Collective Reading October 15-21: Maintenance and Pruning

How does your creative system work?

This week is about evaluating how your creative process happens and tweaking it. Get a good feel for how every step happens, and if you’re not seeing the results you want, make a list of what is and isn’t working and schedule repairs.

The Chariot reminds you that a well-oiled system is going to keep you rolling forward. But because there are so many moving parts that need work, you need to pace yourself with repairs. Kind of like taking your car into the shop for regular maintenance, you’re going to have to budget what you fix when.

As you plan this out, you’re looking at percentages, margins, and acceptable ranges. If your tires are still good for another 2,000 miles, you need to take care of the parts that need replacing or cleaning in the next 200 miles first.

Nurturing yourself and your work over time is Empress energy. Can you sustain the kind of long-term care you need, with your current self-talk environment? Start there if you are blocked from self care.

You do deserve good things. The question is not whether you’ve worked enough to rest; you need to rest enough to perform well. Work to eat culture is different from eat to work culture, but both require a balance between effort and ease, pleasure and patience.

If you have to put in more effort to get something done, that is more costly compared to doing something that is easy for you. Know what it costs you to complete a task and figure out how to make it easier on yourself.

When you are completing a higher volume of the same task, you have more opportunities to improve the quality of the result. Quantity improves quality, because, “The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried.”

Your self-talk comes from how you were raised. I’m getting a lot of mother wound energy (Fire Mother, Empress). Remember that any completed creation is much more valuable than the criticism it receives. Creation has life; criticism checks growth.

Stop being so harsh with yourself and your work. Healthy critique is necessary, but not all criticism is healthy. Some is downright acid rain. There is a difference between pruning a tree and watering it with acid rain, AND there is a difference between good pruning and bad pruning.

Pruning is supposed to correct growth and prioritize resources to set the tree up for a long and healthy life. Prune too aggressively, and the tree is stunted, or even killed.

You want to grow in a way that is going to set you up for long-term living. Treat yourself and your work accordingly.

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