I was sitting at this very computer almost two hours ago. My hands were stuck, my mind wasn’t going anywhere and my body just said: STOP. Sometimes we just have to give into that feeling and surrender, because when your body feels ready for it again, it will tell you. Like it told me. I watched a Dutch tv-series called Cheating (Overspel). It is very exciting (it’s not just about cheating, or it is, but not only in love affairs) and it took me completely from this world. Into the next. And I loved it. When the episode was over, I got up and I managed to do what I came for. BAM. That’s how energy works. Give into the energy that shows itself.
The energy that goes into the world, you put into a person, in a relationship or a business, how does that energy flow? Do you get the energy back? And how much energy are you supposed to get back? I have been struggling with this, too, because especially when you are trying to create something with other people, how much energy are you supposed to put into the project and should you expect anything back?
For me, I am a person that commits 213,5 per cent. If I decide to do something, I can’t do it half. Or slack. The occasional moment I do run out of energy and sit back, I feel guilty or restless. I want things to work out, be the best at everything and like the Dalai Lama said (I have read it today in the Flow calender): if you want change, you have to do something. That’s what I do, I do. You can also call it eager.
The problem with this, however, is that I expect others to not slack and try their best at everything either. This is a problem, because that same level of enthusiasm and dedication is almost never equal. Sometimes others are more eager (at these moments I feel guilty, wanting to dedicate myself even more), most times others try less. This is when things go awry.
Particularly things go bad in my head. I feel irritated and think: maybe I should care less too. Or expect less from others, but when the rewards come, I don’t want things to get split up unevenly. I want rewards after my effort. Well, that never happens, because things get hyped, some work gets more credit than others. Most of all I get disappointed, mostly of myself, but of others too. All I can seem to think: once I stop giving a fuck, good luck with getting that back. That’s what I am in right now, the ‘fuck’ is slipping away. I would rather invest in something that meets my expectations. Or is that too much to ask?
This weekend I really wanted to do my 365 days project, but the funny thing happened. I was at this festival and my phone went dead during the days, but I didn’t want to go online. I was there, and that was okay. Even more happened. A guy who wanted to change his gas tank while still cooking got shipped off to the hospital. So much for the bad news. For the rest I danced, we danced, we laughed, we drank beer, we danced, and we drank some more. We slept little, we enjoyed the sun and the water. We moved through the crowds, we stood in lines and we celebrated the happiness that appeared in the strangest of places.
Richart Llover, an artist who does energy art, painted t-shirts on stage in the theater area and I can tell you, experiences like that make my heart tick. Firstly, he listened to my energy and based on that he painted my t-shirt with the colors to match the energy inside of me. While he talked to get me focused and to get the energy in the right place, I got this feeling of peace and tranquility. It’s something that happens to me every now and then. You might call it vague. Or hippie-esque. For me it’s pure happiness. I get these moments particular when the energy is talking and not the mind. That’s pure gold.
Yesterday I introduced myself for our new Dutch audience at DIY creatives and one of our self asked questions was: How do you stay creative? There is not much to it for me, although it does take time and energy, but the best tip I can give my dear readers: work. Or as the once great Macy Gray sang: how will you ever make it if you never even try?
Another sentence that keeps me going and trying is the one saying that every master of anything was an amateur once. Nobody gets born knowing how to ride a bicycle. Some learn faster than others, of course, but we can all learn to ride the bicycle in our own unique way.
Flow. It’s a useful but particularly vague word to describe an experience, you would only recognize once you are in it yourself. My flow is in a rut today, or at least, mostly during the day, tapping away on my computer. My flow makes itself known in the morning, when I step out of the bed and my head rebooted. Not like this morning, when it was still filled with the shit of yesterday.
Yesterday morning, on the other hand, was a very good moment for my flow. I have this little black Moleskine book that I use for ideas, beginning of articles and stories, and everyday frustrations (to write them down that is, I would never throw my Moleskine around). More and more pages are scribbled on, because man, we have started this new online community (which will be an offline one too, some day) and I am thrilled!
Go to DIY creatives if you want to look at pretty pictures. It’s in Dutch, so if you master our language, please go and read some blogs and tell me what you think. We are always open for new ideas and practices on everything that has to do with diy and cooking.
The thing is, I was racing through life and although I did manage to get more creative stuff into my life, it was still very little and I really had to take time to get in the mood and that flow that I have been talking about. But since I have opened up to this idea and the prospect of going through life as a fulltime diy-person (very scary to say these dreams out loud, I can tell you), the new ideas and energy just come flowing in. I have no idea what’s happening to me!
Of course, life can still be a challenge, I mean, I am not fulltime diy-er yet, I have to make do with the ordinary stuff. And even if I fulfill my dream, disappointments and setbacks will always happen, it’s part of life, as they say, but it’s nice, to put yourself out there, try new stuff and getting into the flow.
Writers often go into solitude, to have quality time to write and edit their story. Painters might do the same, because without quality time with their still white canvas, nothing will be sold (or, perhaps, it’s so innovative, it might as well). I can go on here, because we all need a little me-time to get really productive, but communities, real or imaginary, are a force we shouldn’t downplay.
Let’s start with an example of the WordPress community. You know I recently got nominated for the Liebster Award for starting WordPress-bloggers, and I am very proud to be part of that community. Not only because I appreciate people reading my blog and enjoying it too, but because I get in touch with the people behind the blogs. I get to know them through the questions I asked. Apart from that I went on reading the nominations from other people, and found more nice blogs and people.
Because of this interaction, I didn’t only write this post, but I also feel I have to reciprocate the energy people put in my blog by reading it. Reciprocity may sound some what negative, but it really isn’t for me, because we all have to give and take. If we only put effort in and get nothing back, it will feel very alone in the end and loneliness is in general not great for creativity.
Why not? Because for me, the feeling of ‘why am I doing this in the first place‘ will prevail. I am not saying it will always prevail in the end. Perhaps a little bit of loneliness will bring me the inspiration I need. But it can also happen that I start to doubt myself when I am lonely, because, if my message doesn’t resonate, how well am I connected with the people around me.
On top of that, when my message does resonate within a community, there is not only the physical comment or interaction which makes me feel the blog is worth it. There is also an energy that comes back. A force to fuel me and encourage me to write more, to paint more and to create more.
Sure, we shouldn’t only be driven by the forces of other people, because in the end we all need to create our own world. We need to create the art that feels good for us and makes us convey the message we want. But, although we should listen to our own energy and feelings to make our own presence, we can take the energy of the community to help us get there.
A long story short: dear people, big hug for you. Thanks for coming here and reading this!