When the Going Gets Tough…

I met the show stopper this week.

It all began innocently enough. It was week 5 of working with the “fantastic checklist” of affirmations by creativity coach Eric Maisel:  “I will choose and commit”.

At first, creative ideas milled around in my mind like the opening hours of a party: guests scanning the room to see who has arrived and who they are with…clusters beginning to form, some loud, some subdued… the host wandering by with a tray of Hors d’ Ovres fresh from the oven.

For awhile, I enjoyed observing all of these ideas. But soon, there were simply too many conversations happening at once, all of them competing for my attention.

By Saturday, the party had worn out its welcome. I was downright grumpy. And when I couldn’t find the right screwdriver to remove the bobbin case from my sewing machine, I wanted to throw something. Anything.

Instead, I decided to slow down and focus only on cleaning and oiling the machine. I needed time to think. I needed some kind of meditation so that I could calm down and consider.

Snippets of dialogues during the week gathered quietly. “Are you getting time to read?”  “The thing about bean counters is that they are great at playing with numbers, but not so good at taking action.”  “When are they finally going to admit that we are in a depression?”  “I will choose and commit.”


It was just a tiny voice. No. Taking courage in the silence, the voice grew louder. NO!




This is when I asked the mediator to step in. I offered up a quote that I had read earlier this morning in Sara Susanka’s “the not so big life: making room for what really matters”:
“The fulfillment of our life is to see life objectively, to see what’s really there…Life is the expression and fulfillment and celebration of beauty. This is what we are here for. We’re not here for anything else.”    A.H. Almaas

The Not So Tiny Voice offered another quote:
“CLUTTER is anything that stands in the way of living the life that you want.” Author unknown.

At this point, the clever mediator pointed out that we had something in common: we were both concerned about the quality of life.  We differed in how to get there.

I have been so busy relishing ideas, capturing ideas, getting fit for the journey and trying to orient toward my creativity that I forgot to consider the big picture…the other things in my life that were crying out for attention. The dirty house. The unfinished office space in the studio. The windows that needed trimming.

Instead, I have been amassing great amounts of raw materials for art. Including ideas. But clearly, I am not ready for commitment. Even choosing is impossible.

There are too many choices…too much clutter.

At this, the Not So Tiny Voice took her hands off her hips and placed them behind her. I sat down in the unfinished red chair.

Creativity is not just about making art. It’s about applying the principles of beauty to my whole life…life as art.  I haven’t been paying attention to the building frenzy of activity…the atmosphere of chaos just below the surface of my daily list making. I need to slow down.

Whatever it takes. I need to slow down.

I need to revisit my priorities with vitality in mind and redefine the list  of choices. Then, choosing and committing will be an option and the show can go on.

Wondering how Kelly is managing to choose and commit? Read her blog here.

8 Thoughts

  1. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

    1. Dearest Charity… sorry for my late reply! Your comment went to my spam folder for some reason. I am quite surprised that you found my blog via Yahoo news… I didn’t do anything to link it there. Mostly, I just trust that my blog goes out into the ethers and finds whomever will get something from it! Glad you enjoyed.

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