Sitting

loft from sitting on meditation cushion

Last night’s a summer solstice labyrinth walk is slipping into the soft dust of yesterday. Today I have a list. It is a long list of tasks that must be accomplished today, this week and next. Some are routine commitments, like typing up the minutes for a meeting. Others are unique and one-time requests, like painting signs for a wedding on recycled wood so that the 120, or so, guests can find their way around a large venue. Nowhere on this list does it say “put brush in hand and do the underpainting for next painting.”

My first response to this creative dilemma was to sleep until twenty-to-eight this morning. Now, my body feels like it has been pretzel-wrapped and would rather break than unfurl. My mind is grumpy. With puffy, blinking eyes I look out the window and see that the sun is already settling on the valley floor. Grudgingly I note “at least there is sun.” Then I remember “oh yeah, I have a blog to write too… and that package needs to be mailed this mornings as well.”

What is a creative woman in service to creativity and its inspired  Creative Potager community to do?

# one – get out of bed and gently untangle limbs and brain… at first hobbling and then gathering some form of jerky tempo on a trip to the washroom. Nothing can be formulated until this task is accomplished.

#two – heat teakettle, hand-grind blend of organic coffee and fill stainless steel insulated coffee press as body and brain cells begin to stretch and fall over each other to gain a more positive outlook on the day. In a moment of stubbornness I ignore them.

#three – climb the wood stairs up to the loft with coffee pot and cup. Place both by laptop for later as I glance longingly at the blank canvas on the easel.

#four – return to the top of the stairs and move past its invitation to decline and go over to the other side of the loft where its high ceiling lets light caress the small space.

#five – bow to the cushion on the floor.

#six – SIT

#seven – go back to desk and add “paint underpainting” to list with an asterisk… which denotes a very important “to do”

I am smiling. All my grumpy stubborn resistance has evaporated like morning dew. Now the day can begin. Among other things, I have a painting to paint!

Not everyone has a formal “sitting practice” such as meditation but most us will sit quietly, informally resting, gathering and sorting mentally, physically and spiritually. In these moments of simply being we can gather direction.

Sprout Question: When has simply sitting been your creative response?

p.s. this is not the blog I intended to write this morning but the goddesses of blog writing had their own ideas… what can I say? Have a most wonderful Tuesday:)

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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19 thoughts on “Sitting

  1. i really like this.

    i had to give myself permission to just sit and watch the world cup games. i know this doesn’t sound very creative, but every game is like a sponge, soaking up the intensity and passion behind every player and 3 billion people watching together….so I know there will be torrent creative out-pour soon enough, but for now, it is okay to sit and just watch in the creativity of football (soccer).

    gratitude,

    anni

  2. Terrill – I am oh-so-sitting with you in your loft. I can’t begin to tell you how that view is anchoring me right now.

    Sprout Question: When has simply sitting been your creative response?

    Your blog is ever-so-timely, Terrill. I have just — as we speak — been the recipient of news that has rocked me to my core. Like ice water in my veins. I can’t share it just now (other than to say no one’s hurt), but need to sit with it for a while. My choice right now is to not react. Rather, to just sit with it for a while.

    • Laurie I am always amazed how the universe gives us what we need when we need it. I am sending calming and resilient energy to you and those you are touch by. You can sit with me in the loft for as long as you like. No explanation required. Take good care my friend and thank you for sharing.

  3. On the rare occasion I am able to sit still (I’m known for fidgiting), my mind eases to a better flow. I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a small notebook and pen in my pocket to jot things down. This has become my creative storehouse if you will. I write down ideas, rough drafts, ect. Sitting down anywhere I can for a minute, helps my mind bring to the forefront, treasures that I do my best to capture and admire like the little white butterflies I used to try and catch with net as a small boy.

    • Joseph your comment about treasures that I do my best to capture and admire like the little white butterflies I used to try and catch with net as a small boy is such a wonderful image for staying in the moment. Thank you so much for your sprout and adding to our understanding of “sitting” – even works we are known for fidgeting:)

  4. Terrill I very much enjoyed this post. However, that said, I can’t relate to it. I’m a doer. I can’t simply sit still — I think it would drive me nuts. When I sit I must read, write, knit…do something. What would happen if I did just sit still? Would the world stop spinning? Would my hair fall out? Would I get eaten by a whale?
    I doubt.
    Would I grow closer to inner peace?
    Ah, but from the ether comes a memory. Me on a park bench…by a river…sitting…alone with my thoughts.
    It did happen — once — and it was good.

