“Memories establish the past;
Senses perceive the present;
Imaginations shape the future.”
― Toba Beta
We humans live in three simultaneous worlds, all of them set on the vast plain called time. We have the past, the present, and the future. I believe we were meant to live connected to all three places at once: drawing from the past, living in the present, and looking forward into the future. Unfortunately, few of us manage to the live full continuum. Some get trapped in the past. Others see only the future. Most of us, I’d wager, live a best-two-out-of-three scenario as the rope in an existential tug of war between past and future, with the poor present watching from the sidelines.
The problem with sidelining the present, however, is that the present is where the creative life is really LIVED. The past can only repeat what was, and the future can only tease with what could be. But the present? Now, that’s where the stuff of creativity really happens. The present is an endless parade of moments, each one full of potential creative discoveries. Choosing to pay attention to the present moment enables us to spot those moments and take advantage of them. Maybe it’s a learning opportunity, or a moment for quiet reflection, or a chance thought that could be the foundation of a brilliant idea. These things are delicate and subtle, and are easily overshadowed by the past and future.
How to do you keep yourself attentive to the present? Here at Bright Ideas, we believe that life is to be lived fully, without regrets or fear, and with all our senses awaked and engaged. That means that we first deal with the past wounds and future fears that keep us from our creativity, thereby freeing ourselves to focus in on all the creativity available to us in the present. Yes, this can be a daunting task -- you might even need others come and help you do it -- but it can be done. It’s worth doing, too, because it sets you free to live awake and engaged to everything around you.
Imagine what you might discover, if you were free to point your creative senses at the present! What wonders could you find if you eyes finally strayed from the twin horizons of past and future? The could be a garden of creative possibilities at your feet, just waiting for you to look upon them. Perhaps there are brilliant thoughts that pass through your mind, but have remained un-seized because your focus was always elsewhere. The past may be the land of memories, the future the realm of mystery, but the present is the land of discovery. So, choose to focus on the present today. Open your eyes to the wonders around you, or pause and consider the brilliant things already in you. Whatever you do, I promise creativity discovery awaits you.
Sarah is the co-founder of Bright Ideas, a designer by trade, and an artist by passionate choice. She was born and raised in South, and delights in sharing Southern culture with anyone who cares to learn. Sarah collects creative hobbies; when she isn’t making art, you can usually find her on the dance floor. Follow her creative adventures on Instagram and Twitter!