I find that I am getting caught in a bit of an overwhelm. This is easy to do when you have big plans and major transitions and important journeys to go on. The truth is I have no idea what my life will look like this time next year. I have huge projects coming up that are addressing fears I have long held. It is understandable that I would feel overwhelm.
But I don't want to get lost in it and fall off of my intentions.
So what do you need to do to get rid of overwhelm?
First thing, I think, is to change the attitude. Look at this upcoming unknown not as scary, but as exciting. This project is a game, not a responsibility that holds all the weight of my future. Think of the soon to be crazy busy year as a long series of opportunities and adventures. It isn't the destination that matters here, it is the journey.
Okay. That helps. But it doesn't get me all the way.
The next thing I need to is to get away from my old fears that are replaying their insidious messages in my head as I sit in my chair and tense up. How? How do I get away from those voices in my head? The ones that sound like my father and his fear of success, or my senior honor's project adviser when he said he didn't think I could do it, or all the common "wisdom" that says being an artist and writer is a foolish path? How to hogtie those demons in my head and give them the heave ho?
I treat myself as if I were a friend of mine. I treat myself as if I were a student of mine. I tell myself with my tough love to "KNOCK IT OFF" and stop feeling sorry for myself. I express belief in my ability to make it through, replacing the negative mantra of "I can't" with the positive one of "I am." Oh, if I were my student, I would give myself exercises to help me believe the truth.
- List all the experience you have, the qualifications you hold, the education you've received that prove your ability to do this job. List what you already know, and use that as your spring board to your new challenges.
- Draw a picture of those demons in your head that say you aren't good enough. Paint your fears and negative thoughts and give them form. Then tell them off and put them away, in silence. Hey, you can even go so far as to burn them. Watch them fade away in a puff of smoke and remember how that feels. Now you recognize them, you can tell them to shut it every time they start squawking.
- Draw a picture or create a collage of what you want your future to look like. See it in front of you. Pin it down on paper so you know exactly what it is you are going after. Then do a backwards plan of what it will look like 10 years, 5 years, 2 years, 1 year 6 months from now. Or if we're talking a 12 week plan, then what does the end product look like, what should it look like at 9 weeks, at 6 weeks, at 3 weeks, at week one?
Curriculum means the flow of the river. This curriculum that I would create for my 12 week Portfolio project would be a path that I could follow, a river down which I could swim, with all it's feeder streams and swampy places and river craft.
I would start planning my project curriculum by thinking about what I want the end point to be, and then working backwards to see what I need to accomplish by when. I need to take into account the project deliverables, the research that would need to be done, the supplies I would need, the resources that I could call on, the time frame within which I must work (not only the 12 week deadline, but also the time I have during the week/day to work on it.)
Frankly, I wish I had all the work I had done on curriculum development while teaching and doing workshops. It would save me a lot of trouble if I did not have to reinvent the wheel. I think it's all in storage, but now that I think about... I may have some of my curriculum work from the last creativity workshop I did.
Maybe my first actual assignment I will give myself is to find my curriculum format. Or perhaps make a new one.
What are you doing to prepare the way for your new adventures in 2009? What are you doing to get ready for the Portfolio Project, if you are playing, or any other project you have going on for yourself. Do you have any tricks and techniques to keep your spirits up and your momentum going?