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Do It for the Love
A common thread I've heard in my conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends is that they're hesitant and more than a little guilty about wanting to keep at their best work. Doing their best work during a pandemic – and, gasp, enjoying it – feels wrong.
Here's the deal: many of us need to do our best work for us. It's how we come alive, center, and make sense of what's going on in our lives and in the world. It provides an anchor in the sea of uncertainty swirling around us. Doing our best work is self-love and self-care.
Others benefit, too, but that's not the aspect I'm going to stress today because so many of us are already focused on what we can do to benefit others right now. I'm concerned that emphasizing that today is only going to feed a beast that pulls us away from making time for us to do the work we need to do for ourselves.
Additionally, the last thing we need to pile onto everything else is creative constipation. It's awkward that our creative engines are often fueled by emotional distress, but the awkwardness of it doesn't change that many engines are whirring. That energy has to go somewhere – better out than in.
You know the difference between working to escape and working to actualize. It's also okay if working to escape is the love you need to give yourself, too.
Questions for reflection:
How does your best work fuel you?
Is there an element of your best work that's calling to you to work on today?
What do you need to do to give yourself permission to dive into your best work today?
So, if you feel the urge to dive into your best work, add branches to it, dust off something that's gone fallow, or collaborate with someone, go do it. More important than where or how it goes in the mid-term is that it's a way for you to love on and create yourself now.
Do it for the love.
PS: If you feel too overwhelmed, scattered, and fatigued to do your best work right now, self-love and self-care may look like giving yourself permission not to do it.
PPS: Today's song recommendation: Do It for the Love by Michael Franti and Spearhead. The line "Do it because it makes you feel alive" sums up why it's a fit today. :)