During the Creative Process
An Ocean of Thought on Non-Doing
I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet…
Thought you might relate.
I’ll share some of what I’ve been thinking/doing/not doing. You may or may not recognize yourself in this. If you do, let me know so that I won’t feel so naked and alone. If you can’t relate, just look away and keep marching.
First of all, I’ve not been doing much of anything. I’ve been maintaining. That’s how it feels. That’s what my “you’re not enough” voice has been talking smack about anyways.
To see that I have done some stuff (even if it doesn’t feel/look like it) and to not feel guilty, as in the ‘I’m a loser’ type of thinking that can surface at these times.
What gets forgotten?
That I am not a machine, able to have long lists, tick them off each day, and keep going and going.
I am a dreamer.
I have moments of intense
followed by bouts of minimal putfiresoutdoaslittleasrequiredwillIeverpaintwritecreateagain moments.
When I am in the former mode, I totally believe that this time I have conquered the loser me. When I am in the second mode I totally believe I have been and will always be a loser 😉
Yep, I live on the street of polar opposites, just beyond the home of extreme beliefs. There is part of my brain that no matter what I am doing is always holding onto that song of there’s more to do and you are probably not enough of the person to get it all done and another part of me singing it’ll all work out, trust in the process of life.
The only sane reason I have for sharing any of this crazy thinking with you is:
- If you think like this sometimes, you are not alone. You have me, your BFF, right in there with you 😉
- I’ve been this way my entire life and look where’s it’s gotten me doing things I love to do. Things like paint, write silly letters like this to you, and maybe spread some love and cheer in the world with my online courses. Living proof, even to the ‘loser’ voice in my head, that I will once again, ‘work in this town’. Nothing lasts forever. Yin and yang. In and out. Active and non-active. It’s all part of the plan.
Our life, our creativity is like the ocean. It has an ebb and flow built into it, a coming in and a going out.
This is the very thing we LOVE about the ocean–its on and off moments that create the mesmerizing sounds and movements that we can’t get enough of.
Do you think it’s possible to learn to love the ebb and flow in our own lives? Embracing the rhythm and the knowing that what flows out will surely flow back to us, in the ‘only known to the ocean’s ways’ that it does?
We are the ocean, you and I. It’s okay to float and drift, to move inward and outward, to be busy and to rest, to give and to receive.
That’s my message to me and to you today.
It’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours?
Now is all that’s True. Thank goodness we are human BE=ings, not do=ings!
I love your being you. You do it so well. Thank you for sharing.
We don’t have to listen to any voice that’s not good messaging to us.
Stay in the NOW. Be still. And know.
This is how we feel peace. Oh, and don’t forget gratitude for all that’s gone before
Thank you for putting words to my feelings and thoughts and clarifying what is not failure but only a natural process that we walk out in our lives. Understanding this, I will remember the peace in hearing the ebb & flow of the ocean & l will chill out, quit demanding continuous
production from myself & just enjoy whatever moment l am in!
You hit the nail on the proverbial head…. I was struggling with the very same thoughts this week! At some point, after many snowy days stuck at home, I realized I was my own worst enemy. I would make big long list for myself every morning and not even come close to accomplishing one thing. Then I would beat myself up about it! Why can’t we relax and just tinker around? I was raised by strong working women who I never saw relaxing and I so appreciate your reminder that it’s not just me and we are allowed to do nothing… or something! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Thank you so much for writing and sending this, Dreama! I have the loser and the I’mnotenough feelings and thoughts all the time. And those times I’m on fire it feels like the loser is history for me too! Until the next fallow time. I have not accepted the ebb and flow and am going to start working on that now, instead of trying to kill the loser 🙂 I’ve never heard these feelings described as like the ocean before- I’ve never before imagined it could be something beautiful. Thank you for this gift 🙂
Yes. I know those voices and I suffer from them. They are awfulizing, In my rational mind, I am reminding myself that my creativity is a gift; that I am not the source, but the instrument – the brush, the pen; I cannot force the timing; and some truth or beauty has to grow and ripen in me before I can plant it outside me. I have to let it.
Dreama, I know exactly what you are talking about. I haven’t painted since the first of October. I started the beautiful winery oil but it sits in the freezer along with my palette. I’ve spent time doing landscaping, preparing the patio furniture for the upcoming Colorado snow, climbing ladders to clean out gutters, reading books, creating my Christmas newsletter and then printing 75 copies, printing the address labels and return address labels and making the Christmas cards through the costcophotocenter.com site. I am now ready and anxious to get back to painting.
I have gone through periods when I can’t seem to do anything right with my painting … I can’t mix the right color, I can’t get the paint/turp consistency correct, my strokes aren’t what I want, blah, blah, blah. But when I get back to painting, I’m better than before I hit the wall. This has happened several times so I don’t beat myself up about it any longer. I know that I’ll get back to painting and that it will be great and I will find great joy in the process.
I love your correspondence and really enjoy our online friendship. I wish that we lived close to one another because I would love to meet you in person. We have so many things in common; husbands Ron, love of cats – especially Tuxedos, love and guilt-free consumption of Nutella, and so much more. Keep the emails coming. I look forward to the new oil painting this coming Sat, Nov 7.
