I’ve taught a class about how to overcome creative roadblocks several times over the last few months. It’s become more and more relevant as the stresses of COVID and the political atmosphere have made creativity harder to find. The largest part of the class is learning to ask yourself questions and then allowing yourself to answer them honestly.
Questions have a power all on their own. They demand answers. Good questions lead to a greater understanding. Vague questions lead to more confusion. If you can learn the skill of asking yourself the right questions, you can solve a whole host of problems.
The other night I woke up to a panic attack. When it was happening, all I knew is that my mind was spinning and I couldn’t shake the feeling of being overwhelmed. It felt as if I had too many things on my plate and there was no possible way to get them all done. What was worse, it also felt as if there were invisible things on my plate that I needed to figure out, but no clues as to what they might be.
The attacks don’t happen often, thankfully. This one was caused by being overtired. The night before I hadn’t slept well because we were camping and I was too hot. Piled on top of that was the coming of another Monday and still not feeling confident about how online schooling was working for my kiddos and if they had the support they needed from me. I know the teachers are doing the best they can and I’m grateful for them. All I need now is for them all to agree to use the cool virtual teaching tools in roughly the same way so I can easily find what the assignments are and make sure they get done.
In a funny way, being part of online school has taught me far more about my kids personalities than anything else.
When these panic attacks strike, it’s time to start asking questions. What are my biggest worries? What of these worries can I do anything about? What of these worries can I let go of? What plans do I need to make to address the things I can change? What needs to be added to my to do list so I can stop trying to hold it in my head? What needs to change in my schedule to accommodate these needs that hasn’t already been added?
As the questions keep flowing, the answers start coming. I write down everything with the intention that no one will see these words besides myself. This writing is a tool, not a product. Once all the questions have been asked and answered and my pages are full, I know what direction I need to go.
There are still stresses, and if I don’t take better care of myself, there’s a chance of another attack in the near future. But, I have a plan in place and the confidence in knowing that the plan works.
Here’s to conquering each and every one of life’s challenges, both big and small.