Hello, sweet friends!
Truth: I’ve been feeling a little bit uninspired this week. Usually a copy of Vogue and a trip to Whole Foods does the trick, but no dice… Chicago’s gloom has my brain stuck in neutral. Of course, this mental state is relative to my usual inner fettle, which looks like this. Seriously. Ever since I settled on my purpose, I wake up most mornings with a new, shiny feeling. I sense weird sparkly springtime behind my face – I think people who are not me call that general excitement – and I sort of can’t wait to see what the day brings. I highly recommend that you all pick a purpose, too.
Like I said, though, that’s most mornings – this week, I’m being a real pill. But enough of that! It’s our responsibility to inspire ourselves, and my re-animating process goes a lil’ somethin’ like this:
- Window shop. I’m talking tangible stores that you can walk into and purchase things at. Pinterest is super, or so I’ve heard. (I’m sorry if you’re following me! I promise I’ll make something of my account eventually!) But actually being able to touch merchandise; try on clothes you can’t afford, swipe on a wild shade of tester lipstick, sniff some candles, (not glue! That’s bad advice!), be your inner little old lady and squeeze. all. the. fruit. Who needs museums when we have retail?!
- That said, go to a museum… but go solo. I first read about this practice in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. I was feeling creatively blocked when I first read it, and started to follow Julia’s advice of treating myself to an unescorted artful adventure every week. I went to the Art Institute and felt like overgrown Alice in Wonderland as I peered into the Thorne miniatures. I went to the MCA (the best) and marveled at a modern dance performance/Pink Floyd-esque laser show. I went to the Alliance Francaise to crush on Vincent Cassel on the silver screen. I went to the Vic to girl crush on my favorite living artist… although I don’t know if I can recommend that last experience – concerts are more fun with people. Your people… which brings me to:
- Get your girls together. Get your boys together. Do whatever you do, or suggest something new… Turtle races? Dressing up like a gnome/pioneer/Pac-man ghost/whatever, and competing in a city-wide drunken shopping cart race? (Been there, done that… it was cold and I was dressed like Helga from Hey Arnold.) I’ll bet there’s a plethora of strange activities to partake in in your city, too. Or simply call a friend you’d like to catch up with – listening to all of the life/career/finding oneself stuff my go-getter friends are tackling always motivates me to take in my own surroundings and make the most of them.
- Finally, and this is especially important when our own surroundings are 49 shades of grey (I couldn’t): dream a little! When I get bogged down in my day to day, my limited focus goes to handling work stress, squeezing in some exercise, failing to de-poof my hair, what should be done about the coffee that I spilled down the front of my shirt, what’s in my bank account, whether I can afford a Whole Foods hot bar lunch, getting my sh*t done before happy hour… boring, right? Like crazy boring. I’m bored and that was my yesterday. When we use all of our brain power on the quotidian, we lose sight of what we really want out of this life. A good way to bring back the dream is with a vision – an image in your mind’s eye that represents future you living out your ideal.
You probably already have a vision in storage. A friend of mine told me hers involves wearing overalls with nothing underneath (ow ow!) and chopsticks in her hair while she paints. My lovely therapist told me her mentor’s vision: an esteemed, world renowned psychologist who came to this country as a broke single mom and worked as a cleaning lady for years always envisioned herself driving down the highway in a yellow VW convertible while her long polka dot scarf trailed behind her. As soon as she became successful, you’d better believe she started reppin’ that vision with a bug and a polka dot scarf.
I have one, too: I’m sitting near one of those modern stained glass windows a la Anna Built so the warm, kaleidoscopic light colors my view and the exposed brick walls in my stunning loft. I finally have long, flaxen hippie hair streaked with lavender. I’m writing/drawing/humming… just generally creating and Donald Glover, Adam Scott, Nate Ruess (I LOVED YOU BEFORE YOU WERE FUN… although I do prefer this haircut!), and/or Adam Brody is in the next room making me a green juice.
My vision reminds me that I have things to look forward to, and that the universe is on my side. When I think back to how baby Rose imagined her young adulthood… I’m there. And I feel better already! Tell me, what’s your vision? Does your current life reflect dreams of yore? Are you surviving -nay, thriving!- in this icky weather?