© 2017-2020 by D.A. Navoti



The Seattle community rallied in support for trans & queer people at Hugo House in Seattle, WA, for Fight For Our Lives, a new performance series in the Puget Sound area! And we raised over $900 for two stellar nonprofit organizations: Lambert House and Ingersoll Gender Center.


I'm incredibly thankful for our gracious host, Seattle icon Ade Connere (top left), and clockwise, writer Ray Stoeve, multidisciplinary artists Naa Akua and Amber Flame, writers Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Calvin Gimpelevich, Juan Jocom, and Callum Angus. Support these amazing artists and their incredible gifts!


Furthermore, kudos to these talented artists who showcased their creations at the event: Peyton Patchouli (not pictured but artwork top left), then clockwise, Nina Raizel, Clare Johnson's art, and Spencer McAfee-Gundrum. These folks were the cherry on top!


Lastly, shout out to Ruth Joffre, the other co-wrangler of Fight For Our Lives.



What's Next?


Fight For Our Lives will continue in spring 2020 to support another community who needs our allyship. Stay tuned! Until then, check out some photos I snapped at the event.


Ps. This is my wellness-ish-ness in practice: advocating, allying, and stepping back so others can step forward.







My creative practice wouldn't be much without mindfulness meditation (the practice of being present). I'm a worrier and most definitely have undiagnosed anxiety. Panic attacks are a daily annoyance. And how this impacts my art-making comes in mood swings anchored by doubt, isolation, and fear of failure.


This photo is me writing my memoir in Iceland. I had quit my day job to write abroad - first in Ireland, then Iceland - for two months in spring 2019. This image flashed in my head while practicing mindfulness meditation. In recent weeks, my mood has been sour, and I believe the constant Pacific Northwest drizzle might have something to do with it. Winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a real menace, and it exacerbates my anxiety. Prior to moving to Seattle nearly ten years ago, I'd never heard of SAD. Since then, meditation is my go-to with managing SAD symptoms. Yet meditation hasn't been working. Why?


No Results

To combat my blues, I alternatively scribbled everything I was thankful for in my journal. Then I declined a wild weekend of partying, which is becoming more energy draining the older I get. I then watched childhood movies to activate feelings of nostalgia. None of these strategies worked.


But...

This morning, I gave this guided Youtube track a try: When Your Mind is Resisting Meditation, which walked me through accepting my feelings of sadness. Rather than investigating my feeling's purpose or origins, I was instead asked to let sad thoughts play out in my brain so I could focus on the present moment. That's when the photo of me in Iceland popped in my head.


The bottom line

I've come a long way with my life. It's difficult to capture all of those twists and turns in one blog post, but what it meant to leave my job to write my memoir is life changing. I'd never done anything like that before. It was terrifying to not have a steady income. Obviously, everything worked out. I traveled, finished the first draft of my memoir, and learned a lot about myself. As I battle against - err correction - as I accept my winter blues, I learned that it's temporary. Soon enough, spring will once again bloom, then summer will sweat my pores. Until then, my writing commences. In fact, this past weekend I workshopped half of my memoir. Perhaps that's why the image popped up in head during my morning meditation.


Is Mindfulness Meditation for you?

It never hurts to practice new forms of wellness-ish-ness, as long as you do your research. Mindfulness meditation is nearly a daily practice for me, especially when I'm in a creative slump. For me, mindfulness resets my brain so I can focus on what's in front of me: a blank page to write however and whatever I like. Thus, a sense of temporary control has returned to my hands, enough control to keep my creative work (pro)active.


What is Mindfulness?


A strong creative routine is my excuse for having no social life. And you know what? I'm perfectly content with that decision. #noregrets (sorta). Years ago, Colossal posted The Creative Routine of Creative People and I've been obsessed with the graphic ever since. It's neat to relate to other early-birds, in which my partner growls at my 4AM alarms.


The eternal struggle is admitting defeat to my day job. I gotta pay bills and that won't change anytime soon. No matter, here are a few boundaries I've laid out for myself to maximize my creative routine:

  • No emails/phone use/computer screens/tablets/texting during creative hours (4 - 6AM); disconnect and create

  • But yes to emails/phone use/computer screens/tablets/texting during business hours; get the business stuff done and over with

  • No emails/phone use/computer screens/tablets/texting during **reflective/snuggle time with my partner** (8pm - Zzzzzzz); disconnect and connect

  • But yes to maximizing creative opportunity during my weekends however I please; I typically plan out goals I want to accomplish

Sketch out your creative routine. Is it enough? Not enough? If the latter, how do you maximize your creative time? And this, my friend, might be the fork in the road: do you need to shorten social activities to free up your schedule? That's not to say cut out friends, families, or partners. It's just might require saying "Nah, I can't right now but what about..." more often. Not the end of the world, though, right?


Note: for those lucky few who can have a functional social life *and* time to create artwork, kiss. my. grits.


SUNDAY - THURSDAY




WEEKENDS


D.A. Navoti

About the Writer

D.A. NAVOTI (@da.navoti) is a creative nonfiction and poetic prose storyteller. He's a 2020 Seattle CityArtist recipient and a former fellow at Hugo House and Jackstraw Cultural Center. Read More... 

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