When it comes to myself I am by nature an impatient person, always wanting everything done instantly and indeed perfectly. I have such high expectations of myself, that I think I should have all those tools I need to instantly create that amazing piece of artwork, to take the stunning shot that leaves others in awe, to write that book/poem/essay that will be treasured for years to come. I am learning that I am human, that whilst creativity comes naturally to me, I have to take the time to gather the tools I need to express myself. Like a mantra I need to repeat to myself that talents needs time and energy to grow and that this also involves being wholly committed and managing to be mindful in my learning process. I am creating a small vegetable patch for the first time this year, and those tiny seeds that I started with are teaching me exactly this lesson. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, I had to research and construct something which dovetailed with my daily life and my needs. It is a work in progress and I have to keep adding to my knowledge. I make mistakes and not everything is as successful as I would wish, but I am creating something slowly, mindfully, I am nurturing a skill to enrich my life and creating something which deeply reflects a part of myself.
The funny thing is that with others, and certainly with the children I teach, I consider myself in having that ability to nurture; I give them time, patience, safety to grow; I infuse them with the knowledge and skills they need to blossom. I never expect perfection, only to tease out the best the child has within them and to support them wholeheartedly in their adventures into adulthood.
On my creative journey I often compare myself to the amazing work and skills of others. I then sometimes feel unworthy, my own efforts lacking in comparison. That inner critic steps in and whispers that maybe I shouldn’t try at all as it will never be as beautiful/interesting/inspiring as the work of those I admire so greatly. This leads to then asking myself if I am charlatan. I am learning to listen to this voice in a different light. Having taken several creative e courses in the last months I can see a shift in my perspective at times; I am beginning to see that by gathering the work and knowledge of others I can inspire my own, magical creative process. Collecting the beauty and wisdom of others has such an important purpose - to help me find that unique style within myself, for each artist/writer is indeed unique. What I have inside is deep, personal and part of me, what I have to offer is unique. By exploring the work of others I am exploring my own creativity, nurturing it, learning to express myself. This exploration is a long, sometimes frustrating, sometimes heavenly journey. The riches lie in this adventure and not always in the result that I push myself so hard for. I must grasp that intention to nurture, which I apply in my teaching role, to now teach that creative goddess within.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson