Sunday, April 14, 2013

304/365: Timing is Everything, Part II

"Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin.
Beginning makes the conditions perfect.
" ~Alan Cohen
Today I pondered:
the art of beginning...

I am a serial procrastinator. And most often a perfectionist. Add to that my tendency to over-plan and over-prepare, and you've got yourself a girl who has a really difficult time getting started on anything. For years, I was just a great big ball of potential energy waiting for the optimal circumstances to begin rolling towards my creative dreams.

This quote struck me today, and was the perfect sequel to yesterday's musings.

Hesitation. I hear and see signs of it in so many of my relationships. People are waiting to begin until children are grown, until degrees are earned, until they have just the right partner, or job or more money, or the perfect studio space or hours of uninterrupted time. I have dealt with many of these deterrents as well. The truth is, the right time is whenever you choose to take up your craft. If you wait for the Goldilocks time, it may never happen. It's all a part of accepting that our lives are messy, unpredictable, surprising, spontaneous works of art. And the creations we produce can be as well.

I am finding that beginning is the part of the creative process we have the most control over. After that, we must surrender much of the control and allow our muse and materials to guide us. But showing up and starting, that's on us. It's the hardest part, and arguably the most important part. There is nothing without a beginning. After a beginning, there is nothing but possibility.

So pick up the pencil or paintbrush. Open the new document on your computer. Dig into that fabric drawer you've been meaning to organize. Clean out the garage to make space for a workbench. Organize a gathering of creative friends. Creative urges will tumble forward like dominoes.

There is magic in beginning.

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