We talked last week about how creative people need to produce new work to feel good. If you're not working, you feel restless, lethargic - but what do you do when you feel really out of balance? A few years ago in London, I was trying to write my first novel, getting up early before work, writing late into the evening (it was 180,000 words). We'd just got married, renovated our first flat (while living in it ...), and at work we were embroiled in a long tricky project for the Kuwaiti Government (it became known as 'Project Escargot' there was so much slime involved). We didn't have children, so in retrospect I had no idea what tired really meant :) but I needed an MOT, and spotted a new complimentary health clinic on the King's Road. It was a perfect AbFab moment. White walls, sofas, floors. A single cerise orchid. Possibly whale music. A blonde Australian consultant whose perfectly behaved blue-eyed husky sat beside her (he was white of course). In the reception area they had a niche full of Aura Soma bottles. Maybe you've seen these colour therapy tools before? They have all the appeal of gleaming jars in a sweet shop.
The consultant didn't recommend Aura Soma in my case (won't tell you what she did recommend, safe to say once was enough and I didn't go back ...). I still remember how one bottle leapt out from all the rest - pale blue above pale yellow below, a lot like this:
The idea is the therapist interprets your choice, and I guess tells you what is missing, or what you should be concentrating on (in my case possibly a holiday?) Looking at Aura Soma sites this morning a lot also offer psychic readings - whatever you think about this when you talk about psychics, you say 'they have the gift'. What about the rest of us, the artists and the writers? You talk about someone has a gift with words, or a gift with painting. What it comes down to is the gift to interpret the world around us. You've been given something incredible - now it's up to you what to do with it.
When you write, you invite your readers to see the world from your eyes. Everyone taking the time to read this blog I'm guessing has been given a gift with words, even if you're not quite sure what to do with it yet. I'm wondering if a characteristic writers share is a love of giving - do you prefer to give gifts than receive them? Does it make you happy to see friends and loved ones having a great time at a dinner you've put together? Just as you learn to cook better with practice, progressing from studenty spag bol and rough red wine to more ambitious and exciting dishes, if you use the gifts you have been given, flex your strengths and keep improving soon you will come up with a package anyone would be glad to receive.
TODAY'S PROMPT: Things change. These days I'm more likely to take a paracetamol and have an early night than swish off to an all white clinic, but as many of us are parents and writers as well as holding down day-jobs you cannot afford to take yourself for granted. When was the last time you had a good objective look at how balanced your life is? Today the world cycle is in balance - it is the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the longest day - and in the UK Father's Day (have a good one all the dads out there). The children came home armed with gifts of handprint cards and little clay thumbpots painted like a rainbow. They are what reminded me of Aura Soma - the pots were misshapen, but the children were beaming handing them over, and the colours sang. Today, why not have a think about the gifts you have been given, and what you can give back? Why not spend a few minutes and write down all the things you can do well. It's easy to get stuck thinking 'I can't ...' when in fact there are many things you can do that others can't. Which of your skills haven't you been using recently - maybe it would be good for you to refresh your spirit and have a go? Writing is the greatest gift to be given I think, if you use it well. I was reading Andrew Crofts last night - he said how many other professions are there where you are guaranteed to get better and be paid more into your dotage? As Ms Lee sings in today's clip, the best really is yet to come.
6 week programme: let's check in below x