Thoughts on Chores, Surrender & Creativity
The words for the thoughts that I'm about to share with you came to me while I was doing the laundry, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom. I love how seemingly mundane moments sometimes hold life's greatest treasures.
I've spent some moments over the past few weeks feeling a little creatively stuck. Over time I realized that this stuckness stemmed from my own resistance. My resistance towards what is. The what is in this case being silly things like having to do the laundry, the dishes or clean the dirty bathroom.
René has been deeply immersed in a large scale film project. This means that some of our mutual projects don't get center stage right now, and he hasn't had as much time to contribute to the household. Both of us are big believers in gender equality, which also translates very much into the way we run our home. So over time I noticed myself feeling more and more perturbed by the fact that I was spending more and more time doing the dishes, doing the laundry and yes, cleaning the baño- a chore I always happily handed off to René. And then after a while this perturbedness (the correct word is perturbation, but I don't like the way that sounds so I'm settling for perturbedness #wordnerdmoment ;-)) turned into resentment. And I lived with that for a while and began to notice how my creativity started to dim. Resentment kills creativity. It sits within us and festers and takes up the space where creativity wants to live and breathe. But at first I didn't even realize that the two were related.
And then last week I caught myself. I realized that I could either keep on feeling this way and wallowing in my, not very well-founded, resentment, or I could try a different approach. I could allow myself to understand that René was doing the very best he could given the circumstances. Which he always was and is doing. And then I could take this understanding a step further and use it to embrace the present fully. Embrace it as a time to support another human being, who happens to be my wonderful, kind, caring and loving husband. And let this time be about him. I'm an only child. And I'm not sure whether this comes from my only-childness, but there have been times where I've caught myself because I want the focus to be on me me me. So I decided to use this instance as an opportunity to let all of that go and to let the focus be on him.
I reached this conclusion when I was in a grocery store parking lot. And as soon as I set this intention, something shifted within me. I remember it distinctly, because I drove home feeling lighter, clearer, more calm. When I got home I unloaded the groceries with a sense of joy, which also fueled and motivated me to delve into some other chores that evening. The next morning I woke up feeling inspired and excited to dive back into my creative work. Not only did I create external space for my creative work, because I didn't have as many chores to tend to; but I also created internal space, because I let go of my inner resentment by embracing the current circumstances.
The funny thing is, even though I've surrendered to doing more house-related work during this time period, I find myself having more time for my creative work than when I was resisting my chores. I realized that my feeling resentful was actually taking up more time and energy, than my embracing and doing my chores with a sense of joy, ease and openness.
That said, I still have my moments of being human. There are still times when I catch myself feeling frustrated when I walk into a kitchen of dirty dishes. And that's okay too; this shift in thoughts and attitude is a work in progress. When I catch myself feeling that resentment creeping in, I'm gentle with myself and allow myself to remember how good the other approach feels; the approach that isn't just focused on me.
And with that, I'll wrap up today's musings on surrender, creativity and chores. Thank you so much for reading, friends, and giving me and opportunity to share with you.
Wishing you all a beautiful and creatively inspired day.
With love & creativity,
words: Leah Salinas // photo: Juliana Mariia Rose