Finding meaning when dealing with circumstances

Meaning and creativity - Dala Muses

What an interesting week it has been! I had originally planned to spend the entire Easter weekend painting furniture. I was very excited about it.  Unfortunately a sudden pain in my back and shoulder made it impossible to do any physical work for a couple of days. Lifting my right arm to paint was too painful.

Within a few hours meaninglessness and boredom hit me. It seemed like nothing could motivate me. I had even lost the desire to create anything else than a painted furniture piece. It was a meaning crisis, something a few of my coaching clients struggle with. Something all creatives struggle with from time to time: what makes our life meaningful? How do we find meaning when we think we have lost it? I had to put into practice what I tell clients. I needed to figure out a way to find meaning and motivation again, and most of all despite the imperfect circumstances.

Beyond black and white thinking

My desire to create wasn’t going to come back by just sitting there. Constantly repeating the thought ‘I can’t do anything because of my shoulder’ wasn’t very helpful either. I reflected a little on this fixed and black & white thinking. Was it true that I couldn’t do ‘anything’? Wasn’t there something meaningful and creative I could do that wasn’t painful? Couldn’t I write, a blog post for example, or draw/doodle?

Creating anyway

Yes, I could write or doodle, but I felt so unmotivated that I didn’t feel like anything anymore. And that’s where I had to force myself a little to get out of the situation. Forcing sounds so negative, while it was actually nothing more than picking up the intention to create again. I started writing and doodling despite my initial mindset. And the motivation to create came back through creating.

I learned once again that “only creating when I’m in the mood and have the perfect situation for it” doesn’t work when you want to move forward. You can change this mindset, it’s a bit of work, but it’s doable!

Scandinavian folk art - Dala Muses

This was my favorite doodle from that day. It was inspired by Scandinavian folk art patterns and a bird nesting on our front porch. I even signed up for Society 6. I want to develop my own style of doodles, improve them and figure out if someone will like it. I made the first tiny step: actually creating an account :-).

Are you dealing with circumstances that make it harder to create or stay motivated? Do you carry on with your work or do you drop it as soon as the circumstances aren’t perfect? Share your story with me! Drop me an email, I would love to hear it.

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