Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Let The Confusion In

3 Comments

Somewhere during October and November I begin to grow tired of my production art work.  I start to ask myself why I’m making these pieces.  I want to stop what I’m making and do something completely different.  New ideas flood my head that I can’t act upon until after orders are filled.

Waverly Fitzgerald, in her Living In Season, October Newsletter, explains that this feeling in the autumn may be due to boredom.  That makes sense.  Production work can be a mindless activity.  You make similar items multiple times, over and over again until you don’t want to do it anymore.  When this happens, you might question the direction of your work, your motivation, and decide it is time to rethink what your doing.

It also creates confusion.

Shakti Gawain has some timely words regarding this period of confusion.

When you’re going through a period of confusion, hang in there.  Let yourself feel somewhat confused or disoriented or stuck.  Sometimes you need to sit with these feelings for a while.  It’s okay to do that.  Go inside and ask for guidance.  Ask for what you’re meant to be learning.  Let yourself be guided to people or situations that can help you.  Gradually, you’ll move through it.  It’s always worth it.  Once you look back on a confusing period, you’ll be able to see what you gained from it.

O.K; I’ll let these thoughts and feelings float around for a while.  I know I can finish these last orders and have them shipped out by the end of the month.  And then I can consider these other ideas in my head; the art dolls I want to make; this thought that keeps popping up in my head to buy a sewing machine; the soldering class I’m going to take; rearranging my studio; the metal art I want to play with; maybe sketching each day or sketching or painting to music; and, and, and.

Bruce Baker calls it MAD; multiple artist disorder.  As artists we often want to make many different things in different mediums.  I can hear him saying on his customer service techniques CD “On Monday I make jewlery, On Tuesday I blow glass, On Wednesday I make paper…”

Shakti follows-up with these words:

When you are in confusion, it’s not easy to stay with your process.  Part of you wants one thing and part of you wants another.  You want to decide once and for all, to come to a conclusion.  But if you can hold all these different feelings in yourself and be aware of them–be in conflict, be in confusion, be in uncertainty–then the certainty will come from someplace deep within you.  Your own inner truth will guide you.  But if you try to cut this process short, you will deprive yourself of the opportunity to reach that place of certainty.

I’d say that is pretty accurate. I don’t want to keep making BS and card cases, and perfume pens.  But then I’m afraid if I don’t have these things to make, what will I do with myself?  Maybe, somewhere deep down, I’m also afraid to make art dolls a full-time venture.

When I’m doing production work, I want to do something different.  However, when I have the time to do something different, will I freeze and not know which direction to take or where to start first?

I don’t like feeling confused yet it is a part of our life.  Confusion is something to be embraced knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Confusion is not helplessness; it is a time of transition.

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3 thoughts on “Let The Confusion In

  1. Hi Amy,
    I know that in the fall, I start to turn my focus inward, almost wanting to curl up in a little ball at times and go into hibernation. In reading Waverly’s book, Slow Time, she talks about the lower light levels in the fall affecting our circadian rhythms. Unfortunately, this is the busiest time of year for a lot of us. It definitely is for me with my jewelry show in November and my job at the tea company becoming incredibly busy during the holiday season. It sounds like your schedule is very busy now, too, with doing the obligatory thing. Perhaps this imbalance between what we are responsible to do in our lives and what we feel compelled to do physically and emotionally creates confusion as well.
    Oh boy, I definitely have multiple artist disorder! Bruce Baker sounds like a very wise man. I think I’ll go check out his website.
    Thanks for this very insightful post!
    -Karen

  2. OH! So this is why I’m at loose ends right now?! I echo Karen’s thanks for your insights in this post.

  3. Thanks for the compliments Karen and Michelle. I’m learning to respect time and enjoy it. In our fast-paced world it seems we’ve forgotten to work with time instead of against it. From technological advances to stopping aging, we run from time instead of embracing it. Learning to live with our natural rhythms and accept times of transition isn’t easy. Yet trying to understand this process is slowly making life a little easier for me. I hope it helps you too!

    -Amy

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