I started wondering how many of the things I do, I do because I should being doing them vs how many things I do out of a authentic desire to do them?
I think somewhere along the way, I might have got brainwashed into this “should” business. I really hate that feeling when I am doing one thing, but unable to be fully being present while doing it, because one of the committees in my head thinks I should be doing something else.
I am finding that sometimes that feeling is rooted in the character defect of people pleasing, but other times it’s because I’ve procrastinated on something to the point where now I HAVE to do it or I’ve said “Yes” when I really meant “No” and overcommitted myself. My most humorous discovery is that sometimes I make my own misery because I have an idea about something before it’s really time to do it. Everything has its own timing. And I can’t count the number of times I have had a thing to do on my list for weeks, or sometimes months, allowing it eat at my conscience and then all of the sudden, a very naturally arising desire to do this very thing bubbles up and Voila!, I get it done!
I see clearly now all this is the Superwoman Syndrome cleverly disguising herself, thinking I won’t recognize her! Once again I get the reminder from the Universe of whose in charge and it’s not me! Regardless of what’s on my To Do list, when I am willing to be faith-filled in my actions at all times, everything get done precisely when it is supposed to get done and I have alot more peace!
My friend Rick, sent me this video, in response to my post, Paradox of Creativity. It was too awesome to pass up! It even inspired me to create a new category where I can catalog AMAZINGLY AWESOME things to share with you that really bring out the wonderment in me!
I wonder why we push our loved ones to pursue the things at which they seem naturally gifted? Is what appears like encouragement really our own selfish desire to avoid the pain it causes US to see a loved one ‘piss away their talents’?
This seems like such a ‘normal’ and healthy thing to do for a loved one and we do it under the guise of ‘encouragement’. But where do we cross that invisible line from being encouraging to creating a ‘should’ for them–unintentionally making the things at which they are naturally gifted an obligation to meet our expectations, rather than a pursuit of joy?
Should we not all have the opportunity to genuinely pursue our interests for the sake of their intrinsic pleasure and be free from our loved one’s expectations?
Someone told me once “Say it once and that’s fine, but if you find yourself saying it repeatedly, that’s controlling.” Do we try to control or loved ones and make it look like ‘encouragement’?
New Definition of Encouragement for Loved Ones: Create space and opportunity for them to pursue their interests and let them do with it as they see fit, even if that appears like nothing.
I often wonder why I will sometimes choose to not act upon a creative urge. I will feel the inner lunges of the completeness that could be mine–the kind of peaceful feeling that you’ve said what you needed to say, you’ve done your work, you’ve done what you needed to do–In that way that only the creator can measure, it is ‘done’. Yet, in spite of the lusciousness I know this feeling brings, I will still sometimes pass the creative urge on to find another creator and I wonder why?
I once read a story about a girl in college that was stumped on a writing assignment. Her assignment was to write a 500-word essay on a historic Theatre on Main Street in the town where she lived. After days of groveling, she could think of nothing that would be worthy of writing. She was blocked. Uninspired. She went back to the professor for guidance and he suggested she start with the brick in the top left corner, describe that brick and see what happened. The girl left in a quandary certain that she did not want to spend her essay writing about brick. But at a loss for anything else to do, she followed the directive of her professor. She wrote about the first brick and then for lack of anything else to write about, she wrote about the second brick and just as she was finishing her thoughts describing the second brick, however mundane they were, she felt something inside her open up and she was able to write, actually not stop writing. She wrote a 5000-word essay on the intricate beauty of that old historic Theatre!
So as this is the nature of creativity. Being blocked artistically, I think is really a clever disguise for choosing to be a victim of our own procrastination. I have found this experience to be mine over and over. So many times over, that it was too obvious for me to see. It was too obvious to see that the reason I will sometimes choose to block creativity in the interest of other ‘life’ things, is because subconsciously I know that once you respond to the drip, it quickly becomes a flood. And thank God it does! Otherwise, some of the greatest works in history would have never seen life. The flood is hard to shut off. And once I get into the flow of it, I don’t really want to shut it off. It feels good to bathe in urges of creativity.
So I’ve learned that creative impulses are cunning. They’re fantastically therapeutic and render great works and they are tricksters at the same time. What it really comes down to at the moment of choice is this: Am I willing to bathe in the floodwaters of creativity or am I just wanting to shut up this thing in my head? If the latter, the solution is simple–just deny it life and it will go find another creator who is willing to bring it forth into being. And I can rest assured that if I am the only artist suitable for the job, it will not cease. Creativity that is frolicking in the wind riding its currents is content with any creator that catches her drift, but creativity that has already chosen her master is relentless!
Do you ever feel like you’ve been sprinkled by the rule fairies? It’s that feeling of being boxed in by all the things I should be doing and all the expectations I should be meeting. Or when I’m working on one thing, but don’t have any peace because I’m thinking about all the other things I should be doing instead.
For me, this feeling occurs as a result of primarily two situations, both of which I create: 1) when I’ve said “Yes” and I really wanted to say “No” and 2) when I’ve procrastinated on something to the point of it becoming urgent either because I didn’t really want to do it in the first place (see Situation #1) or didn’t prioritize the things to which I did say “Yes”.
So I end up feeling overcommitted and resentful because I feel like I’m doing what’s important to everyone else and nothing that’s important to me. It’s like indentured servitude for which I’ve volunteered! I get caught in this endless loop of missing the opportunity to do better because I’m trying so hard not to do worse. Yuk!
But I know a solution! When I am working a plan based on the inner guidance I have available to me, actively setting priorities, conscientiously evaluating opportunities to determine if they are right for me at the moment they are presented, and have some semblance of when enough is enough, I feel healthy and balanced and grateful and vibrant and engaged in life. Yeah!
Then, amazingly enough, I have time for things that aren’t ever in the plan. Like when that friend calls and wants to do a last-minute lunch because she’s in town, or my grandmother calls because she is lonely and just needs to talk about nothing, or when I unexpectedly run into someone I know and feel free to chat a while, or the trip to the store took way longer than I thought. When I’m already in the loop of “Yeah”, these kind of “life things” don’t have the power to throw me into the loop of “Yuk”. Yeah!
Ignorance may be bliss…..sometimes. Sometimes, I don’t want to know what’s around the corner; I would rather just walk thru it and tell you about it after the fact because if I knew I would argue, rebel, deny, derail the present moment and most likely wouldn’t deal with it well. But sometimes, I do want to know what’s coming so I can prepare or handle differently (hopefully better). Sometimes, it’s prudent to know what I’m dealing with, or have insights and perspectives from others, or be presented with new information, or sometimes to just ask for plain old advice.