how getting tired helps

Did you ever have that feeling of being so burnt-out, so “over it,” that you just want to give up?

What if you could use that moment as an opportunity?


It might sound strange, but stay with me for a moment.


I was talking to my friend and artistic inspiration Erin Malley last week when this idea naturally emerged.

 erin & jess

Erin was talking about reaching that moment of utter exhaustion in her life and artistic work, but at the same time she was being encouraged to apply to a 12-week mentorship course in dance for film. She went for it and got accepted, despite her resistance and desire to just take a long nap.


What she discovered was that she “didn’t really care about it” - in a good way. Meaning: rather than the over-thinking, searching-for-perfection mentality that is easy to get hung up on, Erin felt like she had nothing to lose in that program and that process. She let her tiredness open up a portal to even deeper sources of creativity, beyond her thinking mind.


And she created an amazingly inventive piece of work as a result, the dance film "Steadfast Body, Marshmallow Heart," which provides a comical yet deeply touching commentary on the dance world. Check it out here:

So what can we take away from this story?


When you stop trying so hard, your true expression can find it’s way out. {tweet it!}


Not everything will be a masterpiece, so if you just allow yourself to experiment, create, fall, fail, and do it all over again, eventually you will come across something that sticks. And you might just touch or inspire another human being in the process - and isn’t that worth it in itself?


As Erin said, “You have to be ready for it to fly or fall.” Let go of your personal attachment to what you create and just keep doing it. “No matter what you have going on, just go in and make it because otherwise it doesn’t get done.”


If you dig what Erin has to say, stay connected to her via her website and facebook. She is an amazing artist and human being who I had the privilege of working with years ago on a dance-theater piece that gave me a boost back into my own creativity when I was feeling really lost and low.


Share your comments below with us! We would both love to hear how this lands for you.