Welcome to Tuesday’s with Chel.
Each week Chel Micheline of Gingerblue will offer her perspectives on our Bliss Habits. Please enjoy the wisdom and clarity she offers.
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
Welcome to Week Three of Exploring Intention!
If you’re new to this series, feel free to check out the first three posts in the “Exploring Intention” series.
But here’s a bit of backstory:
Three weeks ago, I started “Exploring Intention” in an effort to begin a daily practice of intention and observe the effects it had on my life. This week I’ll be talking a little bit about setting intentions for creativity.
But first, some thoughts on intention itself…:
From my introductory “Exploring Intention” post , I compared intention to a car’s GPS system:
“Much like a GPS, if you tell your “internal sense of intention” where you’d like to go, it will (usually) tell you the reliable steps you need to get to that place- it’s honestly that simple…
The key is to continually engage in this process. Move forward, one step at a time. Setting an intention for something and then not taking any action is basically an exercise in futility. However, the more we connect with our internal sense of intention, and the more we take the time to listen to what it has to say, the closer we will move towards our goals.”
As I worked on setting intentions for joy, order, and creativity this week, I realized that not only was my “inner sense of intention” making suggestions, but my inner critic was also chiming in on a regular basis. I suppose we all struggle with an inner critical voice. But the minute I started even working on formulating an intention, my inner critic would pop up and have something snarky to say about it.
As I set my intentions each day, and I would feel myself starting to move in the right direction, I would start feeling a sense of “I shouldn’t be doing _____, I should be doing _____, because it’s the responsible and productive thing to do”.
I realized that those “should”s and “supposed to”s were coming from my inner critic. It’s sort of like having a GPS system in your car that tells you “you idiot, you shouldn’t even consider the destination you punched in. Here’s where you *should* be going” and then takes it upon itself to reprogram your route for you.
So this week I worked on separating the two sources of information that would pop up when I set an intention. It was a little difficult at first, but I realized that the information that my “inner sense of intention” was sending me was usually something that evoked a positive reaction. Following those suggestions brought me more satisfaction and a feeling of progress. The inner critic stuff? That was usually empty and guilt-inducing and, if anything, took me further from my goals. For example: some days when I sit down at my desk to work on something creative, I suddenly feel like instead, I *really* should be taking care of other things- paperwork, stuff around the house, etc. So I run off to do that thinking if I get that stuff done first, I will feel a sense of relief and be able to create freely. The truth is, attending to all that other stuff (laundry, bills, dishes, dinner, another swim) just allows me procrastinate more. It would have been better if I just sat at my desk, took out a piece of paper, and made some marks on it.
What about you? Do you have an inner critic? Are you able to easily separate your inner critic from your “inner sense of intention”?
Setting an intention for creativity:
This week on Bliss Habits, the focus is on “Creativity”.
Creativity means different things to each of us. For some of us, it’s already an essential part of our daily lives. Others wish for more time and space to explore creativity. And others admire it from afar, but don’t feel like it’s a part of their life at the moment.
As I have been saying throughout this series: The most important definition of “creativity” is YOUR OWN definition of “creativity”. What does creativity mean to you? What is your idea of an ideal creative life?
And as I have said before, one of the basic rules of intention is being completely honest about where your starting point is. Just as a GPS system in your car needs to know your current location so it can get you to where you want to go, your “inner sense of intention” needs the same accurate information so it can lead you in the right direction towards your goals.
For me, creativity is a tough subject at the moment. I am an artist, so creativity has played a significant role in my daily life for a very long time. But I’ve been having a lot of difficulty with my creativity these last few months- lots of creative blocks, and lots of sitting in my art studio staring into space, lots of running off to attend to other things.
I came into this week thinking that my intention would be really simple- more scheduled time for creativity, less distractions. But it wasn’t that easy.
I realized that before I set an intention for creativity, I really had to take some time to figure out exactly where I stand in relation to my creativity. Even though I’m an artist, I truly had NO IDEA what my current position was. That was a little startling, to say the least.
So, I started by asking myself some basic questions:
– Why have I been having so many creative blocks?
– Why do I lose interest in the projects I take on before they are complete?
– Why can’t I find my focus?
– Why does anything remotely creative seem like such a chore these last few months?
As soon as I wrote down the questions, I realized the only way to find the answers would be to spend part of the week observing my approach to creativity. And it didn’t take long to realize that my issues weren’t with creativity, or how much time I take to be creative, or how many creative projects I have going, or my approach to creativity.
Instead, my issue was with perfection.
I feel like this was a huge breakthrough for me. For months I have been trying to just “work through” my creative blocks, but I never bothered to try and take a look at the block itself.
As a result of this discovery, I realized that my intention *shouldn’t* be about moving towards more creativity (scheduling more time for creativity, trying new techniques, forcing myself to focus on one project until it’s complete, etc.) but instead the intention should be about tackling my need for perfection in creative projects.
To be honest, I’m not sure where this new intention will take me, but I’m feeling VERY open to the possibilities. And I finally feel like I’m on the right track, moving in the right direction. It may take me longer to reach some of my original goals, but I feel confident that this is the correct way in which to move towards them.
If you’re pretty confident on where you stand with creativity, ask yourself the following question every day this week:
What is ONE thing that you can do today to bring more creativity into your life? (And feel free to switch this up, like I did. My question will be “what is one thing that I can do today to tackle my need for perfection in creative projects?” Even as I write that, I feel a huge surge of ideas popping up- scribbling, doodling, finger painting, limiting my supplies, drawing with my eyes closed, etc.)
And don’t forget to consider JOY and ORDER when choosing that one creative thing! I’ve been trying to build on each Bliss Habit as I make new intentions. It’s been a fun process.
And if you have a bigger intention in place for your life (such as a big future goal) how can a daily intention for more creativity fit in with that? Is there something related to order that you can do today that will move your closer to your destination?
And tomorrow, your goal is to start again. Just make a simple intention to have a more creative day than the one you had before. It doesn’t have to be anything huge- just one simple thing that’s *slightly* creative. That’s all it takes- one simple step.
– Does your inner critic interfere when you set an intention? How can you make the distinction between the voice of your inner critic and the suggestions of your “inner sense of intention”?
– Take some time to examine the concept of “creativity” and come up with your own definition.
– Figure out your “starting location” when it comes to creativity- what is your idea of a fulfilling and creative life?
– Ask yourself “what is ONE thing I can do today to bring more creativity into my life?”
– Can your daily intentions for creativity connect with a larger intention that you may have for you life? How so?
– Don’t forget to consider JOY and ORDER when making your intentions 🙂
– Start all over again tomorrow and continue making small steps all week.
How’s it going?
I would LOVE to hear your intentions (if you care to share them), as well as some things that bring a sense of creativity into *your* world. And do you struggle with perfection, as well? How do you get past that? I’d love to hear any suggestions as I tackle my own need for perfection.