Eleven Symptoms of an Overwhelmed Artist and Two Home Remedies

by Stephanie Lindquist

Ever feel completely overwhelmed? Your eyes, your brain and your body feel fried. It’s hard to function. In fact, you’re a little afraid that you may malfunction. In case you are unsure if you are experiencing or have experienced any of the symptoms of an overwhelmed artist, check the list below.

  1. You don’t understand or for that matter hear the words coming out of anyone’s mouth.
  2. You have no clue how everything could possibly be accomplished in time.
  3. All you want to do is restart some bad habits you’ve been kicking.
  4. You feel completely lost.
  5. You want to cry for help!
  6. You’re tired and exhausted although you’ve been sleeping alright.
  7. You are NOT sleeping alright.
  8. You really really really need a vacation or maybe just an artist date.
  9. You crave silence and not just the kind where you don’t hear noise, but where you can’t even hear the thoughts running through your head at a million miles per hour.
  10. Part of you feels like giving up. (This is partially a good thing.)
  11. You feel alone.

Remedy #1

Last night I decided to randomly open the Rumi book I have for the first time. The page I flipped to was a pleasant surprise, an opportunity to release all my creative anxieties and duties and instead submit to silence “tasting the core of [my] being” rather than all the rattling noise and stress of being an overwhelmed artist.

The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. Translations by Coleman Barks.

The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. Translations by Coleman Barks.

Here’s the first poem of the chapter The Reedbed of Silence: Opening to Absence. Hopefully it brings you a moment of peace like it did for me.

Time to ignore sensible advice,
to untie the knots our culture
ties us with. Cut to the quick!
Put cotton in both sentimental
ears. Go back into the reedbed.
Let cane sugar rise again in you.
No rules or daily duties. Those
do not bring the peace of silence.

Remedy #2

If poetry doesn’t do it for you, this is an awesome talk by Martha Beck in which she offers some practical tips on how to tap into some wordlessness of your own. Plus it is a sweet reminder that you already possess everything you need to get through whatever overwhelms you. She calls them the four technologies of magic, and she’ll show you how to activate each one starting today.

Am I missing any symptoms or home remedies? Share your symptoms and remedies here with the rest of MD?

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2 thoughts on “Eleven Symptoms of an Overwhelmed Artist and Two Home Remedies

  1. Dear Master Dabblers, I’ve been so inspired and helped by your dabblings since discovering them earlier this year. It’s my pleasure to tell you I’ve nominated your blog for the Blogger of the Year 2013 Award. Find details here: http://wp.me/pD0S2-jn and best wishes for a wonderful new year of blogging. All best, Jann Alexander at http://VanishingAustin.me

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