Hi. My name is Willo, and I'm an artist.

Good morning.

I feel like I’m needing LOTS of ‘me’ time these days. Like, an unusual amount, for how much I love being out and about, meeting new people and spending time with my friends.

This is hard when there are SO many things out there I want to do! Amongst my dear friends, here in SF, there always seems to be a few weekly gatherings, celebrating birthdays, engagements, new jobs or funding/acquisitions, housewarmings and the list goes on. I feel incredibly blessed to have such an awesome network of friends here.

However, making space for me, and all that I want to accomplish – no, scratch that… it’s not about doing, or accomplishing, it’s about making space to just BE – can be challenging in the face of all the fun ‘out there.’ I mean, I don’t want to become a hermit that never sees anyone (trust me, that will never happen, as after a few days I get antsy and really excited to see people again), or worse, have people stop inviting me or asking me to go out… but right now, as I recommit to my Self and my art, it’s so incredibly key for me to give myself the time and space. It’s like an unraveling of sorts, and it takes the time to unravel, unravel, unravel and then all of a sudden I hit that flow, like a geyser!

I have been doing this more in the last month, but most notably last weekend, over New Year’s. I feel like I’m facing similar challenges to those who have started AA, where all of a sudden the girl — who was once known as the life of the party, shutting down the bars & totally up for the after party — is now someone that texts the night of and says, “Sorry, staying in after all.” I try to give myself the benefit of the doubt that I’ll feel like going out, but it’s almost as if when I have plans to be somewhere, inspiration hits.

Let the sun shine in.

Even if inspiration hasn’t hit, per say, I often feel like I’m close. Meaning, I’ve finally cleared away the emails, sent all of the emails, made the phone calls, completed time-sensitive tasks for the day and finally have some space for the rest. Which, some days, simply means eating a meal, or doing my 30 days of yoga session, or taking a shower and relaxing by reading a book or writing a blog post (like I’m doing now). Most days “the rest” is actually all the other gazillion things on my list I didn’t do that day (or the day/week/month before) and REALLY want to get to. And I’m excited about getting to them! By doing so, I clear the space. I move forward. I check things off my list one-by-one and get to move on to the next exciting thing moving me closer to my goals. Honestly, sometimes finally getting to the smallest little thing on my list, that I have been wanting to do for months, happens when I’m “supposed” to be at a happy hour or a friend’s birthday. I’m sorry, dear friends!

Even more so in alignment with those in a rehab program (not at all to make light of that situation), I’ve not really felt like drinking or partying these days. And yes, I know I can still go out without drinking, I just haven’t been feeling all that social. I’m percolating. Baking. Incubating. Something. (No, I’m not pregnant.) That said, I also know my tendencies to be a workaholic, so in all of this making space and hermiting in, my true intention is around self-care. To not just work-work-work, but to create space to sit on my couch and read. Or listen to music as I dance around and water the plants and play with my kitty. All the things I’ve often daydreamily wished I could be doing when I’m super stressed and strapped for time. Sounds pretty divine, right?

So, apologies aside, that’s why you haven’t seen me much lately. Funny thing is most probably hadn’t even noticed, because I think it’s harder on me to say no, than it is for all the people out partying it up to notice I’m not around. Maybe not (still miss me and invite me out to do things, ok?), but regardless it’s all good. It’s just right now, and I am really, really enjoying it.

I wish you all clarity, happiness and balance in your lives. <3

Leave a Reply 9 comments

@Dom - January 7, 2011 Reply

We love you, Willo!

Steven Holmes - January 7, 2011 Reply

You’re a very thoughtful person Willo and I always feel either enlightened or reminded of something of value, e.g., tending to and reconnecting with ourselves, after reading one of your blog entries.

Years ago I was seeing this therapist and after I had been running my mouth for 30 straight minutes…attempting in vain to prove how tuned-in I was and how deep my intellect was he stopped me mid-sentence…let out a reverberating sigh and said, “JUST BE Steve…just be.”.

Today after years and years of processing these two words and trying hard to understand their (and his) meaning…I finally got it. My daily goal is to do just that – just be.

You clearly figured this out earlier than I did so congrats…’cause you’re right…there isn’t anything “to do” per se. It’s all about just being yourself and being there in the moment.


    Willo O'Brien - January 8, 2011 Reply

    Balance and Being is something we all have to work towards daily, that’s for sure. My mantras: ‘Every day is a new day’ and ‘I can only be who I am right here, right now.’

    Thank you for the reflection, and props. 🙂
    Cheers to you, Steve!

Mamacita - January 19, 2011 Reply

May the stresses of your day never diminish the child-like joy of feeling like your own princess. I have fondest memories of watching your exploding joyful face while running playfully through the house with your red gown and robe flowing behind you. My heart is always with you!

    Willo O'Brien - January 20, 2011 Reply

    Aww, momma, you are sooo sweet! I love you so much, and am so incredibly grateful for your support in my living the most joyful, artistic and expressive life! xoxo

laurel - January 20, 2011 Reply

There is so much here that you write that completely resonates with me. It seems like a balance between being social and staying alive through companionship, it’s almost a lifeline. But being an artist, there is this whole other piece that seems fueled daily but needs to be let out to produce sometimes. Oh if there were only 20 more hours in every day! As you mention, by the time all the emails are done and everything else, there’s precious little left either in time or energy to do much that’s constructive – if you don’t take care to keep some of your time and guard it for only yourself.

But I want to say “good for you!”, even if you take only one night off to listen to the guiding spirits and muses to lay down some of that spark… let it flow! Or doing nothing as you say and just being in the moment with yourself. What a great gift.

It’s just like that quote “today is a gift. that’s why it’s called ‘the present'”.

    Willo O'Brien - January 20, 2011 Reply

    Thank you, Laurel! Yes, I have a an illustrator friend who I’ve gleaned a very helpful tip from: She *starts* her day drawing and diving into her illustration work, and quarters the last half of the day for computer work, to avoid logging on & getting consumed by email, etc. In my quest to dive into my art & painting (offline crafts), I took this to heart big time! In full disclosure I have yet to implement this habit myself yet, but I was just reminded of this yesterday & am going to implement it next week! Also, one thing I thought of as I’m writing this is how terribly challenging this will be for me – especially with my iPhone addiction! :p

Finding your way back home | RE:CONNECT - Get Unstuck & Find Your Magic - August 20, 2012 Reply

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