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Overlapping Thoughts

Confession time...

This exercise was originally supposed to be called "Positive Vibes". But today I was not feeling the positive vibes, I was WRACKED with panic. Irrational panic. Panic that wasn't coming from any one place or accomplishing ANYTHING... Just, the kind of feeling that's hard to shake and quietly poisons literally everything...

So positive vibes was transformed into an effort to control my chaotic, panicked, overlapping thoughts. Because I knew that that feeling and those thoughts didn't actually mean anything... AND I knew that I definitely needed to deal with them or else they'd never go away.

This exercise is not about pretty. This exercise is not about being careful or precious. This exercise is quick and dirty. So let it be just that. Start with a pencil and by drawing some loose, wavy lines, in parallel pairs. It's going to look like a big page of ribbons. Not pretty, not perfect, but done. Then take a marker or a pen and outline those ribbons. Erase the pencil so what you're left with is a sort of net of positive and negative space.This is a hard one to describe in words, so check out the picture of mine above and feel free to download the template below to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Now... just write. I started inside the ribbon/net/positive space things because they made me think of lines on a piece of paper, but... chaotic. Think back to when you were in school and your teacher asked you to "free write". And if you've never done that, just start writing about whatever is on your mind and don't stop to think about what's coming out of you, just keep writing. It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to mean anything. It just has to get out of your brain and onto the page. Then fill in all the remaining empty space with more words, scribbles, lines, patterns, literally WHATEVER you need. I scribbled with all the nervous energy in my hands and arms and heart. Think back to ALL the Zentangle work we've been doing. Calm. Quiet. Meditative. Reflective. This is that, but on a bad day. This is fast and ugly and chaotic and SO HELPFUL. Don't think. Just do it.

Personal vs. Professional: I don't know about you, but I worry about TOTALLY different things in my personal and professional life. Like... polar opposites. And yet... the KIND of worry I feel is the same. The exact same. That feeling of being out of control, of being lost or feeling like if I don't have my eyes on every single thing in the world that it's all going to fall apart. Because the external cause of the worry and panic and chaos may be different (family, household, retirement, school, marriage vs. profit, planning, pipeline, marketing, purpose), but what it does to me and how I either suffer through it or work through it is exactly the same.

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