For the last two months, I have been experiencing angst. The angst is not from diabetes management. It’s angst about the need to create. I know if I give myself the freedom to create I will emotionally and physically feel more grounded. It’s not a lack of ideas; in fact it’s exactly the opposite. I haven’t been synced up with the natural rhythm of the creative process. My expectation of the outcome and struggle with choosing a place to begin coagulates the potential creativity.
Today, in an effort to help organize the thoughts, ideas, and fears that were running amuck in my head I started the day with pranayama or yogic breathing exercises. As I made my way through the four purifications sequence, I imagined I was clearing room for creative thoughts and ideas to flourish with ease. The same way Catherine Price wrote in a blog post about living with diabetes with ease. For me it’s a simple truth, if I allow myself to create with ease than life makes more sense, including life with diabetes.
After the breathing exercises and breakfast, GS and I connected via video chat for good mornings over cups of tea. I shared with GS that I wanted to enjoy being home, practicing being fully present with spending time here. Allowing myself to create, cook healthy food for the week, get outside for physical activity and fingers crossed enjoy some unexpected Pacific Northwest winter sunshine. After our chat I went grocery shopping and decided to pick up a copy of the Sunday New York Times. I have been working on a collage series with images from the NYT and thought, maybe if I have a fresh paper it will inspire me to make more pieces.
In an afternoon break from dissecting the paper I re-watched a TED talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and the original meaning of “creative genius.” My hope was that it would help me feel less alone in the angst and expectations I create for myself when I inadvertently slip into trying to control the creative process instead of surrendering to the beauty of the unfolding.
I exhaled deeply after watching Elizabeth Gilbert, as she reminded me that suffering and struggling are not requirements of the creative process.
The rest of the day was a practice of feeling joy. It’s incredible the level of contentment I felt selecting images and combining them into new compositions or taking my camera on a run at the neighborhood track. Mindful creative acts connected me meaningfully with my surroundings, supported my enjoyment of being home and re-energized my spirit. It was not the end result of the photo or collage that made me smile with happiness, it was the process.