My 4 year old daughter peels through pages in her coloring book like she is getting paid per page (she is not, mind you). If given a blank notebook, she can quickly fill it with lots of colors, shapes, and lines and assure you that each one is it’s own unique work. She puts no apparent forethought into it. She simply likes to draw, color and paint. She likes the actual doing of it, and whatever comes of it seems to just be a fun perk of doing it.
I, on the other end, am overwhelmed by a blank page of paper; stuck trying to decide what to make based on what I think I can draw. I start out with no clue, then trip over some ideas, talk myself out of them, and finish with drawing the same sun with squiggly rays I have been doodling since the 3rd grade. It’s really beautiful. I seriously nail it every single time.
I am focused on the results, the finished product of drawing. My insecurities, judgments, assumptions, big ideas, expectations, and self-critique about the finished product are a big, huge, unwieldy stumbling block for me to even start.
My daughter is focused on the activity. She doesn’t care about the end result, nor does she even seem to have the expectation that this is why a person would draw or color or paint. She is drawing because she likes to draw. And paint. And build with legos. And sing. And dance. And swim. And tell stories. And dress fabulously. For better or worse, she doesn’t have a fully developed ego. Yet. She does whatever she likes because she LIKES to, not because she is good at it.
My ego is fully developed, for better or worse. That well-developed ego focuses on the results, making judgements about whether those results are good or bad. Sadly, those judgments keep me from doing things I really like to do, because I perceive the results and products I create from it are bad, or at the very least, not as good as others. Like singing. I love singing. But, I am not a singer, because I really can’t stay in the same key or pitch or whatever that word is.
I trip over my ego when trying to do plenty of things; cooking, gardening – just deciding what to wear in the morning!
The next Daily Bread Yoga retreat will be the Yoga of Creativity. I’m leading the retreat with Suzanne Loechel; a painter and regular in various classes and retreats. We will do some physical yoga in order to get the heck out of the bothersome head, get over ourselves and BE creative. Make stuff. Art. Write. Gather. Color. Draw. Then we’ll do some more yoga because that pesky voice will probably start trash-talking in your ear again.
So, you think that you aren’t creative at all, right? Well, that’s exactly my point. If you have read this far, you must realize that I am talking directly to YOU. Come. Get a break from yourself.
Maybe you’re totally right and you really aren’t creative at all. Who cares? The results and end products don’t matter nearly as much as the practice of the doing and being. We aren’t going to put your master-flop on display at the mall. There will be no grading. What you draw, scribble, blob has no bearing on you, as a person.
If you know that you are a brilliant, creative, and gifted person…well, great. You can come too. 🙂 Who knows, your ego might be a stumbling block for you somehow too. Maybe?
The Yoga of Creativity retreat is Saturday, March 21st, 9a.m.-noon at Philo Presbyterian Church, in the ever lovely Philo, IL. The cost of the retreat will be $30 (a little bit more than normal to cover cost of some supplies). We are limiting the retreat to 20 people, so tell me now if you plan to come! So…tell me now, eh?
Peace on your head, you.