do it. create. walk and see. cut and paste. scratch and sniff.
do whatever you have to do to feed your soul.
this is my commitment.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

be. do. have.

Saul Steinberg, 1971

I received this post card from a friend the other day and it reminded me of an excerpt from a book I had read a very long time ago: Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain.  I went to find it on my bookshelves and was immediately led to the proper page.  Gawain says,
 "Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: They try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.  The way it actually works is the reverse.  You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want."
When I first read this excerpt years ago, I remember this being a radical thought.  For various reasons I was living life in reverse.  I was spending so much time and energy running around "doing" so that I would eventually get to "have".  In my mind, true resting in who I was could happen when this was accomplished.

The irony and absolute absurdity in this, though, is that the doing never stops.  I was like a dog, chasing my tail exhausted, too busy to even think about when the having and the being might begin.  It wasn't until I stopped doing and settled into being (this is extremely difficult after a life of doing, mind you) that I realized I was doing all the things that didn't suit me (or anyone else, for that matter).

Is it any coincidence I am re-reading Brenda Ueland's book, If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Inspiration and Spirit?  Ueland says,
"(the) creative power is in all of you if you give it just a little time; if you believe in it a little bit and watch it come quietly into you; if you do not keep it out by always hurrying..."
I especially like this one too:

"...good ideas come slowly, and that the more clear, tranquil and unstimulated you are, the slower the ideas come but the better they are."
I have found this to be true over and over again.  Clarity and inspiration don't leap out like lightning bolts or as flashing neon signs pointing us in the right direction in the midst of our hustle and bustle.  Clarity and inspiration come quietly from within.  It is our job to slow down enough so that we can hear their whispers.

To read more about the benefits of being, visit these posts:

Take Five

To Be Quiet

On Vulnerability

Want to stop living life in reverse?  Need some support and encouragement? Everyone does.  There Is Space For You Here

:::: one more (FUN) thing ::::
begins in 3 days.
Join the fun (practice "being")
Come on and play along!

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