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One Little Word Update: October 2021

It’s the 4th Tuesday of the month and that means it’s time to join up with Carolyn and share how I’m doing with my 2021 One Little Word: Create.

My update this month will be slightly different than what I’ve been doing since I haven’t done Ali Edward’s prompt yet. I fully intend to do it, but circumstances lately have relegated it to the back burner. In fact,most of my creative energy has been relegated to the back burner lately.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wondering what to do about it. And here’s the thing . . . having the desire and drive to create comes from a place of growth and in order to be in a place of growth you’ve got to have a lot of other things in place, too. It’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs . . . you can’t get to the place of self-actualization (creativity, in this particular scenario) if you haven’t already had your basic physical and emotional needs met. Now, I’m not saying my needs aren’t being met, but I am saying that the chronic pain I’ve been living with for this last little while has sort of sapped my creative energy and kept me at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs and it’s been a struggle to move towards the top.

In all honesty, this has been a really valuable lesson. Not the pain, because that just sucks, but the realization that being able to create is not automatic but is, instead, a process that comes from a place of privilege. It has also pushed me to consider ways to create that don’t involve art or words on a page or something tangible and that, interestingly enough, is why I chose this word in the first place. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the prompts that come from the class each month, but sometimes I think they make it easy to focus on the doing and not the feeling. Turns out, even if I can’t do, I can still feel. And what I want to feel is authentic and purposeful in this life I am creating daily.

I do have to point out, before I close, that I can’t help but notice the deep irony of my word choice and circumstances once again. In 2020 my word was open and the world, my world, literally closed down. In 2021, I chose this word create and my ability to create (at least with yarn and needles) was taken away in this last quarter of the year due to some physical limitations I had no way of predicting.

I think that I need to consider my 2022 word very very carefully.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Verrry carefully. But sometimes part of creativity comes from discerning when to modify your plan. Either way, try to enjoy the journey.

  2. Interesting thoughts! Pain does sap your energy, making it hard to create. It’s also ironic that all the wedding knitting may have created the conditions making it impossible to do any knitting. But you’re also taking advantage of the conditions to more fully explore creativity. Pain is limiting, but it sounds like you’re moving beyond.

  3. I think that when things seem darkest . . . the unexpected things happen. And really. . . THAT is what creativity is all about. Creativity comes from deep inside (as you’re discovering right now) and it doesn’t always look pretty. I think your word is teaching you lessons you wouldn’t have found otherwise, y’know? Perhaps you have an uncanny ability to choose the words you need, rather than the words you want????

  4. I understand this so well. Several years ago I tore my rotator cuff and it was the most painful thing I had ever experienced. I discovered how many things in daily life were hampered by my injury… it is hard to be in a good mood of any sort when even the simple daily tasks are filled with discomfort.

    I hope that your appointment is SOONER than later! (and I am with you on word selection for next year!)

  5. I love your post today and it actually made me think of my mom who had arthritis so bad in her hands that she no longer could paint or crochet. She was a very creative person and it was hard for me to see her not be able to do the things she loved, but she never stopped be creative. She just found other things to express her creatively. For me it’s the loss to what is loved that can darken the other possibilities that are out there. You will find your way through this and in time, be able to return to the things you once loved. Meantime just think of all the new fun things you can discover to let your creativity shine.

  6. I have been thinking about you a lot the last few weeks. I have had some hand pain which means being careful not to knit as long as I had been knitting. I am loving this connection you are making between the desire and the action. I hope that your appointment is coming up soon and that you will get some helpful answers.

  7. You make so many soul connections here, Carole…I guess I don’t know what else to call them. I’ll just comment on one, right now–and that’s how astute I think this sentence is: ‘…the realization that being able to create is not automatic but is, instead, a process that comes from a place of privilege.’ Whether emotional circumstances or finances or health or what have you, yes. Like many of us, I have been in both places, and I can’t help but think of those times as the mud for the lotus flower. But…here’s to less mud.

  8. Oh dear, I am so sorry that you are struggling with some hand pain…I didn’t know that. Having lived with chronic pain for what seems like a lifetime, but in actuality, probably 10 years, I completely understand who it can affect they way you approach things, including creativity. I think it’s a positive thing that you are looking at other ways to feed the creativity that I know lives in your soul. Much love!

  9. While your thoughts about your last 2 years and you chosen words are incredibly wise and thoughtful, I think you might widen your thought process to consider whether you would have noticed significant related challenges no matter what word you chose. I think the work you have put in on becoming more introspective about your path may have resulted in a more astute response than you would have had in the past. So, choose away next year, Carole. I think you will learn something and will be quicker to notice challenges and lessons no matter what word you choose. Now that this lesson is learned, I hope your pain and discomfort disappears very soon! Chronic pain is incredibly difficult to manage on a day to day basis. Sending all good thoughts your way for healing and a return to what you love.

  10. oh my. yes. and I’m so sorry the pain isn’t abating AND is limiting you. Thank you for sharing about the connection to privilege. You’ve got me thinking, too.

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