This morning was an awakening I’d not like to repeat.
The alarm system at my lovely arts cafe, The Art House, is quite fancypants and calls us when there’s any activity.
Picture the scene. Fast asleep and dreaming after a long and tiring Friday, Bik and I are awakened by the alarm calling us at 6.30am.
An automated voice goes ‘Fire Alarm, Fire Alarm’
One of a small businessperson’s worst nightmare – a fire. Well, almost worst nightmare – nobody was in the building at the time, which was the first thought I had – at least nobody is in there.
But a nightmare, none the less.
We’ve never dressed and got out of the house so fast (we are terrible at getting out of the house!) and whilst throwing a dress on (backwards) I managed to call out the fire brigade.
So, before you go any further, The Art House did not burn down. One of the main smoke alarms had a funny moment, is all. So we’re still here.
But as we left the house, we did not know that.
Here’s where the muscles come in.
In the middle of a very full life, I have built in time for self-care and self development. I make art, I journal, I even meditate when the mood takes me.
You don’t know the difference it is going to make until you are in that moment of crises.
I could have spent the 10 minute drive to my precious business running all sorts of tapes in my head.
But I didn’t.
I saw that tape try to slip on the reel (you know, gutted building, charred pieces of my dream all over the road, all lost in a black puddle) and I went to that tape ‘NO’.
Being aware of how your mind works is a powerful thing.
From that place of self-love and self-awareness, you can step into the drivers seat. Whilst Bik drove the car, I was able to speak to him calmly. I breathed a lot.
I kept that tape from playing.
When we got to the building, we saw sauntering firemen. This is a good sign, as all the training I’ve been on to keep our business safe has told me that when a fire takes hold, it does so quickly.
A check of the building, and a nice cup of tea, and the crisis was over.
I’m not sharing this to boast about how enlightened I am (because I really am not!).
I am sharing because if you are setting out to make your art, share your art, and build your dreams, you need muscles.
You need to take the time to reflect, to grow, to look after your mental wellbeing.
Living outside of the safe confines of ‘what is expected’ is wonderful.
It can also be very challenging.
Make sure you have your toolkit of self care, your techniques for keeping yourself safe and calm, and most of all enough love for yourself to give yourself exactly what you need to face those challenges.
It’s very worth doing, as I found out during that (very long!) 10 minute drive.
In my upcoming free mini course, which starts here on the blog on Monday 12 May, I will share just some of the little, simple practices I use to keep myself in balance, in control and in creative flow in my life, even with random crises like this morning’s.
Please join us – the little time you spend doing these practices may make all the difference.
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Do you have a daily practice to build your resilience muscles? Please share in the comments section!