I’m here to tell you that life is tough.
Maybe not for everyone, and certainly not all of the time.
But for most of us, challenges arise. There could be any number of reasons for this, and I’m not here to speculate on who has it worse than someone else – as we all carry within us our own unique filters upon how we perceive the world.
So given that my own life has had its fair share of headaches…and I know many others who are going through rough times right now as well, I say that instead of escaping it, denying it or trying to “cope”…
And why might you want to entertain this idea?
Because we humans fare better when we’re inspired. When we’re productive, constructive and busy.
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying about how an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. See, that’s because when we’re left to chew on our bullshit, we don’t actually spit it out. We swallow it – and it becomes a part of who we are inside.
An idle mind left to ruminate and worry isn’t solution oriented. It’s focused on problems. These problems, most of the time (if not always) are nothing more than stories.
Sitting around and allowing them to permeate through our consciousness leads to some crazy shit – such as additional stories of the past, other people (who you may not have even been in contact with for eons) and scenarios that have been bottled up – lying dormant within you coming to the surface to let you know that life and everyone in it sucks even worse than you thought it did just a few short minutes ago.
Then you take this out into the world and react to those feelings…and it only goes downhill from there.
In addition to that, it’s easy to subscribe to a victim-based mentality in a politically correct society because the environment is filled with people who watch everything they say, withhold their truth and walk on eggshells around others.
It becomes sort of contagious.
Being soft, weak and afraid to speak our truth has become the new norm. It’s how society operates now – and when we’re surrounded by group-thought and their subsequent behavior, we become it – whether we realize it or not.
So basically, when the shit hits the fan, while stillness can be an asset and a way to calm the fuck down and observe yourself…you’re better off doing this wisely – and then getting busy.
Just Create Something, DAMMIT
I don’t know if this is a good thing or not (because I’m sort of in a non-judgmental place right now), but I’ve read over 115 books in the last year.
That’s right. Since last June, I’ve read close to 120 books – most being full-length novels along with a few novellas (yes, novellas…that’s a thing – who knew?).
Some might wonder where I’d have the time to indulge in this addiction of mine.
What can I say?
I stay up (way too) late and get lost in stories.
It’s amazing how much one can learn about people and the human condition through the eyes of others – even when it’s fiction.
Life is strange – and so are people.
There are some major asshats out there (although I didn’t need a book to enlighten me about this), but in truth, there are amazing people out there as well.
That being said, there are some issues that occur in our lives that threaten our well-being, our sanity, our sense of humanity – and sometimes our lives.
I brought all of this up because I’m currently reading “Beneath A Scarlet Sky” by Mark Sullivan – a story about the Holocaust (just ONE of many atrocious acts against mankind).
The book centers around seventeen-year-old Pino Lella and how he saved refugees by taking them to safety out of Italy to Switzerland (which was just the start of his journey) along with many other accounts of his selfless and heroic acts in an effort to help end the tyranny of the Nazis.
I’m about 30% of the way through it (just started last night), but I’ve gotten something valuable out of it already.
As the towns, buildings and people of Italy were being bombed…
During what transpired as one of the most hellish times on Earth for Humanity…
People were still finding ways to enjoy themselves.
There were a few occasions when this happened. One taking place shortly after the death of a young child due to a bomb being planted in his yard, another while some of the people had ventured out of town to avoid the increasing violence and devastation happening in their neighborhoods.
These individuals knew their lives were in danger. Everything that had ever represented safety, security and homeostasis were being ripped away from them – day by day, minute by minute.
Personally, I can’t even imagine the horror of it all – especially knowing this actually happened – along with so many other heartbreaking and devastating events happening – even today.
Humans can be so incredibly cruel toward one another – especially when there’s a “follow the leader” mentality dominating over using discernment and critical thinking.
But the thing is, what I got from all of this is that while we can’t always (immediately) control what’s going on, we can still find a way to do something to relieve the pain and just be alive.
Creating is a way to live even while the world around us falls apart.
As far as I know, Humanity may, in some ways, be experiencing a possible shift/ an elevation of consciousness (or at least, I seriously hope so). However, there appear to be quite a few fucktards left on the planet – and they ain’t looking to be too friendly to the rest of us.
So, what do we do?
How do we respond to the chaos that envelopes the human experience?
By using our imagination and finding a way to LIVE – even if it’s just for a short while.
Now I know the scenario I described above is severe. YOU may be dealing with the breakup of a relationship, financial issues, rejection, identity crisis or a pesky hangnail.
