i’m a writer…?

In my new job, I’m surrounded by young visual artists, many of whom are working on their writing. At a staff meeting last week, we were asked to consider the concept of ’the writer’. What does a writer look like? Where are they, and who is around them? Next, we were asked to recall the last time we wrote, and visualize that scene – where we were, who we were with, the sounds around us, etc.

The exercise was telling; for most of us, the scenes of ‘a writer’ and ‘ourselves writing’ were quite different. One woman pictured a Stephen King-type character, drafting a bestseller on a typewriter in an old study filled with mahogany furniture and leather-bound books.

My concept of the writer was more bohemian; philosophers in Parisian cafes recording their observations on human nature, art, and politics. Though this image morphed into a modern-day version of me, it still didn’t match where I actually last wrote: my previous job, a place I was unhappy in, drafting a blog post on my work email between meetings and daily duties.

Writing got me through the day.

a collage

As I shared in my last post, I left that job a few weeks ago, largely because I had little creative juice left at the end of the day to pursue my other loves – those endeavours known and unknown, longing to be explored.

My new position doesn’t require much writing, but I’m surrounded by creative colleagues who are eager to learn more about my personal practice. And every time they express interest in my writing, I hesitate. I’m fascinated by this continual reluctance to see myself as one of these talented, artistic people!

Our meeting activity really illuminated how pervasive and insidious certain labels can be. But it also helped me realize that, when I’m composing a blog post, I am a writer. I’m choosing to write because I love to write. It doesn’t matter where I am, who I’m with, what I’m wearing. It doesn’t matter if I do it daily or how many words I type or who’s writing more or less. In that moment, I am a writer.

I could go further, but I discovered a post from my early blogging days that totally captures what I want to say. It’s a timeless reminder from 5-years-ago me to my present self (I love it when that happens!):

We are all creative.

No labels required.

just. keep. writing.

Writer’s block is an enigmatic phenomenon. I could be out for a walk, on the bus to work, heck even at work doing my job, and in under a minute I’ll mentally write an entire blog post. The words and ideas stream in so fast I can’t possibly record them, but I promise myself I will later. I’ll remember this, I think. But when I sit down to write – nothing.

Earlier this week, my colleague – an amazing poet and teacher – spoke to a group of high school students visiting our university to learn more about our creative writing program. (A post on ‘worlds colliding’ should follow this one, as the students’ teacher is coincidentally my best friend, who now lives south of the border.)

I attended the session, but didn’t expect to be so personally impacted. When I was in high school, ‘creative writing’ wasn’t a thing. I remember English classes and learning about form, structure, and grammar…and we did do some writing…but for the most part, creative expression wasn’t truly nurtured or celebrated.

Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy.

I can’t help but wonder how different my younger years would’ve looked, had I been encouraged to experiment with all forms and genres in writing. If studying the craft had been presented as a valuable, worthy calling.

Of course, there’s no real point in going there. It’s easy to get carried away with the ‘what if’s, thinking we were somehow shortchanged in our past. But we can’t really know how things might’ve otherwise turned out. Maybe in the end it wouldn’t have made much difference.

My poet friend was so inspiring in encouraging the students to express themselves, and I ponder why writing – a process that can literally be a life-saver for some – often remains so elusive for those who love it most.

Is it vulnerability? Putting ourselves ‘out there’ in any capacity can be intimidating…but with writing, it feels heightened. It’s our heart and soul we’re baring, opening ourselves to others’ perceptions and projections. We tell ourselves not to get caught up in likes, follows (or unfollows), and comments…but how can we not be impacted by those things?

Is it perfectionism? We might think we don’t have time, or that we’re too stressed, to write. But maybe it’s fear: fear that our written word will never look as great as we hope and envision. Fear that someone will make a negative comment, or we’ll sound pretentious or get it wrong. Or, maybe worst of all – that we’ll be exposed as an imposter.