Love to you and yours …….. Laura Lass
Yes, indeed I can relate Dreama! The ebb and flow idea is a lovely one, and just what I needed to hear right now. We are way too hard on ourselves! All that guilt and self condemnation has got to go! Time to embrace the ebb and flow, and appreciate being in the moment. What an adventure! Thank you Dreama! Judy
Dear Dreama, i spent alot of years beating myself up. But, in my 30’s through hard work i was able to achieve my dreams and raise our amazing son. Later, God spared my sons life in a terrible car accident. I was so grateful. Since those days, i dont get too down on myself. Now, with art, i am learning to just feel joy in the expression of my voice. If i dont feel like painting, its OK. 🌈🌷
I feel in the Ican’tdoanythingtoday mode when I first wake up. But after I’ve had my coffee, I am ready totakeontheworld with ideas for various art projects. What would I do without coffee?
Thank you Dreama for this letter. I’m at a particularly difficult time in my life and this was some salve to my soul.
I’m so very glad Denise❤️ Wishing you better, more joyful days ahead!
I have utterly enjoyed the words and paintings shared here on your sight. Ah, the dreaded perfection and loser status. Both I know too well. I picked up a paintbrush about fifteen years ago after many, many years of wanting to and not doing so. Life has a way of interfering with what we desire. I recently found myself at a lost place in life again and my desire to create and leave pieces of me behind in the form of artwork has risen to an enflamed state. Freeing myself and letting go of the idea of perfection is exactly what I need. Thank you for sharing your joy!
Love those beautiful journals and love how everything just fits in your darling vintage carry-on! What fun you’ll have wandering through the quaint villages & beautiful countryside of Italy! Wishing you safe travels and fun times!
Thank you for being a friend, Dreama. You are absolutely delightful. I can hardly wait to make my way through your whole course in France. Your letters always bring joy! Thanks again. (-:
It cheers my heart to know that there are others out there.
At first, I thought the online price was high, but I have taken many 5day workshops that are that price. And then you only have the 5 days to learn. With Dreamas course, you can replay the instruction videos over and review what you don’t hear the first time through. And if you still have a question, Dreama and her team are on top of it to answer….and of course all of us on the Facebook page have advice to offer as well!😊 And you can experience it all in the comfort of your own studio……no airfare, hotels, or other travel expenses. With Dreamas personal offerings, this is a wonderful way to take a workshop. I’ve never painted in oils before, and I’m absolutely loving this whole experience. YOU WILL TOO!😍👩🏻🎨
Oh, How I can relate to this. I was so gung ho during the first week of our class and then I was hit with the pause button. Have not been able to get back into the painting mode since. But I have lived with these ebbs and flows all my life and I will be pulling out of it soon and get back into living again. It’s nice to know I’m not by myself and it’s also nice to know that I have a whole year to do this project, because I may need it! lol
Oh yeah, haven’t we all been there? It’s a world of duality!
We ride on the crest of the wave for a time, then the wave takes us to a different place. We are never still, we never stop, we are always doing, even if we are resting and recuperating. You have been the shining light for all of us for so long and it is perfectly necessary and acceptable for you to have this quiet time for yourself. Your creativity is so unique and amazing and it has reached us around our globe, an achievement few of us could realise. You have drawn this amazing group into your life and I am sure we are all enriched for this wonderful experience. Dear Dreama, thank you for being you and for being there for us. Lots of love and joy coming your way, you have given us so much – I for one, am forever grateful xx:)
Dear Dreama…thank you for being! On MY easel I have a card showing YOU and EDDIE,,it is one of your and my favorite affirmations…”If you knew who walked beside you at all times on the path that you have chosen, you would never experience fear or doubt again….Wayne Dyer. (Just to let you know your words are kept in a very precious place and referred to often at my house, now I get to send them back to you with a pretty PURPLE ribbon tied around them….hugs and love to you)
It is truly that circle for me, too. I seem to be either going ahead with gusto or overwhelmed by most everything. Wanting to paint but letting the everything get in my way. Speaking of that here comes my college grand daughter time for some lunch and grateful conversation. This is life but we must enjoy these moments. Thanks, Dreama needed this.
You are so loved, Dreama, by all of us, for so many reasons. You bring us – and every single person who has seen and been touched your beautiful expressions of love, life, colour on canvas or on your blog or in galleries or via these wonderful on-line courses – so much joy.
Your thoughts and words today came at a perfect time, as many have also expressed also. It is as you’ve so perfectly and beautifully compared it to – the ebb and flow that is life. Up and down. Day and night. Darkness and light. Sunlight and shadow. Laughter and tears. Happy times and sad times. This is the human condition. It is comforting for each of us to be kind to ourselves – that this is *all* of us feeling this way from time to time during our lives…that we’re not alone…and also, that we have one another, to encourage one another, to support one another, to cheer one another on, to uplift one another’s spirits.
