Starting now

Altered book 1There’s a tendency to think I have to be in the right place.  Whether it’s the right mood, or with the right tools, or holding the right qualifications.  Before I can begin.  I have done this in my professional life for years, making sure I have the training and accreditation.  I’m not convinced it’s always needed.  Not that you shouldn’t be prepared for your work life, but that people never ask for the proof, they generally just want you to do a good job.

I do this with spiritual practice too.  I feel like I need to be ready.  Before I sit down to pray, before I read cards, I want to feel like I’m centred, that my mind it clear, that I’m soul-shiny and at peace.  I want to be guaranteed a distraction free space (which rarely happens in a busy household).

The problem is that this becomes a block or a barrier, a reason not to.  I use it to avoid starting.  Because starting is hard.  If I start something, rather than just planning it, I’m putting it out into the world, making it real.  I am clothing my thoughts, dreams, ideas in the flesh and blood of reality.  And that makes them vulnerable.  That opens them up to attack, to the possibility that they won’t thrive or survive.  And the fear that when I see them, embodied, they will be small, weak, ugly and I will wonder what I was thinking…

Of course, and you will know this, the point it that we’re never ready.  There is no perfect linear narrative in this life, it’s a construct we use to make us feel like we’re in control.  The point is that you just have to start.

I took part in an art workshop the other day with Monica Garcia  and afterwards she shared this quote with us from Chris Zydel:

“One of the biggest lies around the creative process is that we have to be in a magical state of inspiration in order to create.   This fantasy state is some combination of bright eyed and bushy tailed excitement, uber confidence and feeling an unbroken connection to the creative flow.  And one of the saddest things I see in my creative practice is when someone comes to my studio saying that they haven’t created in weeks, months, sometimes YEARS. All because they have been waiting in vain to be blessed by that sweet creative elixir that they mistakenly think is the only indicator of a visit from the muse. 

In my experience you can create no matter WHAT state you are in. You don’t even need any IDEAS in order to create. All you need is the intention to be creative. And the willingness to actually take some action around your creative process.  When people come to my Painting From The Wild Heart classes they discover that they can create when they’re tired. When they’re cranky. When they hate being creative. When they’re upset. When they’re convinced that they are stuck. When they’re bored or when they are feeling old, shut down and dried up.

The muse shows up when we show up.  If you devote yourself to her she won’t leave you in the creative lurch just because you’re in a bad mood.”

Straight after reading this I got hold of my art things and began.  Because I’d been tired, and unfocused,  I wasn’t feeling ready, it wasn’t comfortable. But something happened in the time I had to create.  Something opened up, unblocked, began.  Not just in the work I was doing, not just in the colour on the page and the glue on my fingers, but in my heart and soul.  It was like a tightly clenched fist beginning to uncurl, bringing the possibility of a new way of being.  Starting now.



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