Saturday, April 2, 2011

Needing to Listen

I've been lagging on writing lately, mostly because I realize that I'm not listening enough. I keep writing words, words, words, and my calculating mind assumes that if I write enough words I will finally come to an understanding of what I need to express. But what I need to express should be expressed of its own accord - and the act of trying to figure out what I need to say is creating the very wall that my creativity can't seem to break through.

I want to share new ideas and funny/interesting things on my blog and I will return to that. But for now I'm trying to let go of some 'shoulds'. As usual, I start to make creative acts into scheduled 'to-dos'. Blogging became that and therefore I have been unable to speak from a place of spontaneity and honesty. It's become, "I should write a new post - what should I write about?" Too many shoulds, and less interesting posts as a result.

My mind understands, and that understanding is what undermines me. When I find a new way of unearthing my creativity, I turn it into a task that I 'must do' in order to 'become creative'. It filters into my schedule and it becomes a checklist item, rather than...well, the problem is I can't seem to figure out what place it would hold, if not as an item that I need to accomplish.

Play? Play is undirected and my mind gets instantly triggered into thinking, 'if you 'just' play, you won't really get anything accomplished, so it's no different than sitting around reading a book - so let's do that instead.' Not so, I know. Being able to play and improving my play is deepening my creative practice. So why is it that I know this - at least, intuitively do - but it doesn't seem to make a difference?

Someone recently asked me if I was committed to overcoming these obstacles, these walls that I create for myself - as I talk myself in all directions and make justifications for the way I am; as I say that I want to be a certain way; as I say that I want to play more and open space for my creativity; as I say that I want to let go of all of the structure that has built itself up in my mind.

Of course I said yes.

Saying it doesn't make it so. And I keep discouraging myself from actually making it so by saying that I don't know 'what it looks like' to be fully committed to it. And if I don't know what it looks like, I can't do it.

I wish I could say that now that I've explained this it's helped me gain clarity about how to play without feeling I 'should', to speak from the creative heart and not filter it, to express my anger and disagreement so I can present myself to the world in a balanced way, to drop the structure when I go into a creative zone, and to understand what I want and need, in every moment.

Truth is, I'm still thinking, "I don't know what it looks like".

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