It’s disconcerting, sometimes, to learn about yourself. Especially when you consider we humans are ever evolving creatures.
Those of us who are drawn to be creative – to make things, to have the need to bare our souls through our art of choice, to desire to make our mark upon the world on canvas, paper, or the stage – dig deep into what allows us to do our work. The rituals, the routines, the discipline, and the support structures that serve us and allow us to create the work we are called to make?
We cling to them.
What works for us when we are twenty no longer works for us when we are thirty. The routines that fueled our discipline to come to the table daily when we were forty fall flat when we are forty-eight.
As we evolve, what we need to fuel us, support us, fill our well and allow us to dig into our depths… Those must mature and shift, too. The challenge to this transformation and, frankly, demand of our need to make art, comes when we cling to old ways or realize we are a beat and a half off of what works.
After two weeks away from home – some solo time in The Big Apple followed with a cruise with my partner – I find myself not just a beat off of the rhythm, but in the midst of the maelstrom.
My creative life is shifting. The call to my work spinning like a record on a 78, yet I’ve been tending my creative life as if it’s spinning at 45. My routines, my rituals, my tried-and-true tricks no longer fit me as they did, even six months ago.
It’s uncomfortable. It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating.
Yet, it simply IS. It’s a part of evolving as a human being, and evolving as a creative being. To cling to old ways doesn’t serve me, even though I wish it could.
The biggest discovery for me during the past few weeks is that I need solid pockets of silence.
Yes, me, the girl who, from second grade to seventh grade wrote the sentence “I will not talk in class” hundreds and hundreds of times needs to be quiet.
I have lived in Ohio now for six years. Where my world was once filled with drama and chaos and both physical and auditory noise, now my daily life is mostly peaceful. Though we don’t live a Spartan nor minimalist life, my environment is mostly uncluttered. I always desire a space of beauty, but in order for my home to be my sanctuary, I have discovered I crave the elegance of solitude.
There’s nothing like Times Square or a Cruise Ship full of 2000 souls to bring crystal clear clarity to the truth that in order to create, I need both solitude and silence. Where I once thrived on drama to fuel my creations, I now need the contrast of tiny bits of input with huge doses of calm for output.
Home from my travels, faced with the reality that in learning about myself, I am once again the space of facing the uncomfortable and disconcerting feelings of evolution. To realize that in order to tend my creative evolution, I need time to find my equilibrium.
I am in the space of searching for those new routines and rituals. To seek new paths to what works and what doesn’t. Though it was made clear to me during my time of travel, the only way I can bring discipline into the mix, to shift the filling of my own well and, in turn, create the work I am called to make will happen here.
This kind of work is done best in a place of safety. So, as we are thrust back into the “real world” of work schedules, laundry, and making dinner, I also have work to do. Yes, here. At Home.In stretches of silence and solitude. In what has become my Sanctuary.
Because my creative life depends upon me dealing with – and working through – this discomfort.
About the Author: Debra Smouse
Debra Smouse is a self-admitted Tarnished Southern Belle, life coach, and author of Create a Life You Love: Straightforward Wisdom for Creating the Life of Your Dreams. She resides in Dayton, Ohio where she practices the art of living with the Man of Her Dreams. When she’s not vacuuming her couch, you’ll find her reading or plotting when she can play her next round of golf. She’s the Editor in Chief here at Modern Creative Life. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.