Stepping away from emotional upheavals
One of the hardest things for writers, musicians, artists, composers and others engaged in creative work that requires a mysterious combination of intuition, imagination and focus, is stepping away from emotional upheavals and continuing to work.
Perhaps everyone has this problem. I’m a writer, so I think like a writer and have no idea whether discord around the house, friends grappling with difficult issues, or nasty things in the nightly news impact others to the extent they impact me.
None of us are expected to carry on life as normal in the middle of a family tragedy or a horrifying news events such as 9/11. Obviously, when friends and family are coping with their own upheavals, they will be on our minds whether they live close or far away.
What about other emotionally charged issues?
Counselors, coaches and teachers have told me they have after-work rituals that keep them from bringing problems home from the office. Some of them are able, through practice, to compartmentalize their lives and switch from office mode to non-office mode as easy as one flips a light switch.
Others have rituals: a happy hour stop on the way home, an after work jog, an hour workout in the gym, a scenic drive from office to home, or perhaps a glass of wine and some music when they walk in the front door. One psychologist told me that when he has an emotionally fatiguing day at the office, he takes a shower when he gets home and visualizes washing away the cares of the day.
Psychics, empaths and spiritually based teachers often speak of “grounding.” That is, getting rid of the negative energy they came in contact with during the day. There are various visualization techniques for doing this such as imagining you’re standing within a sphere of pure white positive energy that washes over you–like the psychologist’s shower water–from head to toe until it carries all the bad vibes into the Earth.
If you write or make other kinds of art, it’s difficult to be simultaneously open to your intuition and closed to the negative input from the worst stories in the nightly news.
I find distraction works better for me than trying to follow the psychic’s grounding visualizations. I do better when something comes along that “forces” my thinking away from the event/situation that’s bothering me.
Sometimes a compelling movie or book will do it. This morning, I used the tiller to prepare a plot of ground for some bulbs in front of our house, and that helped pull me away from negative thoughts. An hour on the riding mower helps. There are some rather mindless games on Facebook that require enough attention that they distract me and I’m suddenly free of the nasty thoughts created by the issues of the day.
It goes without saying, I suppose, that an author would find it easy to escape into a good book. My friends who like video games, can escape into them and feel better after an hour of doing something that appears to have no value to it. If you like restoring old cars or cutting your own firewood or volunteering at a soup kitchen, that often draws you away from yourself long enough to help you cope with the latest emotional upheavals.
I find that it helps me not to brood. What about you? Can you turn off the negative crap long enough to enjoy the day, pursue your hobbies, or do an honest day’s work?
Some people refuse to watch the news. That probably helps, but I think we owe it to ourselves and our country to stay informed without falling into despair about the heavy issues. Some people are just naturally positive and find a silver lining everywhere. Maybe that’s good, though I have trouble with it myself.
I guess each of us has to hope that while we can personally solve the major issues of the day, we can still manage to do something that matters.