Blogging breaks are sometimes necessary…but I am feeling the creative muse’s call – no, order – to keep writing. It doesn’t have to be blog posts; it doesn’t have to ‘be’ or look like anything. It can just be for me.

When it comes to nurturing our passions, there is always time. But it is on us to carve it out. Fortunately we now have the world of WordPress, where everyone can express themselves to their heart’s content! It’s not too late.

For all those sensitive people so attuned to the reactions of others, I say… I get it. Express yourself anyway. It doesn’t matter if you’re not experienced or published or getting paid for it. If you’ve found something that gives you even the smallest hint of joy, DO IT. Don’t even question why.

It is meaningful, it does matter, and it is making a difference. Just keep writing.

gratitude: 5 things to share

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There are so many wonderful gems on the internet and I would never run out of blog posts if I were to write about all of them. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it feels right to share just a few things I’m grateful for.

Blog: I have several WordPress faves but wanted to give a special shoutout to Linda at litebeing chronicles. Linda’s posts are deeply insightful, with a good measure of pop culture thrown in. There’s also astrology. 🙂 Linda’s been a big supporter of mine since early in my blogging days, and I’m very appreciative of her friendship, encouragement, and always thoughtful comments. Thank you Linda!

Just after writing this I found out Linda is in the hospital. We are sending you well wishes Linda.

Book: Dancing in the Bamboo Forest. This was written by DJ at djahariahmitra.com. After DJ read some of my earlier posts about India and my inklings to begin yoga teacher training, she generously sent me a copy of her memoir documenting her travels and yoga experiences in India. I resonated deeply with so much of her inner and outer journey. It rekindled my desire to visit Mother India again, hopefully soon…

DJ’s book also inspired me to keep writing. So many of us want to write a book – let’s just do it! Who knows who our words will help. The purpose of creativity is to share.

Youtube: emergegrowprosper. I’ve been following Jenna Forrest’s teachings for about a year now and I’m so thankful for this channel. Jenna shares the (love) awakening process from the point of view of a highly sensitive empath. Her teachings are clear and profoundly healing in their depth and simplicity. For such cosmic and spiritual subject matter, she is very down-to-earth and practical. Jenna doesn’t advertise and she’s not on Facebook; her channel is growing primarily through the strength of her classes and messages.

[2018 update: I no longer follow Jenna’s channel as her message changed significantly in 2017. Read my post https://alohaleya.com/2017/06/24/technology-the-divine-search/ for more on that]

Documentary: The True Cost. Thanks to my friend AM for telling me about this one. This documentary explores the impact of the fashion industry on the environment and the human beings who produce the clothes. It is a game-changer in the way I shop, and the stores I visit. (Whenever a friend  tries to get me to go into H&M, I mention this documentary.) As an Indian woman, the film hit me especially hard as I saw how I’ve been playing into the suppression and violence of my Indian sisters across the globe.

Many of us are already aware of this issue – sweatshops aren’t exactly a secret – but for me it was a major wakeup call.

Website: What can I say, I love The Power Path! I’ve been trying to not overdo it with the spiritual articles and websites, but Jose and Lena Stevens’ moon updates, monthly forecasts, and monthly articles are always inspiring and insightful. They don’t sugarcoat the chaos of the paradigm shift we’re all experiencing (and co-creating), and their shamanic perspective and practical advice helps me navigate this grand adventure on planet earth.

Thank you, Internet! ❤

And of course, I’m grateful for the teachings of Kundalini Yoga. I’m currently immersed in the next module of my teacher training program, now in a different city, with all new people. It is a complete contrast to the intimate, cozy retreat setting I’d become accustomed to. But so far I’m enjoying the shift in perspective, and meeting some amazing yogis. The only constant is change…

the lady in the painting

In honour of Mercury Retrograde, I’m re-blogging a post from my early WordPress days. An extra fun twist is that I now work at the university I mention in the post. I’m loving this trip back in time.

