Shake Things Up

I wrote the words “Shake Things Up” at the top of a page in my notebook this week. I’ve been working on a plan to reinvigorate my art-making as lately I’ve been feeling a bit off. I know inspiration ebbs and flows. Energy ebbs and flows. I know inertia can be hard to overcome.

Knowing doesn’t make it any easier.

The Lilies are Blooming in My Garden

The other day I saw a book at the library. The title was something like 100 Side Hustles. I thought about that title. I thought about the word “hustle”. And I realized I don’t want to hustle. Hustle implies hurry. It implies constant, forced movement. Hustle is the opposite of stillness. It doesn’t allow for reflection. It doesn’t allow for deep growth. And it’s not sustainable. I looked up definitions of the word hustle. A lot of them have a negative connotation. Why choose that path for your business? Why choose that path for your life?

Lemon Mint Blooming in My Morning Garden With Charlie the Rescued Greyhound Watching

Our society seems to glorify the hustle. It’s hard not to feel the pressure to keep up. And maybe that’s part of what I’ve been feeling. Pressure. And then guilt and anxiety for not wanting to join in.

I guess it all goes along with what I’ve been saying these last few months. And with my intention for my word of the year: GROW.

A Dill Flower is Beautiful if You Look Closely

Often the most important growth happens underground. It’s invisible to the rest of the world. It’s not “Instagram-able”. It’s not “Pinterest-Worthy” and yet, it’s vital. And it takes time. It can’t be rushed. It can’t be hustled.

And so when I think about shaking things up it’s not with the intension to jolt myself into action. Instead it’s about waking myself up. Bringing back the joy. Remembering who I am and who I want to be.

At the bottom of the page where I wrote “Shake Things Up” I wrote “Be more ME!!”

A Peach Nasturtium Peeking Out from Other Plants

I needed the reminder.

Maybe you do, too?

Here are some more ideas:

  • Write a list of what you want your life to be (and a list of what you don’t want your life to be). I filled up pages and pages in my journal contemplating those questions and it felt good.

  • Describe your ideal day.

  • Write a list of all the projects you have in mind and all the things you want to learn and try. Then ask yourself what’s stopping you? Is it lack of time? Lack of money? Is it fear?

    • If it’s lack of time, look at what you can cut out of your days, what time you can reclaim from activities that no longer serve you.

    • If it’s lack of money, look at what you already have and use that.

    • If it’s fear ask yourself “what’s the worst that could happen?”

  • Unplug! Getting offline can relieve some of the pressure to keep up with the hustle. It gives us time and space to think or maybe just to be.

  • Do things differently — if you always work in silence, try turning on some music. If you always eat breakfast in the kitchen, try eating in the dining room or better yet, outside. Try turning down a different street on your walk. Shake things up. Even the smallest changes can help shift our perspective.

The Monarchs Love the Mexican Sunflowers Blooming in My Garden

What other ideas do you have? I’d love to hear about them. For me, just taking time to think about this has been energizing and affirming. I wish the same for you.