I have a(nother) confession to make: I really suck at drawing or painting of any kind (except maybe house or wall-painting, I got that shizzle down!). I have had 12-year-olds laugh at my simplistic attempt at drawing a koala. And just to put it into perspective: they were Japanese 12-year-olds who had never seen a koala for real. Yep. I am firmly in the 'stick figure' category in terms of talent for realism.
But I LOVE drawing and painting! It's fun, it's messy and thanks to the Jackson Pollocks of the world, there are pretty much no rules whatsoever.
I also am pretty sure I suck at mountain-biking. But gee it's fun. And thankfully I have friends who don't judge me on what a wimp I am or if I end up walking my bike 60% or more of the way.
I also had a friend whose dance moves were of the Peter Garrett school in terms of coordination (for those born after '82 - here's a link to check out what I am talking about), but I loved working the dance floor with them, not because they made me look good by comparison (that's arguable anyway!) but because they had fun and no judgement of it. They embraced it and invited the world to embrace it too.
Which brings me to the point (I think). Have you noticed when you do things for the fun of it and not the judgement, reward or for any other reason, life gets happier? And then this other weird thing happens too... the stuff you 'suck' at can become a source of greatness.
Think about it - how many people do you know (especially in social media) who joyfully embrace not being good at something the way it's "supposed" to be done and end up spurring creativity, joy, fun and letting go of having to "get it right" in other people's worlds as a result?
So the next time you think of stopping yourself from doing something fun because you "suck" at it... just remember: Trump did it, and nothing you do is gonna come close to that trainwreck!
I figured it was about time for another writing-themed blog, and thought, let's start with a light and airy topic, just for fun. So of course - Writers Block!
One thing that I never 'believed' in is Writer's Block. Addiction to procrastination--absolutely! Not in the 'mood' or 'zone'--sure. But an actual big ol' block with absolutely nothing to say? Nope!! Until it happened. Ugh. Really? Suddenly I have become the stereotypical image of a struggling writer, staring at that blank page for hours, bloodshot eyes, misery everywhere, no sleep, joy or words to be found anywhere!!!! "Oh god, why? WHYYYYYY???" etcetera.
And then one day, at a totally unrelated event about a totally unrelated thing, someone talked about how they used to fear going blank in front of an audience - and a cool tool for getting over it (all creds to Dr Dain Heer for this one!):
What if those moments you think are 'blank' actually occur when the total opposite is happening to you? What if, you are actually getting a LOT of information / ideas/ words / things to say, but you have just misinterpreted it as blank?
Now, as writers, you may already be seeing how this actually can be applied to writing. How many times have you sat down and thought you had writing block and nothing was coming out right, or coming out of that brain of yours at all; and maybe, just maybe, you actually have heaps and heaps and heaps of ideas all coming in at once, but you think that would feel different, right? Like, nicer, fluffier, with little angels whispering things in your ear, or lightbulbs going off, or that 'flash' or inspiration people talk about, and definitely not blank or blocky--but well, just... what if ? Right? Ok, so now you might be willing to consider the possibility that blank or blocked in not what it appears to be, here is the next part of the tool.
Even if you think I am full of bulldust on this, do it anyway, just try it.
Ok, so the next time you have, 'Oh my god my mind has gone blank,' or 'Geez Louise, I can't think of a word to start typing with!' going on, say this to yourself: "Wow, I have so many things coming into my head right now, I am not sure which to go with."
That's part one. The next part is going, 'Ok mind/brain/magical receptors of creative and inspirational thoughts and ideas that I mistakenly judged as malfunctioning, show me two or three things I could write / say right now."
And then, whatever comes into your brain, no matter how weird, or irrelevant or silly you think it is... PICK ONE AND JUST GO WITH IT. No time for thinking, no time for 'Well this wasn't what I had in mind.' Just start--start typing, start talking, whichever is appropriate for the situation.
The worst thing about starting any journey is refusing to take the first steps. As a dear friend once said to me, "If you start driving your car south, only to find out your destination is north, you are still closer to getting there than if you were still idling in your driveway."
