Who is the Crazy Maker in your life?

I just returned from a weekend at the Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts. The class I took was on Creative Myths and Monsters and was taught by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. I have all sorts of ideas to pass on to you but will start with the last discussion we had – talking about the Crazy Makers in your life.

What’s a crazy-maker? Think about someone in your life who may be charismatic, charming, and persuasive, but who also:

  • Breaks deals.
  • Expects special treatment.
  • Discounts your reality.
  • Spends your time and money.
  • Triangulates those they deal with.
  • Is an expert blamer and rarely takes responsibility for what they break.
  • Creates drama.
  • Hates schedules except for their own.
  • Hates order – or demands their own order.
  • Denies they are a crazy-maker.

Crazy-makers pull you away from the work you want to do and are hell on schedules. They may also corrupt your sense of well-being and make you doubt what you’re doing. And they drain your energy which in turn pulls you off focus and can make you sick in the long run.

Who is a crazy-maker in your life? Or is there more than one? This could be family. It could be a friend. It could be a co-worker. It could be your boss.

So what to do? Julia Cameron recommends Al-Anon, but I have a few other suggestions.

  • If you can, stop associating with them. It’s never simple to stop hanging out with someone, but if this person is truly a crazy-maker, let them move on and make someone else crazy. You don’t have time for this!
  • If you can’t get rid of them (i.e. they’re family, or they’re your boss), spend as little time with them as possible. If they email you, open the email when you’re ready. If they call you in the middle of doing something cool, don’t take the call – call them back when you’re ready and when you have time.
  • Say “no” to their demands – especially when they try to pull you off schedule. “I’d love to help you, but I have to finish what I’m working on first.”
  • Don’t argue with crazy. If someone’s tossing crazy stuff at you, calmly and logically explaining the error in their thinking will get you nowhere. Let the crazy pass through you. Smile. And get back to your work.
  • Mentally thank your crazy-maker for being your teacher. A strong obstacle can make you more determined than ever to get your good work done.

If you are your own crazy-maker, take a look at that! “What’s that girl doing making me so crazy?”

Let’s declare this Declutter Your Crazy-Maker Week. What’s your first step going to be?

Here are a few shots from Kripalu in the hour or so it wasn’t raining 🙂

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