Loving 2011: Day Eight

I’m participating in Lori-Lyn’s Loving 2011, a personal retrospective of the year.

Where Were Your Blocks This Year and How Did You Release Them?

Oh, blocks.  I have so so many.    But we’re talking about one that we mastered a bit, so here goes.

My perfectionism runs wide and deep.  I generally hold the opinion that if I can’t do something 100% *right* then it’s best not to try at all.  (I’m not nearly so hard on others.  This insanity is reserved mainly for yours truly).

This is a BIG FUCKING PROBLEM when it comes to *creating* things – because guess what?  There is no RIGHT way to create stuff!  Holy crap.  Then I better just not create anything, right?  If I can’t do it right, I can’t do it at all.

Yeah.  This attitude?  Problematic for happiness.

So when I started the first assignment of the Creative Goddess E-Course, I did something new (for me).  I stopped thinking about the product AT ALL.  I stopped trying to visualize something in my head and trying to recreate that in three dimensions.  I just stopped.

I decided to play instead.  I just played.  I had no idea what I would do in the next minute, the next moment.  I painted, tried new stuff, messed stuff up, squished stuff together, got glue all over my hands and mainly just went totally bonkerdoodles all over the paper.

And do you know what happened?  I had a fucking BLAST.  I giggled and squealed and did little victory dances and just thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It was such a gift, such a relief to be able to make something out of nothing and have no real attachment to the product.  I think that first day, I finally grokked the idea you always read about in all the art-for-kids-books: process over product.   I really got into the process.  I loved the shit out of the process.

My artwork that I made that day would never win any awards.  You might look at it and say, “Yeah, my 2-year-old could do that.”  And they probably could.  But I didn’t and still don’t care.  I love it.  That painting is for me.  That painting represents that I can do this, this creating something-from-nothing thing, and it doesn’t have to be 100% right because there IS no 100% right.

I’m not saying there’s no good art and no bad art – but I’m saying for me, for my art – it has to be about the process.  It has to be almost a meditation.  It’s artful to stay so completely connected to the present moment that I DO NOT ALLOW any forethought into the end result.

So the cure for my block of perfectionism?  Total, committed mindfulness of this particular moment.  An attitude of exploration.  And the practice of non-attachment.  Basically, I create like a 2-year-old. 🙂

Now go invite your inner 2-year-old out to play and create something!

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