1273bulldozerI’m sitting here listening to the wind roar around outside, I’m sipping coffee, enjoying a day of “down time”. I was right in the middle of a movie this a.m. when it occurred to me that lately rather than leading a life I’ve been getting pushed around by it. It would probably be more true to say that I’ve been letting it push me around. 60 seconds before that revelation if you’d walked in the room and told me that, I would’ve argued with you.

I took a course once that included an entire section on creativity. The instructor spent a couple days talking about “creativity killers”. Our class came up with a list. Along with that “generic” list I came up with my own personal list, things that are killers for me that may not be such a big deal for others.

Following my little revelation this a.m. I asked for some specifics and it was like having a curtain get pulled back. Amazing. All the answers, insights, info, whatever you want to call it that the Spirit was ready to tell me whenever I was finally ready to listen.

I definitely prefer leading a life than getting pushed around. Sometimes stuff happens and I’m o.k. with that. I’ve slipped into “survival mode”, it’s happened before and it will likely happen again.

When my daughter Em was born with cleft lip and palate everything became a challenge and I have a complete section of my life from when she was a newborn to her first birthday where I have very little memory of anything that happened then other than feeding her (which was an extreme experience), her first surgery and highlights from my own struggles with an ulcer doing that time. That was a long season of getting pushed around.

I can’t really change the stuff that pushes me but I can definitely react differently and make choices about what I’m going to do next.

Things that I’m letting push me around at the moment…
1) Serious health issues of a close family member.
2) My perception of the hole we’ve dug as the Church in N. America.
3) Finances, or lack thereof, as compared to what I want vs. the 98% of the world that I’m ridiculously wealthy when compared to.
4) Realizing I’m working at the last job I’ll ever have and worries that I’m not doing it right.
5) The stories of friends in ministry who are getting emotionally, mentally and spiritually beat up on regularly by the system.
6) Feeling like crap with this stupid cold/flu/allergy whatever.
7) Wanting to have more time with people I really enjoy than I can find ways to make it happen.

I know the “paralysis of analysis” is a struggle for me and the key, I think, isn’t to dwell on this revelation but to actually start to do the things that will bring life and creativity back – and stop the the little killers.

What kills your creativity?


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Confession, denial, Life, Lists, perception, reality, Reflective, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Pushers

  1. Derrick says:

    It is funny you wrote this today as I was looking back and reflecting on where “I was Pushed” and what I need to do to get pushed back.
    I believe the answer is in livining life one moment (or push) at a time and if we are there in that moment we can relize where we are being pushed and make the appropreate course changes.
    Like a sail boat, you cannot steer it from below decks, you just get pushed around by the wind….

  2. brianmpei says:

    I’ve always wanted to sail!

  3. JD says:

    This guy has some pretty critical teachings about that topic. I’ve only read “The Power of Now”. As with all things, it should be read with an open mind but GREAT care. Even the author, Eckhart, agrees with that approach. ::: http://www.eckharttolle.com/eckharttolle

    Good stuff. The movie isn’t necessarily better, but funny to watch. This is truly the slowest, most passive, uber-gentle philosopher I’ve ever seen.

    If you keep it in the context of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Enough!! Stop!! — God, yelling at the voices in your head for you) it has some wonderful tools to learn.

  4. Donna Wigmore says:

    Brian, I just feel like living non creatively has become the norm for me, but I feel an urge to fight against it and a responsibilty as a teacher and a mother to do it now and with a light hand. Like your friend Sark mentioned about the Power of Now, I do feel like that is where my solution lies, opening up to the creative flow in the moment. Oddly enough, for me that means being more organized than I usually am, then I can relax into the moment and know whether or not my kids are getting what they need. I want that to become my norm. I feel the same angst about the church in North America but I do feel like we are in a good place because there are so many of us at CCC who share vision and angst. Hey, we should get together and have a Vision and Angst party.
    You sound like you need encouragement. Let me tell you now that I love your style of talking, your preaching, and I think you have a real gift for listening to people and hearing far beyond their words. You are a huge blessing to many people. I think my friends that have come lately are listening with an open mind because of your humble, witty, funny style. And I am glad for that. Sorry this has gone on too long, I shouldn’t be online, I don’t fit in. Hah!

