Tag Archives: creativity

Note to self: make time to be creative

5 Feb

It’s been several days since my last confession blog post. I’m a little ashamed about having neglected my lovely little blog. My creative juices have been bottled up and shoved to the back of the shelf, while life has got in the way. I’ve been busily editing at work, seeing friends (including an incredible 30th birthday overlooking Bondi Beach. Bliss!), planning my year and eating a little too much ice cream.

It’s funny, because when I’m creative and I nurture my writing, the other areas in my life seem to blossom. I’m excited at work, I’m making time to help out my friends and things just click. So why is it that I’m so easily pulled away from my passion; my creative pursuits? Since it’s something which brings me so much joy and enlivens my spirit, why do I turn my back and stay logged off WordPress for a week?

I think it’s because I view my blog and art and poetry as hobbies (I loathe that word. It reminds me of old men who spend their retired days building toy train sets. Shudder.) When I view my creativity as that thing I’ll get to when everything else has been done, sorted, organised, tidied, ticked, it’ll never be a top priority. It just stays at the bottom of the long list of things to do. Do I really prefer folding my sheets to writing a juicy blog post or listening to a meditation CD? Nup. So why am I letting sheet-folding take up my time, when my poor little blog is jumping up and down squeaking, ‘Pick me! Pick me!’

Because I’m not making time to be creative. In fact, I’m waiting until I have time. I’m hoping that I can just squeeze my creativity into a spare slot. Though it just takes a back seat, often to things that don’t really bring me a lot of pleasure.

For the important things in our life – whether it is our creative pursuits, or family, or taking a holiday – we do need to make time. Invest time. Step away from routine and indulge our desires. No one is going to give us that time. We have to choose it, seize it and use it. And when we do, look what happens! We create. We scroll to the top of the screen and realise we’ve written our first blog post in a week (well, at least that’s what I’ve just done!). We get that rush; the thrill of cracking open the bottle and letting the creative contents spill out.

Making time to create. Pursuing the things that ignite our mind and spirit. That’s what makes us truly sparkle.

So this week’s note to self is: Add ‘write blog post’ or ‘meditate’ at the top of my to do list. Only once I’ve ticked it off will I get onto less important things, like folding sheets.

Monday musing: If you could be, do or have anything

19 Dec

A few years ago, mum sent me The New Psychology of Achievement – a set of six CDs by motivational guru Brian Tracy. Being the self development-obsessed lass that I am, I eagerly tore off the wrapper, loaded the CDs into my iPod and listened to them day and night. I lapped up the lessons, nodded along to Brian’s wise words and believed my life was about to change.

One of the questions repeated on the CDs was “What one great thing would you dare to dream, if you knew you could not faiI? If you could be, do or have anything in life, what would it be? If you had all the money, all the resources, all the contacts and all the skills, how would you live your life?”

The idea was that once you had answered this question, you would never have to work again. Well, you would, as unfortunately optimism doesn’t buy shoes. But the idea what that it wouldn’t feel like work. You’d be living your dream.

I mulled over the question for weeks and eventually came up with a list that included:

  • Helping others to enrich their lives.
  • Working for myself from home.
  • Writing about anything and everything.
  • Being a published author, with a suite of novels.
  • Eat Tim Tams without gaining weight (I imagined one of the ‘what ifs’ included ‘If calories didn’t exist’).

Then one morning, I sat upright in bed and decided I would run my own business helping people to get organised. The idea just popped into my head. I decided to go with it. A few weeks later, I quit my stifling job and launched my professional organising business. Just as the recession hit. Perhaps not the smartest move! But even as people were tightening their belts, I still managed to build a successful little business. It was a short stint. I ended up returning to employment after 10 months (though, thankfully, in a job I loved). While answering Brian Tracy’s question didn’t get me set up for life, it did help me escape a miserable job and find another focus, even if it was just for a few months.

Asking the question again

As a new year approaches, I’m once again pondering the question ‘If I could be, do or have anything, how would I live my life?’ The aim of the question is to get us to re-frame our lives and ponder our path. It’s about a paradigm shift. Brian claims that if you can change your thinking, you can change your life. 

He says that if you can shake off the ‘I’m not good enough’ feelings and re-frame how you see yourself, you can be your perfect self. If you imagine yourself as ‘the perfect person, the very best person you could possibly be, with the very best qualities you could possibly have, living the life, doing the things, having the things that are most important to you, this is your self ideal.’ Once you start visualising and living as your ideal self, you can set out to achieve the ‘be, do or have anything’ dream and voila – you’ll be living your perfect life!

This year, I haven’t allowed myself much time to stop and think this question through. I’ve been so focused on ticking off my to-do list, leaving little time to ponder, plan and dream big.

One of my biggest fears is looking back in ten years’ time and asking, ‘What the heck did I do all those years?’ So this Christmas, when I escape to mum’s retreat for some much needed R&R, I’m going to pull out the pens and paper (I find the computer crushes my creativity) and go to town on that paradigm shift. Sure, I might come back with a big wad of idealistic crap, but at least I’ll have granted myself the time and space to create that crap. And surely taking the time to plan how you want to spend your time, is the first and greatest challenge.

If you could be, do or have anything, what would it be? Or do you already have it all? Share by commenting below. 🙂

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