Today, I lost my mojo. I woke up so excited to go to the lake and paint. But, I let all kinds of doubts, frustrations, annoyances, and even responsibilities get in the way. By the time I left my house, I was in such a funk. I sat in my car for two hours just feeling defeated.
This is why it’s important to have friends who are so connected to you that they feel led to reach out when you are feeling off your game. My dear friend messaged me at the right time and our conversation lifted me. I went from, conceding to just go stand by the water, to actually getting my canvas, paints and brushes (and a snack, lol) and heading to my favorite bench to begin to paint.
When I arrived, all I had was a rough sketch that I was primarily frustrated with, but I sat and worked with it until I found my flow. I stopped checking my phone and trusted that this time was just for me. I worked until it no longer felt like work. I felt my smile come back and I remembered the joy (that is still new to me) that happens when I paint.
It was fun to interact with passersby as they paused to watch what I was doing. And, I primarily enjoyed the solitude. I look forward to fine tuning this piece and finding a home for it.
I’m glad I didn’t give up my day to those emotions I was feeling earlier. I’m grateful for dear friends who help me get going on my intentions when I fall into a funk.
Update: Now, days later, I can see what happened and how to use this information in the future. Let me explain.
One of the things that helped me get out of the car was remembering my intention and the joy I felt when I first woke up. I felt so inspired and driven and something within me believed that moment mattered more than how I was feeling sitting in that car. I recognized that the only reason I was feeling so down because that morning I bought into so many discouraging and distracting thoughts. I internalized every self-criticism and fearful suggestion. I gave away my bliss by giving into negativity.
If I simply ignored those thoughts and focused on my intention to get out the house, I could’ve maintained my great mood. There’s a phrase, “Where focus goes, energy flows.” It’s accurate. By giving in to fearful, discouraging thoughts, I nearly tanked my whole day. Each distracting, “I should do this before I leave,” brought on another. Every “What if it doesn’t work out?” thought brought on another. Once I gave in to the first negative thought, the rest came in like a flood. In retrospect, I see that my intention and feelings first thing that morning are where I should have concentrated my focus. Our moments of inspiration fresh from rest are often the truest moments in our day. All the fears and frustrations that come along to choke out that feeling are the lies.
It is not always easy to press through and get things done when we’re in a funk. It’s important to be kind and loving toward ourselves in those moments. As I reflect, I see that I was able to find my way back to inspiration because I didn’t beat myself up for not getting out the car. I put my seat back and my feet up and relaxed into the moment. I made peace with the idea that maybe all I would do there was get a few moments of chill time by the lake. I wasn’t happy about not painting, but I made peace with the likelihood that I wouldn’t.
The funny thing is that by choosing to let go, I slowly returned to a state of rest. In a restful state, it is easier to “hear” guidance. As I began messaging with my friend, I became calmer because she was being supportive and our exchange was energizing. Inspired thoughts came to mind, while we chatted, and I didn’t ignore them. I thought, “Maybe I could get out the car and just stand by the water.” I didn’t ignore it. I started sitting up and thinking about what I needed to do next to make that happen. As I began to feel a little better, I thought, “Well, I did come here to paint. I could get my things and head to the bench.” I messaged my friend and told her that I was thinking about painting. I opened my door and started to gather my things. As I headed to the bench, I thought, “If I don’t feel like painting, I can just work on the sketch.” And after a while of working on the sketch, I thought, “Well, I could start on the background.” And next thing I was filling in the silhouette. I didn’t ignore the inspiring thoughts. I didn’t remain committed to the funk. I listened. I shifted out of the funk, one thought at a time.
When we quiet our minds we are able to receive guidance. Often, that is the key to getting out of those moments. Overcoming a funk is similar to untying a knot. It’s a patient, step-by-step process. You get out of it the same way got into it—one thought at a time.