I played in my studio this weekend. It has been a while.
Though summer is often a time of little studio play, this year’s sojourn away from its creative space was especially long.
I kept telling myself I was bored with it all. I just wasn’t interested. I had other things to do.
In reality, and retrospect, I was engaging in a lot of self-denial of engagement with the things that lift me up, balance and challenge me, and give my creative essence the spark it needs to keep flowing freely. And, when my creative essence flows freely, I feel calmer, happier, more spacious, more ‘me’.
I know I am not alone in my self-denial of the things I know are good for me.
Some time ago, I was chatting with a woman at the park as we walked along the river. Her two-year-old rescue, Toby, wanted desperately to play with Beaumont the Sheepadoodle. Beau was only interested in my throwing the ball.
Like me, she loves to write.
“I started a book three years ago,” she shared. “When COVID hit, I thought it would be the opportune time to finish it. I’m still only a quarter of the way through.”
I shared some of my unfinished manuscript stories and we both laughed and promised to check in on one another’s progress at our next park encounter.
Recently, we ran into each other again at the park. We chatted for a while until finally I blurted out, “So… I don’t have much of an update on progress to report.”
Sheepishly, she shared she didn’t either.
We chatted awhile about the obstacles, the why not’s, and the things that got in our way of doing what we say we want to do.
“I desperately want to finish it,” she said of her manuscript. “I just don’t know if I can.”
We looked at each other when she said that and laughed.
It is a shared experience.
See, intellectually I know I can do it but… and there’s always a but… my lack of conviction of the ‘can’ has more to do with the critter-mind’s constant chattering about why I shouldn’t do it.
Now that was a revelation as I sat in meditation this morning.
Why does the critter-mind believe I shouldn’t do it?
The answer is fairly simple.
The critter-mind always believes it knows best, particularly when it comes to keeping me safe. And the critter-mind believes that convincing me not to devote the time, energy and creative power necessary to complete this book is safer than risking failing, or never getting it published, or having it panned by readers, yada, yada, yada.
And so I wonder… What would happen if I simply turn up, pay attention and stay unattached to the outcome?
Will the critter-mind lose its power to convince me not to do it? In staying unattached to the outcome, will the creative act of putting words onto a page become the process through which I experience joy, happiness, fulfillment and love?
I wonder… What would happen if I imagine every word I type to be an act of love? Will words bloom into everything I imagine?