Catching our breath

Dandelion seeds blowing in wind. Planning for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2014 is actively in the works, and it's exciting to begin to see the campaign begin to take shape. Soon we will be able to share the upcoming campaign theme and hint at what's coming, but it's not quite time to dive in yet. The suspense is complimentary, and your patience is appreciated.  

For the moment, I'm blogging to find rest. In my mind's eye I'm picturing the squiggly line that Wikipedia tells me is called a Crotchet rest. An interval of silence in music, it's a functional pause. 

As soon as the SAAM 2013 campaign began winding down, our focus moved from actively participating and sharing to capturing and evaluating these activities. With only a year between each April, our planning process moves forward at a constant clip. The conversations about 2014 snuck into meetings as early as January. Ideas sprinkled in feedback, brainstorms, and discussions. It's energy, excitement and, quite honestly, a tinge of overwhelm. As a creative, I teeter between thriving and drowning in the whirlpool of what could be. The ideas are big and the wish lists are long. 

Now not everyone spends their calendar year coordinating a new project like the SAAM campaign, but most of us have these projects in our work and life. Maybe you've experienced this energy when kicking-off a new program, or launching a group, coordinating an event, or organizing a happening in some other way or form. Or maybe it's just summer and your to-do list has filled up again, and our excitement is tempered by impeding structural barriers:timelines, deliverables, funding. 

In these moments when the pull is strong, it seems like rest is the enemy. Don't you see what I have to do? There are mountains to scale, cures to find and tasks to cross off the list. But don't you worry, we will get there.

In these moments when excitement, possibility, and opportunity begin to weigh down our work, it's time for the functional pause. I remind myself that even the grandest melodies have measures of rest. Rest is where we find our breath. Pause is what creates rhythm. The intentional breaks are also where the essential surfaces, and we remember it's OK to let some ideas and opportunities go as long as the main goal and spirit of our work are in sight. 

What does this mean for SAAM 2014? It means that we so excited for the upcoming campaign, and in my humble opinion, it's gonna rock! From a planning perspective it also means acknowledging that excitement and passion have yet to give us wings. This doesn't mean our work can't take flight, but I believe that it happens when it's grounded in our vision, capacity and passion. What do you think?