The creative process is a reflection of our internal world - our struggles, our fears, our passions, our joys. There is an endless amount of information we can gather from the thoughts and feelings that arise in us when we face a blank page or canvas. This morning, I sat down to do a creative meditation - to sketch whatever comes to mind and see what unfolds.
And today, everything flowed - the image in my mind easily translated to the page, I liked the colors on the paper, and I simply kept sketching and coloring until the image felt complete. I found myself having fun throughout the whole process and this totally threw me off! Wasn't I supposed to screw something up? Wrestle with something I didn't like? Judge a choice I made in this process? It can't be *this* enjoyable, I thought... maybe I'm doing this wrong? Hmmm.
Buddhists tell us that life is suffering - and often it is, from little daily annoyances to intense grief. Sometimes we can get so used to living in the midst of some struggle or another — some pain, drama, ever-repeating lesson — that when there is no struggle, we aren't quite sure what to do with ourselves. We actually feel uncomfortable. Gay Hendricks calls this an Upper Limit Problem — when we only allow ourselves to be so happy or successful or for things to be so easy before we start doubting, sabotage things, and seek out the old familiar struggle or pain. Oh yes, I've danced this dance before. Can you relate?
I realized I needed to give myself permission to simply experience the ease and joy I was feeling while I sketched today so, I did - and it was really fucking nice. The hope here is that having now experienced this with my sketch, when the stakes are higher and I hit my upper limit out in the world, I can remember this experience and more easily give myself permission to feel joy, success, or ease. This is what this creative practice work is all about.