Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mediated Mania

I woke at 4:30 am, my mind full of Great Ideas. A bad sign. I got up, fixed coffee, and settled down with one of my favorite books: Eric Maisel’s Coaching the Artist Within. He has a chapter on Mental Energy that describes both the benefits and the dangers of a pre-dawn flight of ideas.

Maisel says that to be creative we must be passionate. So far so good. He concedes, however, that passion can morph from a divine spark into an up-canyon wild fire. To mediate our mania he suggests we temper our enthusiasm with something that brings our feet back to earth. For me, that starts with awareness of what's happening in my body--what my hands and feet are touching, the pace of my breathing, the drum beat of my heart. Gardening works too.

The real value of having lived more that six decades is that I've been here before. Hypomania, that state just short of mania, can’t hijack me as easily as when I was 20. Here is my plan for today: meditate, pick raspberries, skip chocolate, and get to work on one of those great ideas.

The pictures above are SoulCollage cards I've made for the energetic and over-energetic parts of myself. One is called the Go-Getter. She operates full throttle, but with controled energy and power. The other is Alice, towed by the Red Queen. She's at the mercy of all that energy! Perhaps I'd better switch to decaf.

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