If there’s one thing I can bank on, it’s that the creative process will bring ups and downs and that the holidays don’t always make it easy.
Creatively, this is “limbo” time for me and tends to creep in around this time of year after the brand new energy of the fall season kicks off and prior to the new year beginning. However, this is actually a golden time with a wonderful opportunity to work but what’s good on paper and in your mind doesn’t always make its way to the ground. Since I’m one of those bizarre people who gets my Christmas shopping done soon after the Thanksgiving turkey has been eaten, I have no excuse than to get a jump on my work during this hectic time. As people begin checking out, making their flight arrangements for family gatherings, and distracted by all of the good stuff that this time of year brings, I could be writing the great American novel. Unfortunately, I too get very distracted because I adore Christmas time. If only I could somehow manage to not stay distracted! Instead, I seem to remain in a fight with myself with each passing December day; a toss up between more Christmasing or the work that I know needs to get done because I’m the captain of my creative ship and if nothing gets written, created, followed-up on or pitched then I’ll hear yuletide crickets. Not my favorite sound, unless it’s in the middle of July and I’m sitting on evening grass looking up at summer stars. Then I love the sound of crickets. So back and forth I go: being distracted, being largely non-productive, and beating myself up about it. Why do we do this to ourselves?! Then I hear my late and beloved father’s voice whispering in my ear, reminding me about the fickle, merciless, and changeable process. Even though I know this intellectually inside and out, I forget. I forget to surrender. I forget that the holidays, being sometimes distracted, often fighting resistance, and playing a daily active role in the rest of my life is ALL a part of the process. Sometimes we think that only the written words on the page, the gig on stage or the relentless demand for social networking are the only things that count. We have to remind ourselves that it all counts: our confusion counts, our lack of self-motivation, frustration, feeling lost in our purpose, uninspired, and plain old being STUCK all count. It is all a part of the process, not just our creative process but our life process.
So while I’m a person who ‘wants it yesterday’, demands the best of myself, am a freak for control, and resist surrendering I have to stop, breathe, trust, and nudge myself to sometimes practice the opposite. Last week I tried harder to take it as it comes, accept the temporary lull and resistance, relinquish control (a little bit LOL!)- because it’s impossible and unhealthy to be in control all of the time-, and to try to…surrender to where the process wants and needs me to be. When I noticed these needed practices finding me last Friday I was able to go out to a holiday gathering with some of the most brilliant minds, spirits of incredible women and just—be. Something had finally shifted and I could wholly be present with all of it. I got into my car and blasted Earth, Wind, & Fire’s September and felt so lucky to be alive, healthy, and in the spirit of the season.
If you build it, they will come but sometimes if you let it go and trust the space in between the bars, unexpected creative holiday presents have permission to find you as well.
You might want to include, at the top of you holiday list,
“Trust the process”.
Happy, Healthy, Prosperous & Safe Holidays!!