — it’s our stress level, our toxic job, the pressures of parenthood, our kid in transition, us in transition, our exhaustion, our restless heart, our bills that need to be paid, our heartbreak, our hunger for more.
There are lots of ways to get help for these things. Talk therapy, somatic therapy, hypnosis, yoga, zumba, reiki, massage. Some people go to church every Sunday. Some go out dancing every Friday night. I’m a huge fan of all of these things and have done them all myself (well, except the church).
I’m offering a different kind of help. It’s somewhere between coaching and therapy and it’s firmly rooted in the creative methodology I spent 15 years developing with my theater company — the kinds of exercises we used to generate and improvise performance together. The exercises we used to train ourselves as an ensemble, to build communication and charisma and the ability to make strong choices.
When I went through my own rocky initiation / midlife transition into motherhood five years ago, I started using these exercises not to make projects, but to survive. I used them in my daily life to figure out what I was doing, who I was, where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there.
I did also make a creative project (my solo show, I Hate Positive Thinking). But before, during and after that, I used creative exercises to work through my feelings, to move past my impostor syndrome, to sort out childcare and money and my toxic job, to learn how to make new mom friends, to dream up a new business, to navigate having a second child. I didn’t solve any of these things — but in working through them creatively, something shifted. I shifted.
Once I shifted, what I really wanted to do was clear — and since then when the fog returns to obscure my vision, it’s creative work that helps me get clear again.
Last week I was reminded that what fascinates me about working with other people is the creative project of their lives — their stresses, their blocks, their wants, their needs. We don’t answer the big questions. I don’t give you advice. We work creatively, until something shifts.
Anyway, so I’m not doing the creative magic workout this summer and I’ve decided to take it back to basics. One person at a time, one conversation at a time. If you want to work with me, contact me about scheduling sessions.
And as promised, here is the…
Urgency Dissolving Spell
1. Write down what your urgency troll is saying (and if you want, draw a picure of your urgency troll)
In my case it was…
… If you don’t send this now you’ll be stuck forever!
… You have to decide now!
2. Question each of those statements
… What does moving quickly do for me? Can I slow down?
… Why do I have to hurry?
… How will I be stuck forever? What makes me think that?
… Do I have to decide now? Could I take a little more time?
3. See if there are opposite statements that feel just as true
… Slow down
… There is no need to rush
… If you don’t act now you’ll have many chances to act again
… It’s ok not to know
4. Draw a picture of yourself feeling those words