Happy equinox-full moon-lunar eclipse!

alohaleya

Years ago I bought an art print from a poster fair that would visit my university a couple of times a year.  I was so drawn to this painting, which featured a woman sitting at what looked to be a Parisian cafe, a pensive expression on her face, quill and half-glass of wine on her table.  I loved everything about this piece: the setting, the colours, the subject matter, the painter’s technique.  I didn’t even look up the artist for some time, or explore the historical context of the work (which is strange, considering I was an Art History major).  It spoke to me, and that was enough.

The Cafe, Tsuguharu Foujita (1949) The Cafe, Tsuguharu Foujita (1949)

I felt an affinity with this woman, and I wanted to be her, but her world and life were so far away from mine.  This painting created a tension within me.  Of admiring, of relating…but also feeling…

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passion, resistance, and kundalini yoga

I’m most motivated to write a blog post immediately after I’ve published one. I feel like I’ve just conquered a beast, and I’m ready to take on another.

That beast is Resistance.

There’s a release when I hit ‘publish’. Something inside me has broken free, creating space for new ideas and inspirations. I feel almost giddy and l promise myself I’ll write more often. But as days go on, I lose my mojo. And after about two weeks, I’ll find any excuse to avoid sitting down to write.

Turns out my experience is not unique. I’m halfway through Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, in which he lays out the numerous forms of resistance artists encounter in carrying out their sacred work. This book is rocking my world. Pressfield writes that we often meet the strongest resistance in creating that which is most meaningful and valuable to us – the work that comes from our heart and soul.

I’ve written about the pressure of passion before. Those of us who feel our passion eludes us can be so preoccupied with ‘finding it’ that it becomes a source of stress. We conclude that we must not have one, or that we’re somehow missing it. Either way, something feels wrong.

But this could be resistance in clever disguise.

Flaming Star, by my beautiful friend & artist Christyn Hall. She's painting 33 paintings in 30 days this month! See more of her gorgeous sacred art at http://christynmhall.com.

Flaming Star, by my beautiful friend & artist Christyn M. Hall. She’s painting 33 paintings in 30 days this month! Click on the image above or visit christynmhall.com to see more of her gorgeous sacred art.

The force of resistance is real, insidious, and relentless. Resistance discourages us from putting our barest selves out there, because we are then subject to potential humiliation, rejection, and failure. Resistance abhors change, because change puts us out of our comfort zone and compels us to be vulnerable. Resistance is mired in fear.

There are those who seem to unequivocally know what their sacred work is. They don’t have to search for their passion; it pulses in their bones. I used to think that they were ‘lucky’ to have their gifts flow through them so effortlessly. I envied that. I’m now seeing that they too encounter self-doubt and resistance. But they still show up to do their work.

To me, resistance is synonymous with ego. Resistance will stop at nothing to prevent us from doing what makes us feel truly self-expressed and in our power. Resistance is slippery and must be watched like a hawk. It knows all our weak spots and will even spend time contemplating the problem of resistance itself, to distract us from pursuing anything it perceives as threatening!

In my own life, I’m feeling it in the form of second-guessing my decision to begin my Kundalini Yoga teacher training. For the last ten years, I’ve seen myself becoming a yoga teacher…’someday’. Well, that day is here; the training starts next month, I’ve booked the days off work, and my application is completed.

And I’m questioning all of it.

Pressfield writes that what we most resist doing, we absolutely must do. The bigger the stakes, the bigger the payoff. This is an important message for me now. Having recently changed cities, I’m on new ground to show up in new ways. I am sensing the necessity to take more risks, to trust my inner knowing (and speak it), and do what I need to do because the time is ripe to do it.

Collectively, something big is in the air. We could look at the world today and become completely cynical and hopeless. No one would blame us. Or we could take advantage of a new energy that is growing all around us – an energy we ourselves have created in response to our collective pain and suffering. There are so many of us desiring a completely different way of being. Maybe our prayers have been heard, and we can live the lives we couldn’t before.

