On Being a Creator: Part Three: Creativity and Having Fun

On Being a Creator

Part Three:

Creativity and Having Fun

by

Joseph Anthony

The third
thing I learned to do with regards to allowing the river of creativity to flow
freely was to have fun.  I lowered my
perfectionistic standards and simply allowed myself to enjoy creating.  I stopped worrying about what other people
thought about my results.  Oh, I still
thought about their opinions, I just didn’t worry about them or let them be the
determining factor as to whether something I created had value.  I learned to enjoy the process of creating. I
learned to have fun and to actively invite fun into the process.  And for me, without sounding too bizarre,
that process of having fun and playing is intensely sexual.  I was not going for bliss when my creativity
river surfaced, just as I wasn’t going for forgiveness, but there it was.  Just as it is blissful to create a baby, it
is blissful to write, sing, and draw. 
And just as I have learned to accept myself, love myself, love my body
and my sexuality, I have learned to be unashamed about how good it makes me
feel to be creative.  It is OK to derive
pleasure from creating. I have learned to have fun and not worry in the least
if something doesn’t turn out as I planned. 
Of course, a lot encompasses the sexual realm—relationships, investments
of time, energy, and much more, and all of these are intimately woven with the
creative process as well.  
So have fun,
feel blissful, create the life you want.
 
You are a creator.


Next week:
Sharing the Flow


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Plum Pudding or Wednesdays With Wodehouse


“I
was jerked from the dreamless by the sound like the rolling of distant thunder;
and, the mists of sleep clearing away, was enabled to diagnose this and trace
it to its source.  It was my Aunt Agatha’s
dog, McIntosh, scratching at the door. 
The above, and Aberdeen terrier of weak intellect, had been left in my
charge by the old relative while she went off to Aix-les-Bins to take the cure,
and I had never been able to make it see eye to eye with me on the subject of
early rising.  Although a glance at my
watch informed me that it was barely ten, here was the animal absolutely up and
about.

            I pressed the bell, and presently in
shimmered Jeeves, complete with tea-tray and proceeded by dog, which leaped
upon the bed, licked me smartly in the right eye, and immediately curled up and
fell into a deep slumber.  And where the
sense is in getting up at some ungodly hour of the morning and coming scratching
at people’s doors, when you intend at the first opportunity to go to sleep
again, beats me.  Nevertheless, every day
for the last five weeks this loony hound had pursued the same policy…”

 

–Opening
paragraphs of the short story, Episode of
the Dog McIntosh
from the wonderful book of Jeeves and Wooster short
stories, “Very Good Jeeves,” by PG Wodehouse.

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On Being a Creator: A Seven Part Series on Releasing Your Creativity: Part Two: Forgiveness

On Being a Creator

Part Two: Forgiveness

By

Joseph Anthony

 

I didn’t set
out to forgive my perpetrators.  In fact,
I wanted them dead.  However, as I
learned to grieve I also learned that everyone grieves.  Everyone hurts.  And hurt people hurt.  Without making any excuses for my abusers, my
inner process of accepting my pain and accepting my body, sexuality,
creativity, brought me unexpectedly to a place of compassion for all
people—especially for the sick, the suffering, the people who hurt.  I determined that I would break the
chain.  “Hurt people hurt,” is a truth,
and I know I too have caused hurt in the world although not in the ways I experienced, I have hurt others nonetheless. 
I made a conscious decision to change the truth to “hurt people heal and
help others heal.”  And with that came
forgiveness for those involved, and with that forgiveness came freedom, and
with that freedom came a rush (and I use that word intentionally, because it is
the sweetest, safest, most appropriate and healthy drug there is—the rush of
creating) and with that rush came a flood of songs, stories, poems, paintings,
and ideas on how to share it all.  It
takes a long time for some to get to this place and some never get there.  If one is willing to brave the circuitous
course of the river of pain all the way to its emptying into the ocean of
healing, then the path of forgiveness is the royal road to being able to access
one’s creativity.  Forgiveness doesn’t come however without righting your own wrong’s and making ammends where and when appropriate.  Seeking out the forgiveness of others is part of the process of learning to forgive others. And like touching the
pain this process is intensely personal and there are, at the end of the day,
no right or wrong ways to do any of it. 
Also, like learning to feel pain, the process of learning forgiveness may
require therapy or mentoring, in fact, most often it does, since the rivers of
wounds run so deep, it is easy to get mired in swamps of self-pity and
blame.  Having someone to help direct and
guide the process will help the creativity to flow freely as forgiveness dawns
over the day.

Next Week: Creativity and Having Fun


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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Plum Pudding or Wednesdays With Wodehouse



“It
was a morning when all nature shouted “Fore!”  The breeze, as it
blew gently up from the valley, seemed to bring a message of hope and cheer,
whispering of chip-shots holed and brassies landing squarely on the meat.
 The fairway, as yet unscarred by the irons of a hundred dubs, smiled
greenly up at the azure sky; and the sun, peeping above the trees, looked like
a giant golf-call perfectly lofted by the mashie of some unseen god and about
to drop dead by the pin of the eighteenth.  It was the day of the opening
of the course after the long winter, and the crowd of considerable dimensions
had collected at the first tee.  Plus fours gleamed in the sunshine, and
the air was charged with happy anticipation.”

—Opening
paragraph of the short story, “The Heart of a Goof,” from the book of the same
name, by P.G. Wodehouse.  This is a book
of short stories that revolve around golf. 
I must admit I can’t stand golf. 
Only played once.  Have no
interest in golf.  However, this book is
still one of my favorites of Wodehouse. 
Totally hilarious, hopelessly romantic, and full of silly goofs.  

