Do you tend to want to put yourself in boxes, and give yourself labels?
Maybe you’re a fiction writer, or a jewellery maker, or a ballroom dancer?
Or in your wider life, maybe you tell people you’re also a tax accountant, a young mother, a model train enthusiast, a people person or a party lover?
Whilst it’s difficult not to give ourselves these kind of labels as an opening introduction to try to connect with other people, it doesn’t begin to fully describe who we really are.
A further problem arises too.
What if some of your labels seem to contradict each other?
What if you love people and social events, but equally enjoy hours on your own just quietly reading or meditating?
What if you love getting away into the countryside, completely immersed in nature where you can’t see any sign of civilisation, but also love the bustle and excitement of life in the city?
What about if you think and ponder endlessly on the big questions of life, so much so that you might as well be a brain in a jar without a body, but also love physical sensuous activities like cooking, and karate, and white water rafting?
What if you have a huge lust for gadgets and new technology, but also want to discard every possession you have and live a simple life in a monastery?
As creative people, I believe a core part of us is to be curious, and to question.
Whilst this is great for being creative and coming up with ideas and new projects, it can also mean we think and question a little TOO much sometimes.
When our minds get a little overactive and overanalytical, it can actually be an enemy to creativity and to being content and at peace with who we are.
If I’ve learnt anything in my short (ish) time here, it’s that overanalysis kills. It kills creativity, it kills relationships, it kills just going out there and getting good stuff done.
There is duality and contradiction in all of us. We’re human, we’re far from perfect.
Maybe we do feel sometimes like being alone, and other times surrounded by friends. Maybe we do sometimes want to write, and other times dance. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean one is good, the other bad, that one is right and the other wrong. They can both exist at once within you.
It’s when we fight this inner duality, when we try to perfectly define ourselves and put ourselves in a neat little boxes tied up with pretty ribbons that everyone will love and ooh and aah over that we run into problems. And ultimately it is only ourselves that suffer.
Once we can accept and embrace the different, sometimes contradictory, parts of ourselves, it makes things much easier.
In your creative life, follow what you’re drawn to follow today. Give it your full attention, the full creative you, every ounce of creative energy. Maybe tomorrow you’ll carry on, maybe you’ll do something else. Maybe you’ll research the next gadget you need to make your life easier, maybe you’ll book a yoga retreat.
Maybe you are a techno geek buddhist. That’s ok, you certainly wouldn’t be the first.
Embrace every part of you and enjoy your many talents. You’re amongst good company…
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