Letting Go of Pebbles to Embrace Creativity

“What would happen to your life today if you could eliminate everything from it that didn’t ‘ring’ true to who you are and to your deepest convictions and loves?”

Deborah Deford posed the above question in her book The Simpler Life and I was intrigued.

What would happen if I dissolved my time soakers? The things that keep me busy, but don’t fill me with a personal sense of purpose?

Perhaps it is time to find out. Continue reading “Letting Go of Pebbles to Embrace Creativity”

I Can’t vs I Can: A Lesson From Fridge Jam

Craft fairs and farmers’ markets leave me with a sense of awe at the creative products that come naturally from local artisans. Whether it is homemade jam or knitted caps, artist demonstrate the end result of an idea that popped into their head and was transformed into reality.

I often leave the aisles of vendors thinking, “I can’t do that. I wish I was that creative.”

Or I should say . . . I used to. Continue reading “I Can’t vs I Can: A Lesson From Fridge Jam”

What’s On Your “Get Pumped” Playlist?

Patience With Inner MusicianWhat gets you pumped? What do you listen to?

I started thinking about my “go to” music playlist after reading an article on Seahawks.com. One of the newer members of the team, running back Freddy Jackson, offered up the five songs that get him pumped up for game time. Continue reading “What’s On Your “Get Pumped” Playlist?”

Does Saying It Out Loud Make It a Fact?

Change Your Dialogue

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” –Lao Tzu

My dad passed away on February 11, 2013. For the longest time, I could not communicate verbally. I would hint about it, tearing tearing up halfway through the sentence. In fact, I often just let the other person put two and two together without having to say the words — my father died.

In my mind, I have always thought that voicing something made it true. Words spoken would make it fact. Something that can’t be fixed, altered or taken back.

My father’s death was one of them. There have been many examples. Breakups. Divorce. Job loss. I was afraid to talk about them. That once I have spoken about them, they will forever define me.

While there were areas I hesitated, there were others I was a bit to open about. I allow myself to make statements about what I can’t do, afraid to do or won’t. I find myself verbally declaring things like:

  • “I’m so socially awkward.”
  • “I hate small talk.”
  • “I suck at math.”
  • “I’m impatient.”

Am I discrediting myself? Locking it in as fact? Worse, am I creating an impression in other’s minds that can’t be altered? Taken back? Rewritten?

How does one rewrite their story?

Life isn’t lived with absolutes. We rarely “never” or “always” anything. Perhaps I should start by rephrasing what I see as negatives or limitations so they are more hurdles and not walls separating me from what I can become.

With my dad, I still have a hard time with the words. But saying them has given me a path towards healing. Perhaps voicing our thoughts just lays the groundwork for our development. Instead of stating and forgetting, use it as the launching point to alter our future. The chance to evaluate our path.

I can learn to enjoy small talk . . . I can.

There is a difference between feelings and fact. There is a difference between current history and what the future could hold. Saying something doesn’t have to become the end all be all on how we see ourselves. We have the power to change. We have the power to develop.

Use your voice to lift yourself up.

I Suffer From Creative Guilt: Why It’s Okay to Be Creative

Creative Guilt - Value What You Do“Why 4am?”

My early morning routine has been called into question several times, mostly by night owl friends. They can’t understand the compulsion to wake up bright and early to write, read or just fill my creative tank.

I get up early because no one else is up. I get up because no one is sending me emails or hijacking my agenda for their own needs. I get up because my muse works best when the world is asleep.

All true.

However, the real reason I get up early is because I suffer from creative guilt.

Writer’s block is when you sit down to put words on paper and can’t. Creative guilt is when you want to write, are writing in your head — but you can’t take the time to do it for you feel there has to be something more important, more worthwhile to do than write.

I will carve out time in the afternoon or a lazy Saturday only to choke when it comes down to actually writing. Thoughts fill my mind regarding the things I “should” be doing or that “need” to be done.

“Bathroom is a disaster.”

“I should spend time with the hubster.”

“The laundry needs to be done.”

This past week, I wanted to take a day to be creative. To write. To read. Fill my creative tank. I blocked out my Tuesday. On Monday afternoon, I received a request from a person to rent my vacation unit. The email in my inbox meant that I would not have a Tuesday to myself. In fact, it meant I was going to have to prep the suite for the arrival of my guest.

It was in my power to say no. It was up to me to protect my time. I did neither. Instead, I took the rental request and stayed up late Monday making the necessary arrangements to free up my Tuesday. In short, I felt I pulled overtime to show myself that I deserve a day to myself.

I have to reach some imaginary zone where I feel it is okay for me to have creative time. That I deserved it.

Would I feel different if there was a project deadline? If I was being paid for it? If it was being shown in a gallery? Or is this feeling strictly because the time, energy and end result is for me? As sad as it may seem, it is the last one.

Throw in the towel. Don’t write.

It’s not that easy to ignore the gnawing feeling that starts to eat your insides. Writing is how I explore my world, how I relate to new input. I start counting down the days since my last blog post or the last time I saved my novel. My fingers start aching, my thoughts consume me and I become irritable. I need to get back to what I love doing — what I value.

Hence the 4am wake-up call.

I think the bigger lesson here is that regardless of the worth the outside world can put on how I spend my time, I need to see the value in my creative time. I need to know that just writing words is how I soothe my soul, my inner muse. I need to protect the time that makes me sane.

No apologies.

I have to go. I have something to do. Something that has been put on the back burner. Something that needs to take front and center.

Happy Creating!
— Weegee