Balancing Our Trauma and Creativity

The other day I was having a conversation with a fellow trauma survivor and writer. She posed a question to me.

How do you balance everything you want to do and keep your head together?

There are many blogs about creativity which advise on this subject, and many of them contain very valuable information.  So, I had to answer her from my own personal perspective.  Instead of repeating what is suggested, I wanted to answer her direct question about my daily process specifically.

You see, I am a free-flow creative. Forcing me to follow a set schedule is a sentence for the death of my creativity and passion. It is the driving force that will push me into emotional flat feel. I will strain against the confined system and begin to have a growing irritation towards the control of a schedule until I wither.

Any rigid type of living, for me, is a recipe for depression as I stare at the screen because it’s 1 PM, this is my scheduled time to write, but I don’t want to be writing at the moment. My soul wants to create art, work on other projects or even rest for a while.

Many branding gurus advise to stick to that strict schedule and don’t vary from it. because that is how successful people happen! So it was that I redefined the meaning of success for myself.

Read here to find out makes me feel successful.

Do I pay attention to the marketing side of my brand? Absolutely. I am a lone wolf with a friend who helps me with computer tasks when she can. I have no expectations of her. She has a family and helps me for free. I bow and kiss her feet for that! 95% of my brand is solely controlled and operated by me.

Do I read branding blogs? Absolutely. Following branding bloggers like BadReadheadMedia, by 30 Day Marketing Challenge author Rachel Thompson, have given me excellent information. Partaking in Twitter hashtags like #MondayBlogs, #SexAbuseChat and #NoMoreShame, have helped me connect with some great trauma survivors who are vulnerably baring their souls. Connecting with creative trauma survivors, like artist Liz Ianelli and podcaster Matt Pappas, keep me inspired.

What I don’t do is allow what I read about suggested success methods to pressure me. I glean what feels fitting for my own life and my brand, and I incorporate it. I don’t change the specific routine I have for my-self care, a routine for which no specific schedule really exists. I make a “to do” list almost every day (because 1/2 of it is usually carry over from the prior day), and if there’s a timeline due, I make note of it. In the end, though, I always do things in a rhythm which matches my own positive flow. If something sinks me, it’s not for me.

Being a trauma survivor and a creative can be daunting. When I put too much pressure on myself, I tend to drop into shutdown. My creativity flow is dependent on the state of my mental health.

I always put my mental health and quest to continue being the healthiest before everything.

If two hours is all I have to give to my creativity on some days, that’s what I give. Some days I don’t create at all. Other days I catch a wind and go for hours. All of this is is unpredictable and unknown for me.

My creativity is flowing water at a pace I currently feel happiest following. I cannot re-carve the banks of its river. Instead, I float its calm stretches and row its rapids, staying with the grain of the waves and enjoying the view along the way. To me, this is balance. For me, this is the best route to reach the vast sea of success.

I hope you stay balanced through your creative journey by putting yourself first. I hope you take walks in the trees or lay in the grass and count the clouds. I hope you free flow with yourself, absent of any painful expectation, and know that if you care for the growing plant of your creative well, you are guaranteed to grow into the tallest tree.

P.S. Today I accomplished vacuuming and this blog post. SUCCESS

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

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Holding Wishes

What is it like
To be granted a wish
When your first kiss
Was laced with bitterness,
Taken from a tender lamb,
A brutal sheering;
As if wool doesn’t scratch
And skin doesn’t bleed?

What is it like
To live a lie,
A life robotic, stoic,
Steps broken,
Words unspoken,
Fake smiles to the others
While never touching another
In a hug or
Underneath the covers?

What is it like to keep secrets
Buried so deep within you
That wine cannot give them words
Blood cannot release their ache,
So you ignore the pain,
Behavioral matter churning
While energies are burning
Into ashes
As your life passes?

I can only tell you
What it’s like to see
Things I wish I didn’t
Inside lives
Inside psyches
Where illusions become truth
And in the end
All that’s ever left
Is you
Alone in the dark matter
Watching the roaches scatter.

So instead I will
Tell you about a soul
Dancing in the twilight
To avoid seeing your midnight
Because it makes her eyes cry.

I’ll sing you a song,
Orchestrated by sadness,
Conducted by madness,
Numbed by satiation,
And I’ll call it
“Dysfunction Station”.

I’ll tell you what it’s like
To be without shame,
To own the bitter reality
Without the crutches of blame,
To say this is me
So accept and believe
Or leave and excuse
For there’s no win or lose
When you’re the one
Who gets to choose.

But here when I stand in the sunrise
And I find myself gazing there
Until its brilliant red sets
I know
I see
I feel
The real
Meaning of happiness,

And it’s not coated in sweetness.
No.
It’s filled with acceptance
And letting go.
It sees self in the mirror
And smiles back
In the midst of sadness
And repeated set backs.

There’s a bliss
Inside of the awareness
When one realizes the opposite
Of feeling nothing
Is feeling it all,
And so,
I fall
Fall
Fall
Into the dismal call
Where hearts weep.

It is a solitary sea,
This vision where I am
Left holding these fading wishes
Never granted.

v.k poetry
©venniekocsis.com