I have had a certain
habit quirk neurosis. Okay maybe not my only one, but my most serious. Counting.
I don’t mean like normal counting that might come up in your regular daily life. I mean, like, I count. A lot.
What do I count? Oh, I count how many days till this or that, kind of normal. I count stairs, going up or going down, no matter how many times I’ve counted them before. I learned a while back that lots of people count stairs.
I count how many songs on my playlist, I count how many people have looked at a particular blog post or how many followers I have. I count pages left in my sketchbooks and art journals. I count my art journals. I count weeks till Christmas, how many nights’ dinners worth of groceries I have in the kitchen, and how many dollars I still need to earn to pay the rent and the electricity. The hubs can look over at me and know when I’m counting something. In fact, I didn’t realize how often I was counting before I spent many years with him asking me from time to time what I’m counting…
It may all sound innocent enough. But I learned something. Stick with me here, I do have a point.
My counting can get in the way. It’s an old pattern that keeps me from realizing certain goals and dreams.
Here’s how it goes…when I’m feeling a bit anxious or a bit doubtful, usually about finances, I start counting. Usually I’m counting time or money. It’s like biting your fingernails as an outlet for the stress (although I have conquered that monkey through art journaling, you can read about that here). But instead of biting my fingernails, I count. I even use my fingers to do the counting :)
The big mistake here is that when I’m so focused on the counting of the money or the time, I’m focusing on the need. How many dollars I still need to get something done. Or how few days I have to get it done.
Seriously?? I have been totally focused on the lack, not on my God-given blessings and abundance!! I couldn’t even see it, I thought that I was so optimistic and so good at being grateful and faithful and so focused on creating a life of abundance. I couldn’t see what I was doing to get in my own way.
Crikey! I really hadn’t looked at it that way until very recently. And you know what happened next? I started counting, way less. I almost don’t count at all. And next? Well, next we started getting more calls for cool painting projects. I started getting through some artist tantrums that I was having. I started sleeping better. I even got more patient with the kidlets.
The point in this little story is this:
Are your little quirks helpful or do they stunt your growth? Do you even know what your little quirks are? And if they are not so helpful, can you find another to replace it, that might help you on your chosen paths?
As artists, we have so many options to help us release and express our emotions and work through junk. We have the opportunity to continue learning and growing and building our brain and our soul. Whatever medium we choose at any given moment, we can receive messages from our souls, from our Creator, from our subconscious.
Prompt: What’s your go-to activity to relieve stress??
*I needed a routine to help during my regular counting hours. I’m exploring some options, but one that I’m trying to help with a daily routine is ROOT, Lisa Sonora’s 30 Day Journal Project. It’s actually only day 2, so you can still jump in on this free journaling challenge. For me, this is a great motivator to get past some old baggage I’ve been carrying that kept me from journaling, for about the past 12 years. 30 days seems like a huge commitment to me, so I’ll let you know how it goes :) I did make my own art journal for this journaling and for another journaling project that I’m practicing. This book has me inspired and makes me feel good.