There is a scene in A Piece of Work, the documentary on Joan Rivers’ life and work, where Joan lifts her planning book with bare pages to the camera and says, “I’ll show you fear. That’s fear.”
Joan worked nonstop and felt that if she were to ever pause or take time off, someone would take her place.
If you were to open your planner or digital calendar right now, how much “white space” would you see? Is every moment accounted for, including your down time? And if so, is that feeling oddly, simultaneously comforting and frustrating?
But there is another casualty in this self-created culture of constant “on.”
There is no space to learn who we are.
Most coaching clients I work with believe they know who they are (at least initially), and are quick to rattle off what they do for a living as evidence. I then ask again, searching more deeply into their hearts and souls—probing for what they love, what makes their heart sing, what takes them to their knees in sadness, what disgusts them, what breaks their hearts, and what connects them to the deepest and most joyful parts of themselves.
That is when the look of bewilderment, followed by panic, shows in their faces.
As Joseph Campbell notes, in order for us to reconnect to ourselves and rekindle our creativity, we need to become (paradoxically) no one, in no place, in no time. We need a sacred place to retreat to—a place that is not connected, or filled with distractions or noises.
In my mind, this sacred space can be a physical place of refuge and quiet, or a meditative practice like walking in the woods alone, or sitting for an extended meditation.
We have to meet the uncomfortable silence and the not doing. Our ego will wage a war at this point, in a desperate attempt to stay relevant. The only way to move beyond this point is to move through it. Doing so requires you surrender and stay the course with courage.
On other side of this voyage of the Creative Rebel is the most divine remembering of your true self and evidence of the vast, unlimited creativity you possess. Please visit us on Facebook to share your questions and comments.