The past few weeks have been a bit of a wild ride.

I’ve been navigating some curious emotions that have stemmed from a combination of turning fifty, confronting my own ageism, and engaging in episodes of extreme sports (getting my taxes done and reflecting on my life). That last bit has made me realise how spectacularly blessed I am.

BUT. All this stimulation may be a trifle too much for my little brain.

For the first time ever, (although I may have just forgotten previous times) I’m having trouble sleeping. One night in particular, issues of health, home and harmony jostle for attention. In my head and heart are a bewildering jumble of lists: Half-finished ideas. An infinite number of things for which I am grateful. Far too many things I regret.

The fast fading rational side of my brain whispers, “Malini, really? You REALLY wanna do this now?” But in that weird middle-of-the-night-world, where everything is simultaneously so real and yet so unreal, the lists grow longer, the questions more pressing. I give in to my existential angst.

Questioning everything, I ask myself, ‘If my life were a painting, is it too textured? Has there been too much darkness, too much tension? Could I have painted it all with more attention to detail, with more subtlety, a bit more care, a lot more love?

Feeling a kind of desperation, I pull out my Virtues Pack and randomly select one with my eyes shut, hoping for some guidance. I pick the virtue of Creativity. It reads:

CREATIVITY. Creativity is the power of imagination. It is discovering your own special talents. Dare to see things in new ways and find different ways to solve problems. With your creativity, you can bring something new into the world.

It’s now 4 am and I’m smiling to myself. Creativity is my work, it is my guiding virtue, it is what I live to bring out in others.

And on this endless night, when I find myself seeking answers to unanswerable questions, what happens? The Universe gently nudges me into remembering that I can use my creativity to “see things in new ways and find different ways to solve problems”.

My mind flies back to a simpler time when my daughter was so very young, and we shared a lovely family ritual. We would say a little prayer together in the morning and then each randomly select a virtue to guide us for the day. One morning her beautiful face lights up when, from a pack of over fifty virtues, she too gets Creativity.

“Yay! My favourite virtue!” she exclaims, waving the card like she’s won a prize.

What a delicious concept: a ‘favourite’ virtue … I think I’ll borrow it  🙂

“Every creative story is different. And yet every creative story is the same: There was nothing, now there is something. It’s almost like magic.”  – J Lehrer

Comments 11

  1. Long time reader, short time poster! Always happy to read your latest post, some good stuff to glean. For as long as I can remember I have prized the virtue of ‘Gratefullness’. The last thing I do before I close my eyes to sleep is just say under my breath a couple of times’ Thank you…thank you.. thank you.’. For what and for whom, who knows? Perhaps, just for everything.

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      We are of one mind, Samith! It’s what I do last thing at night, first thing in the morning, and often in the middle of the night too 🙂

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  2. How *creative* of you to use your creativity and find a virtue amidst all your mind’s noise.
    And how thoughtful of you not too wake me up and share your insights 😉

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  3. You certainly bring beautiful creative work to the world Malini. I looked at your work on your website… stunningly beautiful. I love everyone of your paintings. 🙂

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post.

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