If you don't know what to do, create

It’s all too easy to let ourselves get into a headspin. When we want the life that we desire, that we dream about, when we want to make changes but it’s just overwhelming, it’s easy to choose the negative thoughts, the ones that say ‘It’ll never work’ and, 'I’ll never get there.’ We can tie ourselves up in knots, worrying about ‘how’ everything is going to happen:

How will I have enough money? How is it all going to work? What are they going to say when I tell them? What should I do about this? Do I really want what I think I want? How am I going to fit it all in? What if I don’t like it? What if I fail? Will I be able to cope? Or, my personal favourite, that popped into my head once: What if I get all this and become a horrible person?

It’s fear, looming up at us. It’s the prospect of change, which can often be challenging and, at times, uncomfortable. It’s the precursor to reaching a new level, the limbering up and preparing to stretch like you’ve never stretched before.

Whether we feel like we’re not sure what to do with our emotions, we just need to ‘let something out’, whether we can’t seem to ‘think’ our way out of a problem, whether we just feel as though something needs to change or we’re just stuck, I know that one way to effect a change within us, or to help us release ourselves from our thinking is to create.

The word create means: to make something new, orinvent something. 

The word invent means: to design or create something that has never been made before. 

It doesn’t have to be GOOD, so there’s your permission, the pressure is off.

I am a writer, so when I’m facing a blank piece of paper and there are no words flowing, I get out my felt tips or a pencil and do some drawing. The drawing isn’t ‘good’ that is to say, the perspective isn’t right, the colours clash and you can’t really tell what it is, but it’s another way to release whatever is holding me back. It's 'changing tracks' in my brain to explore another direction.

I create ideas through brainstorming: mindmapping some thoughts and daring myself to come up with really crazy ones, sometimes those which involve some easy law-breaking(!) or which are totally 'out there'. Brainstorming allows us to roam around places we wouldn’t usually frequent, without the fear of dealing with a situation that’s unfamiliar and from the comfort of our own sofa.

Creating a meal can be incredibly satisfying, both physically and emotionally. Creating a new space in your home, or choosing new colours and fabrics for your wardrobe or for your living room can move us forward in ways which we don’t immediately see.

Creating shapes through dance, creating a flower arrangement or creating furniture (even if it's flatpack); creating an experience through trying something new can give us insights into ourselves. However 'bad' you think the results turn out, give yourself a chance to try out a new creation.

Let yourself create freely and give your subconscious a bit of creative food to come up with a solution to whatever you're stuck on.

A little bit of playing can work wonders. Allow yourself to play again.

Make something. Write a silly poem. Sketch out your name in a never-before-seen typeface. Paint. Dance. Build a model aeroplane from things around the house. Set new words to an old song. (I’ve remember a particularly good one I made up during the changes in the 1997 UK elections to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory: it goes like this….Land of Hope and Glory/Major’s lost his chair/Ashdown’s hoping to get it/so is Tony Blair)

On that note, I’m off to do a little sketching. What’s your creative endeavour for today?