One of the most frustrating, reoccurring dreams I have goes something like this: a friend invites me on a fun trip and I enthusiastically agree to go. I feel very happy and excited to go on an adventure but then as soon as I start packing frustration begins. I keep finding more and more stuff that I need to pack and to prepare myself for the journey. I also realize that before I pack stuff I need for the trip, I first need to rearrange and clean them. While I'm in the process of doing it, often someone comes by to interrupt me demanding I do something for them, run an errand or help them with some petty problem. Of course, this distracts me from doing my own thing and around then I also realize that I'm getting late for my trip. I should've been on my way already but I haven't even finished packing up the essentials and the amount of other (often trivial, annoying) things to do keeps pilling up. At that point in my dream I start feeling sad and disappointed because I missed my opportunity to go on a fun adventure yet I keep on desperately cleaning, rearranging stuff and packing even though I know I'm not going anywhere. All I wanted to do in my dream is to leave, to run out, freely, without any restraints or baggage yet I was held up by endless preparation process.
This type of dream reflects my frustrations with constantly feeling like I'm stuck in some sort of preparation phase, getting ready to do what I really want to but being too overwhelmed by day-to-day problems, domestic minutiae and other people's needs and demands. I'm always one task, one errand, one obligation away from taking some time just for myself, from tending to my own needs. It gets incredibly exhausting and frustrating. All I want to do is let go of all the baggage and finally do the things I need to feel energized and replenished. I think a lot of us have felt the same at least in some period of our lives (especially women).
This process also affects my creative life. I make my best work when I'm being spontaneous, without any planning or preparation, when I allow myself to be as expressive as I need to, when I'm working fast. Too often I catch myself stifling my own creativity by doing too much planning, by overthinking (sometimes to a point of giving myself a headache), by disrespecting my own needs. Over-planning and overthinking can definitely suck out the joy from creative process, making painting feel as yet another task to fulfill, another thing to cross off the to-do list rather than an act of unrestrained self-expression I crave in order to feel truly alive.
Recently I was encouraged to a to start a very exciting, fun project and my first reaction to it was no, I can't possibly just start doing it, I must prepare, do the research, make plans... so I've spent last 5 days giving myself headache by overthinking and trying to plan out every little detail in advance. While making plans can be valuable, sometimes it's more important, especially when it comes to creative endeavors to just let it go and take action then adjust as you go along.
So, today I'm reminding myself to: stop preparing, start doing, take action, be spontaneous and enjoy the process and most importantly: LET GO OF ALL THE BAGGAGE AND RUN.