There are times when even the good vibrations in life can interfere with our creative flow and cause us some sort of anxiety. Some might think that being in a constant state of overjoy and excitement is the ultimate goal of happiness, but allow me to break the shell and say this: from my personal perspective, especially considering my predilection for creativity, a life in balance, that’s aligned to the present and to an inner purpose, is a better, more astute expression of happiness, with everything that may involve.
Come to think about it, I’ve never been fully capable of creating something – anything – while being on a rollercoaster of emotions, either good or less good. I’d always have to settle down first, recalibrate my breathing, my line of thinking, find stillness in the chaos and just be in that moment. As it turns out, happiness really is a journey, not a destination, because this balancing thing is just as you could imagine it. Everflowy.
“Just let it come out”, a timid voice would whisper to me, as the moon would silently take charge of the night sky. Here goes a night, here goes another. The voice would come back every night, with the same sweet & warm advice. Soft as it may sounded, it wasn’t. It was powerful, like the airy touch of a mother who’d caress her baby’s pains away, in the fall of an afternoon tantrum, making room for wonder and play.
My words have been resistant to me in the past few days. I stayed, I stayed and I stayed, waiting for them to show a sign of connection, for days on end. I had been distracted and in need of a break from the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been through lately, so I knew that I must pause and listen.
The birthday wave
Two weeks ago, on a Wednesday, the 17th of June, I celebrated my 31st birthday, together with my parents. 31 is a generally uninteresting odd number, but to me that day was very special, beautiful, chill and also quite emotional.
In full retrospective, it did come after a long period of social distancing (due to pandemic-related measures we all know about), of being on my own, with regular daily rounds of walking through my own thoughts. Not that I had been completely isolated, but I hadn’t felt that much human-to-human connection in a while. Which is something I’m sure many can relate to.
I was gifted with a great deal of love, attention and inspiration, to the point I had transformed myself into a big, big sponge that absorbed every pinch of emotion that came to me that day. It was then followed by a few days of regrouping myself, ruminating everything, restoring my energy. [ If there are other introverts out there, you know what I mean. ]
In a wavy sea of praise and confirmation about many things that are important to me – including and especially my writing – ironically enough, after that, I fell kind of short on the actual writing compartment. And not because it got to my head in a vain way, no-no, but it kind of left me with a paradoxical mix of gratitude and full-on pressure.
The spark of an inside monologue
All this following discourse might seem to have been triggered by people’s feedback on what I’ve been doing and putting out lately, but the actual thing that was happening was something completely different. This new journey that I embarked in felt very real to me, all of the sudden. It felt like it’s actually happening and I’m the only one accountable for that.
What I knew for sure was the fact that every connection I’ve had that day with the people in my life will eventually unfold into precious gems, sooner or later. In what shape? No idea. And that scared the seasons out of me.
Here I was, in an undeniable state of joy, excitement and yearning for a greater sense, for a meaning, with no idea how to sculpt it into something palpable. (Is this some kind of #artistsyndrome?)
“Let yourself be loved”, my inner voice would buoyantly say at some point.
“Let yourself feel all this and just be grateful. You’ll figure it out eventually.”
“Do you think that if you force words right now they’ll come tumbling down to your pen & paper?” (me, myself and I like a good sarcastic comment here and there)
“Just because you experience all these emotions now, it doesn’t mean they have also found their right words to be communicated. Be patient and stop flashing your worries in the mirror. It’ll come to you.”
“It is okay to love your craft and also feel overwhelmed, tired, in need of a break.”
“Be in this moment like it’s all you have and the shapes of letters will unlearn their silence when they’re ready.”
“Feel the love, be the love. And the writing will make its way back to you.”
Looking back, it was quite an honorable work my inside voice made there, because she was right. I know it came from a place of intuitive spirit and long-term inner grind, so I had to pay attention.
It’s a dynamic process
I often say, to myself and to others, “be kind, child” – and by this, I mean < kind both to oneself and to others >. Kindness and love take us a long way in the journey of creativity and innerscaping. They refuel our engines, they improve our vision, they sharpen our senses. And just the same, they give us the space and the time required for rekindling our spirit whenever it needs to.
But who knew that, at some point, you would need to calibrate even the good stuff in your life, right? In fact, in this specific case, it wasn’t much about the <good stuff>, as it was about the pressure that came with it. The follow-up self-questions.
It took me a few days of listening and understanding my feelings to finally scribble a few decent phrases in my head. I learned that, in my case at least, a high functioning creative power is one that comes from a balanced place. When I flow naturally, softly, my inspiration flows too.
Like many other things in life, balance doesn’t “just happen”. It’s a continuous set of learnings, inner cleaning sessions, where you make room for what’s really valuable to you and your growth. It’s about showing up everyday with as much positive attitude as you can manifest towards whatever you love doing and asking it, with the utmost respect and compassion, “are you ready to roll?”.
Some days, the answer might be “no”, other days “you again?”. Now and then it would be just plain silence. But hold our berry cheeks, breathe in, breathe out, for there will also be those days when you won’t even finish muttering the question, that you’ll be already wrapped up into a whirlpool of creative flow, passion and undivided attention to your craft. Whatever your “craft” might be.
The remains of a good lesson
This might seem as a changed course of subjects, but looking at the nature around me, no matter how expansive or minimal it might be, I see life and growth.
“To live with purpose is to live in the now”
As an observer of the way nature works, throughout its cycles of birth, growth, decay, death, rebirth, I find a great deal of inspiration and learning in the continuous rhythms of life. That is because nature is the one best showing us how to slow down, be patient, constantly nurture, live in the moment with intention, for everything moves forward, whether we like it or not, and everything happens with a reason, at its own pace.
I’ve learned to look at life through a lens of a more profound awareness of the beauty in the world and the complexity of our human spirit, and it strikes me how much of our happy state comes from nature.
Happiness is not being high on love, on success and praise all the time. Happiness slides in so diligently, so tenderly, so carefully, that when you actually realize it’s there, you’ve already been happy ten thousand times. That’s because it came in shapes of gratitude, togetherness, fulfillment, resilience, conquering inner battles, great lessons, seeing yourself get up when you fell, peace of mind, real & powerful human connections, a sense of belonging. And just as softly, it can fade away, once we break our connection with our purpose.
Finally, remember why you do what you’re doing and align your mind & spirit with it, so that you can do the best you’re able to do in this present moment. You determine what will be manifested in the future by how you show up now to whatever your goal is and how you honor the purpose that’s found within you.
I invite you to dive into a mindful, yet practical exercise that could help you formulate your purpose and what meaning you want to bring into your life, here.