I've been thinking about creative flow lately. You know what I mean by the state of flow, right creatives?
It's the two entire days it takes to will yourself into a state where you can finally create that masterpiece that's been in the back of your mind for weeks. Art, hobby, writing, embroidery, welding, Instagram flat lays... whatever your 'thing' is. The burst of creativity will ALWAYS come when you're walking out the door to somewhere important, or in the middle of three other crucial projects you keep losing interest in.
It's beyond impossible to reach a state of flow when uninspired.
Then it happens, the stars align and it consumes you. I don't even notice it start. Everything is right on the money, and easy! So easy.
I string it out as long as I can. I look back in the aftermath, and try not to touch, or change what I created. I try to accept it for what it is. And, in my case, hit 'publish' and send to an editor.
Then it ends. You're back to self-doubt, a messy kitchen and a line of people waiting for a return phone call. A touch of anxiety that you're never actually 'good enough', a conviction that all those people consistently praising your creations do it out of some sick sense of bastardry just to f**k with your head. Ah, the dreaded creative comedown.
I've had a couple epiphanies lately. One involved Merlot and the other is a new understanding of the importance of living in the moment.
Because, really, isn't life just a series of moments geared towards achieving small moments of flow? A warm hug on a cold day; a kiss; a masterful moment with someone who previously intimidated you; a meal; smoothly working at something you're skilled at; a conversation that's on point; an entire evening of perfect moments with friends to be filed in the 'truly beautiful' section of your brain.
I've always had a hard time living in the moment, because it's not a place I'm comfortable in. My conversations are geared with agendas, actions paving the way for yet another oddball future goal I've invented at the last minute. My motto "if you're not moving forward, you're moving backward" is still ringing true... but it's no longer all there is to it.
The more I look at pictures as my children get older, the more I forget moments from the day the images were captured. It's like I froze them out when I filed a digital version in a cloud. It's not the photo's fault... hey, I'm a huge advocate for pulling out the camera... selfie queen right here. But something I was great at as a teenager, then lost the skill, was making the time to be present and just enjoy, love the moment and drink it in.
So, for this and other reasons, I commit to mindfulness. I commit to actively living and noticing more of each minute.
Small moments of flow build up, and lead to a cup that runs over. It's time to do more things I love. Drag the kids to my favourite activities, do the things that make me happy. Choose the weekend hangout spots based on how inspired and relaxed it'll make me, and not just the proximity from home and car parking convenience.
I think I need some more beautiful moments -- because I'll always be the only person who can choose them for myself.
The more I harness my creative energy, the more I can give back more to the world. Because, regardless of my state of mind, and even as I let life float past as I overwhelm myself on day-to-day crapola... This universe just keeps on relentlessly throwing beauty and joy in my direction.
Oh, I know where to look for it. I just need to start calling myself out on my own bullshit. I'm actually NOT that busy.
It's time to stop myself and take a moment. I'm going to start looking up... where the beauty is waiting to be seen.
This was originally published here by Kat Abianac.