Creating as Meditation

In the span of two days, I had conversations with two friends who shared similar experiences. E described her elation and zoning out while organizing a piles of collage material. This coincided with clearing out years of work-related papers. But she said something else, that all that effort seemed unimportant or irrelevant, that she should have been doing something more important.

Important, according to what, I wondered? To the ideal we all have (without question) about what is considered productive or useful? Who is making these rules, if not us?

Another friend told me over dinner that she’d been going through old jewelry, taking it apart, sorting through beads. The result was a feeling of total flow and contentment, of getting lost in the activity and loving it.

“It was exactly how I wished I felt while actually meditating!” she said, as she threw up her hands in defeat. “All this time I’ve spent meditating with no great spiritual ah-has. There is just nothing.” she said with dismay.

But then she told me that her wise husband asked, “How do you know all that meditating wasn’t what allowed you to get into that state of calm focus?”

Bingo.

We hope for too much from our creative process. We measure success according to others’ ideals. We devalue the profound, often simple awarenesses that tell us just what we need to know.

No one is keeping score. No one has the answers. If it feels good, it probably is.

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