April. I frankly don’t remember that much about any significance of past Aprils. This April it will be my first wedding anniversary, which I suppose can be significant, except that me and my husband have known each other very well for about ten years, so it doesn’t really matter all that much to me. I think.
I’ve never really paid attention to the months dedicated to creativity. For me in the past, creativity always came across as an annoyance. Something that detracted from my work (from, frankly, billing hours) and something that I wasn’t good at. So while thousands of people were churning out partially finished and amazing novels for National Novel Writing Month, I was stuffing my mouth with turkey. And for National Poetry Month, this time last year, I was busy mourning the loss of my kitty while getting ready to move across state lines for a new job.
All this to say that creativity has been part of my new life now. Although, it really isn’t easy to create every day. It can be a time suck to write things. It is an energy suck when you’re still fighting against imposter syndrome and all of the wonderful things that come with a brilliantly analytical and neurotic brain like my. I am not brilliant, but my mind things it is, and my ego thinks it is. And I like writing out my thoughts, even if they don’t make complete sense.
Creativity has been one of the most therapeutic things in the past few months. It is all part of my “grand” strategy to do whatever I want. Whenever I say that, people get confused, and of course they have their assumptions too. Some of you might think that too, like, I can see images of Lay’s potato chips strewn on couches even as I speak right now. But you and I know both that isn’t true. I haven’t eaten potato chips for a while and I like my couch, but I only sit on it for a few hours a day. The rest of the time, I am listening to myself, and trying to love myself as I sit in front of a computer writing, creating, thinking, dreaming. The greatest impulse that many of us have is to find a way of expressing ourselves, and in the process, giving ourselves the space to be loved and understood. Whether you are someone who wants to tap into this impulse or not is something for another blog entry, but I don’t judge people like that either way (I used to, and I love that.) What I mean to say is that the life I spend doing a bit of creative work every day, listening to myself whenever I want to create, helps my happiness by leaps and bounds.
I can’t explain to you why it happens, but it’s like what Kyle Cease says about running on a treadmill versus listening to someone explain what it’s like to run a treadmill.
It’s like watching skiing on television versus trying it for yourself.
It’s like reading poetry versus writing it yourself.
I think back on my retreat with Samantha and how that time changed me, but that I have yet to discover all the ways my life has shifted. How I understand more now that I am nothing but the present moment. How the ego is the enemy. How that when I create and ask for myself, and that when I feel powerful, I can do more than if I forced things, were afraid, and fixed on the result. These are lessons that I never want to unlearn, and if I need some reminders from time to time, then I love that.
My mother had a lot of chronic pain in her arm that’s lasted for almost a decade. On our skiing trip, I tried to be a space for her and to show her the permission I gave myself to rest and be myself. As of now, she doesn’t have that pain. I don’t know what happened on that trip, but she doesn’t have that pain anymore, and I love that. During a tough moment on the trip, I think I gathered that she doesn’t like what I write on the blogs half the time, and I love that. Because if I’m still searching for her approval, then it means that she is still raising me. I am writing for her instead of writing from my heart.
Instead, today and tomorrow and yesterday, I try to evolve and grow everyday. I try to be myself and listen to my heart, to be more plugged into my mind, to feel and to be glad and grateful, not afraid, of my greatness and infinite power. That I write not for an end result, not to swell or puff up my ego, or to pretend I have all the answers, or that I wanted followers or parlay things into whatever my new project is at the time. I write because the words come out of me like I don’t have any control, when I’m in a state of flow I have to act, or I will play it small and die a little inside. That is something that I want more people to understand, not because it is the right way of seeing things, but because it is the right way to feel. And I love that.
For the creators in my life, and for every budding creator and entrepreneur out there, know that I love your dreams. I listen to your ideas and I encourage them, even if you aren’t speaking directly to me. I want people to have lives where they see things through the framework of heart, or heart-mind, not fear. By living vulnerable and powerful and authentic lives free of judgment. It is, a lofty goal, of course. And it has to start with me.
When I ask you to create
Do you shrink away? Are you small?
The world doesn’t love small
The world is big, it wants to be a space for you
To fill it with your greatness
Your overwhelming sense of being
When do you create?
Create when the tears well up in your eyes so that you cannot even see
Create when you can’t do anything but sit down and pour your overflowing heart
Right into the vestibule of the world
Into the empty souls, the empty minds, the empty hearts
Into the hollow eyes that sink below the early death
Into the hungry mouths of those who do know know
And into the gaping hole of darkness