This new way requires trusting in the unknown and letting go of who we thought we were. And, of course, kicking resistance in the ass.

authenticity in the cacophony

I used to think that being “too busy to blog” was just an excuse. Now I know that’s not the case. I am three weeks into my digital communications program and though I’m having fun and learning a ton, blogging has been on the back burner. And I have missed it!

Ironically, one of the things we’ve learned is the importance of blogging regularly and frequently, posting on a consistent schedule. Strike One for Aleya! 🙂

one of my class projects...making a video!

one of my class projects…making a video! (photo: colleen myers)

There is so much about the digital world that fascinates me. When I started blogging, I had no idea the amount of friends I would make, or that I would physically meet up with awesome galpal bloggers in both Europe and LA!

But being so immersed in social media also makes me see that much of it is just…noise. And that the deeper I get into this world, the more hours and energy I could waste mindlessly sifting through its cacophony.

This brings me back to something I’ve written about several times: the importance of authenticity. Finding one’s own voice amongst the inner and outer din. And using that voice responsibly and with integrity.

This means asking myself why I want to blog in the first place, and what my intentions are with social media in general. Why am I (sorta) enjoying Twitter, loving Instagram, and digging Hootsuite? What am I ultimately using these platforms for?

Okay, maybe I’m over-thinking it. But being in a program where I’m required to social network has forced me to really examine what I want to do with all this knowledge I’m gaining.

Within digital communications, there’s so much emphasis on gathering ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ and ‘traffic’. But for what purpose? Does the content honour the readers, add value to their lives? (I’m channeling my inner Seth Godin here.) Or are we getting caught up in the game of numbers?

I believe it all comes down to my core values, and how I can best use technology to express those values.

I want what I’m learning to be a force for Good. Expansion. Love. Truth. Authenticity.

I’m writing to connect. To express my uniqueness, and to learn more about your uniqueness, and to know that none of us is ‘special’ in our uniqueness. I’m social media’ing to exchange ideas and information, to understand the world more, and to move from ego into a new way of being, living, and loving.

I’m writing to share all the joys and challenges on the way there. To find all you points of light around the world, because connecting to your light strengthens my own.

I can find time for that. 😉

Namaste

some very deep questions on blogging

I started this blogging adventure about a year and a half ago, and have yet to tell the majority of my friends and family about it. I’m kind of dreading the day that someone shares it on Facebook and my mom mentions it at the next family gathering.

I’ve written about this before but clearly it’s still an issue for me – why am I ok with sharing my innermost thoughts on the INTERNET, but not with those closest to me?

please don't find my blog

please don’t find my blog

I recently watched some Teal Swan videos on privacy, openness, and boundaries. They got me really questioning my need to keep my personal life so private.

A few months ago a good friend of mine (the brilliant Eager Beaver) joked that I am “surrounded by an impenetrable cloak of mystique.” Though we laughed and laughed at her choice of words, I wonder if there is a seed of truth in there.

Is it an ego thing? Is there a feeling of power and control in not letting people have access to what’s going on inside me? Does being ‘mysterious’ mean I can comfortably distance myself from others?

Are strangers less threatening than loved ones, when it comes to expressing my truth? Do I feel vulnerable in sharing myself openly with close friends and family because I’m fearful of ridicule, feeling judged, not being taken seriously, being misunderstood, or triggering/hurting/upsetting them? What is this sense of being ‘open to attack’?

It is essential to have healthy boundaries. We all know this. But what does that really mean for me, and have I taken it too far? Have I told myself that I am ‘sensitive’, an ’empath’, prone to ‘absorbing other people’s stuff’, to the point that I’ve walled myself off from them?

Perhaps I’m holding on to previous grudges and resentments where my privacy was violated, and it now feels unsafe to share the deeper parts of me. While that’s certainly understandable, how do I reconcile that pain with my desire for self-expression and LETTING GO of that story?

And what about the fact that we can never really hide ourselves anyway, because we’re broadcasting our energetic signals whether we want to or not? We are all interconnected, so it’s an illusion to think that just because you’re not reading my words, you’re not affected by what’s behind them.

