I used to ask “what do I have to do today?” until I realised the most important question was “how do I want to feel?” Having figured that out, it led me to another question “what am I going to create today?” We all like to feel that we have achieved something, but if it’s just a list of ‘stuff’ that you have to tick off, chances are you will be left feeling short changed.
I can remember the commute home from work in my last job, when I was still immersed in the corporate world and running from meeting to meeting day in and day out. Sitting on the ferry, Smartphone in hand, firing off emails to get in motion whatever actions I’d taken from the meetings before they slipped from my mind.
After I got home and got the kids to bed I’d sit down exhausted, device in hand again trying to plough through the rest of the day’s emails and edit any communications due to go out. At some point after falling into bed and sleeping for a few hours I’d generally wake up, my brain having started to defrost, and think of more ‘crucial’ things that I needed to get in motion.
Every day I’d know I was busy, productive even, but I’d be left feeling empty and dissatisfied. I could ‘get things done’ with the best of them, but what things? What difference was any of it going to make? Honestly, I can recount only a handful of times I felt good, joyful even, about what we created in the work space; the rest felt like a hamster wheel.
That isn’t how I want to feel, so I’ve switched focus. I want to look forward to each day with eager anticipation, and I want to feel sated at the end of a day, like I’ve achieved something. Not just once in a while, every day.
Each time I write something, and I let myself pour out through the words, the process of creation is so satisfying it fuels any other task on my list for the rest of day quite easily. But even then, I’ve started to look at other tasks through new lenses.
Looking after the kids for one. Back in those days of corporate life, I used to look upon my job as a break from the relentless and tedious nature of looking after very small children. At least I get to use my brain I’d think, have adult conversations. However, living a life where I’m now looking after the kids for a bigger chunk of the day, it's made me take a look through new lenses.
I smiled as my clever daughter explained how the circle of stools blocking the walkway through the lounge, tied together with ties from our dressing gowns, and a whole bunch of plastic food scattered across the floor beneath them, was in fact the ‘vegetable patch’ she had ‘planted’.
The complex net of dressing gown ties were ‘tree branches and vines’ with fruits that grew in this way hanging from them (a plastic banana, bunch of grapes and an apple). The other pile of plastic food I’d nearly tripped over on the way in was a clever ploy to distract ‘crows’ away from the vegetable patch in lieu of a scarecrow.
The other day they made a ‘boat’ then, as they left for kindergarten, asked me to leave it out for them to play in later, so I did. It lay ignored upon return in favour of a ‘campervan construction’ built in the other lounge. The joy is in the creation.
That is why so many of us revel in the process of making holiday plans, or pulling together a celebration, while others love cooking a meal or planting and tending a garden. Often the satisfaction in the thing we create is short lived in comparison to the joy we had in creating it.
That is normal, it’s life. We are creators, we think therefore we create. What we create is of course entirely within our gift. You can create consciously or unconsciously, either way you are creating. Unconscious creation results in more of the same, whatever that is for you.
Conscious creation is where the greatest satisfaction lies, whether you are trying a new recipe or painting a portrait. It’s where you stretch a little, grow and feel like the life you are living is worthwhile and meaningful. Conscious creation is where you find your bliss, just doing something, well, that is rather hit or miss.
So what are you going to create today?
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