Fanning the Flames
Balancing the Blanks
If you're like me, you sometimes get overwhelmed by choices. I had a simple task yesterday. (Or so it seemed) I probably should have thought of all this before leaving the house, but nobody's perfect and I was more excited about seeing someone than listing vegetables. I thought it wouldn't be that hard. Go to the store in the morning and pick out a couple of things for a brunch date who's vegetarian. Well, first I made the mistake of going to any grocery store while hungry. Then I was standing in the vast array of gorgeous produce and I blanked. What would I make? I was overwhelmed by all the pretty displays, the slew of options, and the yummy nearby snacks that were arranged so enticingly. It all looked good. It was also too much.
I closed my eyes for a second and took a breath. What did I have at home? Onions, peppers, garlic, coleslaw mix, seasonings, olive oil. What could I add to that? A little tofu for protein. Mushrooms. Snap peas. I opened my eyes because now I had a list. I could focus on the three little things I needed and go home to cook. I put together a lovely and delicious stir-fry we could both eat and we had a great time. (Secret: Udi's gluten-free blueberry muffins are actually very tasty!)
Sometimes we might have a slew of ideas and not know where to start, or we get to the art supply/craft store and stare blankly at how many different options there are when all we wanted was a ball of yarn, or a tube of paint, or a strand of pink beads, or, or... Maybe we've started too many projects and don't know which to work on next. Maybe we feel like none of them will get finished. Maybe we see the dishes piling up and the more dishes in the sink, the less we want to take care of that pile.
The key is to break it down into smaller steps. What we think might be simple, like just getting something from the store, might be better served by thinking for a moment first about the first tiny step. Mine was just to think about what I already had and could use. When I get a lot of great ideas for art, I make a list. Humans do love our lists. (Just think of all the menu's you've read!) Then I think about the items on the list. What gives me the most energy, the most impetus? Sometimes it can take a day or so to even decide that. That's okay too, it's normal. But at least with making a list, I've kept those other ideas for later. A different one might spark my creativity at another time. Think of it like a bank of ideas and you've just deposited your extras for saving. If you need to get something done, break it down in a list to the tiniest steps possible. Starting by simply getting out your paints or opening that Word doc is a lot more attainable than "I'm going to make art! I'm going to write a book!"
You can get your momentum back. You can make the choice. You can get started. It just takes a very tiny first step.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and stuck, or even unable to start?  I can help you with that. Contact me and together we will discover a small step to kick-start your process again.
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Fanning the Flames, copyright 2019 Meghan O'Connor, all rights reserved.
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Keynote Creativity Coaching  •  PO Box 7053  •  Albuquerque, NM 87194

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