Hands hovering over my head, I’m laying flat on a treatment bed, breathing slowly, energy slightly nervous as I surrender to the reiki given to me. As I sink deeper into the bed, I’m eagerly anticipating my favourite part of the session: the lowdown on what’s going on energetically with me. It comes as no surprise when the words “your mind is busy and your root is disconnected” are uttered. I’ve had reiki all over the world and every practitioner has said almost word for word the same thing.
Fully aware of this disconnect, I spend a lot of my searching for ways to quiet my mind (ironic, I know).
I can probably guess what you’re thinking… I’m in need of mediation, but as an air sign and dominant vata dosha, being left to sit with my busy mind and “focus on the breath” tends to feel like the most unnatural thing in the world. What most people don’t realise is that when you’re experiencing an excess of air, meditation can often exaggerate the sensation and be wildly unhelpful. Single-point focus is far more beneficial (counting breaths, meditative tasks etc.).
With a sense that my mind was even busier than usual, I felt a sudden urge to colour one evening whilst I was rewatching Gossip Girl reruns. As someone whose hands need to be busy when anxiety arises, I’ve often turned to artwork to soothe me (heightened by a mum and grandmother who put knitting needles in my hands before a pen). So I ordered a next day delivery for a “manifestation colouring book”, beautiful pastel colouring pencils to match (if you know me, you know) and set the intention to spend my evenings lost in shapes and colours.
Upon beginning my first page I instantly felt the excitement kick in.
Hand-selecting a shade, deciding what part of the picture to fill it with and creating a satisfying mirage of colour was enough to fill me with peace (more like a distraction from my inner turmoil, but that doesn’t sound as good).
Before long though, my mind rushes to “I’m going to do a page a night!”, as I feel the surge kick in. I become lost in the piece, continuously looking to see how much I’ve done and trying to eliminate how far I have to go. Fast forward to hours later, my grandma-worthy bedtime approaches and I realise I’m not even a 1/10th of the way through this single piece.
Instantly I start pushing the parameters.
Oh, what’s half an hour more? I’m not even that tired (as my eyelid twitches). Ok, just one more branch. Then I realised something. Every bit of messaging I absorb around creation on social media is rooted in how to make the process quicker. You know the type I mean “make your whole month’s worth of content in 30 seconds”, “save time and steal our captions”, “use this exact strategy to 10x your creations”.
It’s all faster faster faster because “time is money”, hey! As I sat with my pencil poised I wondered why I felt the urge to finish this quickly. Is the whole joy of art not watching things evolve over time? Why do I think I need to achieve “one picture a night” like I’ll be awarded a grand prize if I do? When did everything become something to succeed at?
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’ll create a piece of content in mere minutes (like this very Substack).
Often, I’ll have a creative surge and draft up pages and pages of content in an hour. Sometimes ideas tumble out of me so quickly that my fingers can’t move quickly enough to capture them. But for the times they don’t, why do I feel the need to create such urgency? Is it any wonder so many of us feel disconnected from the joy of creating? And as a result, find that our creations aren’t really connecting with others either?
What if we slowed the process down? What if there was no rush to completion? What if we created less, but did so more meaningful? Well, I know what would happen if… I know we would enjoy the process more, connect with others more deeply and feel more like a human rather than a machine churning out goods.
And I have a FREE class diving into this...