Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Creative Habit - Week 1

It's exciting starting a book like this because I know I will be challenged and changed from the experience. I know I will gain a new insight and/or process that will help me live my life at a deeper level. I realize that good intentions are not enough for me to make real change in my life and that's what I'm intending here - real change that will allow me to live my life at a deeper level, to be more than I am currently expressing in my life.

I never know what issues are going to come up for me or how it's all going to play out, I just know something wonderful will occur if I open myself to the experience and remain authentic while going through the process. Having stated my intention for this creative journey I decided the best way for me to get into it was to start reading and stop when I felt an emotional reaction to something I had just read.

The first thing that came up for me was the importance of routine in learning and using the creative habit. I felt some resistance when I read the following statements:

"Being creative is a full-time job with it's own daily patterns."

"The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration, maybe more."

I thought about my daily routine and what it was helping me create and as soon as I did I realized why I was feeling resistant. My daily routine on workdays goes something like this: I snooze the alarm clock for an hour which makes it around 8:00 - 8:15 a.m. before I actually get out of bed. Now I have to be at work by 9 a.m. so that leaves me about 45 minutes before I have to be at work. During that 45 minutes I've got to find something to wear, get dressed, do my hair and makeup, grab something for lunch and drive to work. Not exactly the routine of a deliberate creator now is it? I didn't realize until I purposefully looked at my routine against the backdrop of what I was wanting to create that I saw the difference between what I was intending and what I was actually thinking and doing.

When I write about my ideal life, what it looks like and how I start my day it looks nothing like what I described to you with my current morning routine and truth be told, my weekend routine isn't much better. In my ideal life I wake up without an alarm clock, full of energy and excitement for the day. I get up, make my morning coffee and then go outside and watch the sun come up. I spend some time writing and doing yoga and then I go to work. There is such a gap between what I'm currently living and what I wish to be living.

I'm currently working to incorporate some of the elements from my ideal life into my current routine. I tried to change everything all at once and it was just too much of a difference for me to maintain. I took a step back and realize everything didn't have to change all at once. I could start slowly by incorporating some of my ideal intentions into what I'm currently living and so far, that seems to be working out much better. I'm enjoying my time in the morning, sitting outside with a cup of coffee watching the sun come up. I find myself looking forward to doing this as soon as I wake up and at least for the past few days have not felt the need to snooze the alarm clock even once.

Here are the first three creative exercises listed in the book.

1. Where is your "pencil"?
"What is the one tool that feeds your creativity and is so essential that without it you feel naked and unprepared."

For me, it's a pen and notepad. I'm always jotting down some idea that comes to me, an action step, a quote, etc. I never know when I'll receive an idea for something and I always want to be prepared. It's rare when I don't have a pen and notepad with me but in the few times when it's happened I really did feel unprepared. I don't know about feeling naked but definitely unprepared.

2. Build up your tolerance to solitude
"It's not the solitude that slays a creative person. It's all that solitude without a purpose. Solitude is an unavoidable part of creativity, self-reliance is a happy by-product."

I didn't have any real trouble with this exercise because I love solitude; it's my connection time. It's my time to focus on the higher vision I have for myself and I make time for it every day.

3. Face your fears
"There is nothing wrong with fear; the only mistake is to let it stop you in your tracks."

This assignment really got to me. As I was reading the exercise this part stood out to me.

"When you sat in the brainstorming session at work, why didn't you speak up? When that idea for a story flitted through your mind, why didn't you seize it and pursue it? After you started drawing in that sketch book, why did you stop?"

I asked myself why I always seem to stop myself before I really let myself take off with an idea. Twyla says to put our fears down on paper because it helps cut them down to size, so here goes...

My five big fears right now are:
1. Fear of getting criticized
2. Fear that if I step out on faith the money/resources won't come through
3. Fear of attention/being laughed at
4. Fear of not measuring up
5. Fear my dream is too big for me to realize right now

I knew this book would challenge me I just didn't realize how much.


Suzanne said...

Hello Lori,

Thank you for stopping by and saying hello in your visit to Deliberate Creating.

I love your enthusiasm in exploring these new ideas. I can remember you coming to understandings before about how you spend your time. I've been feeling that desire, too, and you are inspiring me!

Wishing you delight in your experiences with our feathered friends.

Lori Archibald said...

Hey Suzanne,

Yes I loved your blog post on birds! Very cool. I printed it out and have the Abe quote in my notebook.

I'm noticing the more deliberate I am in what I want to create the more I am aware when I'm not living up to it.

Snake Charmer said...

Very interesting. You've inspired me to pick up that book! I do hope you post more on how well it goes for you :)

Melba said...

hi Lori! Sending some good vibes your way this morning!