Creating requires many elements to come together almost alchemically, and if we try to control our creativity with left brain analysis, we often stifle our muse, give up, or otherwise repress what I'll call the birthing of our babies– "babies" meaning whatever it is you're trying to invent or conjure up. It's tricky deciding what to keep and what to let go of during the process.
We begin with an idea, and once we latch onto it, we can explore, play with, twiddle and tweak it. Some ideas develop into a finished product, other times we need to abandon ship for awhile, let go our favorite concept or pet project and shift to something else. The most important things to let go in creating are fear, perfectionism, judgement, and resistance.
While painting the above balloon, the red balloon bled into the sky, oops. I considered a redo or some Photoshopping. And then I stopped and saw what the picture was telling me, "Let it go." Right! the perfectionist in me may never put anything into the world if I let it take over. (Maybe this blog idea is stupid. Who's going to read it anyway? What will they think? Am I wasting my time? Will I ever be good enough... Stop... Breathe... Let those thoughts go).
I'm sending this balloon off to you as is, a quick reminder to watch and notice all that holds you back from completing and sharing what you're creating. Is it self-doubt and negative self-talk that stalls you? Please let that go. Do you question and judge the worth of what you're working on, sabotaging yourself and not completing it? That's not needed either, go ahead without that. Do you compare yourself to others and think what you're doing isn't enough, or do you listen to others' criticisms over your own intuition? Please, ignore them and drive on. What about resistance and excuses? You guessed it: how about notice and release that, too. Is it close enough to call it done and share it as is? Let it go.
It's when we stop worrying that our creativity can take over. Not sure how to let things go? Visualization might help. You can close your eyes and imagine your ______ (fill in the blank with what you'd like to let go of) as a balloon of whatever color you choose. Notice how it's catching your project up, and then feel yourself opening your hand and watch that balloon of ______ float off and pop when it gets away from you.
And now you've made room to invite in a new idea, try a twist on an old one, or simply to free yourself to finish creating this one with more abandon. Here's to letting go to better create today.
Helping You Create Your Best At Home, At Work, and in Life
I often wonder what it would be like to fly like an eagle. The take off must be such a moment of surrender and intention, flinging oneself into the air with outstretched wings, catching the wind and then off we go.
Creative take-offs can be scary and exhilarating, sort of like flying off to a new place. After the initial travel anxiety– Will I wake with my alarm? Will there be traffic to the airport? Will my flight be on time? Will I have a comfortable seat?– most of us can board, stash our stuff, and settle in, hoping for a smooth flight. Once we take off, we look forward to arriving and what's next. We might not exactly know what the next airport will be like or what the trip will bring, but we usually get to where we're going, whether the plane's early, on time, or late.
During the first stages of creating we move forward on lift and momentum, hoping to arrive at a timely and smooth landing. Propelling ourselves in a creative direction, we can ride the initial curiosity and excitement about the possibilities. Once we embark, the longer we can stay enthusiastic about our project, whatever it is, we can keep bringing our highest energy to it. Though the creative process always involves unknowns and risks, we take our best stab at getting where we aim and on time.
If you're starting something new, enjoy the take off and see where it brings you. If you're steeped in something requiring a creative twist, know that even if you're feeling like your flight's been delayed, rerouted, or hijacked, you can find a new point to take off from.
Launch yourself in a creative direction, relaunch daily, and redirect as needed. Enjoy today’s journey.
What is it about the blank page, or the new journal or lab notebook, the end of a project and the start of another, and even the new day? We know it's special, and might even be afraid to start lest we mess it up.
The blank page is a clearing that's like a great invitation, and each blank space opens to the next. There's never a perfect time, or a certain way, so once your intention and direction is set, have no fear see what's created just by starting.
Usually I outline, then paint, then add words, then sign my art. I chose to start with my signature on this one. Then the words. And then I thought, why not end it right here? Because I could draw a football, or a rugby tackle, or a corner with a paintbrush coming in, or another blank page on this one, or a splatter, or a squiggle, or a question mark, or something else. But, it's signed already, so I imagine this as a picture of possibility. And that's what each beginning creation is– an idea; an inspiration; a potential. It's not determined till it's begun and then declared done.
We can have a plan to follow; or we can take several steps in various directions to test our ideas and then decide how to proceed; or we can just dive in, watch, add something to it, and let intuition and creative zest propel us forward. Before you know it, nothing becomes something. Not satisfied with the result? No worries, apply the learnings to your next new beginning.
When faced with the blank page, set an intention, then take your first best steps to tackle it. And as always, enjoy creating today.