How to get from Point A to Point B

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When my daughter was a toddler and easily distracted by puddles and dandelions, I complained to a friend that there was no straight line between Point A and Point B, no clear path from the car seat to the front door, from the front door to the kitchen.

 

“There is no Point A or Point B,” she replied. The world is not flat, the mind is not linear. We impose structure to create order out of the chaos of time and space. While most of us would do well to stop and smell the dandelions, we’re more often distracted by our smartphones, interrupted by broken appliances and other tasks we believe need our attention now.

 

When I asked my Facebook friends what kept them from their creative work, I received the following responses:

  • The inner critic

  • Increased work hours

  • Turning around from the drive to a writing class because my 13 year old called to say our puppy is sick

  • Being a “professional” creative eats all the time and energy for “hobby” creative

  • Scrambling for work, primary caregiver for my kiddo

  • I feel no one will get my work

  • A tough critique or two on my manuscripts

  • Money money money

  • Space in my head that coincides with time on my calendar.

  •  All the OTHER stuff

 

Given that we’re all busy and most of us wear multiple hats, how can we possibly get from Point A to Point B in our creative lives?  How do we cross that threshold, find the time, space, and attention to take the first small steps to lead us on our way? And once we’ve cleared the outer obstacles, how do we move beyond the inner obstacles of resistance and fear?

 

Creative calling is a tricky thing. In the Hebrew Bible, when God calls on Moses to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt to the Promised Land, Moses says, no way. He foresees the unpleasantness that would ensue once they set out on their journey, not to mention the forty years of wandering. It’s the same for artists. We know what we’re in for and we resist. So how do we get our foot out the door, despite our multiple responsibilities.

 

1) Make time and space to listen for what’s calling, open to it, and accept it as your responsibility. Stop the tidal wave of busyness long enough to get clear about the deeper purpose of your life.

 

2) Get one small action toward your creative goal on the calendar, and build the rest of your week around that. If the only time you have for creative work is Saturday morning, schedule it. If you show up every Saturday morning, your work will build.

 

3) Realize the value of your contribution and take exquisite care of yourself. The muse likes good food, naps, and long walks in the woods.

 

4) Repeat the process often and as needed.

 

 


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