“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
One of my favorite books is Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC. She writes about creativity and what type of energy we let dominate our lives. She boils it down to two types.
The martyr OR the trickster?
“Martyr energy is dark, solemn, macho, hierarchical, fundamentalist, austere, unforgiving, and profoundly rigid.
“Trickster energy is light, sly, transgender, transgression, animist, seditious, primal, and endlessly shape-shifting.”
“I believe that the original human impulse for creativity was born out of pure trickster energy. …Creativity wants to flip the mundane world upside down and turn it inside out, and that’s exactly what a trickster does best. The trickster is obviously a charming and subversive figure.
But for me, the most wonderful thing about a good trickster is that he trusts.
He trusts himself, obviously. He trusts his own cunning, his own right to be here, his own ability to land on his feet in any situation. To a certain extent, of course, he also trusts other people. But mostly, the trickster trusts the universe.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert/BIG MAGIC
Who wants to live with mostly martyr energy?
Martyr energy is a total bummer.
If the universe is meant to be played with, then we must PLAY. This doesn’t mean we can escape the mundane parts of daily life, grief or death. However, deploying our creative trickster energy when needed (even in very difficult passages of our lives) gives us more options and lets us access more creativity.
The trickster trusts and doesn’t let doubt or paranoia get in the way of a good time.
The trickster would invite the martyr to discuss something very serious and then maybe coax them into skinny dipping instead.
Come on, let your inner trickster out.
I will forever be seeking to understand the creative brain better. I have to, it’s a matter of survival. With creativity often comes a fair amount of SADNESS. It’s taken me many moons (I’m almost 49) to come to a truce with my own brain, creative process and THE BLUES.
Sadness in creatives is well documented and studied, however, I’ve decided instead of completely accepting this as an undisputed fact that I will seek a REFRAME.
THE BLUES are a part of me that greatly affects how I see the world and make connections in all facets of my life. THE BLUES are not a human flaw or always a part of a bigger mental health problem. They can truly be a gift.
Of course, when these feelings are systemic and debilitating—they need more attention.
Too often in American culture everything is about HAPPINESS, MINDFULNESS and INSTAGRAMMING a life of JOY. Really, all the time? That’s a lot of pressure.
I thought this quote was quite insightful.
“For creatives, this depression is what amplifies motivation to do their work better. It’s not enough to keep doing what you’ve been doing as a creative, you have to do more, and do it well. That’s empowering, if you can make it through the initial dip in energy.” —Tanner Christensen (The link between depression and creativity, and how it can be good for you.) The link is below.
The key is in understanding that energy dip when you are feeling THE BLUES and ruminating—trying to make sense of something. Today is a good example after another, all too common, senseless shooting in America. How can we not ruminate?
My REFRAME about my own version of THE BLUES is two fold:
—I’m not going to knock THE BLUES back when it comes to my creative work.
I’m going to welcome them with open arms, a cup of tea and a nap if needed.
I’m going to thank THE BLUES for helping me make sense of this complex world
and for giving my work and thoughts more depth.
—I’m CHOOSING to celebrate the fact that I have a lot of creative ideas for projects and try to not get THE BLUES that I can’t possibly manifest them all. After all there’s only 24 hours in the day…damn it!
That is my reframe of THE BLUES and it’s working for me right now. Perhaps next time you’re feeling THE BLUES creeping in you can give them a hug and ask them what you’re suppose to be paying attention to right now. The answer might surprise you.
How awesome is this 1800 distillery renovation? You have to click through. It’s really cool. Keeping the facade was such genius design.
CATS: Does your cat sleep with the person in the family that is under the most stress or sick? Our cat Karen does this all the time. They are such remarkable pets. Here’s an explanation that made sense to me about their behavior.
“Here’s an unknown tip inside the secret life of cats. All cats are empowered to remove accumulated negative energy from your body on a daily basis. While you are sleeping, they absorb it from your body.
If there is more than one person in the family, and only one cat, it may accumulate an overload of negativity from absorbing energy from so many people. When they sleep, a cat’s body releases the negativity that it removed from you.
If you are extremely stressed out, they may not have had enough time to release this negative energy, therefore it is stored as fat until they can. Therefore, they will become overweight — and you thought it was the food that you were feeding them!”