I’m beginning to see a correlation between the short attention span of the younger generations and a fear to shine our light. I’ve always thought that I’ve had pretty decent attention span. I can get down with the ADD television cartoons like Robot Chicken and be amused how fast it cycles through hilarious insanity, but I can definitely pay attention when I am talking with loved ones, reading, playing guitar, or writing. Or so I imagined. As I get deeper into my creative practices I’ve been realizing there's actually a lack of focus that I hadn't seen before.
Whenever I sit down to try to write or play guitar, I am really into it at the beginning. I get going and am enthusiastic, but 20 minutes into it I am thinking about what’s next on my agenda. The weird thing is, it’s not even that I want to stop what I’m doing, or that I’m bored. It just ‘feels’ as though it’s time for the next thing. Sometimes I'll keep doing what I'm doing regardless, but other times I allow the nagging voice to pull me into the next task.
I’m very good at and used to having to do many things in one day and making them all fit - going from one thing to the next in a very tight schedule. That definitely aligns with my logical, organizational mind. I was initially thinking that perhaps I was just too tied into that mind and couldn't see beyond the ‘schedule’. But I see that when I get these distracted but unnecessary whispers in my head, it’s when I’m doing creative things. And the voice that is asking about ‘what’s next’ is actually suggesting that I do tedious work that, although it’s not as enjoyable as creative time, it gets necessary things accomplished and I can visibly see the results of right away. I might sit down and try to write a song for four hours and come out with only one line that really strikes me. Conversely, I can spend one hour doing laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning my room, and wow! I see much more success in that hour.
Ah ha. That seems clear enough. I’m having a hard time accepting the intangible progress that I make in my creative practices and I cling too tightly to what is tangible and satisfying in the short-term. This clinging to temporary satisfaction is related to the attention span issue -temporary entertainment/keeping the mind effortlessly occupied. So let’s revisit the claim in my first sentence - that this correlates with being afraid to shine my light. That then suggests I’m not willing to offer my time in blind faith to a process that I can’t be sure what the result will be and I'd rather just do a mindless task to feel as though I'm accomplishing something.
This is what I need to let go of, in order to be able to focus more deeply and ultimately, find the depths of my creative expression and free play. How do I learn how to spend my time playing once again, and not feel as though I am wasting time but producing more results than any short-term task can provide? That’s the question I am pursuing today.
|Unrelated - or a distraction?|
A Picasso painting I love and can't seem to find in poster form anywhere.