Photo: Reuters/Lisi Niesner
Have you ever been wrestling with demons in the darkness only to discover, when the light comes on, that the demons are not who you thought they were?
Since I fired Ambition, I have been in a funk. No passion, no pressure, no juicyness. Anxiety became my new companion along with Discontent and the more I did nothing, the more I wanted to do nothing. Art seemed frivolous. The word pond was dry. My days felt meaningless.
I was looking for a way to get busy again when what I really needed to examine was what happens when I’m NOT busy. Because in that dark place live a host of demons. And a few miracles. Stillness can bring contentment, but only when I have acknowledged, accepted and had conversations with the void.
How many times have you asked someone what they are up to and gotten the reply “I’m really busy”? Of course they are! We live in a world of delicious distractions. Not that doing things is bad but that overdoing can become avoidance.
It did for me.
So much so that when I slowed down I was miserable. I had lost touch with my inner landscape and I didn’t know the way through the darkness. Ambition fueled the busyness, but wasn’t the demon. In fact, Ambition kept me from them. The real demons were grief, fear, lack of confidence, shame…the list goes on. Adrenaline, mental chaos and weekly money dramas were all covering the real orphans who only wanted to be heard. But I wasn’t listening. I was busy being busy.
Stopping, though not a pleasant experience, turned the light on.
Now the hunt for a new boss looks like a team would be a good idea. Maybe Ambititon along with Compassion, Patience and Mediation. I expect I’ll continue to have bouts of busyness. Work needs to get done and bills need to get paid. But the new team will be responsible for building good boundaries around doing…for having daily check-ins to see which orphans need attention…for keeping the light on to see clearly.