I’m always trying to figure life out by breaking things down to their most basic elements and I love when I come up against a good dichotomy. I find it so much easier to deal in terms of black and white, the yin and the yang, because you only have to work with two options! The dichotomy between creation and consumption is one of my favourites right now. It’s so deliciously stark, and can be applied to so many aspects of life.
So let’s break it down.
Creation is more than just painting or drawing, it is when you make something, ANYTHING come to be, through your will. This could refer to the creation of a story, an idea, a song, or a meal. It’s writing, dancing, or making love. Creating connections, creating spaces or events, anything that requires your intellect and passion to fuel it, that is creating. Creativity in the moment is energizing and life affirming! There’s a satisfying exhaustion that comes from a good creativity session.
Consumption, is when we consume that which has been created. Maybe you created it yourself, more likely it was someone else’s creation. Consumption is a more passive act than creation, it merely requires that you open yourself in order to receive the creation of someone else. We have moments of consumption every day. Whether we are consuming food, music, art, entertainment, alcohol, drugs, we LONG to consume, we are a SOCIETY of consumers! The problem with this is that consumption can lead to overconsumption, and the exhaustion that comes after an overconsumption session is anything but satisfying.
I’m not saying that creativity is all good and consumption is all bad, I’m saying that it’s important to notice the balance between the two because they are both so alluring in their own ways.
Creating feels gooood. At it’s purest form it’s like a meditation. You get into the flow zone, where you’re not overthinking, you’re just painting, or running, or singing and it’s giving you LIFE. Think of the way you feel after you’ve made or done something you’re really proud of or really enjoyed doing, you feel energized and alive! Creating is a way to generate your own energy source, and even provide energy to others. Creativity is infectious. Creation is a contribution.
Consumption feels good too! Who doesn’t like to stick their fork in a gooey chocolate cake? Or lie on the sofa and watch Netflix? Or have drinks and go to a concert? Consumption triggers all sorts of neurological switches and before we know it we’re flooded with dopamine and we’ve eaten the whole bag of mini-eggs and binge watched an entire season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. However good it feels at the time, we all know that if you take in too much cake, alcohol, TV, or whatever your consumption of choice is, you’re not going to feel good about yourself later on.
Again, it’s all about balance. There’s an energetic deficit that happens when you are always consuming and never creating. You’re essentially just taking and taking and taking without giving anything back. I mean that in the literal sense, like being the guest always showing up to dinner empty handed, but also mean it in the metaphorical, karmic, universal sense. Either way you want to look at it, it doesn’t feel good. There’s a guilt that arrives with all that taking and you have to find for yourself the right amount of creativity you need in your life to stave off the creeping guilt of overconsumption.
Maybe you don’t feel like you are a creative person, maybe that’s a belief you’ve held for a long time about yourself. I call bullshit, because if you’re a human being, you’re creative. It’s literally the stuff we are made of. None of us would even exist without creation! It’s what we LIVE for! We all want to ‘make something of ourselves’, so get creative and start making!
Make a meal for yourself, make a website, make a workout plan, make a reading nook in your home. Start your garden, start a band, start knitting. Write a song, write a business plan, write in your journal. Get creative in the kitchen, in your workplace, in the bedroom. Every day there are so many opportunities to create it’s just a matter of making it happen.
And here’s the kicker, it doesn’t really matter what the outcome is. It’s the PROCESS of creating that is important. The fact that you got off your ass and MADE something happen will feel so good, because what you are truly CREATING is balance in your life!
So think about it, consider the last week of your life. How much of it was creating, and how much of it was consuming? How can you bring more creative energy to your life? What would that feel like to get off the sofa, get creative and MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN??