Ranting About Should’s

Angels In A Small Crowd detail top
‘Angels In A Small Crowd’ detail

I’m doing my morning pages. I write ‘Thursday, blog day.’ Immediately I hear my mind comment, I feel tired. Then my body chimes in, yes, tired.

Uh huh. I’ve heard this before. I do not believe it. It’s a scam to stop me from writing.

I keep writing.

I write about Dr. Amit Goswami and his mantra. Do. Be. Do. Be.

And then I put together the I-feel-tired with the do-be-do-be, and I get it.

I am tired of Doing. I am tired of Should’s.

There are more than enough Should’s in my life. Something in me is trying to make my writing a Should. That’s a really bad idea.

Should’s are have-to’s. I should eat vegetables and not candy. I should exercise daily. I should cook dinner and wash the dishes. I should be kind and share what I have.

There is something in me that rebels at Should, that feels pushed into doing something and right away pushes back. Even when I know the Should helps me, makes my life easier, offers a kindness to another, lets me feel better, I sometimes have this instinct to shove back and say no, not doing it. My inner two-year-old in action.

Except, sometimes the urge to rebel is telling me to pay attention. The Should doesn’t fit my life, I need to choose differently. The Should doesn’t belong to me, it’s someone else’s expectation or need.

Today, I realize, I am pushing at all the Should’s in my life.

‘All’ is a big clue.

I’ve been doing a lot of doing. Too much. Time to stop doing.

It’s time to be.

Being means slowing down. Breathing deep and letting my shoulders drop to relaxation level. Feeling the chair underneath me. Feeling my feet resting on the wood floor. Hearing the clock humming, and the clicking of my solar-powered Japanese Lucky Cat as she waves her white plastic paw at me. Feeling the noon sun on my chest, my arms, my hands.

Breathing deep again.

I am here, present in my life at this moment. Open hearted. Words falling through to the page. Imagining. Creating.

Yes, here it is. My ultimate way to be. Daydreaming. Imagining. Curious. Following ideas like Alice after the white rabbit. Writing. Drawing. Creating.

This is play, pleasure, joy and love and sheer delight. This is me.

Doctor Goswami got it right. When I move my life between doing and being, I have balance. I feel settled. There is no push back at the Should’s because I spend equal time in the midst of being. The joy and play of being carries me through the Should’s of my day.

It’s Thursday, blog day. This gives me joy. And I already know the joy will continue to hum in the background of doing dinner, dishes, a grocery list for tomorrow’s shopping. Nothing in me is rebelling or pushing. I am too busy being.

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In the post:

This is one of the ways I use Doctor Goswami’s do-be-do-be-do. You can read his discussion of alternating action and relaxed incubation on page 97 of his book Quantum Creativity, Hay House, 2014.

 

 

The Idea I Am Looking For

Cat Fink 'What Gives Me Joy Nov 17 2016 (maps)'
What Gives Me Joy Nov 17 2016 (maps)

Last night I have a brilliant idea for today’s post.

It is the middle of the night when the idea shows up. I am cozy and warm in bed. I do not get up and write it down. (You know where this is going, right?)

This morning I look but—poof—the idea is nowhere to be found.

This is why I keep lists, a sketchbook, two cork boards, and pads of sticky notes. Life is a busy place and ideas show up any time. If I catch and write them down, I have them for later use. If I don’t, they vanish.

I have this theory the vanished ideas move on to another, more immediately receptive, creative heart.

Ideas want to share. They are, of course, looking for a home and a partner who will love them and help them grow into something interesting and maybe even beautiful.

When I write an idea down, take notes, sketch a picture or plan, the idea knows it has come to the right place. There is connection, curiosity, the energy of anticipation. There is a spark that, given time and attention, becomes full passionate creation.

I have loads of ideas in my sketchbook. More than that, I have entries about other creators’ books, songs, movies, and artwork. Quotes that interest me. Questions I am wondering about. All of which have me curious. Something in each is the seed of other ideas, a jumping-off place to something new.

Sketchbooks are the pathway of my creative heart. Turn the pages of my sketchbooks, and you see the pattern of my days. Here is my cabinet of curiosities, collected over years of drawing and writing.

