#220 / Don't chase it too hard.

Tuesday Edition

“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself - what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.” - Warsan Shire


green leaves on white surface

It’s dreadfully easy to become so fixated on what we want that we chase it to the point of exhaustion and personal harm, running with abandon and getting no closer to the goal. When something is out of reach, sometimes there’s nothing you can do but stop - gather your thoughts - wait for the right time, and try again with a greater sense of calm, and an actual plan.

The last time I was in Spain, I had set out to climb a mountain. The sun was blistering hot, and the further I got up, the more drained and tired I felt, but I kept pushing myself - saying no, you can’t stop, you’ve not gone far enough yet to earn it. But I was preventing myself from enjoying the climb and feeling the moments of cool air as they passed, while I drove myself into an anxious frenzy.

Eventually, I sat down to drink water and stop and sit on a boulder by the path. As my head cleared I realised that if I’d kept going, kept madly climbing that mountain, I could have collapsed. The right thing to do was to regroup, and stop chasing it so recklessly.

I think if you bend your whole will and your whole self to something and you don’t listen to your heart and what is right for you, it can be destructive at worst and unconstructive at best. Like if you’re searching for someone else to love and throwing too much of you into it with too much hurt in return, you’ll be expending the energy you need to feel love in the first place, and you’ll follow the wrong threads to find it.

I think that this could be the time for patience, and the time to stop and breathe. Find a rock to sit down on. Let the trail wait. Believe me, the trail can wait.

All my love,

Joan

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🐞

Look for the little things. The tiny things we see as being so inconsequential. Look for them this week because they deserve to be seen, and because there is joy in them, and because we too are small and still have value and beauty. 


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Remember that not everything good can happen with a sense of immediacy. Some things take time. The tallest, giant, ancient trees were once buds that survived a cold winter for the first time and gained a little more strength with each passing year.


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Open your calendar app right now and carve out peace. Carve out a few hours this week, if you can, where you will do everything in your power to engineer and coordinate a little tranquility. If that means shutting down the internet in your home. Turning out the lights. Having a friend take the kids for a walk. Whatever you need. Schedule it and make it happen.  


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Watch something that inspires you. A TED talk. A documentary. A movie with a heart of gold. Settle in and try to learn from that inspiration. Learn what it is that lights that fire. By relaxing and watching it instead of forcing yourself through a heavy book or a course, you’ll take the pressure away. That’s a good thing.  


💐

Buy yourself flowers.

Because you should never have to wait for someone else to think of it.

You deserve to think of it and make it happen, for you.  


For Your Spellbook Journal

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Write down the names and one characteristic that you admire of 5 people you love dearly. See who comes to mind, and follow that.


Tuesday Links

Go big. And go home.

“We can't have it all. This is true. At one point or another we must all decide what is more important in life. But I believe there does exist a balance in life whereby we can create amazing things and still create an amazing life at home.

Work is a good thing. Hard work is even better. But why should we neglect our families and other relationships in order to "climb the ladder"? I have found that establishing boundaries around "going big" in my day-to-day life actually helps me better focus when I'm on a project. And then once I hit my limit for the day I can take a big breath and pursue other important areas of life — namely, family.

However, our culture would have us believe the opposite is true. Right? We must make sacrifices in order to get ahead. We have to put in longer, harder hours than anyone else. We are taught that everyone and anyone is our competition. Take care of yourself, they say, and always look for ways to get ahead... no matter the cost..”

Persistence is undervalued.

“Almost two decades ago, a young filmmaker landed on the scene with a movie that became a big deal, winning awards, and making princely sums at the box office. But after that debut, as many critics and fans would agree, every movie he made was worse than the one before it.

Was this creative genius just a one hit wonder? Was that spark of creativity as good as it was going to get?

I know a lot of people feel that way. They may have had a surge of creativity when they were younger. Some idea, some project, some business had some legs. But the follow-ups struggle and fail to reach that same point. They feel like they’ve run out of gas.”

Lost in a rational world.

(Seriously, just watch it!)