Monday, July 28, 2014

Burnout vs. Creative Visualization

I think the first time I read about Creative Realization was in the 70's and its been something I've carried with me since then. The essential theory of it all is to use your imagination to create something you want, or work toward or create in and for your life. Well, its one thing to set goals, and hold a positive affirmation, and another thing to be faced with burnout and things that block forward motion. I've never been one to handle the breakdown of mechanical things well, and so over the years, I have learned to adapt as soon as something stops working the way it should. Everything breaks down or burns out sooner or later.

I've found that if too many things fail, breakdown or somehow get overwhelming, that they contribute to a burnout in my spirit. My personality is such that I cannot focus too long on anything negative, but need to pick myself up and get onto something else. Its a question of either falling into being a victim about it or finding ways to survive and thrive.

My glass stove top burner burned out on Saturday, but first wouldn't shut off, putting out intense heat that threatened to melt everything around it. I tried everything from turning the knob on and off to flipping breakers. For safety reasons, I finally unplugged it, and then  started thinking of alternative ways to prepare food. The first small appliance that came out was my slow cooker and I made scrambled eggs for Sunday breakfast and later heated up leftovers for lunch and dinner.

Wow. This is such a metaphor for what happens to a human when she burns out. The heat generated by the internal malfunction is intense. She no longer can do what she wants to do or is meant to do, sometimes no matter what she tries to do for a fix. Unplugging is often the only answer to get relief  from the intensity and danger.

Quilters experience burnout and mechanical failures with their sewing machine as well as the inner burnout that takes us away from our goals. It bites when the sewing machine locks up and needs service. 

And there are days when I just don't feel like doing the next thing on a project and have to set it aside & go onto something else. Small Pay It Forward projects I take on help relieve any burnout working on larger projects can bring. A smaller project can be visualized & carried out in a day. This Thread Catcher is a perfect example.

With a Pay It Forward project, the challenge comes first of all in the imagination: What to create? Will it serve the recipient? How to put positive energy into it? Yes, it is for someone as a way to express gratitude for what I've received in the past, and just to be kind in the present moment.

I have a Thread Catcher of my own and use it all the time. It has a sandbag weight to it, that in fact, is more trouble than its worth for how I use it, so when I visualized making one for this PIF project, I purposely did not attach the weight portion.

This is the way I work. I evaluate what I have and figure out what I really need. Then I use the affirmations to envision its creation and make it manifest. So it is with my quilting projects. I have to say that the PIF projects serve my greater good too in endless ways, including the prevention of burnout.