Last week, I spent three days on the floor in my office with shoes off and surrounded by large sheets of post-it paper and colorful markers. Not because I didn’t have anything else to do or other deadlines to complete, but because my inner energy reached a boiling point that could only be alleviated by dispersing of all of the ideas, thoughts, and connections my brain had made over the course of the past few months. My capacity for thought reached its breaking point and my whole person became consumed with letting it all out. Some might call it vomit of the brain, or perhaps other more vulgar descriptions that might further explain this instantaneous need for getting every thought out all at once. I call it INTENSITY!
When you are not able to think or do anything else because of a thought, a determination, or a conviction, you pursue it with everything you are and everything you have. This consumes me, it overrides my basic needs. How dare my body need to eat, sneeze, or have some relief while I am trying to launch myself into the world!? The audacity of life to try to interfere with my stream of consciousness…with great distress I say, “Yes, I will pick up the kids and leave work on time today.” And please, do not trouble me with small details such as why are the children wearing mis-matched socks or what are we having for dinner? This is INTENSITY!
All of the sudden the intensity reduces and I am faced with my labor of love, my pride on a wall, and …the fallout from every other area of my life. This is how I lived for many years, in those moments when only I mattered. I felt I was creating what would one day be applauded; my family would be thankful for all of those hours, days, months I spent so focused on what needed to be done. But what if those people don’t even show up for your first book signing, what if those who love you most are in the front row seats when you walk on stage, what if you get to the end of your life and don’t have the glory…what then?
INTENSITY on living means a daily dose of reality, balance, a re-forecast of your allotted time and energy. Intensity can be a positive thing; it increases your ability to attract what you need, it makes you hyper focused on your specialty, increasing creativity and production exponentially. But you have to give it a place and a purpose. For me that means writing it down, giving it a PLACE for me to go back to later. It is amazing that while it sits in that place, its purpose is revealed – I find that by allowing it to sit and rest, I will find where it fits or if it doesn’t fit at all. Remember it is about tools and specializing (Unpacking the Tool Box – 2). Just because you don’t need it, someone else might – share it and see it used by someone else. What you allow to become part of your creation will determine how effective your intensity will be. Is what you do for you or is it for others? Do you labor out of love or selfishness?
I had a hard time asking these questions and answering them honestly. Developing as an Artistic Leader means controlling the intensity, it means allowing “happy accidents” to become not distractions and interruptions, but part of the final product. Be honest with your personal truth, let your life paint a picture so that when you reach the reveal of your Magnum Opus, it brings the world joy not painful memories.