Return To Your Territory

Castle
When things get hard, and your mind’s in a spin, the best thing to do in the moment is, if you can, return to your territory.

Are you a writer? Write! A musician? Play your instrument. A runner? Go on, hit the road now.

Things may be difficult, but just make a little bit of effort to edge back into the zone of your expertise, and you’ll realize that the skillset of yours that you’ve been honing? It’s actually a territory in itself (complete with hedges, boundaries, an awesome castle and a moat, because, what’s a castle without a moat). The drawbridge may be a bit rusty, and the gate keepers may have forgotten your face if you’ve yet to enter in ages; but give a call anyway, get them to lower the bridge – the owner of the castle is here! Stride right in – or walk, if the mood doesn’t quite allow it – nod to the familiar faces, marvel at all the beautiful things therein (even if it’s for the umpteenth time), and find your place. That place is yours. Let me repeat, that place is yours.

The cultural resource of territorial skillsets actually comes from one of my most inspiring reads ever – the War of Art by Steven Pressfield. To Pressfield, there ain’t such thing as hierarchy to an artist; he hones his craft first and foremost, and worries about where he stands way lat… make that never. Or at least that’s the way it’s ought to be!

As real people though, we tend to get lost in the human tendency to make endless comparisons between ourselves and the “competition”. But that’s okay, because we all know that while being “better” is a reality (higher skills up to a certain level, gets paid more, period), the most conducive mindset to improving in a personally meaningful and sustainable way is to do your art by your own standards. It’s an issue of territory and not heirarchy; while a heirarchical mindset can put you at the bottom of the food chain, a territorial mindset says that the piece of art-land you own is yours; no one can take that away from you, and most importantly it nourishes you. When you just don’t feel like you’re cutting it, and you need a reminder of your place in the world and what you’re here to do – go back to that territory and you will be restored. Your soul will be fed, your chin will be lifted, and you will end up stronger.

That is the whole point of this post really, to remind you that when you’re feeling trashy, go back to your territory and regain your center – you own that place, the seeds you’ve planted there are going to feed you, your lifeblood has been poured into that special dedication of yours and it’ll empower you to face the world with strength when you finally leave your castle and return to the Great Beyond.

For me, that little plot of land is writing. What’s yours?

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One thought on “Return To Your Territory

  1. Pingback: helpreubenlearn

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