Please always know how much you are loved, dear wonderful beautiful Dreama, and please always know how much joy you have brought and continue to bring. Thank you for being the beautiful and beauty-filled, caring, kind, abundantly generous and compassionate spirit and soul that you are.
Love hearing your take on this. I was beginning to wonder why I hadn’t heard from you in a while. Sounds like you really understand your own ebb and flow and that is such a good thing. I seldom have “blue” times, but I know that tomorrow morning I’ll be fine. However, I have many in my family that are beginning to understand the ebb and flow as you have described. I think it’s a good thing to now where the shoreline is.
Dreama, you are our PFF. PRECIOUS FRIEND FOREVER!! You come to raise our spirits are precisely the perfect time. Thank You for giving us the words to understand ourselves, and know we are not alone, we are all blessed to have YOU…warm HUGS and a whole lot of Love,,,,,my PFF
Oceans (Where feet may fail)
Reminds me to “keep my eyes above the waves…”
Love your posts…your vulnerability…sharing your soul. Hope you enjoy the music video by Hillsong Link above.
Thank you for permission to be human.
We melt a little each day.
The candle burns down.
And it may wonder at times,
it may wonder:
What will happen to me?
What will happen to my
Oh, so much brighter my dear,
you will become so much
Your words are comforting. It’s always a blessing to know that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings………..but part of an infinite universe created by God. He is the reason that we create. He created us in His image and likeness. We, too, are creators.
Dear Dreama, Thank goodness for your insightful thoughts this morning. I was beginning to think I am the only one who is experiencing these feelings of self doubt. I am flying out this morning to greet and meet several artists in Washington to paint some gorgeous Tulips, and am trying to muster up some enthusiasm, so I can be a gracious hostess and teacher. After January’s “painting a painting every day for 30 days”, my enthusiasm has hit rock bottom. Of course, I blamed it on a long and cold winter, and now….”spring fever”! Why not? It couldn’t be my fault, right? Thank you so much for everything you do for us! This too will end….❤️😊 We will again conquer the world!
After a period of silence it was great to hear from you again. We are not forgotten even though our six weeks have finished. You are a breath of fresh air and bring joy to all of us. You inspire us and encourage us to keep going forward. I love your insight and enthusiasm. I feel we are really good friends even though we haven’t physically met. Keep in touch with us so we can feel your presence. Thanks for what you do for all of us!😀
Thanks so much for sharing this! One can look at all of the beauty you create and think “She never has a down moment, what is wrong with me.” We all need that quiet time to refuel but it is hard to turn off the questioning voices. I participate in an art journaling group and many times it is the end of the month before I take time to recap what has been happening in my life. When I finally take the time to put it all down, I am amazed at all I have accomplished and paticipated in. Yet, during that month the little voice kept saying “you need to be doing more”.
My sister never stops to rest and appreciate and she is making herself physically sick. I can see it happening but cannot save her from herself. She spends lots of time and money looking for the answer as to what is making her sick – and the answer is right there in the mirror.
So thank you for this reminder and your open honesty. The internet is constantly inspiring us to do more. It is good to hear the voice of reason in all that shouting. Love and hugs, Cathy
Feeling fortunate to have found you even though we have never met.. but realizing we all share some of the same feelings.. learning to accept the lull when it happens.. Thank you….
Thanks. It amazes me how much alike we humans are while still each being unique. You are not alone and your story describes, in my opinion, most of my life. Focusing on one thing working, marriage, school, family and then it concludes and there is a time of rest and rebalancing. Like the word maintaining. Looking back I understand that without the “maintenance ” times I would not have been able to go on Very thought provoking post. Hope you enjoy your quiet times.
Your message is deeply understood by me! I have had this ebb and flow feeling for years as in the ocean! I have a low tide and a high tide as life goes on and it has occurred often. You are not alone! Gratitude for what I have keeps me going.
Thank you so much for your insight! I wonder…am I doing enough? Is this going to work? What AM I doing? what should I be doing? Ugh….self doubt floods in. But I love to paint…I love the smell of my paints….the creative impulse….the satisfaction when I do complete something I like….So I push on!
Thank you for the writing on your hand. I needed that.
What a great analogy! I completely related to everything you said. You are such an incredible person. I’m sorry so many of us wrangle with these emotions but it is comforting to know we are not alone. Keep spreading the love and your wonderful talents.
This email came at the perfect time and I could have written every emotion behind your words. I’m touched that someone of your success and professionalism as an artist has the very same thoughts as I do, an amateur artist. Thank you for being a light in this winter darkness that has hung on like a wet blanket and kept my feet mired in the quicksand of non-doing. I am printing your words as a reminder that I am not alone and that we are all more alike than different in our artistic dreams and needs. Again I am reminded that artists need each other to be encouragers when these negative voices appear. I love your ocean analogy that in life there is always an ebb and flow…so very true. Here’s to all struggling to overcome our inner critic and to surrender to our creative muse so that we will be free of all crippling fear so that we might jump in and become a part of the ebb and flow of creativity again.
Follow along on my social accounts for behind the scenes peeks, inspiration, tips, stories & more.