How much of an energetic toll does secrecy take? Sometimes I feel like I live a double life – my blogger life and my day-to-day life. These split parts of me want to integrate and live life more wholly.

What it’s coming down to is integrity. If I’m going to have a public blog, I can’t control who reads it or not. All I can control is my intention, motivation, and the words I choose to express myself.

I’m not really speaking my truth if I’m purposely limiting my words to some people and not others. Perhaps it’s time to get more comfortable with, and honouring of, my truth. And trusting others with it.

While this doesn’t mean that I have to advertise my blog to everyone I know, it does mean accepting that whoever finds it, finds it. And as long as I am writing in integrity, there is nothing to fear.

not stuck, just gathering information

As some of my blogging friends know, for a while now I’ve been employed in a job that I am not, er, totally passionate about.  While I appreciate the many perks it offers, I sense there is something much greater to align with.  I know a lot of people out there can relate.

Around this time last year, I gave my notice at my current job.  I was just fed up, and prepared to take a leap into the unknown.  Instead, at somewhat the last minute, I decided to take an unpaid leave of absence, and frolic around Italy for a few weeks.

But now I find myself slipping back to where I was a year ago (albeit forever changed by my travels).  Though I am focusing on appreciating the great things about my job, there is the ever-looming desire for something more.  Something that doesn’t feel like ‘work’, something intangible, but that is just effortlessly me…someplace where I don’t have to remind myself all day, every day, why I am grateful to be there.  Something that just is.

A few weeks ago I signed up for one of those extensive Career Assessment tests, just to get some inspiration and ideas.  The results proved interesting, but not surprising.  My ideal work profile was identified as Social/Artistic, the #1 recommended occupation being Photographer.  The second suggestion was the much-less-sexy-sounding Technical Writer (which doesn’t sound too Social/Artistic, but whatever).

This hasn’t made me want to run out and quit my day job, but the results affirm that there are more creative options for me to explore.  To that end, I’ve enrolled in a couple of Writing courses, to get the juices flowing.

On the career front, I’ve been inundating myself with Abraham-Hicks videos lately, and learning to not define myself as ‘stuck’, or focus on those aspects of my job I have found draining or unpleasant.  That feeling of stagnation can become very familiar (as many office workers know), and become my dominant perception of my situation.

So I’m wanting to move away from that.  Instead, I’m going to take the advice I’ve been giving myself for years.  Just do what you love to do.  (Or even what you like to do, if you don’t know what that is.)  Do whatever you can, wherever you can, however often you can, to get yourself into that place where you’re…well, doing what you love to do.  For the sake of just doing it.

Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?  Yet somehow I’ve resisted fully going there.  I’ve called myself ‘undisciplined’. I’ve promised myself I’ll do it later (meanwhile frittering time away on Facebook).  Or I’ve associated doing what I love with immediately making it a career or source of income, and becoming discouraged/overwhelmed right off the bat.  Or – I’ve liked the idea of doing it better than actually doing it, because what if I suck at it?  (I think they call that self-sabotage.)

In the past I have felt the pressure of time, or (more often) comparison with others, influencing me to make a shift – which only backfired, especially since I had no concrete idea of what to shift to.

But I’ve ceased calling myself ‘scattered’ or ‘unfocused’.  Now I’m trusting that it’s okay to be one of those people who actually likes and loves to do a lot of different things.  And my process is going to be unique; there is no standard timeline for anything.

Abraham’s teachings help me find my own balance between appreciation – I mean, really appreciating what is – and aligning with that expanded part of me that craves movement, growth, freedom, and abundance. I’m taking all the time I need to find this balance.  Because key to this process is authenticity with where I’m truly at.

