I’ve been meditating daily for a while now and boy, do I see a difference - in well, everything. It helps me be so much more present and aware of things, which in turns seems to lead to more and more (and more) inspiration. It’s such a lovely gift to have all these ideas waiting in the background - as soon as I finish one project, I’m super excited to begin the next. I sometimes feel as though I’m in a constant state of excitement and anticipation because I love what I’m doing so much. I can’t wait to get to it every day, and sometimes I even neglect other (some might say, more important) things because I just want to get to my studio and CREATE.
For example, until yesterday I had been fighting crabbiness because I hadn’t been able to work on anything in over eleven days – I was having creation withdrawal! There was a sort of discontent in the background that I kept having to dispel by forcing myself into the present moment. It worked though. and I was able to fulfill the other obligations I had and with joy and gratitude. But boy oh boy was I happy to be back in my studio yesterday!
I have to admit, though, that I’m starting to wonder whether I’m spending too much energy on the wrong thing. With all this bliss and inspiration comes a dilemma – how can I be so driven to create, so full of ideas and enthusiasm and joy and energy, with no practical outcome to it? There is a goal, yes - to sell my art, to have it bring as much joy to other people as creating it brings to me. (At the risk of sounding arrogant, self-indulgent, or maybe deluded(?) I really, really LOVE my creations . All of them! They give me so much delight and wonder, I want them to do the same for others. I mean, it could be.
I know there are lots of ideas and lots of really gifted creators in the world – I’m quite grateful for and inspired by them. If I ask why I would expect to be successful in the face of all this amazing creativity, my husband often says “Why not you?” Yes, why not me? If my spiritual teachers are to be believed - and I think they are - there is enough to go around. Hey - it could be.
I follow a lot of bloggers who seem to have "success" with their art – they are teaching, they are doing pieces on commission, they are getting their art put in galleries and shows, they have sponsors for their blogs, they have thousands of followers…and after two years of blogging I am, well, let’s just say, less followed. Am doing something wrong here? Am I too focused on the creating and not focused enough on the marketing? I suppose it could be.
In my defense, I am trying to develop a web page but find it so tedious and frustrating that I have gotten exactly nowhere with it. I realize I need some help, because computer stuff just ain’t my thing. (Computers are great, I love them. But I don’t like to figure out how to do things on them - not even a little. I only like for someone else to show me how to do what I want. ) But if I really want to have some of that kind of success, I will have to make this a priority, I think, not just be so focused on creating.
What is success, anyway? Perhaps I'm looking for something outside myself when I need to go inside and find it. I know I am certain blissed out (well, most of the time) when I am creating - can't ask for much more that, can I?
The thought sometimes occurs to me that I should just stop all this nonsense and go get a “real” job, sell my sewing machines and give away all my fabric and throw out those Styrofoam heads, paints, and all my other art supplies and let go of this dream of creating art. But will that stop the flow of ideas and enthusiasm and almost physical need to create that pervades my being? This cannot be!
Instead, I think it will just direct the creative part of me to other endeavors – I know when I was teaching I had the same experience with ideas and inspiration – it was constant and I loved it and I KNOW my students benefitted and learned from it.
You see, the amazing thing about creativity is that we can be creative with ANYTHING! Yes, even accountants can be creative (and I don’t mean in unlawful ways) with what they do, if they love it enough and are open to the creative force of the universe.
For me, it comes down to this: I like – no, I LOVE to create. It’s so much a part of my being that it pervades everything I do, from cooking to exercising, to organizing, and to yes, art. I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy “success” with my art, and I suppose it doesn’t matter. I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet – I don’t feel like I’ve given it enough time – after all, anything worth having is worth working for, right? That said, it’s still a considerable comfort to know that creativity abounds and that it can be expressed in countless ways, and that even if I do have to let go of this particular dream, if I remain open to the universe, I can still feel the incredible, miraculous bliss of creating, just in a different way.
But one thing is certain. Life is about balance. And maybe the message I’m supposed to be getting is that I need to balance my life more – not spend so much time on this one thing, but find a better balance between creating art and creating and doing in other parts of my life. It could just very well be.
Amazingly, I’m nearly finished with my pieces inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s art - the ones that were the subject of my blog a couple of times ago that took so long in the planning. Although it took a full day of decision making to get them planned out, as I suspected, the actual creating didn’t take nearly as long. In fact, at this point, they are sandwiched and ready to be quilted.
It may take another day to figure out how I’m going to quilt them, though. I want the quilting to really enhance the design, and there’s a lot going on, so I think it has to be pretty minimal, or at least not prominent, and I’m a little stuck. I’m going to throw them up on the wall and just stare at them for a while. I’m sure something will come. In the meantime, I have plenty of other projects to work on.