I grow so discouraged when I sit back and compare my ambition to actuality. It was not for lack of time, or lack of opportunity that I did not write more. There were a million reasons, but none of them are really good reasons at all. This is a regular pitfall for me creatively. I berate myself for my lack of willpower. I consider the time I have lost. I think back on what I could or should have done differently. I am harder on myself than anyone else could be, I think. And from this perspective, I move ahead in my creative journey from a place of negativity instead of positivity.
As I came back to my writing that next morning, I mostly felt discouraged. But I am trying to challenge myself to be more accepting and nurturing towards my creative actualities, not just my ambitions. There is a list of creative affirmations in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, which I have posted on my wall to remind me to be gentle with myself in my creative practice. Creative Affirmation #3 is: "As I create and listen, I will be led."
I may not have spent much time writing on my trip, but I spent a lot of time creating in other ways: dreaming and thinking and taking pictures, and discussing creative thoughts and ideas with Ryan. And maybe this trip was about listening, too? As I think about my trip, maybe I can choose to listen to all that I experienced. So much joy and inspiration came in other forms than pen and paper. Here are some of the moments that inspired me:
I am still filled with ambition to find more ways, more time, and more chances to write. I still aspire to be more disciplined, to better exercise my willpower and write SO MUCH MORE! But I am grateful for this lesson in listening. I have a chance to accept my actualities and practice my belief that they will lead me exactly where I am meant to be. "As I create and listen, I will be led."
Do you measure your ambition vs. actuality? Do you grow discouraged, like I do? How do you bounce back and stay motivated?