The excitement of being lost

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When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realize that we are on the verge of something.

-Pema Chodron

We’ve all felt the frustration of working on a project and reaching a point where you don’t know where to go next. Whether the world has provided a difficulty or it comes from inside your own head, you are unable to move forward. You are creatively lost.

What if instead of reacting with frustration, we could react with excitement? That irritating feeling that you don’t know where to go next means you are in a new area of the map. You’ve entered into a place you’ve never been before, no wonder you feel frustrated.

It’s as if you had made an anniversary reservation at your favorite restaurant and arrived to find it closed because their plumbing broke. You could cancel your whole evening at this point. Give up angry and complain to all your friends about the injustice of it all. Or, you could try that new restaurant down the street. It’s so new there aren’t even any Yelp reviews yet. It’s a style of food that you’ve never tried, and it might be terrible, but it will be an adventure.

What if our blocks and creative frustrations mean we are in new territory? Should we turn around and try to make our way back to familiar ground or should we start to add to our map and expand the area where we feel comfortable?

Getting lost is scary and frustrating, but it also means we’re someplace we’ve never been before. And isn’t that what creativity is?



One response

  1. Perspective is huge. I certainly have my cranky/grumpy days, but there is definitely something to be said for viewing things that don’t go to plan as an opportunity. Going with “the vibe” is something my husband and I talk about a lot.


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