Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Undertaking, Old Desire

Creativity is my practice
This week, I started Lisa Sonora Beam's Creative + Practice course.  I'm so excited about this!  As soon as I saw the e-mail about it, I knew I wanted to be in this class.  The combination of creativity and a daily practice sends a little thrill of excitement through me.  It is something I've been interested in and have wanted to start for a long time now, and I know it is something important for me. 

Still I didn't think I would be able to be in the class right now, and then because of Lisa's kindness (thank you so much, Lisa!), I found myself in after all.  I was so excited on Monday to receive that first e-mail.  And then I stalled.  The first week is a slow, gentle easing into a creative practice, and I still almost gave up.  This is what I journaled about that yesterday:

Off to a late start this week. It’s been a busy week, but when isn’t it? And I am often a slow starter, slow to settle into a new thing, sink into it and let it surround me. And this is the point when I start berating myself, telling myself that I’m any number of bad things—dumb, stupid, lazy, etc.—and then this is where I give up. I decide I’m too far behind, it wasn’t meant to be, this isn’t for me, I can’t do this… But this time I see that this is just resistance. There is no truth in any of this.

I am  always slow to start things like this.  I have to overcome my tendency toward inertia.  And this time I was also fighting against some self-induced pressure, because I am in this class because of the kindness of it's creator. So of course that meansthat I have to be the best, most perfect, do everything on time and just right student ever, right?  Oh, my brain does such mean things to me!

But this time I was able to recognize that all of these feelings of pressure and wanting to quit before I started were just natural fear and resistance, and these are normal parts of the creative process.  So yesterday, I went ahead and read the rest of the first week's instructions and tiptoed into the work. 

The hardest part was picking a time and place for my creative practice.  I discovered that I really don't have much in the way of a daily routine.  And I know better than to say I'm going to add anything to my mornings.  I know that I might last a few days, but there will be a lot of grumpiness and resentment and no good work happening, and then I will stop.  I am not a morning person. (No, this doesn't need to change--I don't ever see anyone trying to change morning people to night owls.  Why is that?)  Anyhow...I finally conceded that for me I need one time slot during the week and another for days off.  On days off, my time slot is actually in the morning, but that's because I get to wake up on my own and don't have to rush to get out the door.

I have a lot of thoughts on creativity as a daily practice along the lines of yoga and meditation, but I'm going to save those for another post since this one is already long enough.  I did come up with a list of questions for myself about this work, so I'm going to put them here in case they resonate with anyone else.

My intention:  I intend to practice mindful creativity every day.

My questions about this:
  • What does this mean?
  • How will it look in my life?
  • how will I handle days when/if it doesn't happen?
  • Is this separate from my writing?  Or is this something I will do as a prelude to my writing time (which isn't currently every day)?  If so, does that affect the time slot I've chosen?
I'll probably answer some of these tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I'm off to actually get my day started (a little bragging: I already did my Creative + Practice work today!).


cre8tnow said...

Hi Kim,
I love serendipity! In response to my "thank you" to Lisa she asked how i was doing in the class and what I've learned. Well, I know I want to tell her the truth but I don't know how to do that...then I clicked on your link, read your post, and felt like you knew me. I want to thank you for putting your honesty out there. It sure did help me to know I am not alone with this resistance crap! I was also surprised when i received the first weeks email and I want to do this sooooooo bad! But here i am in week 3 and am behind. I don't understand it. I'm a night owl but have been getting phone calls at my chosen time. I need to be assertive and honor this time for me. Anyway, i just really wanted to acknowledge you and say thank you!!! Jan

Kim Switzer said...

Jan, hang in there! It is hard to learn to give ourselves the time and space and other things we need, but I believe if we keep returning to this work, keep moving forward even in the tiniest ways, we will find beautiful things happening.

You have chosen a time! That's a first step. There's time to do the rest if you just keep coming back to it. Have fun and good luck!

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