There’s an inner war going between my head and my heart right now, it's about what to write. I’m still quite nervous about what I shared on Day 10. I still don’t know what to make out of it, what it means from now. If it does have to mean anything.
So part of me feels like I have to continue on this sort of memoir thing, because I started it, and feel like I need to give more information, for different reasons.
Another part, less articulate, therefore probably more intuitive, just doesn’t want that right now. Creativity is a weird and fascinating battlefield…
If there’s one thing that my creative journey has taught me so far, is that my head doesn’t help me to create anything I really love.
As artist Marc Chagall, who used most media available to create, said, “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the heart, almost nothing.”
So instead of thinking about what to write, I’m going to talk about what my day was about, because it was full of heart, and made me feel, indeed, like nearly everything worked. It’s also what my muse (more on this one day) wants to talk about.
What I loved the most about today is how it embodied everything I love.
I had a very early video session with a client, after which I went to do an observation in a school. I spent two hours with 14 years olds, mediated by a wonderful social worker, discussing about sexual health and exploration.
It wasn’t planned at all, but I added some bits and pieces here and there to the conversation, from my experience as a psychologist and my lens as a radical feminist. I was amazed by how much those teenagers were willing to ask brave and honest questions, things I would have never asked at their age.
Using my creativity to answer some of them in the most empathetic and open way possible, while looking at the process and its consequences was incredibly empowering and profoundly engaging. I was there in prevision of some supervision of the staff, about how those sessions can be held to be the most useful, humane and efficient possible . I was like a very happy fish in some of its favourite waters.
I went home and had a long nap afterwards, because I was up for 12 hours after a way too short night of sleep. When I woke up, all I wanted to do was painting.
A really cool part of my life living with a musician, is a flat that looks more like a studio than an actual home in the traditional sense.
Our “living room” is filled with musical instruments and art supplies. Our walls display our favorite pieces of my art and quotes that help us stay or come back in the zone. We don’t have a dining table, but we do have a large table with recording and art stuff ready to be used, where I spent the next couple of hours. For us, it’s a little heaven on Earth.
I let my partner know I would be taking a couple of classes on Skillshare (click for an extra free month of classes), my favourite virtual art school. In the past 3 years, I spent nearly 300 hours learning there. And this isn’t even the only place I am learning from!
I passionately love how the Internet allows us to learn any craft we want for very little money...
This is what Einstein was calling combinatory play. A lot of prolific artists and writers are using physical activity to sustain their art practice (more on this later too).
I’ve just taken a 1:30am walk to diffuse the inner war I mentioned at the beginning of this essay, it’s wonderful indeed : artist/writer/researcher block hates it when we move. But there’s something very special, almost magical happening when we use both mental and artistic creativity to feed each other.
I used to think I had to choose between being an artist and being a writing psychologist. The world of ideas or the world of art?
But when I tried to stick to just one, two things happened : either I would only write, and love it, because writing makes me happier, but also sad and trapped in my head. Or I would only paint and prioritize visual arts for a while, and had so much fun, but started to go crazy.
Sad or crazy are the only two places I ended up when I would dismiss what I call now my creative butterflyness.
The thing is, some people aren’t born with just one passion (if you do too, and especially if you feel bad about it, please check out that awesome TED talk).
And when those people do try to force themselves focusing on one, they end up very discouraged and unhappy.
But when we explore those multiple worlds fully and freely, like Einstein used to play the violin, or explore other artsy stuff or different kinds of ideas when stuck on some equations, it helped him come up with his most brilliant work.
Today, I honestly don’t think I could have written so fluidly as I am right now if I had done it before or instead of painting.
I didn’t have enough creative energy left from this wonderful morning spent in the thinking world to paint my own stuff AND write afterwards either, experience taught me I have an inner sense of these things too, and that my creative well is endlessly refillable but still limited in terms of energy and attention (spoiler alert : everything is).
Thinking and writing was a lot of “me” already, and all brainy.
That’s why classes are perfect for me in those instances : I get to play and have fun with my hands, which is always good for the heart in my opinion and those from a lot of happiness scientists and artists.
But at the same time, I was still told somehow what to make, so the reflection was at a minimum. The perfect balance was achieved for me between structure and freedom, two very important parts of the creative dance.
My head was all foggy before painting, but afterwards, and after allowing myself a break with some food, fiction, and lovely conversation (see yesterday’s text on the power of stories and connection with others), despite the internal struggle with my perfectionism, I must say I write this mostly in one big yummy gulp.
When we can let it be that easy, creativity becomes a wonderful world, connecting our body, mind and heart.
I’m all creatively tapped out now, I’m going to do some quick evening routine to calm down my busy mind (still wondering if I have written the “right" thing…) and introverted body (still a bit over-excited by that day full of awesomeness)… relishing in that incredible feeling that I am more and more, living my dream life. What a gift the Universe made me!…
With love and gratefulness,