February 5, 2012

Creativity & The Fine Line

This weekend Mark and I were in Door County for his company's annual get-together (very little work & much play). We spent part of Saturday at a magical place called Hands On Art Studio. It's a space for genuine reflection and authentic creation. Although I was initially overwhelmed by the options in the Jewelry Cafe, I took my time and slowly put together a bracelet. It was pure fun, with no judgment or doubt.

There's often a fine line between enjoyable, creative activities and harsh, get-things-done tasks. If I'm not mindful, I can easily move from one side of the line to the other. For example, my photography is generally a flow activity for me--completely enjoyable and creative. But when it comes to processing photos on the PC, I can easily fall into get-everything-done-now mode (and sometimes I even yell at the computer). In my life, there are many examples of the Fine Line: thoughtful class preparation turned to micro-managed handouts; playful digging in the dirt turned to must-completely-redo-my-entire-garden-right-now; heartfelt card writing turned to a check-list slog.

Many times I begin an activity with positive intentions and creative energy, yet find myself stuck in ego and judgement by the end. If I'm really aware, then I can see the Fine Line from one side or the other (pull the plug just a little early or just a little late, and everything is fine). Mark and I have started asking each other, "Are you still having fun?" anytime one of us is at the computer. It's a lovely reminder question that we forget to ask ourselves once we're churning away. In fact, that's a great question for me right this moment! I'll walk my talk by ending this blog post while I'm still having fun. Just as I did Saturday at the Jewelry Cafe:

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