In the midst of what has become one of the most impressionable times of my life, I've heard from so many people, be them friends, family, neighbors or clients, that they are tapped OUT. No matter the age, the Universe has dealt us a hand that we have collectively come to realize we are not even remotely equipped to play. Commiseration abounds, and we see from every corner of the world chaos and a general freaking out if you will.
Our global nervous system is shot. Surprisingly however, while all this hysteria, mass consumption, mass media and mass saturation of all kinds surround our daily lives, there are some of the most brilliant, innovative, tech savvy and uber creative artists, services, products, concepts, designs and ideas busting out so fast I can’t even fathom if I’ll ever wrap myself around half of them, let alone know about them all. What I do know, according to me, is the essential core of relief and escape from any earthly madness is reconnecting with your inner voice, that vibration of creativity and simple, pure, non-judgemental GOODNESS. In being “good” we can also be selfish and self-actualizing, self centered even. We can seek to be supremely fulfilled without the cost of our emotional and communal well being – you can tap back IN.
It’s a Misnomer...
… that to be good inside, to seek balance and harmony in any given day, means that you toss to the winds any ego-driven desires or the innate hunger to obtain something, be it modest or grand. Not true. As a matter of fact, that animal desire, the lusting for whatever charges your boundless wants is powerful and for many, drives the passion for success. What can cause some issues for you is the blinding, unmeasured, untethered, and rabid acquisition of more for the sake of more. This fever to hurry, rush and acquire can leave the mind and the body painfully dry, empty of purpose, and longing for an opportunity to nourish the psyche with some of that goodness, to feel bound back together – even for just a little while. So how do we reclaim that inner sense of creativity and curiosity we all know we have in us? How do we maintain our responsibility to our clients, our employers, our partners and our kids, while reaching in and pulling up to the surface our light and our goodness? I thought on it and I came up with elements that give way to tapping back in;
Gotta’ Make Time.
If we never choose to commit any actual time to the creating part of our lives, then guess what? Nothing will ever get created. This seem oddly obvious, but the monkey brain in our heads that takes off running most every day, is what syphons our energy and therefore, our precious time.
The old school thinking of relative “time” ticking away isn’t the deal, the fact of the matter is, we do not prioritize well. Saying , “I’m not making my creativity a priority because…” and the reasons can be as long and as clustered as you can imagine. Choose to set aside thirty minutes a day for doing nothing but free-flow writing, cooking, taking photos of the kids, or Rover or even Fee Fee the kitty; anything that is not what you consider WORK. If you are honest and genuinely do this, you will experience a shift in how creative you really are. Not just in those small pockets of time you allowed yourself, but you’ll discover the creative vibe move into other aspects of your life. I’m doing this, mindfully acting on it and believe me, its pretty amazing what you can do when you consciously make the time to spark.
Focus People Focus!
We are in an age of super saturation, a generation of input overload! Our society is completely spazzed, everyone taking on dozens of different projects, managing often multiple jobs to keep it all together, and with all this mass must-do-more insanity, our focus is spread so thin, we find at the end of the day we haven’t really gotten very far with anything and our sense of goodness and being complete is gone. Then the spiral of worry kicks in, a gnawing belief that you’re not very capable, definitely must not be creative, and well, there we go…
I love my concept projects, but when I try doing all of them all at the same time? Uh, not the greatest results. Especially those of us who juggle alot for our families or our own businesses, it’s simply a train wreck expecting yourself to accomplish all things, all the time, incredibly well without FOCUS. Someone in the yoga scene recently drove this home for me; choose the one project you most want to initiate and complete, then give yourself an hour or two a day and NOTHING ELSE for that period of time, completely eliminating all other distractions (yes, that means turn off the phone and Facebook notification!). If you are like me, and convinced you can do all things equally well while multi tasking, finding how creative and ultra productive you’ve been when you truly honed your focus is liberating.
So Let Me Tell You About This Idea I Have…
Creativity starts with ideas. Without them there is no place to start from. Feeling like you are not an idea person or are not the creative type is just silly. We all have the capacity to generate wonderful, insightful and useful ideas, we can each tap into a place where creativity lies- that’s not it. The issue isn’t lack of ideas or inspiration, we all have them bouncing off our smart phones and iPads… so what it is then? We’re not capturing them the moment they pop into our overcrowded little heads. We say to ourselves, “Oh, that’s a really cool idea, I definitely want to get that going, but damn, I’m up to my frigging bum in this job already, I’ll remember it later.” But we don’t. We go on about our mania of the moment. We don’t remember unless we WRITE IT DOWN. Seriously, this is super easy to do; get a spiral notebook, set it right on top of your desk, your kitchen counter, in the bathroom – where ever you are, and write that idea down. Capture it as fully as you can in that moment, then close the cover and go back to your crazy day. Pin it on a board or tape it to the wall if you’d like, just put it down as soon as you think of it. Funny thing is, with this basic practice of writing it down, soon you’ll notice how often you are jotting ideas in the notebook and before you know it, you are creatively focused on making it happen. You are acting on it.
Turn In Your Permission Slip Please.
OK, so now this is the most crucial point in the creative process in my opinion, at least it has been for me. Giving yourself permission to have the inner sense, the focus, the endless ideas and to act on them creatively, for me-myself-and-I is HUGE. Without feeling you have permission to let your creative stuff do what it does so well, your creative Self just sits and stirs, twisted, frustrated and muffled, wanting to be expressed but holding off until you give it permission to expand and open up. What comes from this if you don’t, even in the tiniest of ways, is layer upon layer of resentment and that filters into all your personal and professional relationships. Stop what you are doing, and really pay attention. This denial of expression isn’t obvious, and that’s where we end up, all coiled and contorted with loads of useless stress. Give yourself the permission to be expressive, find a place to be just with you and your ideas, and let the creativity flow and thrive. It won’t happen instantaneously, but it will happen if you choose to bring it into your realm of possibilities.
Lean On Me.
So much of what we do in a given day is on behalf of our stedfast sense of responsibility to everyone around us. Rarely do we feel we have the support we need, often times feeling isolated from anyone understanding what we are doing or where we are in the process. What I have done recently is opened the pathways to groups and a community of like-minded types to chat and share our projects, obstacles we’re encountering, tools and strategies to be more productive, channeled, balanced and again, supported. The benefit for me is it has allowed me to be the one doing the supporting which, by virtue of the relationship, I gain so much for having done so. By allowing more creative people in, I become more creative, and so my goodness fills up.
So that’s my take on how we can recover from being tapped out and bring it back around to feel creative, focused, nurtured and supported in all aspects of what we do. Stepping away from the chaos and allowing a sense of creative move in is super empowering and releases a mass of inner hysteria that reflects back to us in a less reactive sort of way. There is too much to take in, too much to manage and far too much to compete with as it is, so flowing with some of those creative juices and instincts can certainly lighten up your day. Go ahead, act on it and see.