Fight? Flight? How about Freeze, please.
On a month of silence at Heartsong
When I first created Heartsong, one of the things professional Substackers told me was that consistency is key. Tell folks how much you plan to write, then write that much.
But what I’m finding (with life in general but also with Substack) is that plans for consistency are one thing. The execution of those plans is another thing altogether.
I do make great plans. I really do. Big picture visioning? I’m legendary. I can see things that don’t exist and tell you how excellent it would be if they would, and generally speaking folks get on board.
Most of the big picture visioning I’ve done in my life and career was done in the context of a marriage and participation in a number of thriving communities. I’m single now and disconnected from those communities, and I’m finding that followthrough on my big picture plans is a lot harder in an empty apartment than it was in a full house.
It’s been over a month since my Pentecost post. Please forgive me my silence. Frankly, I’ve not known how to speak about all the things swirling around in my mind and my heart. The shootings… the politics… the personal challenges…
Apparently, freeze is my preferred response to shock and trauma.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my friend, Rozella. I shared some of my struggles with her, including the things that have been making it hard to act. My impulse was to figure out how to push through this malaise and create, choose, do something.
“Maybe what you need is a pause,” she responded. “We’re taught to push through, and it sounds like that what you’ve been doing for years. Maybe it’s time to pause.”
Hustling in the music industry teaches a person that pause is impossible. Pause and you fail. Pause and someone else gets the gig. Pause and you lose momentum, and momentum is what grows your audience.
Momentum (consistency) is what grows your audience (your Substack readership).
The message transfers over into every new creative platform.
I think Rozella was right. I think I’ve been needing a pause, and I think a pause is different than a freeze.
A pause isn’t a trauma response. A pause is a choice. A pause is a decision to claim time for things that are not created for public consumption, be they songs, performances, prayers, or a worship services. A pause is time to grow, heal, reconsider, reimagine. Doing those things out of view is sometimes crucial in order for them to be done right.
But I also made a commitment to all of you. Nearly 100 people committed to provide financial support for this creative space, and I’m truly grateful for that support. Trust.
So, I will try to live into the pause and not freeze out completely. I’ll let you in on things that are emerging, but I don’t know that I can promise the productivity or a spirit of industry and entrepreneurialism at Heartsong. I’ve found that industry and entrepreneurialism aren’t so good for my heart.
My heart needs rest, sometimes unexpectedly and without much notice.
Thank you for your patience.
A sermon is forthcoming later this morning. I hope it speaks to your heart and stimulates your mind.