It’s ok not wanting to do anything for now
: on creating white space, recognising the different rhythms in our life, a great article link on reducing Zoom fatigue, two questions on finding peace
HopeMail #118 | A newsletter about life lessons from daily living, what I’m up to, what I’m thinking, plus my latest writing and drawing work. If a friend forwarded this to you, and you'd like to subscribe, c'mon in.
And welcome to August. Take a deep breath. Whatever it means to you, we are one month into the second half of 2021.
Just the other day, I received an email about various online spiritual retreat opportunities coming up.
Though they are great retreats, led by experienced spiritual directors to spend extended time quietly with the Lord, I know in my heart, the decision is as clear as a bright, sunny day—I’ll pass on the retreats for now.
The same goes for various opportunities to attend some conferences, seminars, webinars, classes.
Dealing with the changes and chaos from the pandemic, grieving for the losses of others and mine, I feel like the moving pieces I’m catching and juggling mentally are getting more and more. And I find myself having lesser energy for some of the [good] things I’d usually be invested in.
And it’s ok.
It’s ok to push back the onslaught of good stuff coming our way, not dismissing the good intentions, of course. It’s ok to not be interested in everything.
It’s ok to listen (with wise discernment) to the voice in our heart, that, hey, in this season, we need more space than we usually do.
When the COVID-19 madness hit in 2020, I, perhaps like some of you, shifted the bulk of my life online.
I welcomed the opportunity to sign up for a number of classes, grateful for the lifting of geographical boundaries and the no commuting hassle to physical locations.
I’m thankful in that period of time, I’ve learnt, completed, and volunteered in various things:
A traditional poem writing workshop with a California University, one memoir writing course with the same university, one storytelling writing course with another, three to four Bible-related classes, an intensive three-month long spiritual growth course, an eight-week prayer course, etc.
As I wrapped up all those courses, something shifted in me—I went from being hungry to overfed.
Also, the introvert in me, got very tired of functioning socially—online. There were so many Zoom this and that with 1different (new) groups of people, putting on a shiny smile, trying to exaggerate the nodding of my head so that the other party knows I’m listening, while being muted. It’s tiring.
At least that’s how I would describe it. So in 2021, I found myself shying away from some of the things I was attracted to.
I know of friends who are bestowed with the ability to juggle so much more in their life than I do now (do their regular work, lead groups, attend multiple classes with homework, etc.). But I know, apart from the business of everyday living, this is what I’m capable of handling for now: juggling the changes resulting from the pandemic, focusing on building my one-artist business.
Also, I felt that I want/need to have the space in my heart for other people—one on one—who might need a listening ear, prayer, or just the encouragement of knowing they are heard, seen, and thought of.
Therefore, I intentionally make room in my life, not stuffing it with too many agendas. I’m learning to get good at creating white space, by culling activities and discerning what to say “no” to.
So, this is what I sensed is the right fit for this season in my life. And it’s ok for now.
You might find this useful
🔗 Experiencing Zoom or video calls fatigue? Stanford researchers explained the four causes and recommended some simple fixes to reduce the effects.
What I’m working on
🎊 After three, (or was it four weeks?) of hard work, I’ve completed and submitted two artwork for a competition.
The second artwork with loads of trees, loads of tiny lines and dots on an A3 sized paper was mentally and physically tough for me. So much so that after my submission, I didn’t touch my drawing pen for two days. One’s gotta know when to take a break before they break!
My eyes got so tired of squinting at the gazillion lines, I resorted to using a magnifying glass to ease the strain. But, in the process, I discovered this method helped me to do more refined lines as I can see the minute spaces enlarged, enabling me to work on it with higher precision.
Competition being competition, only three artists will emerge as the winners. My plan is, if I don’t win the competition, the original artwork will be put up for sale. But for now, I can’t share the artwork with you as publishing it will disqualify me from the competition. 🤷🏻♀️
Thank you for buying my art merchandise
I’m thrilled that my art left the studio and these items will be in people’s houses or offices, what a privilege! So grateful for the support.
Here’s a 0.54 seconds video reel showing the drawing process of “Commitment”.
Before I go
Leaving you with this post from Father Philip Chircop, a Jesuit priest I got to know (from a spiritual retreat :D) a couple of years ago.
Father Philip is an artist at heart, he loves everything beautiful and soulful; painting, music, poetry, good food, and good wine too.
To find peace, sometimes you have to be willing to lose your connection with people, places and things that create all the noise in your life.
What and who do you feel are the people, places and things that may be creating unnecessary noise in your life?
What can you do right here, right now, to connect to the flow of life again?
Till the next issue of HopeMail, take care.
I’m a writer and an artist on a mission to create art that encourages and inspires people towards a kinder, gentler, happier, compassionate world.
My artwork is often inspired by my reflections on life. I love drawing the traditional way and my line illustrations are hand-drawn with fine liner pens on paper. Sometimes, my poem and prose accompany the artwork.
Bring my art home.
These things: groups, new people; drain the energy of an introvert.