Reminders for Anxious/Depressed Creatives

You’re more than what you make.

Your productivity does not determine your value.

It’s okay to do nothing sometimes.

Not everything you do has to result in a product.

Not everything you make has to be important, significant, or even good.

You can make things just for yourself.

You can keep secrets for yourself.

You’re allowed to say no.

You’re allowed to rest. 

(Source unknown.)

More than forty years of my life are already gone.

They flew by like flashcards flipping.

My friend asked me to write an autobiography.

I took him seriously.

When I picked up the pen

And began writing the first page

There was a long silence that lasted for three days.

Finally, three words came out:

Walked

Slept

Ate.

My cat told me she had the same problems writing her own autobiography.

Is this what the Buddhists call emptiness?

I am not a hero who saves the world.

I am not a merchant who amasses an abundance of wealth.

I would never be a powerful man who builds a great monument.

This morning I moved a slug from the road so she can live another day.

No one noticed it

A simple act that washed my heart with waves of joy.

This afternoon I picked up a glass of wine

While listening to my neighbor’s floppy-haired teenager playing the saxophone,

Hoping to become

A famous jazz man.

I’m just like the apple tree in my backyard…

No name,

No history,

No glory.

Yet there is simplicity, beauty and mystery within.

It draws millions of gazes from everywhere.

The sun comes everyday to look at it

The sea of stars comes every night

To peek at it.

(by Anam Thubten)

May I be a guard for those who are protectorless,
A guide for those who journey on the road.
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

And now as long as space endures,
And as long as there are beings to be found,
May I continue likewise to remain
To drive away the sorrows of the world.

(Shantideva)

trauma makes weapons of us all

"Accountability is so important, but it happens in community. There’s no such thing as a community in which all harm has been exiled. I think we have much harder work to do than we want to do here. The easier move is us vs them, victims vs perpetrators, sane people vs Kanye, everyone vs men. But it’s not true.

"What’s true is [that] trauma makes weapons of us. And fools, and secret keepers, and collaborators in harm. What’s true is that trauma is both singular violent events and the ongoing constant socialization of ‘power over’ for those deemed superior because of skin or penis or ability or inheritance or something else they didn’t create or do. If we are going to grow, we must embrace truth telling. We must generate our compassion. We must learn to set and hold boundaries within community, on this planet we share. We must learn what is worth our attention, and how powerful our attention is. We must get more passionate about healing than we are about punishing."

(Adrienne Marie Brown)

political and spiritual power

"I want to reverse the assumption of where political power is located; it is often privileged classes that are the most impotent, most afraid, and most committed to all four of these subjectivities [indebted, mediatized, securitized, represented], because that is the context in which we have our privilege and our power. The image of the mystic, the person who has left home (in the Buddhist context), the desert traveler who has nothing to lose and is not afraid of protecting their property.... This person who is not afraid of anything—this is the figure of the unconditional warrior that we want to claim for our politics."

Excerpted from a thought-provoking interview with Acharya Adam Lobel on The Arrow. Read the whole thing here

“Being human always points and is directed to something or someone other than oneself. The more one forgets oneself, by giving oneself to a cause to serve or another person to love, the more human one is.”—Victor Frankl