Note: This article is #5 in a 5-part series.
The introduction to the Be Possible Project will get you up to speed. Stay tuned tomorrow for a special follow-up.
Day 1: Symphonic Activity
Day 2: Creative Dexterity
Day 3: Rhythmic Creative Actions
THE SOLITUDE-SOCIAL CONUNDRUM
Most creatives I know and work with have some variation of this conundrum: how to get optimal doses of solitude and of social interaction. Today’s writing invitation – the final one of the Be Possible Writing Project – takes us into this conundrum.
I could spend hours each day immersed in my creative work, not talking to anyone, and be content. Up to a point.
Too much social stuff, and I get a strong solitude deprivation. My head feels compressed. My jaw goes lax. I’m spent.
But too much solitude, and something uglier can happen. The crazy Congress inside my mind ratchets up its cantankerous partisanship (My mind’s Congress has a two-party system – one side that thinks I should spend the day climbing trees, feeding birds, and writing poems, and the other side that tries to pass legislation for me to balance books, count beans, and re-organize my Mind Rooms).
Numerous studies in social psychology reiterate how important the right social connections are to our well-being, optimal mindset, and drive.
I’ve found an optimal social engagement. Mostly. It’s worked for me and for several of the creatives and solo-preneurs and even teams I work with.
It’s called a Pack. A Creative Pack. The equivalent of having your own pack of wolves to run with. And Creative Packs come in at least 3 forms.
A Smooth Running Pack. This pack includes my extraordinary assistant Michelle Mangen, CPA Jay Halpern, lawyer, agent Linda Loewenthal, website team, and a handful of specialized experts/freelancers. I call on them and count on them regularly. I bow before them because they each possess skills and talents that I either lack or have no interest or time to develop.
A Nourish Pack. My family, in short. My wife, daughter, and other family members – just by who they are – feed my drive and mend my wounds.
A Wild Pack. This Pack includes a few trusted “wolfy” allies I can trust with my ideas and creative challenges. I know they’ll “get” my creative problem, not psychoanalyze me but understand me, and “run wild” with my ideas or creative problems. This pack mostly includes a few other creatives, another enterpriser, and, again, especially my extraordinary wife.
But my Wild Pack also sometimes includes members of my Smooth Running Pack, members of the Yoga As Muse TRIBE, members of Kingston, New York’s BEAHIVE co-working “creative asylum” (wolves and bees can mix!), and my Twitter and Facebook chums.
One outgrowth of the Wild Pack has been creative partnerships – creatives with whom I have partnered and teamed up with for enterprises, cross-promotion, and more.
And there are the Big Wolves in my life – my own teachers, mentors, and coaches – who are indispensible.
In all such Packs, my best self is respected, engaged, and nurtured.
These packs and alliances quiet the Congress.
THE WRITING INVITATION
Find a quiet, private place and write into this prompt:
Imagine yourself on a specific day late in 2012. You reside in a comfortable place where you can reflect on your wondrous best self’s year. You’ve engaged in Symphonic Activities this year. You’ve been a Dexterous Creative engaged with key challenges and obstacles this year. And you’ve applied Rhythmic Creative Actions day after to help make your vision happen.
But you haven’t done it alone. Why would you?
Imagine yourself as part of a Creative Pack. How does your body and mind and heart feel to be part of this pack? How is your best self engaged and respected? How has your best self grown as a result? How has at least one of your Creative Packs been instrumental in the success of your Symphonic Activities this year.
Who has been a key player in your Smooth Running Pack? Your Nourish Pack? Your Wild Pack?
How have you reached out through friendships, social media, and conferences to do so?
What key attitudes and principles guided you as you formed, grew, or changed your Packs?
DROP IN THE HUT
I’ve appreciated your personal notes this week and your comments in The Hut about how these prompts are helping you craft tangible visions and strategies for the new year.
I’m really curious about your responses to some of the questions above. Let me know what your plans are for your Creative Packs and what you think is useful for us to know about forming Creative Packs.
And don’t forget to drop in tomorrow when I’ll announce the free follow-up offer for this Be Possible Writing Project.
See you in the woods,