spiral (verb) 1. to move in the shape of a spiral 2. to continuously become worse, more, or less
I began the month joking that I was just “trying not to spiral out,” and I’m winding down the month by intentionally spiraling out with a new little exercise for my morning pages in my diary.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Set aside 10 minutes and start with a fresh page in your notebook. Follow Lynda Barry’s instructions for drawing a spiral: Start in the very center of the page, and make the tightest spiral you can manage, trying to get the lines as close as you can without touching. (More in her wonderful book, Syllabus, and check out another version over at Wendy MacNaughton’s Draw Together.) You’ll know when you’re done.
2. Once you have your spiral, start annotating it with your feelings and thoughts, everything weighing on you or bothering you. (Wendy calls this “inside weather.”) Catalog what’s on the surface, towards the outside of the spiral, and what’s deep, on the inside.
3. Go about your day.
I can’t claim that it’s solved anything for me, but it has helped me feel a little less anxious, a little more calm.
(See also: “Spin art.”)