Great article – just what I needed to hear!
Today’s been one of those days that the writing just doesn’t seem to be flowing. I went to bed last night a little unsettled about an email I received from a close friend who I haven’t been clicking with lately, and I woke up with the feeling still there.
Determined to clear the way for a day of intended creating, I let it all out in my morning pages and then went into the ocean to wash it all away with a swim. I felt much lighter and much clearer after that, but there is still this part of me that wants to use the last little remaining hints of the upset as an excuse to skip the writing today, to not show up for my creativity and to take a day off from playing full out.
Luckily, I’ve been down that road enough times to know that it’s not leading anywhere I want to go. It would be easy to use some slippery circumstance or life situation to justify letting myself off the hook of doing what I’m committed to doing and being who I am committed to being. There’s a part of me that’s well versed in using my moments of weakness and vulnerability as an opportunity for indulgence in laziness, inaction, addictive tendencies and regression. That’s the real slippery slope.
We’ve all had the experience of being hurt, disappointed, conflicted or challenged and we all share the inner knowing that an ice cream, a drink, a smoke, a toke, a new car, a new dress, a new pair of shoes, a one night stand or another person are not going to solve the problem. What’s worse is that when we turn to outside sources instead of turning to our own gifts and ability to heal ourselves, we deepen the wound and we add the burdensome weight of unused creative energy and unfulfilled potential. This only intensifies the underlying pain of the inciting experience and the lie that goes with it, which is that we are not in control over how we feel.
The Truth: we are in control.
We have the ability to create our own perceptions and feelings about what happens in life, but we need to use our gifts and exercise our creative muscles to access this control. When we tune in to our inner yearning to express and show up at the page to write, it is easier to recognize ourselves as the author of our life story. When we heed the call to create and make our way to the blank canvas to paint, we connect with our ability to color our perceptions of life’s unfolding and to steer it in a way that matches the vision in our mind’s eye. When we use our voice to sing our heart song and let the music within us be heard, it becomes easier to speak up and express our truth in our lives and our relationships. When we look through the lens of the camera, we remember that we get to choose what we focus on and what perspective we will take to view life. When we push ourselves to get our butt to the gym and do those extra reps, we find the strength and courage to push through the challenges in life.
We are so blessed to be alive and to have the choice to use our bodies, our minds and our spirits however we like. When we recognize this freedom as a gift and connect to the particular forms of expression that light us up, we can begin to understand the truth of how powerful we really are and connect to our ability to create and shape our experience of being alive.
We can either let our circumstances define us or we can choose to use our gifts and define them. The empowered choice is to use the challenges, the upsets, and the conflicts to fuel our creative fire and to drive us to new heights. Especially on the days when we just don’t feel like it or it seems like we don’t have the goods.
Today, I came close to losing that battle, but the wisdom of previous experiences stayed with me enough to present a new choice. Instead of allowing myself to be swayed from the task at hand, I asserted my control and stayed on the creative course that I am committed to walking. I willed myself to the blank page to write something, anything, even if it was just to work out those last little emotional kinks and chinks in my armor from an upsetting situation.
I’m glad I did. I feel much better now.