It is the same with writing. Even if you start writing in the 'wrong' direction, you are closer than if you never start. AND... the brilliance of this tool, is you begin to trust the little random sparks that come up. You actually start to listen to them instead of judging them, which over time can lead you to all kinds of amazing ideas, inspirations and realisations. I love, love, love this tool. And I never, ever, ever run out of things to say or write.
Til next time!
I stumbled across this article I sent out in a newsletter in 2013. I wrote it during my first trip to the USA since I was born, and ironically, right in the midst of the dying throes of a relationship.... I guess you really can find peace anywhere if you choose! Please enjoy and I hope it contributes something to you today...
I am sitting in an apartment looking down as snow falls on Manhattan, New York (oh, wow, I am in New York!!!). I can hear road-works, car horns sounding several times a minute and the occasional person or workman yelling an exclamation. It’s a familiar sound-scape for a lot of cities I suppose.
And as I sit here wondering what I could write that would contribute to you and the world today, this sense of peace suddenly emanates and expands all around me and through me. Wow, being peaceful in a big, chaotic city – what a cool and unexpected thing!
I remember when I was in school, the concept of ‘peace’ was not really talked about as a being; it was presented as an opposite to ‘war’, so in my mind I defined peace as something external to me - like when your country’s army is not fighting with another country’s army. And from my parent’s point of view, ‘peace’ went with ‘quiet’, as in the peace and quiet of the rare occasions where my sister and I would not be running, yelling, singing, laughing and squabbling at the top of our lungs. So, in other words, peace was this rather boring (because what 6 year old wants to be quiet?) and generally irrelevant (as Australia was not a battlefield at war) idea to me. As I think back on it, it’s funny how easily we can create so many kinds of bizarre ideas and definitions based on what people say!
And today as I am sitting here listening to the sounds of New York, and inviting this totally different way of being, allowing a total sense of ease in my body, no thoughts, anxieties or worries in my mind (thankfully I have stopped going ‘oh my gosh, what’s wrong?’ when my mind gets empty these days!) and I am wondering if this is more of peace as it can truly be? It seems so much greater than how I defined it as a child.
A quick look at the online Merriam-Webster dictionary for a definition has yielded a few results for the “official” view of peace:
1. - State of tranquillity or quiet
2. - Freedom from disturbance
3. - Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
4. - Harmony in personal relations
Now, it seems to me there is truth to some of that – not giving myself a hard time with oppressive thoughts certainly is a kindness to me, and it’s great when people get along in harmony, and who doesn’t love some quiet ‘me’ time every now and then, but is that really all there is to this peace thing? What does peace mean to you? Do you see it as a contributive energy? An escape? A political idea? A fantasy? A fallacy?
Perhaps if I had continued to go solely by the definitions of the dictionary and the people in my life, and never really questioned what peace could be in my life, I might have totally missed this amazing energy I am playing with right now!
The peace that I am aware of these days is where I have a sense of me as this expanding space (especially space in my head… which is a magical story in itself, but more on that later) and being totally connected to all things. Where I know that anything is possible. Where I have access to a universe of generative and creative energies that support, nurture and contribute to me and my body. Inviting peace allows me to have total gratitude and allowance for me and for everything that I have created - the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s pretty gosh-darn special. And I didn’t even know this was a possibility before I started doing some rather courageous seeking in my own life.
Another cadence of car horns has begun and the snow is now kind of falling horizontally in the wind past my window. I have just realized another thing that is neat about being peaceful - it kind of brings with it this ridiculously gorgeous happiness! Terrible, isn’t it?
I am grateful for the practical and fun tools of Access Consciousness that led me to consider peace as something of value to have in my life, and something that I could (and do) create in my world. It's pretty darn cool! If you are curious, come take a squizzy ;-) www.accessconsciousness.com/amandaholland
With each blog, I aim to invite your creativity, brilliance and difference to come forward and shine.