creative personality: Order and Obsession

22 Jun

Creation is about many things.  It is partly about an ordering.  When we look at nature, we are filled with wonder at the order.  Every detail in its place, every component with its function.  For many of us, this profound and infinite order evident in Creation is some of the best evidence we have for a Creator.  For how could such order simply evolve, randomly?

In your own creative life, you recognize how critical order and organization is, both in your approach to creative work and in the creations themselves.  And because creative work is your raison d’etre – for everything you do each day, even your mundane activity – drives you to those points in the day when you can actively work on your projects – the need to order and organize is not merely a helpful “tool.”  The need for order is hardwired into your personality as an artist.

So what happens when ordering fails, when the Universe says “NO”, when technology rebels?  The natural response, especially from the artistic personality, is tension, anger, frustration, an obsession to find a solution, and compulsive behavioral responses (e.g. – smashing the computer to bits).

This morning our Composer of Music and Art is enjoying the creative space that a day off from the day job affords her.  Something simple has been bothering her with the computer.  Every time she boots up in Google she is getting an unwanted “Babylon Search” tool by default.  She was biting the bullet on this for a week or two, but this morning, with her happy vacation head, she determined to fight back.  With clarity and optimism, she went into her Google browser settings and easily found the area where she could set her search bar defaults.  And set them she did.  And restart her computer she did.  And low and behold, Babylon was STILL THERE!

Damn!  Crap!  Her arms grew tight.  Her breathing shallowed.  Her heartbeat quickened.  Her brow furrowed.  “I will defeat this” she cried.  “I will control my computer.  This computer is a component of my creative toolbox and I need to be the boss here.  I need to establish the environment most conducive to my creative work, my creative thought.”  And on and on she obsessed.  She looked in the control panel to find Babylon in the programs list so she could uninstall.  But Babylon was hiding.  She couldn’t find it.

More racing of the heart.  More cursing the demons that damned her process.  More tightening of limbs and furrowing of the brow.  Now the stomach was forming an exquisite knot.

But thankfully, the Wisdom which has been nurtured over the years and dwells in the soft grays of our Lady’s long and (mostly) raven black hair began sending their soothing message.  “Listen, Girl, to what the Universe has to say.  Listen and learn about a higher order, a higher level of organization.  Do you really think you won’t be able to rid yourself of Babylon in your browser if that is what your creative process ultimately requires.  Perhaps the resistance offered against you now by the Universe is to direct you in some way, to teach you in some way.”

So our Composer started taking some deeper breaths, the light returned to her eyes, the smile to her lips.   She realized that the more important ordering that needed attention this morning was not removing a bit of software from her computer, but rather a little psychological housecleaning.  It was rather a morning for reaffirming priorities, for focusing more intently on the completion of certain projects in process.  She did not need to take on anything new this morning.  She needed to finish the ordering and organization of thought and material necessary to finish what was already in process.

And so you can learn a little something this morning when the Universe seems to say “No.”   You are a critical partner with G-d in His ongoing process of Creation.  As such, He is very much interested in your success, in your correct focus and capacity to work productively.  What appears at first as a roadblock is more often Dad’s way of redirecting our attention – if only we can be humble and flexible enough to recognize and respond.

And you can be.  Because you have recognized that at the end, it is not about the momentary satisfaction you might gain from a particular success, or completion of work, or feedback and recognition.  It is about becoming an effective channel, an effective vehicle that drives, in a small way, the ongoing Creation of the world.

Spark on!


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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in creative personality


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