My intention for the Inner Excavation was to figure out why I cannot get back to The Journaling Project, to figure out where my energy is blocked and why. I thought I would find a reason for my blocked energy in the Dig Site, and I found a clue but it wasn't what I expected. I thought I might find some old issue or feelings that needed to be addressed or dealt with or worked through. But that’s not what I uncovered.
I started reading the Inner Excavation book as soon as I received it. I read Chapter 1 the Saturday before we began, to prepare. Liz is all about being present in the moment, so I was consciously doing that. And I have a new canvas piece that I began, so I have been thinking about how to get that started. Early last week some ideas bubbled up to the surface. And in the evenings, instead of rushing around getting chores done and then declaring defeat as I scroll through social media on the Kindle, too tired to think or do anything else, I have been getting a few tasks done. Wednesday evening I sat at my art table and painted in my handmade journal (formerly The Stillness Journal), on a piece of the Big Red Figure painting that was glued in.
So, what is going on? Why can I get work done sometimes, then other times I just can’t?
Wordlessness. Stillness. Quiet.
I have written before about how my subconscious fights back and gets me busy and distracted so I can’t think straight. When I delve into the Quiet, Resistance fights to maintain control (or, as Steve calls it, in a joke from Invader Zim, The Resisties). Resistance keeps me running and rushing, so busy I can't think. When I am running through my days, weeks, months, feeling like I can't get anything done, tired when I wake up but moving so slowly I have to rush so I don't miss the bus - this is what my Resistance does to me. When I go on Auto Pilot, Resistance is right there to take the wheel.
But when I take time every day to be still, be calm, be in the moment, relaxing my body throughout the day...I find that ideas come up out of nowhere. I make the time to sit at my art table and work on something rather than convincing myself I'm tired and need to go to bed early. My Left Brain spends a lot of time convincing me I need to get moving! Be productive! GO GO GO! And then when I have a few spare moments I am blank. But after even just a few days of preparing for the Inner Excavation and making time for a Daily Practice as Liz calls it, I found the fog beginning to clear.
It sounds counterproductive, but Daily Calm is allowing me to accomplish more. My Left Brain won’t believe that being still and quiet is a worthwhile activity, but it doesn’t get to be in charge anymore.
I originally called the journal I am working in The Stillness Journal, but I never could get around to working in it, so it is now the Inner Excavation Journal. It is the Art Journaling record of my Dig Site. And the Stillness is a very important clue that I have unearthed.