  5. brianmpei says:

    JD – have read and listened to Eckhart Tolle – learned about him from the Oprah. He’s basically “Buddhism lite”. I don’t say that negatively, there’s a lot of truth tucked away in Buddhism. C.S. Lewis said,”Where, except in the present, can the Eternal be met?” My struggle is that there seems to be a difference between the “NOW”, let’s say surfing, and the “pushed around” – riptide.

    Donna – thanks for the encouragement. Let’s fight the creativity killers! Comments can be as long as you want, no limits here.

    • JD says:

      True that. Been studying other meditation techniques from Buddhists for chronic pain management. To quote Tim’s favorite line from ‘Enemy Mine’, “Truth is truth, no matter where you find it.”

      I say go ahead and shoot the curl. There will be critics (including internal) if you do or don’t try. Might as well enjoy the view and then share the experience. In that much, I find creativity abounds. That’s me today, at least.

  6. Claire Muir says:

    Thanks Brian,
    I really enjoy reading your posts. As I’ve told you, they give me cause to pause… 🙂
    What kills my creativity?
    Well, there’s always that looming cloud of PMS that visits me…at this stage of my life hormones play a huge role! But just as well, from there comes a lot of my creativity as well…hmmm. Sounds kind of manic doesn’t it??? – oh dear.

    I do not live in the moment, I usually veg in the moment. Stare about the room. My moments have to usually be planned, in detail.

    Life pushes hard and I’ve been pushed. Not as hard as others though. So what’s my excuse for not “living more”? What’s pushing me at the moment?
    1)Weight (the around the waist kind, not the “on my shoulders” kind)
    4)Other people’s expectations (at ALL levels including my own)
    5)The ever present angst of “am I doing the right thing here?!”(self doubt)
    6)What will I cook for supper!!!???
    7)Questions/debates on Faith, Christ and the seemingly apathetic attitude the church has about it all…

    As I write this Richard Hichens (is that his name?)- author of
    “God is NOT Great” is speaking on “Q”(CBC radio) with Gian Gomeshi…talking about his anti-Theistic views…that’s depressing, but challenging and PUSHING!!! He’s bashing the 10 Commandments now…

    What to do? What to do?
    changing that channel comes to mind…

    Thanks Brian! Don’t ever stop writing!!!


  7. Lindsay says:

    hey brian,
    i don’t think your post could have come at a better time! i too feel a forceful pushing around…
    so much of the pushing comes from this place of frustration about the way i live…and the way i play out my relationship with Jesus, and with His kids. i think another part of it for me is this transition from student… to ‘reality’. I feel that school has assisted in stripping me from the ability to live legitimately, and have traded it in for some sort of methodical planned way of living…and in doing so, forgetting that there is a lot more to it than method! aside from this, it seems that whenever there is some relief from this ‘reality mentality’ something else just kinda slips itself in there and further challenges my creativity. Such is the nature of life i suppose??
    I too suffer from this ‘paralysis of analysis’ of which you speak (for me, i think this in and of itself is a killer!!). I think you’re right…I guess it’s a daily decision that i have to make not to sit and analyze, and instead do something about these killers.

    thanks for this awesome bit of wisdom! go forth and kill the killers 🙂


  8. brianmpei says:

    Claire – thanks for sharing your list. Christopher Hitchens is cranky pretty much whenever he’s on, that’s his “shtick”. He’s become as one dimensional as the fundamentalist christians he abhors. I’ll try to keep writing Claire but I may have to stop to feed myself.

    Lindsay – I lived by “semesters” for a very long time once I finished school. Hang in there, it does get better. Here’s to killing the killers!

  9. TJ says:

    Thoughts from the cab of my truck on the drive to work:
    Pusher pusher pusher…
    Who was the first pusher?….ah…the snake…
    What did he push? …I might not have it quite right…the tree of Knowledge…of Good and Evil…
    What was given up for this spoon fed Knowledge that took away freedom of thought, choice, decision?…Relationship with God…a relationship in which they were free to be and do and live, without fear or shame…
    What were the consequences? Well, I would say myself and those around me are still living the consequences…
    What kills my creativity is Knowledge pushed as a Truth, with limited lists and choices…Knowledge is tool that may or may not be used.
    I’d rather have a Relationship, infinite in it’s possibilities…with unexpected twists and turns leading to new places and experiences…
    Ah…end of thought…park…off to work…

  10. # 7

    The bishop and I both said that when we saw you and Donna last week.

    so enough is enough

    when are we getting together??

  11. um

    evening DVBS all the rest of the week

    next week – same day?

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