I’ve been lost lately.
Burnt out, empty,
nothing to say.
I have this well you see
dip the hand-hewn bucket
it returns to the surface,
brimming with creativity
brimming with art and song and stories and magic.
I was so used to this well
I have been drinking from it for years.
17 editions of books, 103 courses, thousands of illustrations, dozens of journals
to be exact.
But one day I turned up
and all there was
was the distant thud
of wood bucket
against parched soil.
The well was desolate.
So was I.
There used to be a strong voice in here,
One of Great Spirit.
One I need only open my ears for,
and it would spin the stories through me.
I was her dictation assistant
I was just her vessel.
But now.. now…
There’s only an echo chamber
of a thousand voices
all merged and muffled
into one distant din.
And I’m sad and I’m lost and I don’t know how to magic it back.
I can tell you why the well went dry,
why the voice went silent.
It’s a perfectly reasonable response to the circumstances, you know?
I’ve worked too hard for too long.
I haven’t taken breaks.
I’ve moved a lot.
My company has doubled in size again.
The pace is faster.
I feel like I can’t keep up.
I’ve reacted instead of created.
I’m breaking all my golden rules.
I’ve worked too many weekends.
I’ve forgotten to have outside hobbies.
I’ve got a vast deficit in fun and ridiculous aimless adventures.
I have small children.
Criticism, trolling, online vitriol.
Social media comparisonitis.
I feel simultaneously exposed and also not seen at all.
And this will sound remarkably 1%ish, but having a public figure is becoming more and more difficult to manage. Live events and meet and greets leave me reeling and empty for days, weeks, months.
But most of all,
the reason is…
I haven’t tended to the well.
Haven’t filled it back up.
Haven’t cleaned it up.
Haven’t thought about it.
Just expected it to be there when I needed it.
Hiro tells me:
“Leonie, your energy is a bank account. You’ve been withdrawing large amounts for a very long time without putting anything in. What else could happen but for your bank account to get overdrawn?”
And I shrug my shoulders, nod miserably.
I don’t know how to change it.
I don’t know the answer.
I know I must find it though.
I’ve taken to journalling each day.
When lost, return to the basics.
Julia Cameron’s prescription usually bears good results.
Tiny answers come to me one by one.
Nothing to change the world.
No instant healing.
I’m not expecting it to.
But 100 small changes will add up.
This is no one’s responsibility but my own.
My team can’t save me, my husband can’t save me.
Not when I’m running from myself.
Last night, in the car, hurtling through the dark.
David Whyte’s voice weaves its way out through speakers.
His words make my heart still.
“There are three kinds of marriages.
Your marriage with another, with the people you have committed to love and respect through the big and the bad. Your husband, your children, your friends.
Your marriage with your work. That thing you do that you commit to love and turn up for no matter how hard it is.
Your marriage with yourself, the one you cannot leave.
And all three of these kinds of marriages are equally important. And if we put all our attention on one or two, if we neglect some of those marriages, it is to the detriment of all three marriages.
And what is needed in all three of those marriages is conversation. Presence. Reminding them you care enough to listen and tend to that relationship. Making time for that marriage because it is important to you.”
I sit in the car for a long while after that,
Thinking about all the ways I dropped the conversation with myself and my work. All the ways I forgot to love and romance those two marriages.
Without them, life has lost its colour… my heart has lost its juice.
I have a plan.
I will win them back.
I’m just a girl…
standing in front of her art
and her self
asking them to love her.
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