Little Signs of Creative Misery.

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(Busy insect in Mount Usher gardens last week)

I’m immersing myself in creative things. Making and doing but also reading about the creative process and watching movies about creative people. And everywhere I turn I see more articles or books or movies about creativity. It’s almost like there’s a catalog of creative information following me around, showing me more and more. But why would it be following me around?

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(View from the gazebo)

Maybe it’s true that when we decide we want something, everything around us conspires to give it to us? Conspires to show us it is possible (to have this thing we want) at every turn? To tell us there is a way and the way is not as difficult as we think? To pull us out of our habits and our normal thinking? Maybe we are too stubborn to notice? Too happy in difficult, troubled, heavy work? Too content in awful life? If I can just ignore the little signs, then I can continue to be content in misery. Ah, lovely misery!

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(A place to rest?)

The Little Signs…. the project we can’t find time to do. The book we can’t find time to write. The painting we can’t find time to paint. The quilt we can’t find time to sew. The holiday we can’t find time to take. The blog we can’t find time to write. The photograph we can’t find time to capture.  When we wish we could do something but just don’t have the time to do it… it’s a sign. In fact, in general when I wish, it’s a sign. The signs draw me in, a reminder of joy, but if I just can’t pull myself away from the luxury of misery…..

Time to take a break from misery, Mairead.

Look! It’s the break light!

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(Graffiti in cafe toilet – I didn’t write it)

I’ve uncovered another of my patterns and this one is big (for me). I’ve been working away for the past month on productivity. I’ve read the book, Getting Things Done by David Allen. I’ve had sessions with my friend Ashleigh. I’ve started using the PomodoroPro. I’ve devised a schedule with thirty minute time slots. My diary was full of next thing to do’s. I had three weeks of amazing productivity.

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(Rowing on the Liffey in Dublin, with the Ha’penny Bridge in the background)

And then I crashed. I’ve been tired and motivation-less since last Thursday. I know this is a pattern… it was pointed out to me that I do this regularly. What do I do? I drive myself forward, paying no attention to the vehicle I am driving. I run out of fuel. The vehicle stops. For the duration of my life the vehicle is my body. I do feed my body and lately I feed it well, but I have not been paying attention. A light on the dashboard was flashing and I ignored it. It was the “break” light. When I pay no attention, I don’t know it’s time to rest. To take a break, a siestas, some free time, do some day dreaming, be at ease.

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(Scary but true)

There are probably lots of reasons why this is my pattern. As with all patterns, it starts because it’s necessary and it works. There is a clue as to why it continues. It’s part of my normal thinking, something I didn’t realise….. I think taking a break is unfair, unless you work exceedingly hard and I experience extreme shame when I take a break unless I am exhausted. The good news is that it’s like my “I have to eat meat every day” belief – crazy but normal for me. And as we saw with the meat belief once you become aware of your normal thinking it’s possible to let it go.

I’ll be taking baby steps with this one, step, rest, step, sit down, up we get , step, Mairead.