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#78 Life as a Creative Act, by Alice Gardner

Posted: March 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Life | No Comments »

Happy March Everyone!

I am working full time at Stanford and I write and do a lot else too, Recently I found myself feeling uncomfortably cramped – like there was just too much to do and not enough time or space to do it. Familiar to anyone? It seems to naturally come with a kind of enthusiasm for life. My reading pile was overflowing. My to do list was overwhelming.

The usual responses (for me) are rebellion, which means doing nothing but relaxing in my spare time, or dropping some projects or becoming more efficient with my projects. Earlier in my life I was a GTD (David Allen’s system) person, enabling me to handle overload moments systematically. His system has great tools for getting organized.

But there is something significantly different now. There is some new perspective. The moments of discomfort are being welcomed, and are seeming very interesting.

I heard myself saying to a friend this week that “life is a game”, and since then I’ve been pondering how that doesn’t quite say it for me. It’s not about winning a game. Not really. It’s more like “life is an art form” that you and I create with everyone else, without ever knowing about a final product. So if I get to play the disorganized, overwhelmed person today, that’s fine too, and then I get to respond to that in innumerable ways. There appears now to be a wide expanse of possible responses to playing that role today. I know the Advaita folks say there is no choice, and that is true from a certain perspective, but I’m talking about a down-to-earth, what-are we-doing-with-our-lives perspective. Its as if I’m no longer required to respond (make a choice) according to my history, and neither am I frozen into inaction. I am now able to take up the tools that I bring thanks to my history, and see what can be created with this life, and what can’t and have it be fine either way.

There is a continuing exploration of what this seeming constriction is pointing to and a lack of assumption that the process is anything but perfect. It feels like life is just showing me something it wants me to see, by bringing this experience into my worldly life. And I get to use this incredible tool (the mind) to work with it on that level and see what happens.

Hoping March goes well for all of you and that this lovely California springtime we are having out here spreads to all in the best possible timing. May your high water run smooth this spring!


(To find out more about Alice Gardner and/or her work, please visit:

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