Vision, Art & Faith meet Transition
A transition is exactly that- a passage to something new.
Brussels has officially de-quarantined and everything is pretty much back to normal with an emphasis on social distancing and required masks in a few public spaces. Cafes are packed, shops have lines of people and buses and trams are back to their normal schedule. As people are moving here and there it seems like 3 months of seclusion didn't even happen. I also find myself getting back into the groove of things but this time with an entirely different energy and approach.
I used to rip and run always trying to get somewhere, always worrying about this or that and operating in a constant state of emergency or fear of uncertainty. My days were filled with anticipation of all the things I needed to start, do, and get done. It got so bad that I'd have some days completely free with, say, one meeting or event at 7pm and I'd still plan my whole day around that one thing. I was just anxious all the time. Despite all the ripping and running I still felt like I wasn't doing enough which made me even more anxious and created a shadow of self-doubt that I could never quite shake. Over time I noticed this approach to my day to day life affected my mood, self-confidence and how I approached my work.
I wasn't happy with my own choreography, thinking it should be more this or that and assumed it wasn't good enough. I couldn't even walk into the dance studio without the pressure to make something good or impressive. I wasn't really focusing on what gave me joy, but instead pushed my feelings aside and begrudgingly did things that needed to get done. I worried about money even though I had enough (and always do), but felt the fear more so than the adventure of being a freelancer. I was just anxious and living in the future instead of living and enjoying each moment of every day. Despite what people saw on the outside deep down....
I was a bit of a mess.
I'd built and lived in this reality for years and it seemed to worsen overtime. As soon as I got to Belgium I felt like I had to do, do ,do to make my life happen: friends, relationships, work, etc. I felt like my survival depended on me doing every thing under that sun and being good at it. Anything that wasn't right was then a reflection of my worth. At one point my sense of self was so warped, so low that everyday felt like I was picking up pieces and puzzling them together enough just to make it through. Everyday I woke up and found myself in this continuous cycle of anxiety and everything I did was performative and external.
Then, in quarantine, I transitioned. I slowly found a passage into something new; a chance to choose and transform my life. It was through the habits and approaches that I adopted on the way that created a new, peaceful and unapologetic reality. I share pictures and videos on social media for me and not for likes, I blog even if no one reads them, I don't take jobs if they don't interest me and if feel I need to rest I won't hesitate to re-schedule my plans that day. Although a bit difficult in practice, this transition is built on keeping joy and peace at the center of my reality.
Most importantly, I've slowed down and found consistent balance and peace by taking every day at a time and living fully in each moment. In this state I'm more in touch with my feelings and focused on things that make me happy, realizing that my joy is what matters to me most. If I drift to a stagnant or restless place, I acknowledge how I feel and mindfully shift to something else because it wasn't just about my newly adopted daily habits but also a deeper understanding of how I approach myself and my days. For example, between finishing a grant application and studying Dutch I might get some air by taking a quick 10 minute walk to the store, or watch an episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Sometimes these mini transitions are more important than the tasks or moments themselves, as if the transition became a way to check in with myself and reset my thoughts. So instead of letting thoughts and feelings build up on top of one another, I gradually release them throughout the day.
Upon hearing that we would be going back to "normal" I started feel my old habits return along with the. Instantly, I reminded myself that I create my reality. I do not have to go fast. I do not have to rush. I do not have to fit everything into one day. My reality is and will always be calm, peaceful, joyous, honesty and abundant.
Will I still have days where I doubt? Of course (I already have). I'm so used to being in a stressful state that this new reality doesn't even feel real or there's a piece of me that's still on alert or afraid of what could take me out of this high. But when that thought pops up, I remind myself to sink into what I learned while in transition; to slow down, keep joy at the center of everything and do what I can with what I have. I can't control what happens around me but in quarantine (which I'm renaming- transition) I discovered the tools and trust that I need to create the best new reality for myself and therefore others.
Thanks for reading,
And Remember to Always have Faith, Keep a Vision, & Make Art in Everything that you Do.