The Rules of Creativity
There are no rules.
And herein lies the problem…
You mean…anything is possible?
I can dream up ANYTHING I desire (?)
Wait a minute.
This is difficult.
And this is how she feels.
If you could see the nonsense written before what is showing up here. I have no idea why I want to write so badly. It doesn’t feel like a ‘calling’, like it was something I was brought on this earth to do. Quite frankly I don’t recognize the person who writes most of the stuff I have posted on blogs…that would be four blogs to date. I would say ‘four unsuccessful blogs to date’ but I don’t even know what a successful blog is. Okay yes. It seems as if it would be fun to blog for a living. Okay. It would be fun to be paid to road trip around the country and find various coffee shops slash funky eateries slash bakeries with internet and a funky vibe with comfortable seating…to go about blogging in…= paid = job. Okay, so that would be cool.
What I know is that I like to write. I like pens and paper…I love a fresh new notebook. Actually, I like a fresh, new anything. I do not ‘journal’ – I do not collect my feelings and experiences and write about them. I did that once and was quite proud of how I could sit for hours and write about how I felt. At the time, I collected the notebooks. Fast forward to the first month of graduate school. The dean at the time who also taught courses in Clinical Social Work pulled me aside one day. I was hurting. In hindsight, I was beginning a two year massive shift in worldview. It showed up as depression. Anyway, he was talking to me and asked if I journaled. ‘Oh yes. I journal.’ Thinking of course that behind this answer was some impressive evidence. He said something like, ‘Bring in your journals and I’ll see if there are some trends that I can pick up on and support you with.’ He didn’t actually say that…but sort of. I went home and found the journals in a bin and began to look through them, more curious about what he would be reading than what I had wrote. It didn’t take me long to recognize the journals were full of the same story…full of self hate and judgment…written over and over and over again. I threw away the journals and have not journaled since.
Now that is not to say that I do not keep a notebook. I write words. I write desires. Fun desires. I love this practice, if that’s what you would call it.
And so that brings me to the blog. When I first started to blog I couldn’t get the picture of friends and family as my audience out of my head. So in a way I couldn’t really shed the shadow, or rather the lens that I assumed my words and stories would be read through. I suppose it’s also fair to say that I felt I had knowledge that I needed to give to others. What I’ve learned is that the ‘advice’ I thought that I had claim to is all really a version of the same thing…some version of something cool…something infinite.
This particular blog is called STuFfeD. When I would get overwhelmed and couldn’t settle I would try to startle myself into some sort of inward shift by sternly saying to myself, ‘Sally. Slow the fuck down.’ Hence, the acronym: STFD. The play on words is not lost on STuFfeD being another word for consumed. If I’m constantly consuming – whether it’s food, other people, information, things, more knowledge, more EVERYTHING, I lose my natural balance. Perhaps creating and sharing (writing and then posting to share) provides the balance in this pattern of consuming that was so prevalent for so long.
I’d love to share three practices that were huge shift changers in how I lived – how I did the daily, ordinary living that brought about such a huge contrast. The contrast being a genuine sense of happiness that naturally rested in an expansive feeling of possibility, creativity, and inspiration. The contrast that is making writing a simple, fun activity that can be shared.
1.Learn to release emotion as energy in motion.
2.Get rid of things.
3.Write your story. Literally.
ONE. I’ll try to be brief in the explanation of each of these. Release is huge. It’s also hard to explain because it’s something to experience more so than intellectualize. The first time I was exposed to the concept of ‘release’ it made no sense. A friend in the mountains lent me some CD’s to listen to on my drive home. The Sedona Method. It was so boring. I wanted to be inspired, and this was slow. Somehow I kept listening, and practiced the method while I was listening. This proved to be transforming. Hm. How do I explain. Think of emotion as E-motion…energy in motion. So when you are experiencing emotion there is simultaneously a literal experience of that emotion in your body. The Sedona Method is just one a many practices or strategies that builds on a set of skills. Self-awareness (mindfulness), movement, breath, and compassion for your own self (sound like Yoga?) all help release stored energy that is not contributing to your overall well-being. As a simple practice, just see if you can begin to observe the experience of emotion in your body. Name what is going on: mind is fast, heart is heavy, belly is tight, etc. See if you can allow whatever is happening. Allowing is the opposite of resisting. Does resisting sound familiar? It seems more natural to move away from or indulge in the experience of the emotion rather than just allow it. As you allow the actual experience of the emotion you set yourself up to naturally release the energy of it. We are constantly releasing; laughing, crying, sweating, yelling, etc. So this is simply another release.
TWO. In my experience, it feels so damn good to get rid of things. I have gotten into the habit of simply setting things by the door to drop off at Goodwill. If I am not using it and it is just taking up space….set it free…release! The popular book that I have never read on the art of uncluttering, I assume it a version of this.
THREE. Lastly,…my favorite. Write your own story. Literally. Now I have already admitted that I love to write. It’s just something I like slash LOVE to do. So maybe that is why I love this last suggestion. I began writing the minute (my-nute) details of my ordinary, daily life. I write it like a story: She wakes up and smiles. She loves the softness of her sheets and the eager desire of her morning coffee. Etc.
Summary: YOU! Are in charge of you:) I love the phrase: ‘Stop arguing for your limitations.’ We may, if not careful, spend much too much time trying to explain why our life should suck v. setting our own self up to feel good…real good. Anything can happen. Anything is possible. All is well.
And just like that…she posts her blog. (and goes to brunch)…