Soft Heart, Tough Skin

Portland woke with a light dusting of white revealing the intricate framework of trees,

Portland woke with a light dusting of white revealing the intricate framework of trees, plants and even the design of the Buddha in my garden. I hit the snooze on my alarm a couple more times than usual, but eventually give way to discipline and I crawl out of bed. Its cold so I move quickly.

A shorter than usual morning meditation, brushing teeth, making a good cup of coffee and a small bite to eat before getting in my car to head off to move my body. Discipline thankfully rules this morning as it does for me most mornings even when I wish it didn’t!

After dance class, I get back to the studio with as much of a plan as possible to paint and do some filming. The studio is really too cold to work in even with the hefty heater working full blast. But we put on an extra layer and go for it anyway.

Small bits of pushing through resistance to working. But the small bits add up to the larger ones and the day is productive. I’m learning that productive doesn’t necessarily mean obsessively one pointed. Productive is sometimes restorative and healing. Productive can be more of a whole and productive doesn’t have to be a stark and somewhat negative word.

As I get older, the importance of a balanced lifestyle comes very clear. I’ve seen in my own sphere that we are more than our minds, more than our bodies and when we neglect either, both suffer.

Being an artist means working for the most part in solitude which comes with plenty of time to goof off when no one is looking, so staying on track is serious business! I talk to my students about the 3 P’s; Perfection leads to procrastination leads to paralysis. One quiet winter days, my tendency is to let discipline be damned and be ruled by whim and poor inclinations. I don’t give in though. I stay in the game, in the flow, with the uncomfortable silence of my house and the slightly cold studio that could be a great excuse for not doing what I’ve got planned for the day. So today, I mastered my disinclination to work. Maybe it doesn’t mean too much, but if I do that tomorrow and the day after that…


One Response

  1. Hello Marla,
    I appreciate this message. I’m not producing during the holidays but that’s OK. My little studio is very cold too! After the holiday I am back on track! It is good to know that you make time for exercise because I swim and walk. I retired from teaching high school special education this past May and have been painting prolifically. I also have a website which defines my new chapter in my life. As the new year approaches I would like to better define my goals and purpose as an artist yet include the disciplines needed to live fully all aspects of my life.
    Thanks again…. Penny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *