June 24, 2011
7 day media fast
7:45 PM. I’m exhausted; I have little energy left to do anything right now. With only silence to fill the space and time I feel the need to stay busy and that need has finally sent me to the couch, to my writing machine.
No TV, no reading, no music, no radio not even in the car, and no internet (blogging is creative process so it passes) means I count the hours as the sun goes down till my head hits the pillow. I mean, how long can one soak in the tub? I prepared a meal from the Healthy Way cookbook tonight—very unlike me. Usually if it takes more than 20 minutes to fix, I don’t cook it. Maureen and Cheri at work asked, “Why are you cooking something new? Are you having company?” No, remember I’m living in silence, no movie to watch, no internet surfing and the book I’m reading sits on my bed side table waiting for next week.
For years I’ve used TV as my night time numb out escape from my business and my work. Believe me when I say it is not fulfilling but usually I don’t care. Just take my mind away so I don’t feel I need to achieve something…especially something that resembles work. If not TV, then reading and music. Max, my dog, is having a withdrawal too as all the sounds are easily heard without any white out noise and he believes it’s his job to let me know we could be in trouble.
So why would I do this crazy making challenge? I’m taking a class called the Artists Way. The goal, at least for this week, is to hear only your own voice to become aware what you could be missing. To continue to peel the layers of false identity to reveal the artist within. That doesn’t necessarily mean one needs to become an actual artist, but rather discover some creative juice, perhaps some joy, some dreams, some truths and along with it some sadness and some elation.
I felt incredibly energetic all day. I thought could it be that important not to watch morning news, listen to my favorite jazz station or check my emails? Maybe. The morning pages, three 8×10 pages I’ve written first thing every morning for the past three weeks, are part to blame for my seemingly new found energy—they are a mind cleanser. And now this! But sitting, just sitting with the clock having about two more hours to tick away before bed, is a bit daunting…and this is only day one.
I’m finding some mysterious joy through the morning writing and I have high hopes for this fasting week, but I’ve been told that there are major ups and downs. I don’t want to stay busy from morning to night or I’ll go back to mind numbing habits. Instead I want (oops, much better to say choose), I choose to be still, be quiet, not work and to feel the creative juices flow.
I’ve planned a few things for my silent time at home starting with more cooking. I don’t especially like cooking but when there is no rush, might as well learn some healthy recipes. I’ll be much more likely to entertain if I know something good to prepare. Tonight I made a concoction using filo dough and spinach. I only made a few mistakes, like not defrosting the dough or the frozen spinach but it turned out really good regardless. And there was no stress because it was only for me. I was starving by the time it was cooked and wanted it to be good, but throwing bad food away is not a new concept for me, especially if I cooked it. So first day, first project done—Yippee! I have a few social evenings planned but the most exciting “artist experience” scheduled so far are flute lessons. I hope it sparks my joy button and that I can actually make some kind of sound that resembles music. It would be wonderful to make the practice anongoing affair. I love losing myself in something creative. I played the flute in High School, but only for a year or so and have no memory of it at all and then again about 20 years ago. At that time I tried it because I was traveling for business and thought it would be nice diversion at night in my hotel room. That didn’t work out so maybe, just maybe this third time could be the charm. I also plan to attend some evening classes at my gym, organize my closet for summer, and fix an Asian wooden decorative container, not sure what to call it, but it was expensive and old and has been sitting in a box for a few years waiting to be mended. It is now spread out on my dining room table in preparation for my attempt at bringing it back to life. I’d actually forgotten about it until I was removing my white slip covers from the couch and chair for cleaning and there is was, hidden in the corner. I previously had avoided it but now I’m grateful for an evening project.
Day 1 feels good. New thoughts percolating in my brain, new awareness’s and a fine dinner done and it’s almost time to put my head on my pillow. Silence may be full of surprises.