Consuming and Creating - Some food for thought as we enter 2023
Updated: Jun 14
This year, I would like to invite you to look more closely at your rates and types of consumption and creation.
While there is both joy and convenience to be had in different ways via both paths, more often than not (mainly due to living in a capitalist society) we make decisions for convenience over joy at an alarming rate.
Hustle culture (and capitalism) suggests we spend a lot of time trying to be more ‘efficient’ (and ‘get sh*t done’). Whilst this attitude and approach is sometimes beneficial in a life full of ever greater energetic demands, the danger is that this approach becomes second nature, which can potentially rob us of both presence and joy.
When our default is to take the easiest/quickest route…
We lose pockets of mental space (the quiet reflective time that is so needed in this digital age). E.g. doom scrolling while our robot hoover does the chores.
We lose quality presence and connection in this moment
E.g. watching TV, eating takeout with your loved ones vs communally preparing a peal, checking in with each other, having conversations etc.
We devalue our wellbeing, because the effort we are trying to avoid could have brought us health benefits. E.g. eating processed food vs cooking from scratch
Consumption can include anything from food/drink, drugs, television, clothing, to energy, nature, social media, news, other people's ideas etc. Here are some prompts for reflection (writing or speaking are great ways to explore your thinking):
What are you consuming because you’re trying to give yourself something you are missing?
What are you consuming because that is all you have the mental/energetic capacity to do?
What are you consuming because you are trying to please someone / be liked or approved of?
What are you consuming because someone (or society) has told you that you ‘should’?
What are you consuming because you are in the habit?
What are you consuming that depletes your energy?
What are you consuming that gives you energy?
The value of creation
Where default consumption can keep us from being present in our lives, making an effort to create brings flexibility, flow, growth, legacy, expression and connection.
Through creating we keep our human range of motion (and emotion) intact, and we humans were born to move. So why don't we do it more often? The answer is: our environment and conditioning.
Many of us find the idea of creating rather than consuming (especially if we are novices) quite scary. Partly because our school systems instilled in us a fixed and perfectionist mindset (“if I don’t get the answer right immediately, I am a piece of human trash” thinking), and partly because we are constantly inundated with choices of ready made solutions. Our decision making muscle is so fatigued by modern living that the thought of starting anything from scratch can feel exhausting before we even begin. I call this “wearing a coat of heavy expectations”.
What I've found in my work with clients is that taking the coat off is the key. Pretty much every time, the things that (if prioritised) would really move the needle for them, turn out to require much less effort than they had expected once we get things down on paper. Expectations are heavy, they weigh a lot, and worst of all, they do not genuinely protect us from anything, they are pretty much useless as a coat.
Some final thoughts.
Creation takes effort and so is is often viewed as pressurised/uncertain/challenging
Creation slows us down, enabling more flow and presence and connection
We have a systemic cultural bias toward consumption
Consumption is both necessary and helpful, but needs to be mindful
In conclusion, there will be times where it best serves us to consume, and times it would enrich us to create. Ultimately - this is a macro and micro resource prioritisation management puzzle.
Here are some things to consider next time you are wondering how to decide…
What is the kindest approach to me as a human right now given my capacity?
What action is most in line with my values?
Is this something I am capable of creating myself?
Is this something that only I can create?
How long would it *actually* take me to consume this vs create it?
Could I create this over time?
How will consuming this or creating this “feed” me?
What will consuming this or creating this cost me?
Wishing you a healthy balance in 2023!
P.S...Here are three more ways you can experience my work... 1 - Tailored Resources - simply let me know via email what you are working through and I will send you some helpful pointers and materials
2 - Half day Deep dive - four hours of deeply focused time working through whatever it is you want to bring 3 - Full day immersion - this is a sacred time for magical unfolding, where we get to explore whatever emerges with no limit on where the time takes us
I love to connect - please do leave a comment or share with someone you think this might benefit.