I awoke two weeks ago feeling drained of energy and motivation. I was lonely. It had been months since I’d spent time with friends, and living in the forest of a new country is isolating. My creativity had taken a giant blow- my life felt grey and dull. As I sat at the dining room table one morning, thinking about how to breathe life back into my art, I watched as fog rose from the field in the orange morning light. It was beautiful, but my body and mind felt so tired all I could think about was going back to bed.
Fighting the urge to crawl back into my cozy sheets, I continued to sip my coffee and stare out the window. I was determined to figure a way out of the awful depression that took hold as the summer faded. As I watched, I began to notice how the wisps of fog flowed over the browning ferns that glistened and sparkled with the seasons first frost. I felt a spark inside of me that soon grew into a small flame, shedding some light into the darkness.
I was taken by the colors of the light and the season, and how it was reflected and refracted off of the frost and through the drops of water that fell from the bare apple tree. As I looked closer I could see thousands of tiny threads attached from limb to limb on the gnarled branches that also caught the light in a very special way. The spiders had created a masterpiece. I was moved to catch this early morning moment on video. Though my body was slow to catch up, my mind was bright as the morning itself. I forced myself out of my seat, threw on mismatching wool socks, my hat, several layers of sweaters and some gloves and grabbed my gear to follow this moment of inspiration- not exactly certain of where it would lead me.
My resistance to movement and to the cold gave way to warmth and excitement. Though I felt tired, I was more focused on testing settings and angles with my camera. I soon forgot about my hatred for the cold, and was overcome with the beauty this season has to offer. It was vibrant, colorful, and the textures from the frost and old apple tree were captivating. I spent over an hour outside and would have stayed longer if my puppy hadn’t begged me to go inside with his shivering paws.
As I sat down at my computer that afternoon to look at my footage, I looked up to see a quote I had written down by one of my favorite authors, Sark- “Action before inspiration!” it said, scribbled on the front of my journal. I look at this everyday, but the thought had always seemed daunting. Now I understood. If I want to get out of this depression, I must make moves to do so, even- or rather, especially– when it is uncomfortable to do so. And so I made a commitment to myself to write each and every morning. When I find myself feeling bored, I take a walk or play with my puppy. I sometimes have to force myself to sit down at my computer to edit videos, but once I do, I am always glad I did.
Now, two weeks later- I have a daily practice. I get up in the morning and write my morning pages. Then I read affirmations and stretch while reciting them. I then find something creative to do from a list I have prepared for those moments when I can’t think of anything else to do. My only goal is to get moving, and everything generally seems to fall into place after that. If it doesn’t, I just try a different task. The only thing that matters now is that I am trying, and that I keep moving. Things might not be perfect, but I am finding my way.