Create Something

Create something. Yes go on, I dare you.  In the nicest possible way.  This is what Elizabeth Gilbert implores us to do in her book Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear.  I have been reading this inspiring book and have at times laughed and cried, but always with the idea of ‘yes! this makes sense’.

Gilbert shares stories that we can all relate to, about creating work, and launching it into the unknown.  The big ‘out there’ of the cosmos.  Not unlike what I am doing here with this blog post.  She does however remind us, that we are not at the mercy of our reader.  If fact it is not about that at all… it is about having fun in the process.  That the journey is the important thing, not the destination.

So in this frame of mind we are free to create… anything that draws our attention or ‘curiosity’ as Gilbert puts it.  To trust in our curiosity and wonder to lead us in the right path, whether this may be cooking, teaching or any other endeavour!

Further she asserts that we were born to create, that it is something that comes to us naturally.  That doesn’t mean that we will necessarily create the thing we intend to. For example, the notion of this blog is still in its formative stage, it is a friend in becoming.  This blog and I are forming a creative partnership; sometimes I am inspired, and at other times the inspiration comes to me.  And I wonder who is the voice that is coming out in these words?

Gilbert might say that it doesn’t matter either way as long as you are enjoying it.  In a light hearted way.  In other words don’t become too serious about things.  Gilbert talks about martyrdom with regards to artists and creative people, the idea that artists should suffer for their craft. But she insists that this is not necessary, that suffering in fact may cutoff the creative spark, while the artist wallows in misery. She favours the idea of the ‘trickster’ who is ever moving, looking for solutions, looking at the funny side of life.  This is a much better model for the creative person.

Gilbert also adds that we may choose not to create.  Perhaps sit in the corner and pout, admonish the gods for not heading our needs.  But that is really the ego talking, the soul is not touched by petty disappointments. The soul sees the big picture, that the journey of a thousand miles starts with just the first step.

So where are you on this creative journey?  Perhaps walking up a long sand dune, not knowing what is on the other side; it may be another sand dune or perhaps a wonderful oasis.  As our time here is temporary why not just be an avid explorer and follow your path where it takes you.  You may be in for a thrilling ride.

Nigella’s Serenity

In the waiting room at the physio, I spotted the latest copy of the Women’s Weekly with Nigella Lawson on the front cover.  Naturally I picked it up, as I am intrigued by Nigella’s work and life.  She looks calm on the cover, serene almost.

Nigella seems to personify the “goddess mother”.  The blending of the parent with the dignified strength of the individual.   Someone who has encountered tragedy and difficult times, but positively persists regardless.

So many mothers are consumed with looking after others, often sacrificing their own needs in the process. Goddesses are both outward and inward focused, they achieve a sense of calm through this balance.  To achieve the goddess calm, take time to nurture yourself.

Meditation can be really beneficial.  You can choose an “active” type meditation such as walking, ideally first thing in the morning, not just for the exercise, but for the steadying influence on your psyche.  Make the time count, walk silently,  and take time to draw deep breaths, notice the sky, the trees or perhaps a beautiful piece of architecture.  Anything that reminds you of beauty and peace.

Or join a meditation class, not just a short session at the end of another exercise class, but a  special purpose meditation class, with a knowledgeable instructor.   I have been attending just such a class for a few months now and can attest to the tangible sense of calm that is possible.

Not only is it important to achieve this calm for ourselves, but also for those around us.  Our attitude spills over into our environment, colouring the attitude of our colleagues, family and friends.  It impacts the food that we cook and serve to others.  It is difficult to eat when we are upset and even more difficult to digest!

Of course, it is unrealistic to think that we can achieve goddess mother serenity all the time – it is something that we strive for.