Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Re-turn, Re-new, Re-fresh, Re-whew…I’m pooped!

All of the “Re” words seem to surface this time of year for me. Why’s that? Perhaps it’s my schedule. I spend the year writing music, recording and rocking out all year and ending in an intense summer tour with my band and like a puppy dog, run and run and run until all of my energy is spent…then the collapse.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that I arrive at the Re-turning and Re-newing season COMPLETELY depleted. I’ve given this some thought and it seems I’ve succumbed to a worldwide pressure to continuously innovate, re-create myself, build something totally new – or - get left behind. It’s EXHAUSTING. Who’s with me??

The world is moving so fast – and for us independent artists out there, whether you’re a musician like me, or a graphic artist, actor, dancer, culture creator – it’s getting even tougher. We now have added to our job descriptions: promoter, social media expert, graphic designer, business manager, pr machine, event creators, booker – oh yeah, and by the way, don’t forget to…CREATE ART! I feel like we need to REsurrect Susan Powders’ famous rant: “Stop the insanity”!

But the truth is:

Time won’t stop.

NY won’t stop.

Culture creation won’t stop.

Media progress won’t stop.

We have to remember what every therapist says to a client: you only have the power to control your OWN behavior, not the world’s. Right?

So, here’s my big epiphany – and it ain’t brain surgery here, folks. Take it if it helps!

In order to Re-turn to work, Re-newed, Re-freshed, Re-invigorated, I FIRST have to Re-charge my batteries! Aka: take my batteries out, put them in the charger and just be for a little bit. Be still, be quiet, be seated…just BE.

And trust me, easier said than done. This coming from a person who had to write bathroom breaks into her daily schedule when she worked at camp, or else she’d forget to go. But if I am going to continue to serve the community, to inspire young girls to pick up instruments and rock out, well, I have to model more than just power chords and cranking the volume on my amp. I have to be my best self – and that includes scheduling the time-outs that I need to Re-charge.

So thanks, Jewish calendar, for the month of Elul. Thanks, book of Nehemiah for naming the first Rosh Hashana, where my job is to sit, listen to words of ancient wisdom for deep understanding and relevance – step out of my schedule, out my head and listen closely for what the past can tell me about the present and future. This is another type of RE-CYCLING I can get behind…Pretty clever of you to set this time up just when I needed it. How did you know?

This post is part of Jewels of Elul, which celebrates the Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days of the month of Elul to growth and discovery in preparation for the coming high holy days. This year the program is benefiting Beit T'shuvah, a residential addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. You can subscribe on Jewels of Elul to receive inspirational reflections from public figures each day of the month. You don’t have to be on the blog tour to write a blog post on “The Art of Beginning... Again”. We invite everyone to post this month (August 11th - September 8th) with Jewels of Elul to grow and learn.


Lisa Colton said...

I'm with you sister! One thing I love about working in the Jewish community is that a big part of my work world also slows down right about now. With a long weekend at just the right time, I thought about planning meals, cleaning and organizing house, catching up from a summer of travel. And then, I decided go to camping with kids and friends. Because nothing makes me slow down more than being in a place where the only really productive thing is to make the next meal. For me, it's "REtreat!" Wanna come?! Great post. L'shana tova, chica.

Laura said...

Hi sweetie have a surprise waiting for you at my blog :)