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The Energy to Sustain

I’ve been noticing that I have lots of energy when it comes to creating something new. I get so excited! When my clients talk about projects, new books, anything that involves the spark of a new idea, I am sitting on the edge of my chair. Literally I am transfixed with enthusiasm. My friends know this about me too. They will often call me when they need some help with a new beginning. They know I’ll be all over the idea of sitting with them, handing them whatever tool they need to get started on the new task!

But somehow, as the new begins to wear off, I find it more challenging to have the energy to see my new idea through. The energy to sustain has a different feeling than the energy of creation.

So, the other day I was taking a long walk into the country. I do this most every day to let my brain have a break and to get some fresh air. I notice that walking helps me generate new ideas and work through thoughts and challenges. As I was turning around to come home, I noticed the wind. It had been at my back on the walk out and was now directly in my face. I began to tense up, thinking Oh no! I made a mistake to walk this way. How could I not have noticed the direction of the wind and made a better plan?! (You may notice yourself doing this sometimes too – being unkind and judgmental to yourself!)

In that moment, I shifted from blaming myself and creating catastrophe. I relaxed my entire body and slowed down. As I did this, everything changed. The wind was no longer my enemy. I quit resisting and started feeling. The experience of putting one foot in front of the other solved “the problem” of walking all the way home into the wind.

So that got me thinking about sustainable energy. When I have a new project or idea that feels incredibly compelling, it is like having the wind at my back. I just sail and life is so good. When I’m in the middle of it, or I’ve done it once and now it’s time to do the same thing again, it can feel like walking into a strong, cold wind. I’m tempted to doubt myself, the significance of my work, and to turn tail and keep running with the wind at my back. My walk taught me that in order to sustain my energy in the middle, it is important to notice what I’m holding onto too tightly. I need to relax, slow down and be easy as I figuratively put one foot in front of the other. And, it helps to lift up my head so that I have access to all of the interesting things that are going on as I’m walking through the mid ground.

Things never happen the same way twice. There is still a lot to learn and enjoy with repeat projects.

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