It’s all part of the process…. if that rings a bell, it is a lovely song by Morcheeba, who I once saw live in a flea pit in Leeds. Skye is even more beautiful in real life than she looks in her photos.
As a writer, as a musician, as someone who is always striving and wanting to achieve (have you seen the list of professional qualifications I have, it’s daft and I am still paying the graduate loans on some of them), the concept that we can just show up and do the work and that be what we are aiming for is quite a strange one.
However, it is an idea that is beginning to resonate and hold true for me.
The process is what is important.
The process of turning up day after day and doing the work. Working on a novel, writing blog posts, working on a e-course. None of these things are quick. If I only write when I have the perfect space (my cosy writing nook of my dreams) then nothing will EVER get done. If I only write when I am totally pain free and full of energy, focused and raring to go, with the muse fully behind me, then I will never get anything done. Sitting down and writing for twenty minutes regardless does work. Yes, I probably am not writing pure solid gold. My work needs to be edited and refined, often numerous times depending on what it is. But the process of turning up is what is important.
The same with my music practice. If I wait until I am in my dream soundproofed room which will not allow my work to be heard then I will never play. But turning up and doing the process of my scales, which let’s face it really is boring, is vital. Going over the same difficult phrase again and again, at a very slow pace. That’s the process. Regardless of the pain, tiredness or how much I have to do, I prioritise that.
The same with my prayer and meditation practice. It is a practice – not a perfect. I’m not waiting until I have the peaceful, empty white room of my dreams (are you seeing a pattern here?), I just show up and sit on the mat for twenty minutes. And again at the end of the day. It’s not always amazing, sometimes it is just a routine of emptying my mind and then listening for the still small voice. Often I don’t hear it. It’s not ground breaking, earth shattering realisations of grand dreams, or dramatic proclamations of the truth. It is daily showing up again and again.
For all of this, all I am looking for is the process. The process of playing, writing, praying and meditating. Of course, quite often there is progress, but that is a delightful side affect of showing up day after day and working on the process.
Of course, that’s not to say that I only work for twenty minutes on these things, but if I do that as a minimum on my three creative areas – music, writing and drawing, then that’s an hour of creative time each day and that does add up to something bigger.
Do you need to think about a process rather than achieving? Rather than striving? The idea that you can just BE in your chosen creative and spiritual practice rather than DOING AMAZING THINGS. Does that hold true for you?