Astronomer by Candlelight, Gerrit Dou
Over the years, I've been living under the Shadow of Impatience. Also, I allowed myself to be in a life where I felt restricted as well as pressured to be something other than I was.
What this meant, is that I was constantly self-learning, formally studying, or working jobs, that were usually not my calling. On the flip side, I would learn or work in something I loved, but was impatient, or felt pressured, to Do Something With It.
I would dive into a course of study for example, but wanted to be an expert Now, or start earning within a year, despite it being a vocation that would likely take years.
Mystic, David Michalcyzk
Now, at almost 40, I look back and see, okay, not wasted time, because I refuse to view my life like that, despite the pull towards that perspective.... but, I see how if I had taken things slowly and steadily, I could have achieved so, so much more.
I'm not a results-orientated person when it comes to career, I love learning for its own sake, and I've never been driven by the dollar. I'm okay at not being an expert, or not having that PhD (which was really just another trap). So that's not what I mean by achieved more.
What I'm not okay with, is the lie that I told myself each time I started on a new path - it's no use, it will take me years to finish this, to be really good at this, so there's no point.
I look back at say, 10 years, and see how I could have studied something slowly, even taken 10 years to do it, and here today, I would have the substantial knowledge of the subject. Or pacticed an art, craft, or skill.
And again, I don't mean because I would then be an expert and admired, or feel the sense of achievement, or have a brilliant career. No, what I mean is that I would have peace and regular highs.
Woman reading by candlelight, Peter Vilhelm Ilsted
Without the anxiety of feeling I had to be or do something other than my passion, I would feel peace. I would be doing what I was doing for the pure joy of it. Not because of a pressure to do something useful with it.
And, without the constant stumbling due to the gaps in my knowledge or abilities, I would be able to enter the Flow of creativity more often and with little effort. Or even do something useful or earn money but in the area I was passionate about.
It's this latter awareness that really was a slap in the face for me.
At 30, the prospect of it taking 10 years to achieve my goal looked not only daunting but highly ridiculous to me. And so, I would drop that path and head to another.
Now, I'm on the other side of those same 10 years. An entirely different perspective of the time.
I have spent most of the last 2 months since I came up with my book idea, feeling frustrated, or trying to accept things as they were, because I had no time to write. Time was slipping away I felt.
After my realisation of time, I felt a new dawn.
If it takes me 3, 5, 10 years, to write this book, it will eventually be written, rather than choosing to do nothing and then look back when I'm 50 and saying, oh no, I did it again.
A huge burden dropped away.
Vasalisa, Laura Chicote
So a lot going on here: anxiety of fleeting time, pressure to Do Something Useful, frustration at lack of time, wanting something immediately....
I'm reigning in earthy energy, for steady progress. If the process is what brings me joy, which it most definitely is, then time is irrelevant, right?
How can creativity flow when we place restrictions on it, or when we demand ideal conditions. As a mother, isn't hoping for the latter just plain crazy?
It's likely that the 'perfect' conditions will be rare or non-existent. However, I have many many small moments at my disposal, and even the occassional chunk.
Either this is absolutely unacceptable, and so I change things, or accept things I can't change. Or, if I don't want to change things, I realise that I can choose to embrace the moments. The other option is to remain at a stale mate with life.
Right now, I'm choosing to embrace the moments.
And just like that, I fully see the lie learnt in my chilhood, that happiness is found only in freedom, in ideals. No, happiness can be found within limits, even for an Airy-Firey person like me!
So with this lightness, I didn't say, I can only write at this specific time, and didn't even say, I'm going to write. Instead, I picked up one tiny piece and examined it and played with it, and very soon, without realising it, I found myself writing anyway. Doing my passion, expressing myself, allowing creativity the Flow.
The flame of a candle, is it restricted, or is it the wildness of fire become productive?
What a high!