In the doldrums and exploring the subtext

Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield.  It’s the void between depression and flourishing – the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity.*
(Adam Grant)

The secret to diagnosing the problem with a broken scene lies in its subtext.**
(Robert McKee)

Whether as a result of the pandemic or because the doldrums are where you’ve increasingly found yourself recently, there are ways to get moving again.

One basic way is to introduce more physical movement to the day.

Then move your thinking and feeling with reading, watching and listening to new things, feeding your imagination and spirit.

Capture all of this in journaling and then look for the smallest iterations of ideas that come to you to try out: moving your doing.

As Robert McKee suggests, the brokenness lies in the subtext, Peter Senge would concur: it’s not the reinforcing system/behaviour that we see on the surface where the issueless, it’s the balancing system/stuff beneath the surface we need to tackle.^

Keep pushing the reinforcing behaviour and things will likely become worse. Slow down, go deeper, and explore the balancing world and something new will appear.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul sense the world that awaits you.^^

*Adam Grant, quoted in Sam Radford’s blog: Languishing, the neglected middle child of mental health;
**From Robert McKee‘s newsletter: The Secret to Fixing Broken Scenes;
^See Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline;
^^From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For a New Beginning.

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