One of my favorite movie quotes is from "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." The young man trying to make a go of the hotel says,
In India we have a saying:
Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it is not yet the end.
In the creative process, we sometimes get stuck because we are too focused on outcomes. Worrying about the outcome can absolutely stop me in my tracks. I had to do some computer work last week, and the outcome of the proposals is very important to me. It was hard even getting started.
My sister reminded me of one of my favorite sayings I learned from a wise friend. "You have enough, you do enough, and you are enough." We are all enough. We all have enough. And we all do enough. Trust in the process and let go of the outcome. Everything will be alright in the end. If it isn't alright, it isn't the end.
By the way, I've learned that the outcome isn't always what I expected or even hoped for. But, especially in the creative process, it is always ALRIGHT.
forgive | fərˈɡiv | verb (past forgave; past participle forgiven) [with object] stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake
forgiveness | ˌfərˈɡivnəs | noun the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven
I promised myself no editing when choosing cards, so here we go...
I believe that forgiveness is absolutely necessary to living a full and happy life.
But how does it relate to creativity?
Forgiveness is a key part of getting past perfectionism. I am working on my first "real" project on my new long arm quilting machine. I can be impatient which isn't the best quality for a quilter. I knew the machine was sounding funny, but I just bulldozed on with my quilting. When I checked the back of the piece, there was, not surprisingly, a section of knots and birds nests of thread. Of course there were, the machine was trying to tell me that it wasn't happy.
I'm hanging this piece in a show next week and I have to decide if I have time to pick out the "rough" section or not.
Before I can make a good decision I have to forgive myself for my impulsivity (and probably compulsivity). The knots and nests are there. Do I wish I'd stopped to check sooner? Yes. Am I going to dwell on my "stupidity" (a word I try hard not to use)? No. I am forgiving myself, once again, for pushing through and denying what I know to be true. I will eventually learn this lesson. I guess I'm a very slow learner or have a very good forgetter. I have learned to forgive my mistakes and mis-steps. I now spend my energy on moving forward, rather than focusing on the should haves. I will probably never be one of those deliberate, concise, and careful makers. That just isn't my operational style. That's okay, I've forgiven myself for being who I am. I no longer resent (re-think) or get angry with myself for the way I do things. A sense of humor helps, too!
I like being spontaneous. I have the luxury, most of the time, to do whatever I feel like doing on any given day. I've learned to set up my studio to support spontaneity. My different studio endeavors are stored so that I have easy access and easy clean up.
If the mood strikes me to color a mandala on fabric, I can easily grab that bag and be good to go in about 30 seconds. The same is true for needlepoint canvases. I like to have a quilt loaded on the long arm at all times so I can just START! It works for me because it supports my whims.
I try to leave my studio ready to go (i.e. cleaned up) so that next time I can do anything I want or need to do without spending a lot of non-creative energy (i.e. cleaning up). If I have a deadline, I clean up my workspace enough so that it's inviting to return while leaving the materials out in the workspace. It takes about 120 extra seconds. I find that time invaluable to my creative process, as I often get several ideas for the next steps as I'm folding fabric, reorganizing paints, storing brushes, or loading bobbins.
Today I think I'll...
color tumbling block fabric mandalas!
What a perfect word for today...
Simplicity in our creative process can be so freeing. For me, I have to remember to keep my THINKING SIMPLE. I can overthink a glass of water. This morning, I'm overthinking the turkey stock, the "tablescape," the size of the turkey I bought, and tomorrow's feast in general! Yikes!! Overthinking is not only a huge time waster for me, it's an excuse to procrastinate and a lovely way to work myself into a lather.
Remember the old adage, KISS, "Keep It Simple, Silly?
Simplicity goes back to perfectionism: I strive to do my best and have everything as I want it, but a mis-step in the process doesn't mean calamity. I am not sure I've EVER gotten everything right, so today I'm practicing self-acceptance, doing the best I can, and letting go of the idea of perfection. The difference between true perfectionism and doing our best is that perfectionism, in the best case, sucks all the joy out of our endeavors. In the worst case, perfectionism invites shame and guilt and, in the end, paralyzes our creativity.
