One of the best things that I believe we can do for ourselves that allows us to know ourselves more deeply and to begin to understand our authentic selves is to move from being a consumer in the world to that of a creator.
1. Admit all the ways you are consuming.
Because I was never materialistic, didn’t ever keep any debt – kept my spending low to match my income and didn’t define myself by my possessions I never really saw myself as a consumer. I didn’t however identify as a creator either. I just completely didn’t really look at this concept at all – although you may say it wasn’t “needed” based on my work at the time.
However, for anyone working on personal development and knowing themselves deeply and all that jazz… it isn’t a topic to brush over.
If you find yourself in this situation, basically if you aren’t creating then you are consuming.
And because of my negative judgement around consuming to be about material items I never also expanded it to intellectual consumption – all of the books I was reading, especially since my whole life I have barely enjoyed fiction books – I can name the fiction books I’ve read because there are so few of them. Reading was learning, learning was reading. And because I identified as an intellectual I didn’t understand the consuming I was doing.
Our consumption can also be in relationships and emotions as well –
Consuming really is anything in which we are looking outside ourselves to fill us, or change us, or do something to change our experience or the way in which we perceive ourselves.
Take stock of all the areas of life in which you are a consumer.
Do this without judgement.
You see, by judging you are a consumer creates shame, and when we create shame we create avoidance. When we create avoidance, we are disconnected from ourselves and unable to connect with our inner genius, our inner creator in which our heart is able to express itself and we feel deeply connected as beings within ourselves and with each other.
2. In the areas where you are consuming, begin creating
If you tend to read a lot – commit to writing. When you feel the pull to pick up a book that someone else created – pick up a pen and paper or your computer and being typing away. Just start writing. This isn’t to say that you are going to become a published author – it gets you learning more about yourself, if you were to write, what would you begin writing about? No one really knows the answer to this until they start writing something. You may be surprised as to what comes out of you.
3. Create in areas where your inner critic runs rampant
2022 was a year or really less than half a year of painting for me. I had the nudge early in the year and did a painting on retreat, but didn’t buy what I needed to until fall of last year. Even then I didn’t paint a whole lot but did a decent amount for the past few months of the year for someone that isn’t a painter. The point was to practice more creating, and creating in ways that my inner critic would usually be very loud. The painting was an act of not just defiance to my inner critic, but a means of empowerment by saying, “I don’t give a fuck what you say, I’m creating it anyway, even if it is SHIT because it is me, and it is where I am in my life right now, and there is no right or wrong – I am simply expressing myself with colors and materials.”
4. Start seeing your life as a creation
When I began seeing my life as a work of my own creation, is when things really began shifting for me, and this is something I continue to lean into every day. I am now more aware that I am creating in every moment. I have been a bit conditioned by society to think of creating is just making something and since I work with people to help them navigate the struggles of life I never saw myself as a creator. Now everything I do is a creation. Not just writing this, but every meal I make, every word I utter, and most importantly the energy that I embody every moment of every day. When you start to see life in this way, things really shift to a more empowered place.
5. Allow yourself to be bad at your creations
If you are following this advice and decide to start creating in any area, let yourself be bad at it. Don’t attach to any outcomes. Practicing non-attachment is also significantly life changing but I’ll save that for another day – or I’m sure I already wrote it… either way let yourself step in fully, experience it, and then observe without judgement. Notice the gift of creation even in the silliest of ways.
I hope this article encourages you to begin to shift your life to be less consumer based and more creation based and please share with me what you learn about yourself as a result of the shift.