Friday, October 3, 2014

Does It Really Matter THAT Much?

Just realized I haven't written in a couple of weeks - been too busy working on projects and doing other stuff - you know, life.  I've also been struggling a little with a dilemma; it's rather a good problem to have, but still, there's a decision required at some point soon... and I just haven't been able to make a choice.

Here's the issue: I decided to enter a fabric challenge for Quiltcon 2015, and I have too many ideas!  What I mean is, (and it's a little difficult to admit to this) I'm sort of caught up in the "Which one is most likely to be chosen for the show?" thing.  I've already made one piece and am working on a second, and I even have a third idea I like, but that seems like overkill, doesn't it?   

I don't think it is so good to be fussing over this decision - it's giving it too much importance and focusing too much on the outcome rather than the doing.  In fact, as I write I'm getting the little niggling reminder in my head that nothing matters that much, and I should just make whatever comes to mind and whatever I have time for, and go with my gut and definitely not create with those thoughts in my mind.  In fact, I should be thrilled to have such a boatload of inspiration - it shouldn't be turned into a problem!    (Thanks for that little insight, universe - dilemma dissolved!  Another reason I love writing this blog, I almost always end up with some little kernel of wisdom that has been eluding me.)

This is, apparently, an eternal lesson for me - I definitely enjoy the entire process of creating but near the end of a project I tend to make more stupid mistakes (which makes me irritable) because I'm so anxious to see the finished product.  For example, yesterday I was sewing the binding on a piece and I was so excited to see what it looked like I did a terrible job and ended up having to resew practically the entire thing!   With that in mind I've recently made a little rule for myself that if I am getting crabby I have to walk away because I don't want negative energy to flow into my work - only positive, happy me can work in the studio. It might seem a little woo woo (to quote Carrie Bloomston), but I have seen how one person's negative energy can affect an entire room full of people, and I really want my art to bring joy and pleasure to people.  I think that anger, frustration, and anxiety can literally be transferred to the finished product if the creator is in a bad space.  And I know I don't want anything with that kind of bad juju hanging on the walls of my house or covering my bed - sounds a bit ominous, doesn't it?  

So when I feel this annoyance coming on I start with the self talk: "Okay, Carrie, if you can't enjoy this, just stop right now and go do something else," or "Is it really important to finish this right now?"  or "STOP! NOW."  If that doesn't work, I leave and come back later.  That's what I did yesterday with the binding - I made myself stop even though I really didn't want to, and I came back later and did it calmly and with joy and it was fun and I am really pleased with the outcome.  

Here's what I am thinking: Since creativity is basically a gift, it shouldn't be forced or have too much stress associated with it. That's not to say there are deadlines or other people to please, but they shouldn't cause anxiety and negativity.  Challenges are a part of life, period. They are never going to go away, no matter how good we have it.   It's the attitude with which we approach them - acceptance, calm, even the joy of being alive and having the problem - that's what matters.  I guess I just needed a little reminder of that.