the importance of making messes

One of the things I do is paint.
My favorite moment (not because it is fun, but because it indicates a turning point in my process) is the moment in which I have made such a mess that I am uncertain if anything good can ever come of it. Almost always, that is when the painting, the true painting, starts to emerge from the gunk.
This is true in all of my creative endeavors– writing, oh yeah, the messes I make on my journey…. epic. Ugly. Frightening. The kind of frightening that makes me wonder if I am good at this at all, why I am wasting my time, certain all is lost.
But almost always that is when it turns around. I start to gather pieces, and start to make some sense of it. This is not about brute force, but more about allowing, about patience, about trusting the process. (SCARY STUFF THIS).
Life is like this too sometimes. For me, right now, I am up to my knees in mess. BUT I am also aware that this process of laying it all down, sticking to the process of following the of rhythm that is at the heart of this…the wild guesses, the intuitive leaps, the worry, the blind exploration, the inherent process of considering, changing, rearranging, chosing differently… this process is exactly what is necessary in order to allow my life to become what I want it to be.  I may have no idea right now where it is going or how I will get there. I can be scared and still keep going. I can choose to go slowly. To be more deliberate. Take more resting time, to step back, take stock, consider.
How about you? Does your creative process have a mess making stage? A moment where it all feels futile, lost, beyond recovery? And then, suddenly, it starts to come together?

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