When I first conceived the idea for this blog I thought I’d set myself a challenge: Engage in one creative activity every day.
Now I’m realizing that a possible danger with that project is that I might end up turning creative experiences into just another source of pressure, something that has to be done. Those of us prone to achievement-addiction can easily trick ourselves into making even our leisure activities all about performance and ticking off to-do lists.
On the other hand, if you want to establish a positive habit it does take an initial effort and laying out some sort of plan to guide you in that process is usually helpful, even necessary. I recently read the following definition of “willpower” which I think is really helpful. It demonstrates how we can utilize the concept in a positive way on the path of self-development (this is from Charles Eisenstein’s The Yoga of Eating where he presents his approach to establishing healthy eating habits by trusting your body’s own messages instead of clinging to diet dogmas…):
The proper function of willpower and self-discipline is to extend wisdom and insight into times of imperfect clarity; to remember and apply the messages of one’s inner voice. For example, if you are engaged in joyful work, when distractions come you may need to remind yourself of what you really want to be doing….True discipline is really just self-remembering; no forcing or fighting is necessary.
And that’s really how most of us feel about bringing more creativity into our lives, right? It’s what we truly long for but there just never seems to be enough time to write, draw, practice the guitar etc. on a daily basis. I’m already finding this “not enough time” syndrome creeping back into my life although I’m currently unemployed and haven’t even spent any time job-hunting thus far! I have been spending my days doing things I enjoy and find meaningful – what a joy and relief compared to the days waisted sitting in an office! – but I can see I need to establish somewhat of a routine to not let any one of my priorities fall by the wayside.
So establishing routines is one side of making time for what’s important to you. (I’ll give you the scoop on what my routine is going to consist of in the next post – I’m getting busy…!)
But when it comes to being “creative”, I think it’s also valuable to examine what that really means, i.e. aren’t we actually creative in many more ways than those conventionally subsumed under that headline, which tend to focus on strictly artistic activities? Being creative doesn’t always have to be about specific designated activities. Feeling creative I’ve come to think is primarily about expressing / exploring my own true self. In everyday situations that can mean simply not blocking my full potential which naturally wants to flow and manifest itself. I intend to be in visceral connection with my intuition, my physical and emotional state at every moment. That awareness can tell me what it really is that I need or that I am capable of in any given situation. THE most effective way to tune into that intuition is conscious, deep breathing. And that’s something we can all do, all the time.