What frustration is telling you to do…
I want to share a bit about the nature of living a creative life as I understand it.
I’m talking not about the “artistic” creative process, necessarily…but more the larger creative process we go through as we tackle the bigger questions around “What’s Next” or how to become more ourselves along this amazing journey of life.
There are times in our lives when we begin to feel the drive, the inner urge to do something new or different.
But, oftentimes, we feel the need for change before we actually have clarity around that change…around WHAT that change looks like, exactly.
And this drives us mad.
I know, because lately I’ve been in a season myself where I am bubbling over with big dreams and expansive ideas. I feel all revved up and ready to lurch forward into new terrains…and yet, the clarity in the details of it all hasn’t come yet.
The big picture is clear as a bell…but as soon as I zoom the lens closer — it gets fuzzy, and I begin to spin and find myself counter-productive with my time and energy.
I feel frustrated instead of on fire.
And so, I’ve been spending much of my time these days hula hooping.
I’ve been opting for long walks on a trail near my house. Giggling with my kids. Taking a bath mid-day. Praying.
I’m forcing myself to stay in a happy, spacious place because I know I can’t force inspiration.
I know I can’t rush the divine timing of what is meant to be birthed next in my journey. And I know the fastest way to clarity is always the way of radical trust.
So if I don’t have clear marching orders just yet, my job is to stay in a trusting and loving place. That’s my default assignment.
But don’t think this is easy for me to do. I’m just as addicted to productivity as the next mama on the block.
No. My nature is to want to force everything into control and clarity RIGHT NOW. I will toil over huge blank pieces of paper with colored sharpies trying to wrestle the ideas into submission so I feel I know where to go from here.
I will spend too much time on my computer, trying to write when I feel frazzled, answer emails when I feel flat, shove another 10 minutes in to tend to my to-do list when I’m hungry and cranky.
That’s what I want to do because that’s my default.
But my personal work right now in life is to change my default settings. To re-wire new habits of joy and freedom as I keep growing this incredible gift which is my business.
Here’s the thing…I know that neurologically my magnificent mind (and yours) is designed to work out problems and find solutions behind the scenes (in the subconscious realm) 24-7 until a given problem is solved.
So the most effective way to stoke high creativity is to consciously focus on a project that lights you up from within and gets you excited ONLY to the point of frustration.
As soon as you hit a wall and can’t seem to find the way through the dilemma…that’s when you need to switch out of focusing on the problem.
Change the focus of your conscious mind as soon as possible.
Go weed in your garden. Take a shower. Play with your dog. Tickle fight your kids. Sketch in your notebook. Stretch on the rug. Settle your thoughts and pray. Listen to amazing music. Jump on a trampoline.
Do anything OTHER than actively thinking about the issue at hand.
Sometime later, test the waters. See if you can move forward on the project or issue you are thinking through with more clarity, flow and calm. But, as soon as you feel resistance, frustration, or stagnation– beat feet and do something else again.
I’m working through material with a group of women along the lines of digging deep into our inner lives around our purposes, priorities, passions and paths of service.
It’s ripe with moments of lucid clarity and moments of incredible frustration because we all want the answers RIGHT NOW.
But answers come when they are meant to be received.
I often think the path of clarity is less about seeking answers and more about readying ourselves to receive them.
I think that’s the charge of living a creative life. It’s the breathing in and the breathing out. It’s the trust that all is being worked out for our highest good and we get the freedom to relax into the unknowing if we’ll accept that.
Maybe it is the practice of relaxing into the unknowing that opens us up to receive clarity?
Perhaps, when we do relax into the unknowing…that’s where the answers lie all along?
Sending you sweet moments of relaxation and piercing clarity,
Oooooooh, Lisa, that was good. Really good. Thank you. Now, where to find a hula hoop?!
Make one! awesome video here- Elizabeth Mitchell how to make a hula hoop : http://vimeo.com/15414075
Yes…OH yes, you must try hula hooping!!
WOW! This is exactly where I am right now. It is so hard to do though when there are bills due and I feel like I am not doing anything to help pay them…talk about frustrated. I have to continually “give it back to God” and trust that He will provide as He leads me out of the haze.
Oh, this all rings so true! I want to be productive and get things done, but then I feel like I’m just banging my head against the wall. It’s good to know that taking a step back and doing something else is a good choice. Thank you.
Oh so so so true, why is changing our default so hard? My family is going through a big transition right now and having no real, clear plan is threatening to drive me insane! But you’re right changing our focus and distracting our minds from wanting that control and clarity is key…. I’m afraid I haven’t been doing a very good job of it lately, thanks for the reminder!
Oh Lisa, Just finding this and it so speaks to me. Why the addiction to productivity and then feel like it’s squeezing out my creativity? Thank you for articulating this so beautifully…
LOVE it! This is where I am…no doubt! God’s word in my heart last year was REST. Thing is, I had this idea of what rest “should” look like and it really didn’t unfold that way. In fact, things seemed to get busier. I like this idea of pausing, switching gears, doing something that breaks me away even if just for a few moments to refresh and be ready to receive!
I love being given a word for the year…and many times we are given opportunities that allow us to really test it!