‘You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.’

Isak Dinesen

If anyone has ever read ‘The Power of Now’, the author, Erckhart Tolle encourages the reader to stop for a moment and decide exactly how they are feeling in this specific moment. You may well be feeling unhappy, disgruntled, forlorn, love struck, heartbroken or whatever (have I just described myself I wonder in my choice of vocabulary ha ha?) but actually when you take the temperature of ‘now’ things can seem very different to te feelings you might have been labouring under. Yes, it’s true I have probably felt all of those emotions this morning already, but  these feelings or instincts are like clouds that constantly transform themselves.

Input has been significant since I woke up and my attitude has changed accordingly. I may think I am feeling a little down but this is almost lazy thinking because when I really question my mood and ask myself, ‘How do you feel right now?’ I find that I am optimistic while I write this blog, I can hear the birds signing in the garden, the air temperature is warm and I am in my favourite space, in the study, doing my favourite thing, writing. So, what is there to feel disgruntled about? Sometimes you just think you feel down.

As creatives we often put ourselves under tremendous pressure and aim so high, the journey seems impossible. What if I haven’t finished this book by next year? What if I haven’t got any more freelance work? What if? Indeed, what if, isn’t ‘what is’ and that’s the thing to remember. We are all so hard on ourselves and with constant criticism comes the desire to give up. Who wants to continue working with someone who constantly criticises? That’s why it’s hard to write when an inner voice is always ready with a put down.

We may not have the money or the time to indulge in a writing retreat but we can certainly retreat into our own calm space and treat ourselves in a kindly fashion and that costs nothing but effort and care. Although, that said, a change of scenery, a journey, new air and a sojourn away from the everyday can have a tremendous impact on how we see ourselves in relation to the world. Journeys and exploration often sharpens up thoughts that have been swirling around without definition in our minds. When you visit somewhere new you assimilate the experience with what you know about yourself and that can be extremely useful.

Certainly, to concentrate on the now is important and can make tremendous inroads into any feelings of creative inadequacy. When you have finished reading this blog then begin writing or sketching or something. Get lost in the moment, stop fretting about what might happen and what will happen if something doesn’t happen (ha ha) and just put your fingers to the keys, pen to paper and begin. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it, if you don’t have anything to say, that you have given up on thinking forever more. Just begin and you will find yourself mining all the information and experiences stored on that extraordinary hard drive we call our brain. Just think, when did it need an upgrade, when did it need a new processor, when did it need more memory? Exactly, so don’t waste the potential of this wonderful ability each of us have – use it now and stop ruining the present.

 

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