If I had a blog, today I would write about the cold-blooded killer of inspiration, the one thing that stops the creative flow in its tracks: It is the insidious demon of worry. I have been a victim of worry most of my life. I come from a long line of professional worriers and I have kept the family tradition going full-throttle. A change in plans, a bit of uncertainty, conflict between family members; it doesn’t take much to start the process but it can take days to rein it in. During those days, I got to my creative well and find it dry; soil cracked like the scales of a long-dead dinosaur and the merciless glare of the grey sky above offers no promise of life-giving rain.
What is the relationship between worry and creativity? Why do they seem to be mutually exclusive? My theory is this: Worry (fear, anxiety, etc.) comes from Ego. This is not Sigmund Freud’s ego, but a new description of a similar beast coined by writer Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now. Although I’m loathe to jump on board with self-help gurus, I do like Tolle’s concept of Ego: The Ego is the sum of all the thoughts, actions, and beliefs that cause us emotional pain. These thoughts and beliefs are the result of dwelling on negative aspects of the past or worrying about the future. Hope lies in focusing on the good things in the present moment and learning that the Ego’s spin on the events of our lives is a pack of lies. In my opinion, its like having the media interpret your life for you: All drama, all pain, all conflict while the goodness that’s happened along the way is dismissed. As long as we’re caught up in this internal soap-opera, the gifts we have been given as artists, musicians, teachers, healers, parents, etc., are hidden from us. They don’t feed the Ego, so they are hidden under the proverbial bushel.
Yesterday I didn’t blog because my Ego got the best of me. A situation developed that caused me to worry and when I sat down to write, noting happened. The archives of my mind were closed for business. This morning I am going to go to the barn, speak to my horses and focus on the really miraculous things in my life. I’ll write down a list if I have to. I’ll be thankful for the beautiful place I live, for the love of my horse, my cats, my dogs, and my chickens. It is cool this morning and I will drink in this gift of summer. I don’t want the Ego to win. I don’t want to wast days, or even weeks, lost in a dark forest of my own making. I may not have a choice in everything that happens to me, but I can choose where to put my focus and I choose to focus on all the things that are right with my life. With any luck, and a couple hours of animal-therapy, the muse will return and I will finish the two blogs I started yesterday. Until then, I will bravely soldier on.