" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

February 24, 2010

Personal Progress, Plateaus and Illusions

On a walk one day, heading back from Vesuvius Bay, I thought it was so cool that it looked as if this ladder was perched for me to quickly climb to the top of Mount Maxwell and step gingerly off onto the moss that would surely greet my first step upon arrival on its flat top. Illusion.

I've been reading The Artist's Way and doing my morning papers faithfully. I have a lot of questions right now that have to do with feeling like perhaps I've reached another plateau.

It's so easy to forget where we've come from and too often, in my case, failed to properly acknowledge. When we have achieved something, too often, if you're like me, you forget all about where you were before you accomplished the last bunch of stuff you did and soon, at a plateau, you're looking around feeling stuck without taking the time to acknowledge so much of what has happened to move you to the place you're now at.

This book, The Artist's Way, has made me recognize that and made me think that the reason I'm now feeling the way I am - a little bewildered as to my next move - it's because I have failed to properly acknowledge that goals, once accomplished, even in the airy, fairy way that I even have goals, call for new desires to be unearthed and if it's the right time, accomplished. That is what leads to new experiences. If that isn't happening, it's time to question why you are standing still and what can be done to keep moving forward. I think that's what I've been thinking about lately.

For example, I never imagined years ago, when I used to come to Salt Spring Island as a tourist that I would ever a) live here or b) be one of those people who sold stuff at the market. But I am and I did. That was last year. In the past it would have seemed like a ridiculous notion, now accomplished. Whoa. When I put it that way, that's cool!

When it comes to the market last year didn't require a lot of thought. I matted my photos. I made my photo cards. I sold them. I talked to a lot of people. I heard people's responses to my images.  This year that's not good enough.  I need a new product I say. What can I do differently with my photos? How can I present them in a way that is unique? Is there a more interesting technique to set them apart? The bar has been raised. And, I know, from my own past experience and from being around other creative types that asking those questions is a never ending path.

Lately, I've been asking if living here is the right place at this point in my life. I'm not so sure it is. I love it here. It's beautiful. I have made some very dear friends who I would miss immensely but is it really the right time for me to be living here now that I know what "the dream" of living on a Gulf Island is like. And, I know the challenges. I have to ask myself, again, what do you really want your life to be like on a daily basis. If a lack of money is the only thing you are lacking is that big enough to move or does it just mean I have to try harder to bring it into my life here?

I need to try harder to financially make it work and would all it take is for me to believe, wholeheartedly, that that is all it would take - trying harder - or is that not a realistic assessment of how challenging it truly is to make a living here?

But, I"m supposed to be a writer says my inner voice. You can make a living from anywhere they say. Theoretically, I know that's true. It has not yet been true for me to the degree I need it to be true. What's preventing that from happening wholeheartedly I wonder?

When I said to my friend Karin that maybe I'm not supposed to do this or I would have been more successful by now, she just looked at me and said, "It's hard. Who said it was going to be easy?" I hate it when she zeros in on a life truth so succinctly.

Not that you asked, but this is what I've been thinking about too much lately and wondering how to move forward.

What do you do when you feel you've reached a plateau and need to get to the next phase of your journey?

No comments: