Discipline vs chaos

I heard someone this evening say that their creativity comes from being in the first throws of love or from pain and there are always stories of the tortured artist to back this up but for me there is more to it. Yes, art can be an outlet for emotions that one cannot express in words as well as that therapeutic aspect when mental health is unbalanced, but I find that when one is silent and sometimes a little bored, that’s when the creative juices can really flow.

Some people find it very difficult to sit with themselves as lots of thoughts come popping up, sometimes uncomfortable ones, but if one is constantly consuming ideas, news, other people’s issues, I’m thinking here of social media or always making plans to be busy, then how can the subconscious be allowed through, in the former of creativity?

This is why I often do not plan my spare time at all. This allows me to be available to people who might need some support but also time for creative pursuits to come forth. And I always feel lit up when this happens. Taking time for the process to happen naturally.

It also allows time to ‘fill up the well’, as Julia Cameron puts it, in her book ‘The artist’s way’. Even if not creating, we can ‘consume’ ideas, notice details that are happening right her and now. She proposes that repetitive, ‘mindless’ tasks can allow creativity to flourish e.g. driving on the motorway, chopping vegetables, cleaning the bathroom etc. I guess this is like meditation, if we concentrate on these, what may seem, boring tasks, then the channels to our subconscious selves can become opened up.


My practice of knitting with wire is very repetitive and I often go into a state of flow and the wire then can take on a mind of its own. I started making what I thought was a hat in July and stopped half way. Months later symbols of umbrellas kept popping into my mind, whilst day dreaming. I then picked it up again and created an umbrella figure….what did this mean? For me it was about being in a place now where I can support (the stick of the umbrella) and shelter other people (the shade) who need it at the moment and I feel privileged to be able to do this at this time in my life.

Allowing space for the creative force to flow is a discipline now and not some chaotic process. To achieve balance in life, I regularly build this into how I live.

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