When it comes to creative expression, our tendency is toward all or nothing. We wait for that perfect opportunity to begin living into our true creativity.
We tell ourselves we need a designated space, a big chunk of scheduled time and all of the materials at hand before we can begin.
Unfortunately, this isn’t how life happens.
And so we have to improvise the space, embrace the tiny pockets of time, and incorporate our creativity into our daily living.
Or we may be waiting forever.
Several years ago I discovered the joys of paper mache. I loved the freedom and simpleness of the materials: recycled newspaper and sticky, white glue that I shaped into bowls and clocks and found object sculptures.
I absolutely loved the organic process, how easy it was to wash the glue off my hands, how the pieces dried quickly in the desert heat. I worked outside on a thrift store wicker table on my back patio, close enough to the kitchen sink, and still, I could be as messy as I wanted to be.
When I moved to my current home three years ago, priorities shifted and I stopped making art.
For the past year I’ve been imagining my hands in the gluey gooiness again. I’ve been envisioning hearts of many sizes, all smaller than my palm, free-formed by my hands and then strung with beads and other found items.
But whenever I’d think about starting, I’d hear the voices in my head:
I have no room to work.
With all of my business things, I have no time.
With all of the creative energy I put into my businesses, I have no creativity left.
Several weeks ago, I gave my Living Room Ladies a hugely creative assignment: To create a self-portrait expressing all that they had discovered about themselves in our work together.
As I described the project to them, I heard my own creative self speaking loudly, that all of this writing and business creating is one thing, but I wanted to start making things again.
I considered how I could make space for this kind of creative expression, both literally and figuratively.
Did I want to cut back on how often I write these blogs?
Should I rearrange my office to create more work space?
Should I just put it off like I have been for the last three years?
I asked the questions and waited for some definitive answers.
And then, one Saturday morning, I cleared the small counter next to my kitchen sink and put on my paint smeared smock. I found an old metal roasting pan among my art supplies and poured in some glue, mixed in some water to thin it and started tearing strips of newspaper that I had been saving for months.
It was delicious, my hands all wet and sticky as I slid the paper through my fingers to wipe off the excess glue. I shaped it and formed it, layering the wet paper and dabbing the edges with my finger.
I made three hearts that first day, all different sizes and shapes, all smaller than my palm.
They looked different than I’d been imagining them, but in many ways, they looked even better than the pristine and perfect hearts I’d envisioned.
And I couldn’t wait to try a new technique the next day.
The Nike slogan says it all. You have to just step away from the excuses and reconnect with the deeper passion, the drive, the inspiration for what you are dreaming.
And then, Just Do It!
So what excuses are holding you back?
Can you let go of those voices and reconnect with the energy of your true passion?
I’d love to hear your stories! Please share them by clicking the Comments below.