What is binding up your creative self today?

The satisfying state of creative work often is in the way it makes us feel when we are immersed in it. We feel the opposite of constrained, bound up or colorless.
 The delight of the feeling of creative immersion is partly from the pleasure that comes when we stop beating our heads against a brick wall–it feels good when we stop. It feels good when we seem to rise above the binding feeling of some of our other experiences, and we want to spend more time here, in a place where we can instead expand.
 I can think of days that felt rich with the freedom, purpose, rightness, or delicious focus of what I intended to do with that day.
 If I had the memory capacity, I could count those days.
 The days that felt tight and hard, fraught or crazy, limp or wasted, or simply engine-driven from one damn thing to another are of a number I would rather not count.
 But more often our days fall in between, not soaring, not miserably confining. We’ll call them not-so-satisfying days that weren’t bad per se, not exactly regrettable, not even anything to complain about.
 We might even call them good days. Good enough. They were going-through days with decent highlights and not-too-low points, though in the end nothing particular to remember them by.
 It probably felt good to go to bed at the end, but it probably also felt fine to get the day going at the start as well. But nothing really soared, nothing glittered with possibility, nothing flowed for long enough in the state of grace that is immersion in work or play that feels open and unconstrained, that feels large enough to grow and expand into, explore to find out what is there in the work, in the play, in ourselves.
 If the days felt relatively like we were living in freedom, freedom to expand a bit, or explore, or respond naturally and well to what happened, there was a nice glow of satisfaction even if they weren’t red-letter days.
 If the days felt relatively constricted, less at choice, more obligated or straining or making regrettable trade-offs and watching moments flit by that we would have loved to follow and call our own, there wasn’t such a glow at the end, unless it was the glowing undercurrent of resentment, disappointment, or confusion about why a decent day didn’t feel better.
 Creative work comes from creative thought and, arguably, creative being. Creative being feels expansive, like we have a little room to spread our wings, to grow a little taller.
 What we have or produce generally comes not from a magical ether of fate but from what we do.
 What we do comes from who and how we are being: our patterns of thought and feeling, what we are paying attention to, what we believe, what we actively (not just in principle) care about, desire, fear, and give credence to.
 If it all starts with patterns of thought and feeling, then puzzle me this:
 Is your world today feeling like a place where you can expand, leap, play, stretch in various directions? If yes, why is that?
 Or does it feel constricting? Do you feel you must play smaller than you are, either because if how others might react to your being larger or doing more impressive things, or because of what feels possible in the tight bonds of overwhelm?
 Is there too much of a lot of things and way too little of some other critical things? Is the audience wrong, the schedule laughable, the number of people pulling at you unbearable, the deadline ridiculous, the energy a faint whimper?
 You know something about what is binding you, keeping you from feeling that here, this day, this world, is a place you can expand.
 You and I may not have utter clarity about what is taking up the space we need to expand into or what we can possibly do to turn it around. But we know enough to start doing something to shift the pattern, and this is all that is required.
 If we wait for perfect clarity and feasibility and confidence about changing things, the expansiveness will probably never come.
 Is it worth it to wait?
 Can’t you taste those days that opened up to receive you, your imagination, your play?
 How many more of those would you like to have before the game is up?

Speak Your Mind