Doing those things I really love to do, but have resisted for whatever reason, will require a willingness to occasionally step out of my comfort zone.  To get my feet wet.  In my two Writing classes, I will be required not only to share my work with others, but to give and receive feedback.  This will be interesting.  Though blogging has opened me up in many ways, writing has largely been a solo activity.  To share that part of myself with relative strangers (though I’m sure they won’t be in ten weeks!) is a little daunting.

But I’m up for it.  All this is part of vulnerability and growth.  This opening will create channels for more creative streams to flow.  Maybe I’ll even start doing those tarot readings my friends have been pestering me about!

After all, 2014 is all about doing things a little different.  No more holding back.

musings on blogging

Is anyone else experiencing time flying by at warp speed?  I haven’t blogged in a while, but a niggling internal voice has been reminding me daily…It’s time for your next post!

Actually, I don’t know if ‘niggling’ is the right word.  Blogging has been an awesome addition to my life these past few months. So maybe it’s time to reflect on this wonderful WordPress world, and muse on the questions it’s raised for me.

First: Why does a private person want to share their innermost thoughts so publicly?  I consider myself quite introverted, so it’s interesting that I’m relatively comfortable expressing myself so openly in this forum. Sure, there is some detachment on the web, in that it’s mostly ‘strangers’ reading my words.  But even this is changing as friends and family discover my blog, and strangers become friends. As my worlds merge, I question why I’m not very forthcoming with those supposedly closest to me. Why have I been resistant to them knowing the ‘real’ me?  I guess I can’t hide for much longer!  The word is spreading.

the blog station

the blog station

Inspiration strikes when I’m not near a computer.  And that’s ok. I like to walk.  Everywhere.  And ideas often stream through me during this time.  I’m not one to whip out my iPhone to take notes (it majorly interrupts my flow), so I’ve come to enjoy the feeling of being inspired, and allowing it to imprint upon me…trusting that I can tap into it when needed.  When I stress about losing ideas, it introduces resistance to the whole blogging process. And then it becomes less enjoyable for me.

Blogging makes me accountable.  But not too accountable. There’s something about declaring your hopes and dreams to the entire world that makes them more real.  This is a great motivator, but also requires patience and compassion for myself.  If I change my mind, or don’t follow through with something I write, it’s okay. Things are always in flux and, especially as I refine and tweak my desires, I must allow myself that flexibility.

Redefining blogging etiquette.  For example, how often should I blog?  There are lots of great blogging resources out there, many of which stress the importance of regular, frequent posting.  But I need to develop my own protocol (i.e., one with no rules).  Some weeks, the inspiration flows mightily and I have so many ideas I can barely keep up. Other times – I got nothing.  I know this is pretty common amongst bloggers…but I personally don’t have a stockpile of posts ready to draw on when my writing well runs dry (as the experts recommend)!

But there are dry spells, and there’s procrastination.  Even when I have a great idea in mind, and time to write, I’ll sit on it.  Why?  The possibility – the potential – that something amazing is within me is sometimes more preferable than attempting to articulate it, and not properly capturing its essence.    In other words, it’s the fear of failure – a pattern I see operating in other areas of my life.  Thankfully, this tendency is shifting as I shine more light on it (with some help from Abraham-Hicks, of course).  But it prompts me to ask:

Who am I writing for?  I started this blog as an avenue of self-expression.  I’m happy others have discovered, and found resonance with, my words.  But at times I’m very aware that others are reading.  And I have to remind myself of the primary reason for my writing: to authentically express myself.  Not to write what I think will make me likable, not to gain stats, not to make sure the post is the ‘right’ number of words so as to not deter readers.

this has nothing to do with this post; i'm just obsessed with taking pictures of ducks

this has nothing to do with this post; i’m just obsessed with taking pictures of ducks

I sometimes view blogging as a conversation between me and my higher self (something I read on another blog), which has its own value on my journey of self-discovery and speaking my truth.  As soon as I stray from authenticity – when I slip into ego, when I make it about others and not me – I’m not in integrity and alignment.

