I’m that person you sit next to at the movie theater who screams out loud, sobs audibly, and jumps out of her chair at every slightly surprising moment.
(You might want to stay far away from me during La La Land, but luckily this communication is via email so we can laugh about it now without you giving me dirty looks.)
I feel things deeply and have a desire to express those feelings.
Perhaps you do, too.
(Isn’t that why we are drawn to being artists?)
If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I’m huge fan of self expression, of starting before you’re ready, and of letting your inspiration lead the way. I believe that creativity can get stifled if we plan it out too much or try to perfect everything we do.
Today, however, I want to mention a caveat to that theory:
You don’t have to give it all away at once. Sometimes waiting is necessary.
There are some projects that are meant to be shared on the spot. Like a poem written on the subway or a dance video you record on the fly.
Others require time to brew. Like wine. Or stew. Or the second season of The OA on Netflix. (Will they hurry it up, though?! I mean…. )
Just because you don’t share everything you do right away, doesn’t mean you’re a procrastinator or not a prolific artist. It might just mean you’re taking your time. It might just mean you’re calm and collected and cool as a cat, pregnant with lots of creative cat babies.
The art I’m learning right now is the art of a slow release. Having an idea or inspiration or feeling of excitement, and instead of jumping right away to execute and express it, taking the time to marinate on it and deliver it only when it feels truly ready to be born.
It’s hard to do when I feel like there’s this growing energy inside of me that wants to burst forth and shower the world with dance and love at every moment, but that’s where dance breaks and restorative yoga come in.
Our bodies are made to be creative vessels for expression and art, but that doesn’t mean they constantly have to be producing and doing and sharing.
Our bodies also have great capacity to hold things. Let yourself be pregnant with inspiration for awhile and see how it feels. You might be surprised by the outcome.
So, to sum it all up simply:
Express yourself: yes.
Deplete yourself: no.
Where are you on the spectrum?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how you’re doing with your expressive habits. (And whether or not I’m alone in the screaming movie theater thing!)
And, if you’re having trouble distinguishing between expression and exhaustion, or alternately, if you’re bordering on the procrastination side of the spectrum and aren’t sure how to get things moving, I’d be thrilled to see how I can help.
Send me an email. I have 3 spots opening in March for my “Dance Your Dance” coaching program, and I’d be happy to share more about how the process works and see if it might be a good fit for YOU.
Til then, here’s to unabashed reactive expression at the movie theater, and selective expression everywhere else.
You are a cool cat.