I used to worry about ideas disappearing, my heart forgetting even though I’d made my notes.

No worries any more. I have discovered the ideas I’ve recorded, then left behind, show up again. Expressed differently perhaps, or linked to another idea. No matter. Here they are again, ready to play.

I am always delighted to see them. We greet each other as old friends. We have things to share, experiences and wisdom that did not exist in our connection the first time we met. I trust life, that now is the right time to move these ideas into creation. Now we are old enough to begin.

Last night’s brilliant idea will show up again. I know it. Sooner or later, there it will be. If not in my creative heart, then in the heart of another. There’s always lots of ideas to go around, and lots of hearts to share them. And that gives me joy.

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In this post:

I tried keeping a note pad and pen by the bed, to catch the middle-of-the-night inspirations. No use. Results of writing in the pitch black are illegible. And my husband protests a lamp turned on at two in the morning.

Any Excuse To Write

1.'Laid to Rest 80,000...Spirits (east)'--Cat Fink
Laid To Rest 80,000 Obstructing Spirits (east)

It is near 3:30 pm and I am finally writing my blog post.

The word ‘finally’ tells the story. My determination to write is hiding.

There are days when I back away from writing, and this is one of them. I could blame a so-so night’s sleep and the leading edge of a cold for weakening my determination.

These are only invented excuses, looking for something to blame.  I know this because this morning, instead of writing, I spend several hours doing other things, and not once do these excuses show up to stop me.

Eventually, I exhaust the list of ‘other things’. I go eat lunch. I read. I look at the kitchen clock a few times. I feel this creeping sense of disappointment that I have not spent the past hours writing, that I have not opened the way into something I love.

I feel a need to analyze why I did not write this morning as planned, but I know that kind of exercise should be filed under excuses to not write.  That’s not where I want to be right now.

Love invites me to invent any excuse for writing. Here’s one. Create a list titled ‘any excuse to write’.

My list starts with three words–I love writing. I love playing with words. I love taking an idea or a question, turning it around and upside down and inside out, feeling what it feels like, then turning feeling into words.

I love reading. I love being inspired by other writers’ words. I love finding words in reply to the inspiration they’ve offered me. I love being inspired by writers who never stop writing because they know writing is as necessary as breathing.

I have as many excuses to write as there are words in the dictionary. I have as many excuses as there are new words being invented and thrown into language just to see what happens.

I have a million million excuses to write. My excuse for writing today is to squash that creeping disappointment that I did not write.

Yes. Works for me.

The First Time I Started Art School

'Coyote's Apples'
Coyote’s Apples

Picture me.

Here I am. Just barely eighteen. It’s Wednesday in the first week of September. I am walking into my first university art class. A first year Bachelor of Fine Arts student. Totally scared, and determined not to show it.

I know two things. I know I want to be an Artist. I know when I draw, time and the world go away. There is pencil, paper, my hand moving, marks on the paper, breath moving in and out of my body, and nothing else.

What I know is not enough to carry me. At the end of the year I transfer to Business Administration.

Here is what I did not know the first time I started Art School.

No one names me. I name myself. I claim Artist for me.

My professors don’t know everything.  But if I am lucky, they are generous and share their experience in creating art.

I am not an empty vessel waiting to be filled. I have knowledge, experience, passion, inspiration, belief, heart, hands, and head.

I know what feels right to me, and what is right for me.

There are as many creative processes and paths as there are creators. What is right and true for me may not be right and true for another.

I create from my heart, from passion and love rather than fear (although fear is information I can use).

My feelings are information and sign posts. Use them.

Use everything, whatever shows up. My entire life is inspiration for creation, if I choose to see it that way.

I have choice. Everything is a choice. Not choosing is a choice. Stuck is a choice. Accepting, or not, anyone’s view of my art is a choice.

Picture me.

Here I am. Thirty-eight years old. It’s Wednesday in the first week of September. I am walking into Art School for the second time. Nervous, and it doesn’t matter who sees it. I know who I am. I know what I don’t know, and what I do know. I know what I need and want. I am Artist. Let the learning begin.

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In this post:

What I believe: The list of what I needed to know and didn’t, touches everyone, whether we are Artists or not. The learning never stops. The wanting to know never stops. And we are all Creators.