The Joy of Opportunity

 

It’s been a while since my last and only post. I’ve thought about abandoning this blog completely. I started it on a whim, a sudden burst of creativity. But I’ve been unclear as to why I want this blog to exist, what I want to share of myself, who I want to connect with here.

I used to write, draw, make up songs. My body used to hum with ideas, my fingers twitching to create. Then I abandoned that part of me in favour of study, work and relationships. Sometimes looking at a beautiful piece of art or reading a few words that are delicious on the tongue, I will remember I once had a creative spirit too. But I don’t give it any more thought, because surely I have more important things to do with my time.

What I can’t admit to myself is that I miss that kind of energy and imagination, and I’m afraid I’ve lost it for good. I’ve been concentrating so much on becoming an “adult” I’ve overlooked how essential the ability to play is to being the kind of grown up I want to be. I feel envious of those who have managed to successfully centre their life around their creativity. They have a lightness that only comes when you do what you love, what nurtures you.

When I am absorbed in a creative project, I feel more connected to who I am. I come back to myself. In this time, there are precious moments when my mind clears and I am fully present, simply enjoying right now. This is what I crave now, and am unsure of how to get there.

I have a very demanding and challenging job. I struggle to keep myself centered. I often get caught up in consumerism, thinking “if only I had that dress, I’d be happy” or “if only I could afford a trip away to somewhere exotic, then I’d be interesting to others”. I am self-conscious about using words like “soul” and “authenticity” in conversations. I know I need some kind of spiritual (I cringe at that word, but have not found anything better yet) practice in my daily routine to maintain a good state and continue to have depth in my life, but I am not brave enough to seek it in any purposeful way.

Recently I have thought a lot about finding a Buddhist* group to hang out with, or attending a weekly meditation class.

Then it occured to me that I do not need to go anywhere or be around any particular person to stretch my soul. I am presented with opportunities to practice every day. Those tasks I hate doing, the people who annoy me, the times I find myself projecting my own issues onto others – these are my best spiritual teachers. And then there are also the times (however infrequent these days) when I find myself holding a camera, doodling on piece of a paper, or drafting a poem in my head while out on a walk – the joy of spontaneous creativity takes over, fills me up, and reassures me that that part of myself will always be there when I give myself quiet and space.

*I am not of any particular spiritual or religious belief. I enjoy exploring different ideas, and I collect those that reasonate with me. I do find myself drawn to Buddhism and Taoism in particular – I appreciate the simplicity of the teachings, the emphasis on mindfulness and the acceptance of imperfection.

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