"Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories since I heard my first. They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything - we need only listen."
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
Week in Review: 1.1.16-1.7.16
I'm doing an experiment in creativity. For 2016, I will build using LEGO blocks everyday. I'm doing this experiment for several reasons and will write about those later. Right now, I want to reflect on how the first week has gone and the daily process.
I almost didn't start. Even though I had sorted and organized my LEGO blocks and had the plan, I was scared. I'm not that great at just coming up with things to build. I really like the LEGO Kits. They tell me what to do and I can create amazing things. I actually had bought a LEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop that I assembled in December. I remember as I was following the guide that I was so amazed by how things were turning out. But then I started freaking out thinking about my upcoming experiment that I could never put together anything good at all. I would have never thought to do it that way. I didn't even know that's how that piece was used. When I play with LEGO blocks sans instructions, it is usually only with nieces or nephews or with play therapy clients, and I would usually build one of two things - a house or a car. That was it. And here I was comparing myself to this amazing kit and feeling like I should scrap the whole project.
Then I had to flip it. Thanks to Brené Brown and my training as a Certified Daring Way Facilitator™, I knew that comparison is a block to creativity. I knew I had to be inspired by this fabulous Winter Toy Shop, but I could not expect myself to do that or compare what I was planning on doing to it. So I still didn't want to move forward on the project but I started to think differently and as I was putting the shop together. If I was instructed to use a piece in a way I would never have thought of, I chose to be inspired instead of feel inadequate to do my experiment.
January 1, 2016 arrives. I still don't want to do it. This is going to be stupid. People are going to think it's dumb. Maybe I should just do it and not share (although I felt I had been given clear direction to create and share, more on that another time). So in procrastination, I decided to pull a creativity quote from a mason jar. What you say? My dear friend and artist Kathy Ericksen (who blogs at https://kathyericksen.wordpress.com) gifted me last Christmas with a jar she had filled with quotes on creativity.
I actually had used up the whole jar doing another project in July where I read a quote each day and did a Zentangle. When she heard they were gone of course I unexpectedly received another batch! So I pulled a quote and it read:
"When you awaken your inner giant you will find a passion that fear can't touch." -Gwen Fox.
As I procrastinated more with prayer and meditation it hit me - why can't I use the quote for inspiration? Why am I being mean and hard on myself thinking I have to create something new from thin air? We are always inspired and using what we know so I gave myself permission to use the quote as a platform. And I couldn't think of a better quote as I was definitely feeling the fear. And so I created my first day. The only other inspiration I was using was thinking about mandala design. When I was building the LEGO Toy Shop I was thinking there is no way I can build things tall and make them look good. And then I thought of mandala patterns, I can stay low with those and that could work. I love coloring and have many mandala coloring books. So with my quote and thought of mandalas and my LEGO blocks, I created. And then I took a picture (or lots of pictures as I was gifted a camera for Christmas by my amazing husband who supports my crazy creative endeavors and knew I would need better tools) and fearfully put it on Instagram. I had no followers at this point but with hashtags after a few minutes I already had some likes. Okay I did it.
I won't go into detail about each day, so let me just share some highlights of what I've learned so far:
-I really like it when after reading the quote I have an idea of just what to do. Day 2 was so fun. I knew I wanted to do a garden and I LOVED how it turned out.
-I do not like it when I have no idea what to do even after reading the quote. However, those days have really surprised me by how an idea formed while I was messing around and playing with the LEGO blocks. How I started was not how I finished and the idea came to me mid-placing blocks. Super cool.
-The quotes have been amazing and for someone starting something new they are sweet moments of guidance, courage, serendipity that keep pushing me on and so I am trying to stay out of fear and trust in this process. Also seemingly small comments from friends or learning others like LEGO blocks help more than people know.
-I still have the negative self-talk, I wonder if it will ever stop. Sure you have turned out some ok creations but how the heck are you going to do 358 more!!! You are going to run out of ideas. How dare you play with LEGO blocks when others are working and cleaning (thank you hubby), have small kids and no time for themselves (hello most of my friends), and then all the suffering in the world and people with no homes or being abused and it goes on. This is so dumb and a waste of time. Okay, you get the idea. But I feel something and it's bringing me joy and I'm taking risks and I'm playing and I'm being vulnerable and I'm seeing wonder and I hope I'm inspiring. I have been given a feeling that helping others express their creativity is a piece of my journey and building with LEGO blocks is about so much more. And did I mention it's fun.
Okay, that's enough for now. Can't wait to share more soon, including more about what's in a name.
As for comments, do you like to play with LEGO blocks? Do you prefer the kits or just building whatever comes to mind? Would love to hear about your experiences as definitely an encouragement.
If you want to follow my daily creations be sure to check me out on instagram at DaringDiscoveries (click on the camera icon below).
In case you aren't on Instagram to see them daily with some possible musings, you can catch up below.