Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just Show Up

Just as I was trying to find the source of my recent energy drain, along comes Tym with a wonderful video that reaffirms an epiphany I had while I was in California and trying to put into practice.

Lately, I've been feeling de-energized and unmotivated. I had initially thought that my energy drain was due to having to help friends deal with difficult issues in life, but I realise now it's deeper than that - it's creativity fatigue.

To those who do not believe that counselling friends with wisdom and restraint is a creative process, I challenge you to do so. It's just as much effort to frame your ideas, experiences and wisdom in a way that will be understood clearly as it is to teach a class, write poetry or perform on stage.

Elizabeth Gilbert is an amazing speaker, but more importantly, she frames the issue in an interesting manner. Since I've gone through my life-changing experiences, I've been an advocate of taking responsibility only for yourself, and to leave the rest to...well...the rest. I've written about human love and stubborness in the past, as an ingredient for living life after a great tragedy. However, the pieces fall into place so well in this speech that I feel almost...breathless.

Externalize your creativity. Just show up and do your job - let the rest take care of itself.


One of the issues I've been having with swordsmanship isn't lack of practice - it's lack of intent and understanding. The practice we have are merely gates (pardon the small pun here guys!).

Lately I've been unable to synthesize what the practices into something useful. My wheels are spinning but I'm going nowhere. After watching Ms Gilbert's speech, I think I understand what's going on. Sometimes, the process of learning (itself a creative process) involves spinning wheels because synthesis of learning is just as capricious a creature as creativity.

That doesn't mean that I should not make the effort to learn. It just means I don't beat myself up everytime I don't quite learn something as well as I should.

Just show up. Let the rest take care of itself.

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