January 18, 2023Too Much

One of my favorite quotes is from the long ago comic strip, “Pogo” … We have met the enemy, and he is us!

Creatives can run into roadblocks and obstacles in life during the process of creating their work.

Sometimes they might find out that the real obstacles they face are on the inside … I call these the “too much” obstacles, as in “too much thinking and feeling”. That’s a problem, because that’s what creativity is all about … thinking and feeling!

We all have that inner dialogue going inside our head. We believe what we tell ourselves, and what we believe determines how we act and what we do. What we believe is influenced by what we think. What we think is influenced by how we feel about what we think.

This is where our good, logical brain is supposed to kick in and remind us of important things like truth and facts. This is how we keep ourselves in self control and keep the world civilized.

It prevents us from yelling at someone who can’t seem to pull themselves together, because we remember the tragedy they’re going through.

It helps us be patient with the 3 year old who has asked us the same question 500 times in the last ten minutes.

It enables us to get up and do chores when we’d rather be watching movies.

We listen to our good, logical brain and adjust our thinking, manage our emotions, make good choices, and our world runs smoothly.

That’s normal people. And it can be like that for creatives in everyday life, until it’s time to create … because creating is not about managing emotion, it’s about expressing emotion!

Creatives live in the real civilized world where order and decorum is required, but then they go to do their thing and it’s time to let loose.

Sometimes, “letting loose” leaks over into the civilized world and they get in trouble. Sometimes, “order and decorum” leaks over into their creative world and creativity gets stifled.

They can live frustrated lives, because they can feel so disconnected and misunderstood in the real world, and in their creative world they can’t seem to just let go and let the juices flow.

Creativity can’t be switched on and off … but simply understanding what’s going on helps tremendously.

When a touchy-feely creative doesn’t understand this simple truth, they will feel pulled in many directions and they tend to assume all the blame and beat themselves up … or, maybe our touchy-feely and frustrated creative will get mad and beat everybody else up …

- Why can’t I get my act together?
- Why am I such a misfit?
- What’s wrong with them?
- What’s wrong with ME?
- Why can’t they see how important this is?
- Why won’t the ideas come?
- Why do I struggle so doing the work?
- Why won’t they give me some solitude?
- Why can’t I get the recognition I deserve?
- Why, why, WHY??

Being a touchy-feely soul is a real blessing and a real curse.

The touchy-feely souls in this world are also the painfully tortured souls, because all the feeling and pondering that results in all the amazing books and music and art that so enriches our lives … has a sharp edge that can be turned back on the creators.

This is the inside obstacle of too much. It will stop the flow of creativity dead in its tracks. Most creatives will deal with it at one time or another. And really, everybody does … it’s that inner dialogue that plays over and over in our heads. It disrupts life and keeps us from being and doing our best.

We believe what we tell us in our own head. If we talked to friends like we talk to us, we wouldn’t have any friends! The antidote is to pay attention to that inner dialogue and what it’s saying. We can choose what’s playing in our head.

So learn to talk to yourself truthfully. You’re not a monster and you’re not a saint. You can learn new and better ways to think. You won’t get it perfect all the time, but just pay attention.

Change that inner dialogue to reflect truth and reality. Use that creative brain to find ways to manage your time and energy. Enjoy being you, warts and all. And get that creativity flowing again!

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  • Cooley Dixie says:
    2023-01-18, 09:16:07
    Interesting, thank you