Debra Swersky
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Opt-in for weekly journal, not blog, posts.


It’s a full-time job being centered. (For me it is at least.) I remember when I committed to leaving the “design-thinking consulting world,” starting a non-profit, and not finding another full-time job in Boston. My motivation was crystal clear and I had given myself 6-months to “figure Dallas out.” Everyone knew that I was “preparing for the unknown.” My days were spent, for all intensive purposes, centering myself. I read The Artists Way and practiced Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages.” I was intentional with the content I consumed. I made my first consistent attempt at Headspace. All-in-all, Bar Method included, my morning routine ended mid-morning… not when I left the apartment to get on with my day. 

When we moved to Dallas, I committed to Headspace each day and endured the schedule change challenges that come with adding a consistent activity to your life. Within a couple of weeks I had begun to see the benefits. But then life happened. I missed my first day back in January. Then another one when we moved (again). And then a couple more when we went away for a weekend. 

When we moved into our new home, I re-started my Headspace journey (The Foundation Pack) since I felt encouraged by the new habit when we initially moved. I’ve had a bit of success in re-familiarizing myself with what it means to be present, and remembering to slow down my thought process, and view my passing thoughts and feelings with a bit more perspective. But with the change in my morning routine, my Headspace practice feels less effective.

Coming back to the idea of “being centered” I’ve been reflecting on what caused me to “decenter” (uncenter?) myself. In reflecting, and poking through my prior journal entries (I’m not surprised that I feel uncentered considering I’ve written this, this, this, this, and this… within the past few months.), I realized that there is one activity that I did consistently when I was employed full-time. Every six months I would document what I accomplished in the roles that I held… throwback to January 2015.

In March 2015 I completed the 12-week The Artists Way workbook. It was a phenomenal experience that I enjoyed immensely. One of the reasons that my morning routine ended mid-morning was because of the “morning pages.” After an additional month of writing on my own (without the workbook), life happened. I graduated and left for Rwanda. I went on the “honeymoon that actually happened.” And then hit the ground running when we moved to Dallas (officially) in August 2015.

If you’ve been following the storyline, and can acknowledge the throwback, it would appear that I need to eat my own dogfood… and perhaps re-start The Artists Way. Having recommended the process to a few people, I’m being hypocritical if I don’t go through it again myself… And so, the quest begins to “re-center” and re-start The Artists Way again. (Working on it!)

Debra Swersky