What is it about unproductive days? Or even whole weeks? And what’s with this elevated demand on myself and heightened self-criticism?
Yesterday I acquired a new client, completed two deadlines,
finished some old business, reorganized my office and even gave in to
spontaneous inspiration and wrote creatively. I even read several chapters in
the new book I just got from the library.
So why was I feeling that I was somehow stuck in a funk?
I felt like I was stuck on that proverbial hamster wheel.
And I felt unproductive.
My activities were clouded by that terrible old “oh boy, you are wasting time!” mantra. And because of that (yes, I will blame the clumsy foibles of the day on that murky self-criticism, not on a natural character flaw that I am simply awkward and careless), I tripped over one mishap after another.
- While cleaning the toilet, my reading glasses slid off my head and splashed in the cleansing film (Think: the glass is half full – my glasses are now very clean!)
- While vacuuming the floor, I lost 3 bobby pins, my best sewing needle, the corner of my bed sheet, a dime, and my “to do” list as it blew off the desk from the air stirred by my activity and landed in the precise place I was turning with the vacuum head. (Think: the glass is half full – the vacuum cleaner works really well!)
- I misplaced (OK, maybe I lost them) my daughter’s keys. So I also lost an hour of time traipsing back and forth from the car to the house too many times to recall. I emptied my purse and my brief case, cleaned out the car, and reorganized my desk before finally deciding to go to her dad’s work place (in another car) to get his spare key. (Think: the glass is half full - I was touched by inspiration as I admired the humor and skill of the artwork at F.B. Fogg where he works).
- While driving my daughter’s convertible out to my sister’s house (too fast) on a country road that is (almost always) void of other cars, I suddenly noticed that someone’s trash can was too close to the edge of the road. But by some fluke, another car was racing toward me, so I couldn’t veer into the other lane. I hit the trash can and knocked loose the passenger rear view mirror. (Think: the glass is half full – I just happen to have a brand new tube of super glue!)
And this is just a sampling… the day was full of clumsy mishaps.
It is now, in the quiet moments of the day and the rising
moon’s reflection on the still water before me, that I hear the words of the
psalmist: “my cup overflows”.
I contemplate, and I hear more: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me… Thou dost anoint my head with oil and my cup overflows…”
Yes! I laugh out loud. I see it all now in bright clarity:
- Nakaima Sama has been blowing bubbles all day long and the swirling wind brought them to me, stalling so they would hover over me and mist me with a cleansing spray as they popped one by one;
- My muse is dancing in my shadow, distracting me from practical tasks, kicking up fairy dust to cloud my vision;
- My cup overflows with God’s full spirit and creative spices.
I see it all now – the ideas and visions are saturating me,
oozing from my pores like hard-earned sweat. That unproductive feeling was
nothing more than a higher demand to go into incubation.
Sure, I might very well be clumsy and careless, but these
character flaws are irrelevant in the bigger picture. You see, the blessings of
the Dream Giver are so much bigger than any human effort to overcome personal
flaws. The Giver of Creativity protects as it fills its cups with this powerful
Oh my, I can not write quickly enough to capture all the visions, but it causes me no fret for a gift is a gift forever. The gift of the visions is in me and I know it.
As I take in the night fall at the close of what I thought was an unproductive day, I listen to the overflow at the brim of my cup. My eyes close, pulling up the corners of my mouth and I drift into the lullabye of the river, the forefather, Nakaima Sama, my muse, the bubbles, the wind, and the Dream Giver: “it is well; it is well with my soul!”