create something just for you

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I need a creative ritual.

That’s what I’ve been thinking lately, as I get closer and closer to end of my journey. (By the way, I passed my first test!) As much as I need to focus now, I also need to be grounded by a small creative practice.

I’ve had to relegate a lot of my creative urges to the perimeter of my life these past few months, but now they’re approaching my door and it’s time to pay attention. I’m pretty sure I need them to help me get through this last leg.

So I opened the door and the ideas came swirling in. Many possibilities. And something else too. A thought that I could share this, my unnamed, unformed ritual or practice. I could make it something.

Then another thought came almost as quickly: No. Keep it for yourself. For your eyes only. No sharing.

Now, we live in a time that might as well be called The Era of Sharing. I love how Stephen Marche described it last year in an article about Facebook: Curating the exhibition of self has become a 24/7 occupation.

Personally, I don’t want to spend much time curating myself or my life. Curating is what they do in museums, and yes, it certainly does produce pretty things. But I don’t live in a museum.

It’s hard to resist the impulse to curate and share, though.

You know: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest. My clients often feel overwhelmed trying to keep up. Not to mention the time suck. Oh, and the danger of comparing your life to someone else’s perfectly curated life and coming away thinking there’s something wrong with you. Yeah, that’s a big one. But I bet you already know all about that.

There’s something even deeper to consider here though: meaning.

Whatever my unformed creative ritual becomes, if I start with the intent of sharing and have that in mind as I’m doing it, stop in the midst of it to take pictures, then splash them up for all to see along with a written chronicle, well then I possibly lose something quite dear: Joy. Flow. Release. Satisfaction. Meaning. (Or at least some small measure of them.)

That’s because whenever we step outside the moment of an experience, to comment on it or project it into the future, we risk losing some of the be here now quality of it, which is usually where deep meaning resides. The irony is that we think all this sharing increases feelings of meaning, while in reality it may have the opposite effect: feelings of emptiness and loneliness.

So sometime soon, when you enter that sacred space to create, keep it for yourself.

Whether you’re creating a meal or a moment of meaning. A poem or a photo. A story or a song. A walk in the woods.

Whatever they are, hold your creations close and safe. And keep some of them just for you. 

Of course you know I don’t think we must do this all the time! But a little pulling back on the sharing could be an interesting experiment. Who knows what meaning we might unearth when we do?

I often remember the old Native American belief that says you lose a tiny piece of soul each time someone takes your picture. Maybe there’s a 21st century version of that too. Something like…

It’s wise to be careful when curating and sharing your life and creations. Otherwise you risk losing tiny little pieces of meaning.

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Comments are closed since I’m madly studying for exams (although blogging continues). I’m on social media hiatus too but love hearing from you by email: pattybechtold (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also sign up for my Inner Circle Newsletter right here and get monthly-ish inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.