What are you making today? Artistically, I mean. What will you be making … for yourself, for someone else, or both? Maybe that seems an obvious inquiry, but I think it’s worth asking routinely.
What pops into your consciousness in response to the question? If you pay close attention, you may catch fleeting inspirations that can all too easily flit away. So … be quick! Take a photo, make a note, leave yourself a voice memo. Any idea that pops up is fair game. In this first phase of making whatever it is you’re making, there are no mistakes. Isn’t that great?!
You could write it down. Read it out loud. Sing it. Draw it. Whatever. It’s yours. Is it a seed? Or is it fully formed already? Maybe you don’t know. That doesn’t matter. The point is, you’re paying attention. You’re asking the “what am I making today” question and you’re capturing an answer to it in this moment, on this day. If it changes tomorrow, good for you. Catch it again so you’ll be able to see its evolution, how it grows.
Once you’ve made something, what will you do with it? Will you give it to someone? Maybe it’s just for you. Maybe it might inform how you go about your day today — like an intention. Or even a prayer. Maybe it’s a tiny start on a big project that will grow toward something you have yet to envision.
Don’t want to share it? Good for you. Feeling unclear? Stuck? Honor that. Then show up again tomorrow to see what flies in, what the next discovery is. I wonder for myself what would happen if I made this small, mindful routine a habit? What if it became a practice? (I always think practice is such a loaded word, heavy with undeserved emotional baggage … but that’s a topic for any number of additional blog posts! Right?)
In this evolutionary time, I think it’s good to ask this maker question. Mindfully. Every day. Especially, in that moment we start something new – a project, a practice, a habit. With kindness toward ourselves, receptivity toward sometimes difficult thoughts and feelings and respect for “mistakes”, we can intentionally cultivate spontaneous, joyful mind-body states that encourage our creativity to flourish.
So, ask the question. What am I doing and why am I doing it? What will I make today? Welcome any answers that come, even the seemingly misfit ones. And in case you need a little encouragement, I leave you with a well-known quote from the great choreographer, Martha Graham:
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron