"I Declare, This Space is Now Clean."
Ah, Twyla Tharp's "The Creative Habit". It's so refreshing to read someone who makes NO apologies for having high standards and who has made the choice to give herself over to her art, continually immersing herself in the world to uncover the most compelling stories to tell.
Commenting on which of a composer's works she selects for a dance, she writes:
"You only go around once, so I'm not interested in creating dances to their minor works."
Ooh...how many of us give ourselves permission to simply say, "I'm not interested in this, it simply isn't worth my time." (Especially you women out there...I mean that isn't very nice, is it?)
As for the habits which feed creativity, she's very pragmatic and makes no bones about it...you won't accomplish anything worthwhile in life if you don't show up to the task of creating it...and you have to show up every day.
Right on, Twyla.
So, I was reading about how she approaches projects from an organizational point of view and since my own system needed tweaking I got the bug to reorganize my office.
That's when it started.
I have a lovely little office, with nice windows that I can open and watch the birds frolic in the birdbaths outside. I have many books and a new computer and it's all very charming, kind of like an English library (with incense). BUT, the air in the room simply never felt right.
Even with the windows open the air in my office felt like lead every time I walked in the room. I could feel it just like a wall...dead, heavy, still. Nowhere else in my home feels that way.
So, I started to organize my binders and clean files and all of a sudden it dawns on me. I picked up a file of evaluations from my former employer. I always got excellent 'grades', but also sandwiched in this file were all the letters back and forth with HR when my salary got cut (long story), the letters about my choice to withdraw an application for a higher position when it was clear that I had stepped in to a major political battle, as admitted to by my own boss (even looonger story).
There were old, thick files of deposition transcripts where I was called on as an expert witness (talk about stepping in to a battle). Basically all the remnants of everything that burned me out and led me to leave my first career were still sitting in my file drawers.
It called to mind the story that I used to tell about myself...hard working, dedicated woman constantly slapped around by an insensitive system that was chewing up and spitting out its best people. Subjected to dealing with lawyers who just wanted to win and you were but a chess piece on the game board. No one had integrity. Blah, blah, blah. I grow weary of this tale...