Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Decision to have a creative life.

One day, not yesterday and not last week but years ago  I decided to have a creative life.

Having a creative life right now is mostly expressed as writing--but it's not just that. It's the way I live. Sometimes my creativity is expressed as writing or drawing or painting or gardening or conducting some odd experiment but it's a thread that goes through my day to day living. Because of that thread, I write nearly every day--this wasn't always the case.

When I was a young adult I was really prolific--I turned out short stories and artwork with frightening ease. And then when I was flushed into the working world it all stopped. I just couldn't get back in my groove. So I started to tell myself ridiculous stories about all the things I had before that "made me creative". I tried to simulate those things and blamed my lack of creative fire on my job, my relationship, obligations etc. I blamed it on living in a two-bedroom apartment with no "space" to write in. I blamed it on being in a relationship with a highly extroverted person who loved being social (and taking me with her). I blamed it on everything except my failure to sit down and put pen to paper.

Instead of writing I spent my time thinking about what I didn't like doing, about how to escape the things I didn't like, and about how my life would be so much better once I finally escaped every irritation. Because then, once I wasn't irritated, I could finally have a creative life.

I played make believe that my creative life would happen in a future time when things were magically better.

My life felt like it was perpetually on hold.
I finally realized things wouldn't get better unless I sat down and wrote.

The space I wanted to have to create I had to create inside myself--the will to create no matter what my circumstances.

The will to create doesn't require me having a nice studio, perfect quiet, comfort or other rarified qualities. It meant making my creative life the Beloved. It meant taking the mundane and elevating it. Finding magic in everyday somethings. 

Today I'm focused on telling deeper truths.

It all started with the decision to have a creative life and believing in the perfection of right now.

Are you waiting for things to change so things will change for you or will you be the one to change first? How will you begin your own creative life?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Trash thoughts didn't trash me

The last few weeks feel like I've been going from one personal energy crisis to the next. This happens. Life doesn't just stop because things aren't going smoothly or there is a cluster of "must do now" work happening. Usually, I navigate most of these things pretty gracefully but last week my mind decided it was going to go into full tantrum mode and tell me everything was total shit.

Everything. Total shit.

I woke up last Wednesday and immediately was treated to a long litany of bad news and negative predictions all courtesy of my mind.

Luckily I had a 7AM bus to catch as morning meetings so I couldn't pull the covers over my head. Up and out the door I went.

On the bus I tried all my techniques to work with my thoughts, looking for how true they were, telling myself of all the things I had to be grateful and happy about.

NOPE!!! This morning my mind was particularly stubborn. That coupled with some random body pain and fatigue from not sleeping that great made for a big old cup of WAHHHHHHH!!!!!

People, I have stuff to do!

The world isn't sitting still waiting for me to have a good day.

There is a story I always turn to when things feel like crap. I don't know if its a true story or not but I like the idea so here it is.

Lance Armstrong (lets put aside our opinions about doping etc for another time) when he was recovering from cancer was extremely weak--he was emaciated and lost significant muscle mass in his once powerful legs. But he was also on a mission. To get back into training, his team mates helped him stay up on the bike while he did whatever training he was able to do.

Somedays, you just need to be taped to the bike.

I wasn't dealing with chemo. I was just a bit tired and low spirits. My brain wanted me to think I was dying but that wasn't it at all.

I had a morning appointment with Precious. I DID NOT want to work out (my brain already told me it was futile and I really needed to go back to sleep). However, I showed up early and did some deep stretches to help juice up my body. After Precious got hold of me I doing squats and lunges well enough. By the end of my workout I felt much better. We even made it through two circuits.


For the rest of the week I made sure I got more sleep and kept up my routines. I dropped a few social commitments and stuck to the basics. I looked at my schedule and moved things around so I would be using my energy at its peak instead of deferring it to "later".

I didn't get everything done this week I had in scope but I got a lot done. A lot more than if I listened to my grim pronouncements.

I even managed to launch my new program and revised website.

Ok, that's it for this Sunday morning. さようなら for now.

If you have a tale of how you overcame your trashy mind talk, I want to hear it! Please send me a message or leave a comment below.