HEART, MIND, SOUL
Between Creator & Creation: What Stands in the Gap?
Eva Cruz Pena, Creative Process
17 May 2017
We enter the creative process with both excitement and trepidation. Right away we notice there’s a gap between creator and creation. For some, the gap seems like a hop, skip and a jump but for many of us, the gap might seem more like a trek into a dark forest. What stands in that gap can haunt us to the point of paralyzing us in our creative process causing us to neglect an essential aspect of our nature.
So, what stands in the gap between creator and creation? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not our tools that stand in the gap. What stands in the gap are our feelings and thoughts about our ability to create. More often than not, these aren’t positive. We stand in the gap facing feelings of frustration, fear, and shame.
A secondary emotion, frustration is triggered by the inability to change or achieve something. Commonly, it manifests as one being upset or annoyed. Frustration shows up in the gap when we hit a bump, something doesn’t work the way we anticipated. However, being a secondary emotion, it points to a different issue- lack of preparation, an imbalance in priorities, unrealistic expectations, and others issues.
Reflect: What are some things you find frustrating in the creative process?
A powerful primitive emotion, fear alerts us to the presence of danger. It’s a primary emotion that usually triggers one of three responses- fight, flight or freeze. As a life coach, and in regards to the creative process, I encourage people to respond differently to fear by welcoming it and allow it to become a self-exploration tool.
Fear shows up in the gap threatening to paralyze us (freeze) or make us want to give up altogether (flee). “Feel the fear and do it anyways” (Susan Jeffers) is one of the quotes I make sure I have visible when I create.
Reflect: What fears do you experience in the gap?
Shame is a powerful emotion that responds to a sense of failure to attain some ideal state (Dr. Shahram Heshmat, 2015). Shame is an intense and painful feeling that pushes us to believe that we are flawed and unworthy. It shows up in the gap because it’s closely tied to the creative process. Most of our shame issues originated during our childhood when we explored creativity through play; therefore every time, as adults, we intend to create, those feelings creep back in. “I can’t do this, there must be something wrong with me”. “I’m a terrible sewer.” “I suck at sewing.” Haven’t we, at some point, entertained these thoughts while in the gap of creating something?
Reflect: How does shame show up for you in the creative process?
I hope to explore more of these feelings as they pertain to the process of creating and how you can work through them so that you’re able to own your creator identity, become strong working in the gap and enjoy the process and feel a sense of joy and fulfillment from your creation.
I’d love to read your comments. If you’re feeling courageous, please answer these two questions:
What stands in the gap between you and what you want to create?
What would you like to fill the gap with?
Thank you for your time! Much love,
*This post was originally written for my column in Sew Sew Def Magazine.
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