Today I was watching Mad Men, a tv-show about an advertising agency and so much more. Their firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is going under due to a series of unfortunate events and money is scarce. Donald Draper, the head creative, puts a whole page ad in the New York Times as a clarion call of sovereignty.
This episode went deep deep inside me, because on a feeling level, I got what the show was about.
In 2004 I started my company, Crealife. I had been doing an Internet workshop by Sonia Choquette, Heart’s Desire, working at a creative workshop for unemployed youth. We had just gotten a new boss, who had very definite opinions of how things should be run. She wanted me to work full time, or not at all. I was working for my grand vision of being a Multidimensional Artist some day, so that was a big ultimatum for me. Writing comes first place for me, I told her. I have to write. Well, you’ll just write your own time, then, my boss told me.
It became more and more clear that having my own company was the way to go. The Heart’s Desire workshop by Sonia just clarified this next step that I had been fearing and avoiding. This prickly strong woman who was my boss is someone whom I still remember with affection. When she noticed my hesitation, she suddenly said: “You can take all the products you’ve developed during your time here with you if you start your own company. I’ll give you a leave of absence and you’re welcome back if you don’t make it.”
Well okay then!
During the last seven years I’ve become a life coach, worked with creative people all around Finland, busted through my art blocks, stepped away from drama in my personal life, given birth to two beautiful crystal kids, and let go of everything that doesn’t work for me. Sounds so neat and packaged when listed off like this, right? In reality it has been a grand and sometimes scary as hell adventure with lots of six a.m. writing mornings.
Despite all the work, all the visualizing, all the marketing and my use of all of my tools, this summer I found myself in the situation of being desperately broke. Very embarrassing for a conscious creator. Sitting here, in front of my computer, with my grand creativity and nothing on my bank account, I felt so ashamed of myself and I definitely thought I had failed both my business and family.
During this summer I’ve walked around Töölönlahti, listening to Nickelback, Bon Jovi, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and just let go of everything. I let go of myself, my art, my company, my marriage, my children, my friends, my identity, my goals, my visions, my control. Getting back to absolute basics, what is left?
Creativity. The ability and inevitable fact of creating my reality each and every moment I live. The uniqueness everyone’s view on life. Knowing creation happens in the moment, where I am, with what I have. The realization that I’m done censoring who I am, what I really think about life. Recent familiarity with the dread and humiliation of not having enough money to pay my bills or provide for my family has shown me how little I can live on, when needed. How insignificant material things, image, status or how things look to the outside really are.
Letting go of everything, all my mental ties to how I think my life should look, even my desperation and questioning has shown me what is left after all. This moment. Creating this moment, from the power in me right now. Knowing I can handle anything thrown at me. Feeling centered in what I feel, think, sense. Letting it all flow through me, not getting snagged up in the rush.
Creativity is the least important thing, because it is invisible and people around you don’t understand it. There is no proof that creativity works, until it does, which is in the last stretch of a long process. Creativity is the most important thing. It is what decides whether we live a life of default, according to a template given to us by our parents, circumstances, biological facts, or a life of sovereign adventure. Something built by essence. Who we really are.
No matter where you are right now, no matter what happens around you, inside of you, the power to create your life is yours.