Is the Economy Messing With Your Mind?

4:04 PM

Let me be more specific - is the economy messing with your left brain? Is that in turn messing with your right brain? I heard from several folks with regard to yesterday's post. It seems the economy is a common left brain theme and a number of folks asked the same question: The economy doesn't appear to be improving very quickly, so how do we move forward, get back to making art? Several thoughts came to mind:

Turn off the News. The "News" - local, national or web - is not our friend. It is BIG BUSINESS and the better job they do at getting us to watch the news the better chance they can sell something! This is not about keeping us informed - it's about selling. After the first 15 minutes, turn the television off and go to the studio. Use the time to draw or paint. 

What can we do about "it"? Whatever "it" is, we only have so much control. Can we change it? Stop it? Effect it? Decide what it is that can be done and do it. Then LET IT GO. If we can't change it, stop it or effect it, all the well-meaning worry in the world is not going to do any good. LET. IT. GO. Save the energy, focus, and time for the things that can be changed, stopped, or effected.

Speaking of energy, focus and time, do a mental check. We need to be aware of where our energy is going, what our main focus is, and how we are spending our time. Is it positive or are the holding patterns of worry our left brain uses to keep us "safe" instead making us useless? After all, now is not the time to be starting anything new or doing anything risky, right? 

Check out the people we spend time with or around - are they positive or negative? I ran into an old neighbor at the grocery a while back. He's what I call a "Doomsdayer". He LOVES to discuss how bad everything is, how we're all doomed. After talking with him I felt like coming home, locking all the doors, pulling the blinds, and hiding under the bed until this all blew over. Never mind that I had just come from the grocery (where I bought dinner) in my vehicle (that had gas in it) to my house (that still had the lights on and energy to cook with)! Sometimes we have to be around a negative person. It's okay to say in a polite way that we really would rather not talk about the economy or possible layoffs, etc. Then firmly change the subject.

Check those conversations and thoughts. It is so easy to join a negative conversation where everyone is down on just about everything and add to the negativity than it is to try and turn the conversation positive or walk away. Next time, see if the tide of the conversation can be turned. Another neighbor was out walking her dog one evening and she started telling me how her company was cutting back hours, maybe jobs, asking for everyone to take a pay cut. I asked her if she still had a job, and she replied yes. I asked if she still had benefits. Yes. My response was "then you're doing all right!" And she agreed. Then she started talking about all the positive things the company was trying to do to weather the storm. She left happier. 

And last but certainly not least, make art therapeutic. It can be an escape from all the negative, yucky news we're hearing everyday, all day.  Turn on your favorite music (if you're in the studio) and tell your left brain to be quiet. If it won't be quiet, ignore it. Call out your muse and play. Don't judge whether it is good enough, or time well spent. Simply create. Short on time? Take a sketchbook and sketch at lunch, doodle during a meeting, at the doctor's office or little league practice or the Jeep dealership. 

Begin. Start. Create. Suspend judgement. Simply create. For yourself. For your sanity. Just for a little while, forget . . . . 

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3 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Great post, Laure!

    I read a little anecdote years ago that I often recall. It's religious in nature, but the truth it embodies is universal.

    Supposedly St. Frances of Assisi was out one day hoeing in his garden. A fellow monk stopped by and asked St. Frances what he would do for the rest of the day if he knew the Lord was coming back that very day. St. Frances replied that he would keep hoeing his garden.

    I love that! If we do what needs to be done everyday then we're doing what we ought to be doing and there's no need for "gloom, despair and agony on me".

    Today's over-sensationalized, provocative reporting is a major pet peeve of mine. Be nice if they'd teach a course in integrity in schools of journalism. Sure do miss Walter Cronkite!

  2. Interesting post. I need to let my DH read it...he listens to CNN ALL the time. While I go about my business and it all becomes background noise while I create.

  3. Great anecdote, Teresa, I love it! It may not be glamorous but art, or anything else for that matter, is about showing up and doing "it" everyday. Rain, shine, snow, sleet, blizzard, night, day, good or bad. Just do it. And as to the news, don't even get me started!

    Teri, good for you girl! When Chris turns the news on in the morning I retreat to the studio. I simply don't want to hear it. I am well aware of what is going on, I just don't want a blow by blow account told by someone with a gleam in their eye!


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