YES!

Just say yes. Yes to life. Yes to happiness. Yes to adventure.  Yes to experiments. Yes to yesterday. Yes to being outside. Yes to travel. Yes to solitude. Yes to crowds. Yes to humbleness. Giving. Gratitude.  Yes to meditation. Consciousness. Yes to frugality. Yes to IMG_0761creativity. Forgiveness. Prayer. Enlightenment, learning, knowledge.  Yes to children. Babies. Dogs. Bubbles. Water. Quiet. Far off places. Smells. Rising bread. Sweet apple pies. Yes to permanence. Yes to transience. Yes to classes, to study, to goals. To rootlessness, to roots! Yes to writing. Finding joy. Living joy. Living light. Yes to being free. Yes to comfort in your own skin. Yes to solving knotty problems. The scientific method. Trial and error. Dumb luck. Smart luck. Being open to luck. Having love. Giving love. Staying married. Being okay. Always positive. Being the best you can be. Say yes to curiosity. Yes to failure. Say yes to experience. Just say yes.

Simplicity

We need simplicity to create. We need: offloading, clarity, sparseness, clean lines. Make it a focused, spare, and clutter-free mental environment.  We require an absence of interruptions, those nasty bug bites that send our creative muse to dance at another party.

We’d like to think other people stop the flow. No. In our heart of hearts, we KNOW that interruptions are largely self-inflicted! Most of the interlopers are our own self-doubts that are pushed through our “I’m-A-Fake” filter,  so that the destructive chatter catches our ear, and we actually stop to listen to the nonsense. We are the nosy hens unable to stop ourselves from pecking at the leaky feed bag even though we just ate. Not only is the mumble a disassociation from the subconscious requirements to imbue the Activity with Spirit,  it even lures Conscious Thought that needs to be present in the Creation.

If we’re creating in words, paint, music, charcoal or dance, it matters not. We’d like to think there there are physical or mental limits to the extent of uninterrupted concentration. We say we have to eat, take restroom breaks, pause to think before stepping into the next flow.  But we rarely challenge the structural integrity of the Composition Room. Even stopping to think lets the Editor stomp on the Creation, kicking words, tossing notes, smudging colors so that you’re stuck in the mud of doubt. You’ve lost your groove and don’t know if you really had it. It’s hard to tell, it was so long ago that you started.

Welcome the simplicity of uninterrupted creation. Set your timer and don’t move until you have something to show for the time. Even if it’s a painful stretch without a needed restroom break, stay the course. Reward yourself at the end. A smile will do.

Borrow

We borrow our identities when we give in to outside approval.  It’s a counter-force to innovation. “What if they don’t like it?” squelches the courage to ship.  We don’t need approval at the creative stage.  In fact, we don’t need it at all unless we want to sell what we’ve made.  Anyone knows that.  Right?

And so we borrow the attention of anyone we can to ask for their approval. Over and over and over as in,  “Did I get it right this time?”  “How about this time?” My dog is persistent, but at some point he gives up, content to just be.  I wonder if that’s okay for people, or is that a justification for self-doubt and just plain old fear of failure?

At a regular bank, we borrow money, use it, and pay it back. But when we borrow people’s time, we can never pay it back.  Time is gone the minute it’s spent.  One cannot be on “borrowed time.” There’s no future to borrow from. It’s not here. The past has been borrowed out.hourglass No saved minutes languish in reserve at the time bank. In fact, they’re always cleaned out by the, um, ravages of time.

Let’s be careful when we borrow. And we can be careful when people ask to borrow our time. But I know I need to be extra careful when I succumb to a borrowed identity.  Shakespeare’s quote, that may start out as advice on lending money, actually uses the last three lines to advise the benefits of being ourselves. How did he know this? He probably faced it every day at his writing desk!

Act I, Scene 3 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

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