Refilling the Well

photo by Derek Lilly
photo by Derek Lilly

The following is an excerpt from the new set of Soul Messages, which are on the topic of success.

This message is coming to you to remind you that it is time to fill your creative, spiritual and soulful well. You have been drawing from it and using your energies, and your reserves are low. It is time to let yourself get filled back up again. The first thing to do is to clear some space for yourself. That means time, physical space and mental space. Unplug for a while. Turn off the wifi, leave the phone behind, put on some walking shoes, and go outside. Get into the air and put your feet on the ground. Connect with the natural world of growing things and flying creatures. Don’t forget the sky, the wind and rain, the sun.

If you’re a country mouse, then go to town. Find a cafe or bookstore with benches, a public park, or some other place where there are people. Do some people watching. Check out the architecture. Bring your camera along and take pictures of interesting details. (Okay, you can bring your phone, but put it on airplane mode.) Make a catalog of sights, smells. Find out where people live. Go someplace you’ve never been and see what’s happening. Eavesdrop. Look in people’s windows.

Two keys to filling the well are change of pace and letting your child self choose the activity, including, of course, a megadose of aimless wandering. Practice following whatever catches your eye. Ask your child self what it would like to do. Some typical responses: Go outside and play, read a picture book, color, make something.

There’s a good chances that if you pulled this card, all of these suggestions sound almost impossible to do. Your to-do list is long. You are focused on crossing things off it. You have a deadline, a goal you are afraid will slip away. You are crunched for time. You’ll goof off later.

You know what?

Goofing off is just what you need to help you achieve your goals right now. When the well is dry, no amount of pumping will bring up water. It just might be that you are having to exert tons of effort because you are running on empty. At the very least, once you do take some time out and then return to your goals, you will know first hand whether that was true. If you find yourself with renewed enthusiasm, a fresh perspective, or a lighter mood, then, yeah, you needed that.

Give yourself at least an hour. A half day is even better. Maybe you need a whole weekend off. But don’t fall into the trap of doing adult numbing out stuff like surfing the web or pigging out on chocolate cream pie. That’s not filling your soul; it’s filling a hole. Instead, go to the Source, let the wonder and beauty of life re-enter your being by giving yourself some soul-filling, nurturing time.

Some other suggestions:

  • Go for a walk; stop and talk with a stranger
  • Find a playground; swing and slide and tumble
  • Make mud pies
  • Make something with your special art supplies
  • Spend time with a tree
  • Find a new insect
  • Go to an amusement park and go on all the rides and scream your head off
  • Take a bike ride or go rollerskating/blading
  • Dig in the dirt and collect stones and rocks
  • Find a foreign language radio station and listen to a while. Make up what they’re talking about. (This is fun to do with a goofy and burnt out buddy.)

Okay, that’s all I have for this week. Now it’s your turn:

What are your favorite ways to re-fill the creative well?

0 thoughts on “Refilling the Well

  1. Thank you, Phyllis, for this inspiration to “get unstuck.” I came across a seemingly-antithetical quote recently: “I’m always so busy, I don’t know how I could ever get so much done if I didn’t spend two hours each day in prayer.”

    1. Love it, David! I had a friend in recovery who used to say the same thing about going to meetings: prioritize that, and there’s time for everything else. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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