Welcome to my third week running! Isn't it just scrumdiddlyumtious?
This time, I would like to share my deepest and most darkest inner thoughts. Well, kinda. I'm going to tell you about my meditation technique. I love the idea of meditation! Sit peacefully and comfortably somewhere, allowing white light to wash over everything, as your body sinks into the plush cushion beneath you and your soul soars across oceans and distant lands.
Yeah, righto Little Miss Ray of Freaking Sunshine.
This technique doesn't work for me. I can sit, shut my eyes aaaaaannd.... that's as far as I get. My brain was wired by a seven year old caffeine addict that stumbled into an Electronics class while looking for the bathroom. Busting to pee and scared out of his mind, he frantically joins wires to circuitboards praying that the little LED at the end lights up, so he can run far, far away... As you can imagine, I find sitting still and thinking about nothing rather impossible. I will try for countless hours (let's be honest, it's probably about four minutes) to relax and repeatedly tell myself, "Stop thinking!" It was the most frustrating four minutes of my entire life!
DISCLAIMER: For all those of you who can persist for longer than four minutes to clear your mind and settle into a meditative state, my hat is off to you! I am fully aware that this technique does not entail telling yourself to "stop thinking." But for the novice who struggles to turn off their little LED, regardless of how many wires they yank loose, these are exactly the words that come to mind.
I have found something that works for me, however. A close friend of mine told me of something called Freedom Writing. I was intrigued. The gist of it is that one can simply sit and write. Anything and everything will do! Just keep that pen moving. "Easy," I thought. I love words, I can smash this sucker out like Donkey Kong releasing Diddy from a barrel. So, I sit down with my trusty pen and paper (there really is something quite romantic about using stationery) and begin to write. PAIN!! My hand cramps two lines in. Words are stampeding out of my head faster than my mortal hand can release them. After less than a minute, I threw in the towel. I've got no time for romance, give me something electronic to get the job done... (blank face)... *nervous cough.*
Laptop! Brilliant. I can type more rapidly than the ink can flow from a pen. Game on.
I sat for minutes on end typing anything that came to mind. "Minutes" may not seem like a long time. But, for me, writing without without active thought is like recounting an exciting (but longwinded) anecdote without taking a breath. I get to the end of a paragraph and can appreciate that my head feels a little emptier. The beauty of Freedom Writing is that it doesn't need to make sense. I don't need to be concerned with spelling, flow, context or (the most glorious part) judgement! Because no sucker out there is going to read it. Probably not even me! Happy Days.
Here's where the deep, darkness comes in. I'll give you an example of what comes out of my brain (this really could go horribly wrong). The following shows what Freedom Writing can provide. Okay...
Blistered in painful dinner trays, she sits and ponders the life she left behond. Will the postman ever deliver the one thing he promised. Two bunnies and a pokemon trumpet can nebver do for a wedding gidt. One must always sign the carn belonging to the oone who wished the best. And she is the best of all as she can see the triumphant queent sitting ona throne of purple steel and that can never ever see the end of time as purple is outdfated.
Right. That could have been more embarrassing (so relieved that it wasn't!) As you see, words can go anywhere they want. You don't even have to punctuate if you don't wish to, nor do the words have to tell a story. You can just write "butter pumpkin broccoli milk fritz" if those are the words that need to get out. You might find that this is the best way to write your shopping list! I find, that the longer I type, the more I learn about myself. If there is something troubling me, it will come out eventually. Sometimes as a discussion, back and forth with myself, or as a twisted and mangled story. Either way, I can reflect on it and explore the areas which resonate deeper meaning for me. One more thing! If I ever catch myself trying to change a word or edit something before it comes out, I check in with it. I drag it out! I don't want to hide from myself. I want want everything out in the open. Complete honesty. It's hard. But fantastic as well!
If you ever get that feeling like your head is so full that you can't even think coherently, I implore you, give this a go! The mess that comes out of my head really makes me laugh sometimes (I mean, come on! Pokemon trumpet? Aces.) Or sometimes I have grand epiphanies that feel like the entire world has dropped away, and I am left here to fully appreciate the simplicity of the moment. It truly can be quite beautiful.
Or if you just need a good Brain Dump... it's the best mental laxative I can prescribe. Sluggish at first. But after a gentle push, it thunders out like the Hulk tearing through a large and heavily populated city, decimating all in his path.
Enjoy your day!
There is no such beauty as procrastination in action. I find I can get so many errands run, cakes baked and the house cleaned within an inch of its life when I have something that I actually want to do. Hi, my name is Nicky and I am a procrastinator.
I think it is absolutely astounding how I (but I’m presuming I’m not alone) can get every nasty and unfun task completed before I take the time to do the things I love. Why is that? Do I not receive more benefit from creating something that makes me smile? Does my soul not soar when I allow my brain to run wild through the dazzling fields of my imagination? (I say “brain.” I mean “mind.” If I let my brain run wild, there will be one catatonic polymer clay artist and a lot of terrified bystanders. However, there will also be one less zombie starving for nourishment. *shrugs*. It’s nice to think about how we can help others ^_^.) The fact of the matter is that housecleaning, and other such mundane tasks, are mindless. I can get them done without truly thinking about them. My passions, on the other hand, require so much more.
