Jumpstart Yourself

This is The Year of the Yang Wood Horse, which means we should all be galloping along, so don’t keep your self in the stable.

When stuck or lethargic about a project or a life situation
Ask these questions

If I don’t do this – What will happen?
if I can’t do this – Why?
if I mustn’t do this – Why?
if I won’t do this – Why?

Write the answers down, see them on paper, keep asking until you see the real reasons.
It may surprize you as to what’s holding you back.

Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life
situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind-stuff.
Your life is real.’
Eckhart Tolle

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Make a Mess

Some words from the woman who wrote, among other things Bird by Bird, one of the greatest writers guides there is.

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. . . . Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here – and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing. – Anne Lamott

How often I have stared at the blank page afraid to put down a word,waiting for the perfect one to come.  It doesn’t, but when I write without thinking which is usually so messy I can barely read it.  The gems pop out.

Life is messy for a reason.  It’s more fun that way. Look at the kids eating ice cream dripping down their front or tumbling down that grass hill, the smiles and laughter are contagious.

Let’s all make a mess.

Have You Checked Out of Your Dream?

We all want our problems to be solved, but solved our way and always the outcome we wanted. When you are in creative mode, it doesn’t work like that. Pushing and shoving our solution and not letting our subconscious play, can get ugly.  When things don’t go as planned, we check out, sayonara, hasta la vista.  Not happy, must find happy, hummm where is that?

Remember all things have a purpose and a meaning. We can navigate through our lifestorms if we keep that in mind.When you think nothing you do matters, slap your forehead and know that everything matters. You have had experiences no one else has had. You have noticed small details no one else witnessed the way you did.

When we decide to check out of our dreams, we need to ask ourselves –

Why do I fear the unfamiliar?  Am I unable to make my inner and outer life congruent?  Did I choose something today that took me in the wrong direction? Did it help? Did I do what I told myself to do? Did I rebel? Why? Was it a throwback to childhood? Does fear make me want to be in constant control?

You are special, your problems are special, only you know what they are and only the inner spirit of you know how to solve them.  Checking out of a dream is never the answer, its only fear.

All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last –   Marcel Proust

Critiquing before creating

Do you block your creative spark by critiquing before you create?  Ask yourself these questions –

Do you visualize the criticism you’ll receive before you even get it?  We halt the creative process when we listen to that little voice that says, what will they say, if I write, paint, build this?  The answer should be, it doesn’t matter.  It takes courage to be oneself.  Look to all the great innovators in history, they thought outside the box and I really don’t think Einstein worried about what people would think of his theorys.  In the big picture, people will respect you, if only silently, for being you.

When you get a great spontaneous idea, do you within a day, shoot it down with the how’s, whys and can’ts?  Telling yourself, how silly to think I could do that.  Be silly and carry on, and on and on. It’s the challenge that feed’s our spirit.  What have you got to lose?  Only your creative sparks, which are too precious to lose.  Criticism has a time and place and that’s not in your head while you are creating.

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing  – Aristotle

I found out that there weren’t many limitations, if I did it my way – Johnny Cash

Wherever there is enthusiasm, there is  a creative empowerment, that goes beyond what a mere person is capable of. – Eckhart Tolle

Crabby hands

You know who they are, those tiny grasping hands in your mind stubbornly pushing to get an end result.  You have to finish this or that project or else you are a failure.  They rush you forward before your creative heart is ready.   You may get an acceptable end, but not an awesome one.

Things take time.  We sometimes need a creativity delay for that great idea to emerge.  The universe can’t be rushed. We can’t hurry up the sun or the stars, they come when they come.   Letting our crabby hands control us, only makes us crabby.   When I see a project is not going the way I want, I get crabby which is the antithesis to creativity.

When I get crabby and the grasping turns to discouragement,  I send my crabby hands out for a manicure, take a pause and ask myself why am I pushing so hard?  Do I feel passionate enough about this project to finish it joyously?  If not,  Why?  I address it and either finish it or let go.  Not everything you start has to be finished.  Many famous writers, artists,even scientists have projects sitting in drawers or closets, because deep in their hearts they knew they weren’t quite right.  Not everything you do is going to be good, let it go.

Nothing is ever wasted, what ever work you have done on a project, you learn from, if only it’s that the concept didn’t work.  Maybe that novel is really a short story or that painting is mundane, but that color you mixed was excellent.  You are just warming up for that truly fabulous creation.

So when those crabby hands start making you crabby, go to the beach and let them play.

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