My Life No. 100!
Well, here we are folks! My ONE HUNDREDTH “My Life: In Balance”!
This started as an experiment last year that came to me during a 5-Day Fast. I’ve been exploring ways in which I might unleash more of the energy I’d like to put in the world: my creative self together with my growing wise-ass-don’t-give-a-damn self.
I’ve learned, you will never heal the world until you have healed yourself, and I’m at the stage where I understand that childhood experiences, and brain-worms stuck in unhelpful grooves, sometimes need to, want to, and CAN BE JOLTED.
What better way than letting it all hang out?
I was meditating on Day 4 of my fast–I was probably just really hungry! LOL–but the second I “had it,” the moment the balancing design came to me, I made a note on a, you guessed it, yellow Post-It that said: “Make this is trope for CarlaGericke.com,” my website where I regularly post about exerting my fullest practical effort in the Free State, i.e. “My Life”.
The first one said: “Crushing Mob Rule” vs. “Becoming a Populist”.
In short, this “My Life” exercise was my own devised cognitive behavioral therapy, done in public, to help me let go of my perfectionism, my inner critic, and my fear of judgement.
The rules of this game were:
1. Telling myself there is no wrong way/No judgement/Nobody cares! <— That’s freeing, not depressing, btw. One of my most popular ones was “Nobody Cares!” with a sad face on one side and “Nobody Cares!” with a smiley face on the other.
2. I had to post the first take, unless the writing was illegible. I did about 10 over, and only on few had more than 2 takes. <—This was surprisingly hard bc of the brain-noodles trying to thwart forward progress: “But the line is skew!” “But the ‘A’ is wrong!” Exercise override function: IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!
3. No deadline beyond “Just do 100 to start; doesn’t matter how long it takes” <— Important because one of my issues is if I set a goal for myself and I don’t crush it immediately, I give up because I’ve “failed,” instead of either a) creating a more aligned goal, or b) giving myself grace for the slide and then continuing on my merry way.
4. I told myself after I’d completed a hundred, I would figure out a book. I realized the other day I can start using the content in other ways, too… Maybe 3 minute vids on what they mean to me/universal truths, as I eke out this book, probably as I add some essays.
I appreciate everyone who has followed along so far, commented, and shared your thoughts. I’m so happy I figured out a short and sweet way to show you some of what’s in my head!
As humans, I think this is our main compulsion: To be seen and understood, but here’s the kicker: You cannot be understood if you cannot articulate your thoughts.
For years, while advancing a successful legal career, I knew my real desire was to be a writer, you know, the people in the business of articulating their thoughts. I remember how, after I returned to college in my mid-30s to get my Master in Fine Arts, angst-y students would ask, “When can I call myself a writer?”
When you claim it.
I started saying I was a writer in 2008, after I sold my first story, but it didn’t feel non-Impostor-real until I held my first book, THE ECSTATIC PESSIMIST, in my hands.
But, over the past year, I’ve realized, I want more: I want to be an ARTIST.
The moment I wrote “ARTIST???” in my journal (yes, with all the question marks; hey, not all the self-confidence and self-awareness comes at once, m’kay? ), it made sense to me in the same way the Post-It series did.
Why this word? Why does ARTIST give me freedom in a way that I need to embrace?
Because through ***habitual*** journaling, I now understand that to me, the label ARTIST is freeing…
Art is subjective.
Art is permission to be weird and not care.
Art is misunderstood.
Art is individual.
Art is trying to make sense of your own thoughts, your own imagination, and the world around you, through your own spark.
Art is showing your soul and hoping someone likes it.
Art is continuing to create, even if no one does.
Art is unstoppable.
So am I.
And so are YOU.