And yet – it is undeniable that the interaction with others is what makes blogging so great!  Which brings me to…

Why I am I doing this?  Quite simply, because it feels good. And it’s fun.  After years of over-analyzing/processing/questioning, and generally feeling very stuck, I’m learning that life is about cultivating more fun, joy, and lightness whenever and wherever I can.  And when I focus on all the amazing people I’ve ‘met’ all over the world, and the ideas that have been generated and shared, I see blogging as one creative means for achieving these positive states.

***

I imagine Earth as a globe with little points of light everywhere, more being lit every second, with like-minded bloggers connecting and networking and charging up the whole planet.

Consciousness is exciting.  Writing is exciting.  Connection is exciting.  Self-expression is exciting!

I’m so glad I took the plunge and wrote that first post (almost) six months ago.

Thank you for reading!

we are all creative

A few weeks ago I met up with my friend, the awesome Eager Beaver.  She looked at me and said, “So missy, you’re a writer.  Where have you been hiding?” (I had recently told her about my blog, and she’d read the whole thing in one sitting.)

My first instinct was to deflect.  I’m not a writer.  I’m not writing a book.  I have a blog.  A blog does not a writer make.  But instead of saying any of those things, I let her words sink in.  I smiled at the compliment – because, in my opinion, Eager Beaver is a great writer.  For her to consider me in that category was pretty cool.

Later, I thought more about my initial resistance.  Where did that sense of hesitancy and discomfort come from? Why the feeling that, in calling myself a writer, I was somewhat of an imposter?

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When I was a child, the response to ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was always ‘Writer’.  As a teenager, it narrowed down to ‘Magazine Writer’. (Anyone remember Sassy mag? Dream job!)  There wasn’t much else I really wanted to do.

But over time, I absorbed some negative messages: Writing is competitive.  You didn’t go to school for it.  You need connections.  There’s no money there (unless you’re a bestseller).  As a profession, it appeared reserved for a select few.  The joy I derived from writing was replaced with pressure, performing, being judged, and getting paid.  And so, apart from my diary, I buried my words and carried on with more practical matters.

I think there are many of us who feel our deep creative potential, but don’t know how to access or express it.   There is a sense that something profound is missing in our lives; so close, yet so far away.

Even though we know the creative process should be fun and joyful, it is also marked by ambivalence.  We may fear that others will judge our creations (and ultimately us).  But it’s mostly we who judge ourselves.  Our inner critic (ego) is relentless, comparing us to others, measuring us to impossibly high standards, labelling our creations as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

This can lead to self-sabotage, either through procrastination, or saying we don’t have the time/money/knowledge/skill/whatever to pursue our creative endeavours.   Or we make the assertion that we just ‘aren’t that creative’.  We stop before we even try.

goddess on the rocks

saraswati

A few months ago, I read Wayne Dyer’s definition of creation as ‘bringing non-being into being’.  The truth and simplicity of these words struck me – as though I’d been forever searching for something that was so obvious, and right in front of me all along.

Creativity is totally open-ended.  There are no rules.  It’s not about putting brush to canvas, or pen to paper.  It can be whatever I want it to be, and in any form.

Seth Godin writes: “I don’t believe that you are born to do a certain kind of art, mainly because your genes have no idea what technology is going to be available to you…Our society has reorganized so that the answer to the question ‘where should I do art?’ is now a long booklet, not a simple checklist of a few choices” (Linchpin, p. 77).

I love this notion that our creative potential can express itself with increasing diversity, ever-adapting to social change.  The digital world has transformed much in terms of creation and connection.  There is not necessarily just one thing we were ‘born to do’, and the worlds of ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ become more accessible to everyone. This refines and expands our definitions of who we are, and what we can create.

Our creative spark never disappears.  It sits patiently, latent, watching, waiting to ignite.

Starting this blog was my 21st century response to the timeless creative call within.  I want to cultivate this inner fire, not just with writing, but with other pursuits I’ve shied away from.  We need to nurture our own possibilities, and support each other’s great creations.

I thank the Eager Beaver for this reminder.