(broad)ject self homework day #1: sleep!

The homework in last night's (broad)ject self "Self-Care When...You're Tired" was as follows:
"Your homework this week is to diagnose your bad sleep habits and try and break one of them. I’m going to try to abandon the snooze button and I will report back next week."

I was doomed from the start. I slept in until about 9:30am on Sunday morning and took an hour nap in the afternoon. MISTAKES WERE MADE. Then I was somehow surprised when my podcast timer shut off this week's 'Roderick on the Line' and I was left awake in silence. I should have followed my own damn advice and gotten out of bed and done...anything...for 20 minutes before trying to fall asleep again. Instead, I thrashed around and got increasingly agitated.

It came as no surprise to me then at 6am this morning when my alarm proclaimed "Yoga or read, dude" that I did neither. In fact, I snoozed for 35 minutes until I was on the verge of missing the late train. Great start to a Monday!

Still, I was heartened to see that the Globe & Mail dedicated their 'Life & Arts' section to sleep today.

1) In short: you may be sleep-deprived, but no more than your ancestors

2) In short: The podcast 'Sleep with Me' is weird but great (and I already recommended it to you)

3) In short: If you can't sleep, get up and get something done

The upside for me is that if I've had a bad sleep on one night, I'm usually pretty good to get to sleep on time the following. Wish me luck (and morning yoga). I'll report back!

Loving: "Magic Lessons" Podcast

I have never had particularly strong feelings about Elizabeth Gilbert. I read eat pray love and I liked it well enough, although I was in my early twenties so perhaps not quite in a position to truly appreciate her journey. I didn't read Committed, her second memoir, or The Signature of All Things, her novel. Frankly, I often confused her with Julie Powell (of Julie & Julia).

Still, although I don't work in publishing anymore, I like to keep tabs on the Big Books (and the little ones) and Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic kept popping up. I'm obsessed with the concept of creativity. What allows some people to put pen to paper and paint to canvas and words to a tune while others can only create those things as brief visions in their minds? So to hear that Big Magic was about creativity peaked my interest. Then to read the blurb, I was hooked:

With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
— http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/

Obviously, I'm in. And that the book is being released on my birthday, in a time where I'm struggling with how to tame the creative hamsters in my brain? It was meant to be.

I actually passed up the (potential) opportunity to put my hands on an advanced reader's copy because I want the experience on buying this book on pub date (my birthday!) and diving in. But while I waited, there was something to whet my appetite: "Magic Lessons". This is a podcast, hosted by Gilbert, where she interviews regular (non-famous) women who are creatively stuck and applied to be on the show. After offering some advice and an assignment, she then drafts a famous friend (so far, Cheryl Strayed and Ann Patchett among them) to offer their take.

I've loved each episode thus far, but the set I listened to today ("Sexy, Dirty, Nasty, Wicked") was truly a game changer. She spoke to a woman who feels creatively stuck now that her life is in a new phase and her advice essentially was for her to have a secret affair with her art. I can't explain exactly how it hit me so hard, but I finished listening truly inspired. This is all leading up to a check-in episode, and I can't wait.

Although I'm not Jewish, I love the concept of the Jewish New Year in the fall. Who doesn't feel inspired in September? (Versus January when we feel cold and hungover and just want to hibernate.) (broad)ject inc. is my foray into letting the creativity that has long simmered unused, turning into a "sorrow" as Gilbert would say, out into the world. I hope you'll come along on the journey and tell me about your journey too.