 

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Good Friday, Being an Update to the Update

Good Friday

Being an Update to the Update

By

Joseph Anthony

 

OK, what
gives?  You might be thinking. Twelve
days ago you were writing about crashing and burning, illnesses, depression.  This week you’ve posted four things already.  Haven’t you started the cycle again?

What gives
is writing.  In that post twelve days ago
I wrote about how writing is my first love; how this blog began as a way of
sorting things out, clarifying on a personal and public level what’s going on
inside of me.  Confessional, yes.  Therapeutic, most definitely.  Writing that post twelve days ago helped me
to prioritize my work.  It helped me to
see the fears about not making enough money or knowing what will come after
teaching.  It helped me to remember I
need others.  I need you. 

What began
as a means of expressing myself has grown into a means of a dialogue.  It engenders a responsibility to the truth
and to the journey of the writer’s life. 
It demands both rigorous honesty and compassion—for myself and for what
I am writing, and for you.  And the truth
is I began neglecting my writing out of fear—fear about the future, fear about
not having enough money, fear it just wasn’t good enough.  And writing that post helped me to see
that.  So did talking with friends.  Allowing myself to open up, speak the truth
of the fears, helped stir the creative juices and ease the inner tensions, and
so the writing has begun again to river through my veins.

I remember
my mentor Lefty encouraging me to not let my creativity own me—to learn to
stop.   When I work, I am manic.  Then I crash. Does that mean I am manic
depressive?  Perhaps.  The main thing is I see the truth of my
tendencies.  The flood of inspiration
comes when I touch the pain, get things cleared through tapping, talking,
taking time to breathe, but then I have trouble controlling it.  It consumes and devours me, makes me forget
everything else.  In a certain, spiritual
sense, it holds me hostage, forces my hand. 
And so I go.  And I go.  And I go. 
Until I crash.  I didn’t learn the
lesson when this happened several years ago. 
I saw signs of my manic energy, but I didn’t listen, obviously.   I
mean, why should I stop if I am doing what I love?  It feels blissful to create.  Why stop bliss? I get now that bliss, in
measured doses, works better for me than a flood of unencumbered, unceasing
bliss. 

So what’s
different now?  Focus, discipline, and
faith.  For the last couple of years I
began to focus on trying to make money (nothing wrong with that, of course) and
trying to build an EFT/Music business (nothing wrong with that either).  However, I was mostly working from fear and
scarcity, and not joy. One thing I have
learned as a result of living with PTSD is that making decisions based on fear or
scarcity eventually stops the flow, causes thinking to cloud with worries and
more fears; suspicions gradually seep in, and a lack of trust in the world, in
the Divine and in myself begins coloring what I do, and eventually it all turns
to black.  I see that now.  Being an extremist though I think that means
I have to stop doing EFT, stop playing music. 
Of course, it doesn’t mean either of these.  It means getting back to basic, fundamental
disciplined thinking.  It means creating
from a place of joy instead of fear.  It
means transforming the fears and real-life concerns into fruitful ideas and
actions instead of more fears.  It means
remembering I am human and need other people. In short, it means remembering to
breathe.

I am also remembering to pray.  A few years ago I pridefully declared my whole life was a prayer, and there was truth to that statement.  I consciously made everything I did a prayer.  Slowly over time however I began to see that I am not so far along (and perhaps never will be or should be) as to not take time to pause and pray—to give thanks, to ask for guidance, to think of others.  The more I let the fears run the show the less I remembered to pray.  Screwtape would be happy.  So in addition to walking, I am praying.  Usually I am doing both at the same time.

So I am
changing the focus—from fear to joy.  Not
manic joy, just joy—disciplined joy. 
Write every morning for a little bit instead of writing in torrents for
a few hours and days.  Stop even when the
flow is still flowing.  Trust it will be
there when I return.  Stop making videos
out of fear I won’t have enough clients. 
Make them for the reasons I first made them—to help myself and help
others.  Period.  Letting scarcity mentality in is just another
way of allowing the PTSD to own me. 

Focus,
discipline, and faith.  And there’s one
more thing: exercise.  I have begun to
walk nearly every day with the goal of walking every day.  I tricked myself into believing I led an
active lifestyle because I worked so hard and did so much, but I wasn’t really
moving in a way so as to assist cardiovascular health.  So I have begun walking.  And it’s helping.

But Joseph,
you might be thinking, this whole post details what you are doing—more doing, doing, doing.  Are you taking time to do nothing?  To chill? 
To relax?  Good questions.  I used to think because I was doing what I
loved that I could simply keep doing indefinitely; that I didn’t need any
breaks.  Funny thing is, I still think
that’s possible; however not with an undisciplined mind, not with a mind run by
fear.  So I am detailing changes I making, things I am doing to help.  And that
includes taking more time to read Wodehouse, haunt thrift shops, and listen to
my old 70’s fusion/jazz/disco records. 
It means taking time to simply be and to rest. 

So there it
is.  Public record of the journey of
Joseph.  I hope it helps you to sort out
something you might be going through.  I
hope it helps you to see you are not alone. 
I hope it helps you see that writing, writing of any kind, is an
integral part of being human and of becoming more human.  It is a lifeline that weaves together souls
into a living, breathing tapestry of hope.

Peace, and
thank you again for being there, Joseph

 

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