The Yin/Yang of Creativity
So much of the talk about goals, production and doing work that matters sounds like this: "Do more, do more, do more, do more..." This is true, to a point. To create things, we must act. To get somewhere, we must move. We don't have a painting unless we paint it. Until we do the work to take something from an idea into a final form, it is only an idea. This is where creation starts, not where it ends. I suppose, though, I have never found the language of "hustle" particularly inspiring. When I get caught up in goal-setting, it is so easy to miss the beauty of right now, here, this. When I am all "yang," I am out of balance. It's like running without stretching, pretty soon I will be good for nothing after all of my "do-do."
I know others who take the opposite tack: I will wait for inspiration to strike, and THEN I will do something. I listened to an interview of a composer who said that he would be at his writing desk for eight hours a day, and, "Lady creativity will know where to find me." Perhaps some days were not as productive, but if we only wait to be struck by lightning, we could be waiting a long time.
Going with the flow of creativity is not merely passive or purely active. There is an ongoing balance; a yin and yang of creativity.
There is both strength and ease. Efforting and relaxing. Both give life to the other. Even doing things to stimulate creativity can be rejuvenating! Take journaling, for example. I always write on paper before I write on plastic. Even though it is one extra step before writing my book or writing a blog, it gives me a feeling of wide open and inspired space to create. It curates and cultivates the spark I have before I hustle to apply it in any one direction. Or take meditation: Whether visualizing my run, my book or simply being with my thoughts and training my mind, it doesn't directly contribute to output in an overt way, but I can assure you my mind is ready to create when it's clear and open.
This doesn't change the fact that work (play) still is there to be done. I don't know [m]any people who can simply manifest what they see without any effort. There is the sculpting, carving, crafting work of creating. It takes commitment to write, to dance, to compose, to build, to connect. We verb.
In all things, there is a dance, an active balance that cannot be achieved in stasis. As we create, we find ways to quiet ourselves and listen to the voice within. As we listen, we continue to move forward.