Tuesday 16 August 2022

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin....

At the moment I am trying to build a new Facebook group called The Enlightened Singer (I think I've mentioned it before) and tomorrow there is a new blog post due out all about getting out of your comfort zone. This is not a carbon copy of that blog post so you could still read the other blog as well and I won't just be repeating myself, I promise!

I have been thinking about my comfort zone quite a lot recently. I don't push myself out of it very often. I am a big fan of routine and could really do with changing things up a little. I touched on this last week when talking about Olivia Newton John and how, in the words of Stephen King in The Shawshank Redemption, we should "get busy living or get busy dying" or words to that effect.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being comfortable but it could lead to a rather mundane and boring life if you're not careful. It's difficult to learn new things/skills as we get older. Our brains are not the sponges they were when we were children BUT that is not a reason not to try new experiences or walk down a different path once in a while.

I am really trying to curb my Netflix/Amazon/SkyGo addiction so that I can spend my free time doing something more practical and interesting rather than just watching box sets about unreal life and, for the most part, depressing myself. I just finished watching the entire 4 seasons of The Handmaid's Tale and I haven't been as depressed about the state of the world since I read George Orwell's 1984 but both are not real! They may turn out to be more real than we think and yes, there are elements pertinent to the world and they do, in some part, reflect life as we know it right now but there is no reason for me to get depressed thinking that I will end up like any of the people in those stories.

But I digress, a few years ago I read a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. On the front cover it is described as "A course in discovering and recovering your creative self". There are many tasks you have to undertake along with daily journaling. One other thing she suggests is an "artist date". This is time you put aside for yourself every week aimed at nurturing your creative consciousness and your inner artist (whatever artist means to you - painter, writer, singer, dancer, actor etc...). So this could be a trip to a museum, a trip to the theatre/cinema, a dance class, a cookery class, anything that gives your inner artist a bit of inspiration or satisfaction. You go on this "date" alone. You don't take anyone but yourself with you and you just absorb something new. I used to do this religiously but haven't for quite a while now so I'm thinking it might be time to reintroduce this into my schedule.

Why don't you (as the old TV programme used to tell those of us of a certain age) just turn off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead! Take yourself out on an "artist's date". Do something different, something you don't often do, something you've never done or something you've been meaning to do. Something that might just push you ever so slightly out of your comfort zone. 

Why not let us know what you did by commenting on the post or on the Incompetent Soprano page on Facebook. Your activity might just inspire someone else and, as the toddlers say, sharing is caring!

PS If you want to join The Enlightened Singer just click here.

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