Working as I do; writing, drawing, sculpting, throwing requires many skills but the most important of all is surrender. I'm not talking about giving up but giving in. With all the outside distractions lately, I've had a really hard time giving in to the peace and space to create. The result: my own creative rhythm is definitely off beat.
How do I get my beat back?
I took a few steps forward last week at the wheel. This week started with some steps backward but it took those steps to make me see where I really needed to go. And, surprise, it's not spending more time cringing and complaining about what's wrong and liking the unlike able. I'm not turning my back on the situation or sticking my head in the sand, but the change I want to see in the world has to start from the inside out. Giving in before giving out.
Baby steps. Literally.
Mondays with Meyer are a joy. Meyer and I focus on the world in front of us: sorting smooth river rocks, making animal sounds, watching geese fly, catching snowflakes, singing joyful songs and scribbling with bright colors. By giving Meyer what every toddler needs, I'm giving in to myself as well. I'm connecting with my inner child, the true artist who experiences and experiments in every moment. Not every move works, sometimes you trip and fall but I can say to myself what I say to Meyer, "Oops. It's ok. Let's get up and move on."
Moving is the key.
I love to dance. In college, I took ballroom dancing and loved it. But the biggest lesson of dance isn't learning the steps, it's learning to trust. As the music plays, I had to believe in my own body to make the right steps, to trust my movement forward and backward, to give in to my own inner rhythm.
Sometimes in the studio and in life, I try to rush or push my work out because my mind gets on the worry track. I think I'm not working hard enough or fast enough or good enough. When I focus on product instead of the process, I loose my footing. Just like dancing, I've got to turn off my mind and give in to the music, movement and joy of the moment.
Whether I'm creating with my feet or hands, trust is essential. And the basis of trust is giving in to my own inner compass, listening to the true song of my soul and dancing to its unique creative rhythm.