Regardless of what it is, to YOU, it feels like the end of the world sometimes.
Maybe, in a way, it is (except for the hangnail). Perhaps something in your world has reached the end of its rope. Could be the end of a path that no longer serves you.
Maybe someone you love is gone now and the days are blanketed with storm clouds that never seem to pass.
While some of these things will leave a permanent indentation or scar in your life from here on out…one thing that remains true is that you’re still here.
And if you’re still here, then why not LIVE!
Life is a kick in the gut sometimes. Just when things seem all nice and smooth…
Something comes along and pulls the rug from under you.
We’ve all experienced it – and as long as we’re alive, chances are, it’ll happen again in some way, shape or form (although maybe not so dramatic next time).
Are you gonna sit around and ruminate? Because if you do, I promise you’ll never run out of things to worry about.
Maybe the real test in life is to see which of us can become diamonds. With enough pressure, who knows what’s inside our shell?
But this doesn’t mean to stay in fight or flight mode at all times.
Even the strongest among us need some rest.
So with this, I say find something to enjoy.
And creativity, in my humble opinion, is one of the most effective ways to find joy.
Creativity in a Nutshell
You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. All you have to do is have an open mind, something of a “yes man” mentality and a willingness to step outside of your issues for a while and just be productive.
Creativity can involve just about anything.
You don’t even have to be good at something. In fact, you can suck at whatever you’re doing. If it makes you happy, then you’re golden.
Take a look at children who start coloring.
They create what conditioned grown ups see as imperfect works of art. No rhyme or reason to what their imaginations or skill levels inspire them to create.
They’re so proud of what they’ve accomplished – wanting nothing more than to be shown some love and appreciation for their efforts.
And then we adults criticize them and tell them how their work “should” be done instead of allowing them to find these things out for themselves and make their own adjustments – perhaps having been inspired by seeing the work of others instead and using this as guidance.
We also become so attached to whatever results we wish to achieve – usually to experience a sense of gain.
I know I’ve encountered frustration regarding my own work – not because of the work itself or the journey involved in creating something…but in not getting what I feel I should get in return or becoming “successful.”
We’re such a result’s oriented society that the journey goes unnoticed and unappreciated unless our expectations and needs are met. And while sure, we have to support ourselves and take care of meeting those responsibilities, it’s unfortunate that we can’t just let go and have some fun in the process with the simple act of doing.
I’ve used my kitchen as a way to step away from my darker times. Sometimes I’d whip up something great. Other times, well, not so much.
But regardless, each time I immersed myself in creativity, I was transported to a world of unlimited possibilities, even if just for a short while. Sometimes a new perspective would show up that offered a solution I hadn’t thought of before. Other times I just felt better for a short period of time, which was enough to make me happy.
It’s the act of living instead of just “being alive.” And it can mean the difference between suffering from the challenges of life as opposed to responding consciously and with benevolence.
I know of plenty of others who have dealt with some painful things recently. I also know that if it weren’t for creativity, there would be no light for them whatsoever.
In fact, someone close to me recently encountered a number of challenges. She’s one of the strongest people I know – and this, at least in part, has to do with the fact that when things get her down, she responds by immersing herself in her art and her garden.
She has no formal skills as an artist, yet she’s created hundred of different pieces of work. She became inspired on her own – and regardless of whether one of her pieces sells or not, she gets lost in her imagination and allows this to transport her to a world filled with color, beauty, and wonder.
So, being the creative type myself, I went ahead and made this for her – especially since for people who love to paint, they would likely say this is true for them as well.
If you like to work with colors, plants, food, words, hair, music, furniture, wood – and/ or anything else – I say just do something.
And if you aren’t sure what makes your heart sing, then give yourself the gift of discovering what makes you tick and keep an open mind.
When life screws with you, you may not be able to direct your world in its entirety, but you do have free will to observe and respond.
I say, respond intelligently by choosing joy as often as possible.
Creativity is the path that will lead you there (click the shirt for more info).
You can find my designs on Teespring – where I currently have a couple of storefronts.
I’ve never formally learned graphic design – and I’m only in the beginning stages of this journey – wherever it’ll take me.
But I don’t let the doubt stop me from playing.
The way I see it, I either let the child within me out to play in full consciousness…or I allow the angry repressed inner brat to dominate my existence.
The choice is mine.
It’s yours as well.
Until next time, take care.
Visit my stores on teespring!