Creativity, Validation, and surrendering attachment to outcomes
I just found out yesterday that we have been featured in Jetstar magazine’s top 15 holiday destinations for 2020. I was supposed to have the day off under pain of papaya leaf juice. (Ania threatened me with this disgusting, but healthy concoction she loves to drink, if I even tapped one keyboard to work) so I was trying to behave. I was checking my non work email and I saw a Face book notification that some people had commented on a post that had been posted to the Flowers and Fire page. These comments were congratulatory. I couldn’t think of any thing due to be posted that warranted this, so curiosity got the better of me and I followed the link to the page! At first I thought the article was a general feature on the Gilis but when I looked closely I saw that they had specifically named us along with 2 other businesses (including David Hasselhof’s new venture Bask ha ha) under their Lombok section, which as a region was listed as one of their top 15 destinations. I was so excited I felt butterflies and a kind of hyper semi panic!!
I can’t quite understand why but I am so stoked to find this out! Maybe because I am Australian and this is our airline? Maybe because I always read these type of articles when I am flying (they kind of have a captive market there) and I have fantasized about how wonderful the recommended places look and how I can fit them into my itinerary. To think that now someone might be doing the same thing on their next flight and will find out about us up in the skies makes me feel like we have made it! I feel really honored, but also if I’m honest, surprised. I’m not sure how we got on their radar, but I’m incredibly grateful that we have. This is such great exposure and while I believe that it’s important to create for the sake of creating, not for validation, I do feel really validated by this. I also feel it validates the process of creative risk taking and not knowing the rules!
When I started this business, I lacked business, construction and space design experience. I was scared a lot of the time and didn’t have a plan beyond the intention to just keep creating moment to moment and let fate look after the rest. My intention was to show up every day with all my presence but surrender attachment to outcome, otherwise I would feel too much anxiety and pressure to move forward. To have the business recognized so early in the piece by such an established player in the tourism industry, as one of only 3 tourist destinations mentioned in the whole of Lombok/ Bali region is so beyond anything I could have expected and makes me a little teary when I think about it.
To create is to take risks. It is to make a bet on your impulses. Sometimes these risks pay off and sometimes they don’t but by surrendering attachment to outcome you can create a less risk averse psychological space. So surrendering attachment to the fruits of actions is powerful, but it still is lovely to receive validation when the risks do pay off. It validates a process, which I sometimes question as it is opposite to the way I was taught about project management in art and design school. It also was useful as it told me an opposite story to the undertow of some of the less constructive voices in my head. When I got this news I was going through a dark night of the soul moment. Questioning the viability of the business, where it was heading, feeling really tired in this process of constant creation and feeling very unanchored. These are normal business blues but there are times when fear and doubt are stronger then others and this was one of them. At this point in the process I really needed this nod from spirit, saying keep going.
This nod also validates the hard work of everyone who has co created the business with me and their faith and willingness to take a punt and support the adventure of betting on creative risks. It recognizes the fact that even though there were many times we felt lost and weren’t sure of what we were doing, what is more important is that we had faith, we showed up and we worked hard. This proves to me, and this is where I get excited, that anyone in a creative process with no real sense of how they are going to ‘pull this off’, and a lot of doubt and fear are not frauds who have no right to engage in the process!! This uncertainty which maybe even carries an undercurrent of unworthiness, is not a failing, in fact is normal and in no way indicates the outcome. Please believe me, that if this is you, from my experience you don’t need to know it all in advance! You can work it out. Just keep going, keep showing up and know that fear is a liar. That is all you need to do.
Photo by @captured.by.nicole