November 8, 2018

Shifting Perspectives

A shift in perspective. Deliberately altering one's view/mindset by changing one's outlook/point of reference. Employing new words to describe a tired concept. New words create new perspective, fresh ways of thinking about a particular problem or sticky wicket.

This is where I have been: listless, immobile, stagnant, motivated yet resistant to starting. Starting anything: art, creative idea follow-through, decluttering, ordering the house, cleaning, cooking. Stuck. Stagnant.
After much not helpful deliberation and stern self-talkings-to, reflecting on a conversation with a dear friend got me thinking. What if the stagnancy in me is a reflection of the stagnancy in the house? Stagnant energy, if you will, enclosed in the house, gathered and trapped amongst the areas of clutter and the items unpacked yet not arranged.

I intellectually know that my clutter hasn't changed. Nevertheless, being overwhelmed into paralysis by the sheer volume of the decluttering I dearly wish to tackle, that helplessness completely shifted when I replaced the language in the story. Instead of cleaning and clutter-busting I am releasing stagnant energy and inviting in fresh energy. Complete game changer.
It began with removing the air conditioners from the windows in preparation for colder weather. (Did anyone else abruptly move from A/C to heating in a single day?) The first window was filthy, so I deep cleaned every nook and cranny and polished the glass to a shine. The difference was amazing! It not only let in more light - clear, unwavering, unfiltered light - with the idea of energy exchange in mind, it felt like I had removed a barrier to the stagnant energy escaping the house. More window cleaning ensued. Which led to removing the pockets of clutter around the windows. And arranging the windowsills to be pleasing, harmonious, happy.
This shift, this change in words, change in conceptualization, altering the story and self-talk, I wonder how it can be applied to creative work. When stuck, or blocked, or feeling in a rut creatively, when feeling "uninspired," or tapped dry, how can I shift my perspective to unlock movement and effort? How can different words used to describe the blocked feeling, a fresh way to conceive of the issue, provide space and motivation for the joy of making?

Through this process of physically clearing and cleaning and removing blockages, the synchronicities keep on coming. Perhaps it has been framed and inspired by my early choice of word for 2019: Clarity. Regardless, this timely post from The Craft Sessions about unlocking creativity through changing our self-talk says what I am trying to convey much better than I can say it. And this guest post over at Annapurna Living - about windows of all things - landed in my inbox with a soft chuckle and nudge to keep on keeping on. As George Bernard Shaw put it, "you are the windows through which you must see the world."

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