    • Thank you Leanne and I am glad that just that once came back today to share with us.

      I can certainly relate to being a “doer.” The thought makes me smile. I have had to practice “sitting” in various forms… whether on a stump in the woods, on a meditation cushion being present is an acquired taste.

  5. “My mind is grumpy. With puffy, blinking eyes I look out the window and see that the sun is already settling on the valley floor. Grudgingly I note “at least there is sun.” Then I remember “oh yeah, I have a blog to write too… and that package needs to be mailed this mornings as well.”

    Ah, haven’t we all endured this inner turmoil on a regular basis? Sometimes we need to sit back and do nothing to await that spark of inspiration, which comes out of nowhere, when we least expect it. In your case it just took a few moments before you hightailed it into full gear. For some it may take hours. Watching movies and other cultural events and sitting in front of the PC gives some of us more sitting time than we should rightfully employ, but the investment usually takes us to the next stage. It’s significant that you initially were resistent to painting, but then with a fleeting afterthough reversed yourself. Application isn’t a given, and comes about only when the mind is ready to engage.

    I do hope all will work out for Laurie.

    And thanks so much for all the kind things you said about me in the previous posts. They are deeply appreciated my friend.

    • Sam you are welcome and I too hope all works out for Laurie. I have heard no more after her comment this morning.

      Thank you for your sprout response Sam… and I did get two underpaintings painted today and the blog written and the package mailed and a few other delightful things unrelated to my creativity… like coaching, walking along the beach and a picnic at the lighthouse. It has been a good day for one that began with a late start:)

  6. Oh sitting, that seemingly insignificant thing, like breathing! I am up at 3:30 a.m., uhm to get a drink of water, yep uh huh…

    My head has held lists of things for days and days upon end, the rest of the body, and the energy within it has somehow discarded automatic features like noticing each thingie with joy. Things are a chore here too. Lamenting over missing things has increasingly taken HUGE chunks of time. Getting into the car to get to the tree place, continues to be pushed…I keep attempting to identify and justify where they have been pushed and having been as yet unsuccessful, I’ve felt pushed right over a cliff. I am really up because even in sleep the brain is focused on lists which seem like things to do until I may have time to live!

    I thank you for your own burst of creative output, that clearly identified that which I was unable to creatively express. I think I should like to put in a work order for the warning bells and ensuing laughter at too much ‘until-ling’ in my head and request an air raid siren for a bit!

    The tea will be going into a jug in two hours, priorities shifted just like that, and the body will be at the Tree Place, and perhaps, just maybe, the body will act as if, and the mind will giggle and dance along! Thank you for this note to self, for me there is no getting ready to express, there is do or do not–one of which makes for a very cranky and out of sorts ME!

    • Thank you Elisa for your heartfelt sprout response. I am imagining you at the Tree Place if not today then the next… if we keep holding the intention our actions seem to find a way to follow. Let us know how you make out.

  7. I have often wondered where our best creative thoughts come from. What inspires creativity? to understand why we even want to create is a good start… and to have a purpose, a message we want to communicate gives value to the process.

    Why is it that the most important things are often put on the back burner while we forge on doing mundane maintanence type things?

    We all need to spend more time sitting and thinking about what is really important and then get focused on doing “first things first.”

    Dr. Seuss said it best. Here a couple of his quotes. “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn alot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”

    I think Dr. Seuss has been a inspiration to lots of kids… as well as adults. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. O the things that you think up if you only try.”

    I recently did a “Thursday 13” post of Dr. Suess quotes that was fun to do and fun to read… it’s on my blog May 20, 2010.

    • Sherwin I love Dr Seuss and his wisdom. Please feel free to leave the link to your blog as well. All appropriate linking is highly encouraged here on Creative Potager. It is part of how stretch and strengthen our creative muscles.

  8. Terrill – I’ve snuck back into your loft to let you know that having sat with my news for almost a day now, I’m feeling much better. I’ll blog about it tomorrow.

    Thank you for sending calming, resilient energy. I sincerely appreciate it.

  9. Pingback: Orange day « Creativepotager's Blog

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