The Next Chapter: Creativity

Friday, October 16, 2009



It's Friday and time for the blogging book club discussion of our current book. I go into this week's blog post discussing The Joy Diet by Martha Beck unsure of what I will write.

I typically have pages in my journal or pictures drawn reflecting the exercises each week. This one was tough. Truth be told, I almost felt like it did not belong in the book. When I saw that this week's chapter was devoted to creativity, I was eager to begin. I happen to be a bit disappointed in the book this week. I am all for nourishing and cultivating my creativity. I've done exercises on this in the past. In fact, the book club for bloggers to discuss The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women allowed me to do just that and I am thankful for every chapter of that book.

This week's exercises on creativity, though, are rather confusing to me.

For instance, one assignment was to "Perseverate on your enemies. Target an individual or group you hate. Say what you hate most about them. Say what you hate most about them. See if a reframed version of this quality might be something you either need, or already have. Let yourself act as your enemy acts, within your moral boundaries."

Hmmm.... I actually do not hate anybody. Hate is a very strong word with so much anger behind it. There are types of people (murderers, rapists, pedophiles, bullies, drunk drivers, abusers of any kind) with behavior and actions I find unconscionable--people without morals or regard for others. There are also people I wouldn't choose to befriend, but to hate someone is completely different.

Life is fragile. It is a beautiful, remarkable, sometimes painful--but even more joyful--gift we have been given and to spend one second of this gift stewing over negative feelings toward others is to take advantage of that gift.

I do not believe in having regrets in life. This is not something I want. Choosing to have enemies or to hate someone seems senseless to me.

If I were to do the task asked of me by the author, Martha Beck, I'd be listing qualities such as deliberately hurting others, bullying, making someone feel worthless, etc. These are qualities I never wish to possess and I wouldn't consider them to be something I need in my life.

There is one area of the Creativity chapter I did do, though. The direction to "Do one thing different. As you go through customary activities, change your behavior in one way. Walk a different route to the kitchen, eat spaghetti with your fingers, walk the cat."

I admittedly am a creature of habit. While I am spontaneous and can do things on a whim, I have my tendencies to follow a routine. I never walk through the dining room after coming downstairs in the morning to get to the kitchen. Why? Going through the living room is actually the longer route. I have always gone this way though--and have done so daily for the past 5 years.

I also do my makeup in the same order each day and have done so for at least a decade--what would happen if I did my right eye first instead of my left? I do the left eye brow, left cheek....left side for powder....even my sunscreen goes on the left cheek first.

I changed things up a bit. There was no difference getting to the kitchen. It's funny, though, that it tool me 5 minutes longer in the bathroom doing my makeup the day I switched sides--it threw me off.

I am eager to read the other bloggers' thoughts on this chapter and am looking forward to a more productive next chapter on risk.
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