Inviting Conversation with Low – by Mindy A. Early



You can listen to an audio version of this article, look further down.
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As I write this, Low is visiting. Low is an entity without form, without feature, but they makeup for that with
mood. With them comes low energy, low motivation, and low tolerance for being around others or in spaces where I can’t control the surroundings. Low arrives without warning, seemingly catalyzed without reason, and they move on just as abruptly – but only when they’re ready. Low is the house guest I didn’t ask for, but damned if I can get anything else done during their stay.

 I’ve always tried anyway. When I realize Low’s crashing with me, I refuse to sit idle and I go to battle. What can I clean? What can I make? What can I think? Where can I go? How can I stay connected, productive, accomplished? As I frantically try to shake Low off like a spider on my shoulder, I assure myself that if I’m just fill in the blank enough, Low will see how low I’m not and leave.

 This time, I decided to try something different. What if I welcomed and accepted Low by inviting them to stay? Always assuming that their presence was an inevitable burden, I never thought to ask if there was a reason why they’d come. So busy brushing them aside, I never invited them to share their message, never asked them if there was a mission that we could accomplish together. So busy trying to “fix” myself in order to prove that they shouldn’t be here, I neglected to realize that Low could be an opportunity to learn and to grow.

 Now that I’m here with Low, instead of in spite of Low, they’ve shown me that they’re not looking to receive an invitation – they’re looking to give an invitation.  Several, in fact, to all the things I’ve been denying myself. Since I’ve acknowledged Low as a teacher, here are some of the invitations they’ve offered:

  1. An invitation to require peace. Daily life can be fast, demanding, unpredictable, and harsh. Thanks to Low, I’ve realized that when I elect to avoid certain places or when I crave my “cocoon” at home, it’s not because I’m grumpy or depressed. It’s because I’m seeking sanctuary.
  2. An invitation to require solitude. I’m an introvert who works in an extroverted profession, often in a management or mentorship role. Low has taught me that the thirst for solitude isn’t about being antisocial – it’s about recharging so I’m my best self and truly enjoy myself when I’m with others.
  3. An invitation to allow stillness. I’m a person who usually likes to be occupied, so when I don’t feel like doing anything, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to find the energy to change that mood. Low has reminded me that allowing stillness can be the difference between balance and burnout.
  4. An invitation to commune with spirit. Whenever I’m juggling daily responsibilities alongside ambitious projects, giving space to my spiritual side is usually the first ball to drop. Low has made me think about how much I miss the nurturing peace, support and wonder that I feel when I take time with spirit.
  5. Sharing my authentic self invites others to do the same. When it came time to write this month’s article, I scolded myself whenever I considered writing about Low. That’s not positive enough, I scoffed. What will people think of me? What if readers think that by talking about the positive aspects of a low mood I’m encouraging people to sink deeper into depression? Ever the gentle teachers, Low and my creativity persisted, and I realized my fears were blocking me from a lesson: if writing my truth helps at least one other person, the vulnerability is worth it.

 Now that I know Low just wants to teach me crucial lessons about my health and well-being, I understand why they pick such a dramatic way to descend upon me. If Low was subtle, and patient, I’d likely never stop to listen. Or worse, I might not even realize they were there! Do you have a Low who swoops into your life? It would be wonderful to hear about your experiences in the comments.

 Whether we’re high or we’re low, we are always beautiful, we are always loved, and we are always filled with amazing potential.


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About author

This article was written by Mindy A. Early

Mindy A. Early is a writer, theatre artist, and educator who fundamentally believes that everyone has a creative voice that the world needs to hear, and that everyone deserves a supportive environment to cultivate that voice. In service of this mission, she has facilitated experiential workshops for students ages seven through seventy+ at schools, community centers, corporations, and non-profits inside and outside the arts. Currently she is the Director of Education at Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Mindy is also a professional director, author, and blogger (www.mindyaearly.com). As a director of theatre, her work is focused on new play development in support of emerging artists and writers of all ages. As a writer, she is a published poet, a produced playwright, and a published author. Most recently, she was a featured author in the book Empowered Women of Social Media. Mindy’s blog, Create Communicate Connect, explores the writing process and provides resources for writers of all genres and skill levels. To contact Mindy, please visit her website; or, you can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mindyaearly.writer or Twitter @mindyaearly.

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