Divine Dissatisfaction

August 3, 2020

By Meghan Greenwood

Listen to this blog: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Divine-Dissatisfaction-erd74o

How is your celebration of small victories going? Have you had a chance to live in the present and/or reflect on everything you have accomplished? I hope you have attempted this practice and found it fruitful.

For all right-sided brains, some additional advice to get you through.

As a creative person, you’re probably used to reflecting on your products. Whether it be a book, a song, a craft, a dance, a sculpture, or a painting, you likely have looked at it and thought, ehhh – this could have been better.

Instead of putting yourself down for these moments of negative savoring, it’s important to realize that this inherent. True artists are wrought with criticism (mostly constructive), because this is how we grow and continue to create.

For example, can you imagine what would have happened if after Steven Spielberg finished “Jaws” he thought to himself, “This is my best”? We would have never been graced with “ET”, “Schindler’s List”, “Saving Private Ryan”, or countless other cinematic masterpieces. This is not to say that every creation needs to be your worst, or have a multi-million dollar return, or that Spielberg actually criticized any of his aforementioned movies; but the idea persists.

Martha Graham, an awe-inspiring dancer, choreographer, and visionary, said it best. “No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others.”

Never fulfilled is thus put into a beautiful context. Unrest is not to be seen as a detriment, but instead, an important part of the process. The driving force behind making. The reason for doing what you love to do.

Therefore, small victories for the right-sided brains boils down to separation of product from fulfillment. Artists should still strive to celebrate the products they’ve created, but remember that it will likely only push you to do more.

So, no, you’re not mad…just hungry. Make sure you get a few bites here and there.

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