Not only do I need to think about the idea I’m working on, but I need to make a start, fail, troubleshoot, alter, possibly fail again, apply new changes, fail… At some point, however… Success! But failure is inevitable. I don’t mean to be some kind of Negative Nancy, here. I’m just stating what procrastination is for me; it’s avoiding failure.
I know the end product is going to be amazing! I am going to sit back, after hours of sweat, tears, blood (don’t worry, it’s not mine), and bask in the awesomeness of a completed piece. A wondrous, invisible muse that I plucked from the air and gave shape and form to. It will be my greatest success. A masterpiece. I’m overcompensating here. It’ll probably just be… bees. Or something. (But they will be the bestest and most awe-inspiring polymer clay bees in existence! *shakes fist*… What a great idea! I’m gonna make bees!). Anyhoo, where was I? Ah, yes. Failure. So, if I can put off using actual brainpower, I can also avoid failing and the harsh self-critism that ensues.
What I have learned, however, is that failure isn’t something to be feared. It is something to be harnessed and used as a driving force to move forward. Without failure, there is no success. Without mistakes, I cannot learn. And I am a well-schooled child of disaster. I cannot imagine where I would be now if I was never granted the opportunities to stop, reflect and gain insight to what I am doing and to remind myself of what my original purpose was. I think that if I thought my work was perfect first time, every time… I’d be lousy! Yeah, think about it. There would be no room for refinement. No time taken to expand one’s skills. No character development! We would be an assembly line of mindless creators. A mindless creator. Does this idea scare anyone else?
Difficulties are what help us grow as people.
So, how does one overcome difficulties, challenges and stressors? In four easy steps:
Step 1: Give birth to an idea (don’t think about childbirth. It’ll put you off)
Step 2: Infuse that idea with life (sit down, put up and shut up)
Step 3: ?????
Step 4: Profit
Step 3 is my favourite. It allows for true creative genius to flow. Seize mystery by the horns and give it a great big, loving kiss on the mouth. Although Step 3 is the most romantic (according to me), Step 2 is crucial. Just stop. Sit down. And get to it. It’s about telling yourself that your entire life doesn’t have to be completely sorted, cleaned, completed and alphabetised just so you can put bum to seat and write a single blog post! You know… if you’re into that kind of thing. Allow me to share something with you:
This is my workspace. For all of you who know me, you’ll know that this is doing my head in. I’ve recently moved house and my workspace is also being used for temporary storage (and I assure you, it is temporary). So, I am squished to one end of my desk because this is all I can currently access. But let’s look at the success in the mess.
Baby steps, people! I’m preaching about how to defeat procrastination when I am clearly still an addict. But break each goal down. For me, I still did the laundry, but I left the task incomplete by not putting it away. This doesn’t seem like an epic win, I know. But I am the kind of person who likes to finish what I set out to do, and then it is done. Ticked off the list (yes, I’m a list-maker). So, this is a start.
Bottom line: You want something done? Freaking do it. Before someone else thinks it up and patents it. No sympathy here. If I miss an opportunity merely because I was too lazy or too fearful to take advantage of it, well, I’ll own that. But I hope not to put myself in a position where that will be an option.
P.S. Do you reckon you’ll think about childbirth next time you have an idea?
You will now.
Well, hey there! Thank you for popping by and reading my mental ramblings of creation and colour. I have created this space an an outlet for two things:
Kindness is required when being creative. It is about ignoring those feelings of fear, doubt and hatred. Every time I hear the voice in my head telling me that "this piece isn't good enough" or "this idea is terrible" or even "you should just stop now," I check in with myself. "Is this true?" Hell no! Of course it's not true! I can do anything!
I wasn't always super-self-encouraging. Up until recently, my head was pretty loud with self-criticism. I didn't realise just how noisy it was until the day came when I let it go. Silence. My headspace finally had room to think freely, without judgement. Without restraint. I was no longer holding myself back from happiness. I'll tell you one thing; for someone like me, telling myself how great I am felt fake and stupid. But the fact of the matter is: I am talented! I am a good person! And, damn it, I do deserve happiness! So, you know what? I am going to tell myself these things until I believe them. (P.S. I do ;p)
I know it seems that I have jumped off the Creativity Band-Wagon, just bear with me. Art, in any shape or form, comes from within. If my "within" is a place of darkness, doubt and self-loathing, I'm going to be infecting my work with it. I want my insides to radiate love, inspiration and rainbows (who doesn't love rainbows?). I wish to create something that brings a smile to someones lips, and joy to their heart.
So, this post turned out to be something I didn't intend. But, hey! That's how I roll. If you stick around, you'll see many more that start as one thing and end up as another. But that's the evolution of a creative mind.