So, go ahead and enjoy the SIMPLE creative pleasures this busy season brings.
Lucky me! Play is one of my favorite words when it comes to creativity. In fact, I call my classes "playshops." My talk gives people permission to play creatively and my classes remind people how to play. Childlike creative play is my goal when I'm in my studio. Little kids don't judge themselves at every turn and they surrender to the process. It's a joy to watch a child hard at play. They are totally focused on the moment, not thinking about anything else but the task at hand. Today, think about being hard at play. That means letting go of the outcome and completely immersing yourself in the process. Don't waste your creative energy worrying about the outcome. It will take care of itself if you are present for the process. Give it a try. It's kind of magical how it works. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it FLOW: being fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process. If flow is your goal, the outcome will always be pleasing. Go ahead, PLAY today. When asked how she does art a six year old replied, I think. Then I draw a line around my think. It's not an exact quote and I wish I could credit where I read it, but I thought it was worth sharing. Draw, or stitch, or paint, or sculpt, or dance, or sing, or cook a line around your think today.
Years ago I was given a set of little cards. I recently unearthed them in a studio redo and decided to use them as inspiration for a new series of blog posts. Having a "set" plan helps keep me on track, which can be difficult for me., I will be pulling a card every few days and writing about how that word fits with the creative process. It's a good reminder to stay present with our creative endeavors as the busy holiday season approaches.
My husband often reminds me to make a list.
When he's right, he's right... He's a very efficient and productive guy.
I get a lot done, but sometimes feel like my hair is on fire.
As a Creativite, I sometimes forget that I am efficient and productive, too!
I am so excited for my busy, travel and friend filled next several weeks.
However, I'm feeling a little overwhelm this morning.
What's next? Make a list! Prioritize and check things off as I go. It's easy and effective.
I can even make it colorful and whimsical if I want to!
I love turning my To Do list into a Ta Da list!
I love a good fortune cookie message... more than I love Chinese food. When I get a good one, I always tuck it away so I can enjoy it again and again. This one has been "tucked" for a long time.
I like to talk about perfectionism because it has been hanging around for a long time in my life.
Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity.
I have never once believed I'm perfect, but have long believed I should be.
I have let that belief go now.
YIPPEE! I am not even close to perfect and I'm not really a perfectionist. What a relief!
I'm not really a perfectionist! I want to let that sink in because I just now realized it!. I think I'm twice removed from perfection. I have bought into the idea that I should be a perfectionist when, in fact, I am not. That should be a good place to be right?
Well, in truth it's just another huge "SHOULD" I've been carrying around for a very long time.
I'm okay with "good enough."
There I said it. I'm okay with good enough.
I want to do a good job, whatever I'm doing. But perfect? Nope.
I am so grateful that today I get to live more authentically with a lot of self-acceptance! It's a very good place to be.
P.S. This is the back of the fortune. I guess self-acceptance is good medicine!
I've been having a blast coloring these mandala I created! These are on PFD Kona Cotton. I'm using Derwent Inktense Pencils and Aloe Gel, yes Aloe... like you rub onto sunburn. I want'ed to post a video of me coloring and "gelling" a mandala, but my technology skills let me down (there is a trip to the Apple Store in my near future). I will be producing and selling these fabric coloring sheets in the very near future. But I need to add a warning: This activity is extremely addictive. I plan on coloring several mandala and piecing them together for a small wall hanging. Stay tuned!
Now available in the Kindle store!
David Bowie said, "I've come to the realisation (sic) that I have no idea what I'm doing half the time." This was in an interview in the British magazine, New Music Express in September of 1984.
He had certainly reached an admirable level of success by then.
I, too, have come to the realization that a lot of the time I have no idea what I'm doing. .
It used to feel scary, but now I kind of love it.
I had the book converted to an ebook format,
and had to figure out how to post it on Amazon to sell...
NO idea what I was doing. But I figured it out.
I needed some structure in my life, so I got a part time job selling clothes at LOFT.
Now I'm getting more done in my studio, I'm challenging my brain to learn a computerized cash register, and I have a smoking new wardrobe!!
Feeling stuck? Go out on a limb! A little adrenaline does wonders for the creative process!
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