Creating Requires Fertile Land and Burning Down the Forest

on Jan 1, 2019

Frame from video captured in Glacier National Park, August 2013

Frame from video captured in Glacier National Park, August 2013

2019 marks the year where I CREATE. Specifically, I intend to create a stronger physical self, create refined and apprehensible ideas, create community, and create friendship.

Like planting a tree, creating something can’t happen in a vacuum or on barren land. It requires not only fertile ground but also space to grow. A brambly forest leaves little resource for new roots to take hold. And a cluttered life makes for an infertile one. 2018 was a difficult year for me because upon realizing this, I essentially burned down the forest, removing, often painfully, that which hindered my ability to create.

I burned down the excuses where I told myself that I was getting weak and tired because of some life crap or another. I burned down my consumption of negativity, which is most prevalent in news and social media. I burned down connections and digital contact with “friends” because they had become one way relationships that gave back none of the energy I put in, or a shallow and pitiful replacement for human interaction. I ended 2018 feeling empty, because all that was left were the smoldering ashes of the burned down forest that was my life. But that empty and fertile canvas is exactly what’s necessary for me to create.

Necessary but not sufficient. I also need sunlight and rain and symbiotic wildlife. To create a stronger physical self: it means setting aside regular time to do things like learn new skating moves, take parkour classes, and keep my body moving. To create refined and apprehensible ideas, it means putting the pen down to paper to write and rewrite in order to distill the jumble of thoughts in my head, while pollinating my mind through long form writing (I expect to read 50 books this year). To create community, it means sharing my skills and abilities with others, whether I’m teaching them something new or working with them to complement their needs in their own community building projects. And to create friendship, it means reaching out to those that value a symbiotic relationship, being vulnerable and empathetic with them, and immersing ourselves in amazing shared experiences.

We each have our journey in life, but I feel creating is the most satisfying experience one can have. But we’re not always ready for it. I surely wasn’t a year ago and pursued conscious action to get myself there. It was scary, uncomfortable, and painful, but I knew it was worth it. So go create! And if you’re not there yet, start burning down that bramble!