two hamsters consuming carrot looking guilty and worried

Are You Consuming or Creating?

Stop! Before you read another word, it’s time to drop the labels. If you start thinking “I’m not really a creative person”, there is more to you than you realise.

Every single human being has the capacity to create something new – even if it is simply creating a new thought.

We’re not talking about artists and musicians, painters and graphic designers. If you are capable of creating a single thought – then you are creative by nature. You are a free-thinker.

So let’s drop the black and white thinking and come back to the world of colour for the next few minutes.

Are you consuming…or creating?

Whenever I feel suffocated by fear or stuck on the hamster wheel of procrastination, I remind myself that it is time to stop consuming and to start creating again.

Don’t get me wrong. There is definitely a time to consume. A time for deep listening, renewal and refreshment.
But there is also a time to get busy creating.

When we keep consuming, we become a viewer on the sidelines of life instead of a fearless player in the game. We become a commentator or a spectator – watching life pass us by.

We trade our own story, for someone else’s. Reading someone else’s book. Watching another person’s movie. Scrolling through other people’s stories. In the hope that we will find a glimpse of ourselves in there.

We all know what it feels like to over-consume. To walk that fine line between filling our hearts, our minds and our bodies with something that is life-taking, instead of life-giving.

And why is it so easy for us to consume?

We’re conditioned for it. We’re conditioned to believe that we need an endless river of information, skills, knowledge, certainty, facts, figures, products, processes and proof – in order to be “enough” in this world.

And where is the first place we tend to look for assurance that we are “enough”? That our plans will keep us safe?

We look outside ourselves. We seek external sources of “truth” to make clear the path. We consume, consume, consume, with an insatiable appetite. As if gorging ourselves on what the world has to offer will somehow grant us the freedom to fly like a bird. Those physics simply don’t stack up. That’s one fat pigeon.

one fat pidgeon

We’re conditioned to think that there is some other human being who has developed a better way of living our own life than we have. Some future version of ourselves that we are trying desperately to catch-up to, that holds all the answers.

When did we stop believing that we are already enough – just the way we are, in this very moment?

As kids, we are hard wired for activity, growth, curiosity and learning. At the moment, my family of 5 are going through 18 litres of milk a week!

I should buy a cow.

With my kids growing so quickly, they naturally consume pretty much everything in sight. They can handle it. If you were an apple, you would not last 2 hours at my house. They consume so much – but they do so to prepare themselves for the journey ahead called life.

Their consumption is proportionate to their growth.

As adults, sometimes we continue to consume with the appetite of a child. But for very different reasons. We consume for reassurance. We consume to numb ourselves. We consume to postpone failure. We consume to try and fix problems, instead of creating solutions for ourselves.

We consume – because it is so easy to do.

In his book “Atomic Habits”, James Clear references the Law of Least Effort.

“Energy is precious, and the brain is wired to conserve it whenever possible. It is human nature to follow the Law of Least Effort, which states that when deciding between two similar options, people will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work… Out of all the possible actions we could take, the one that is realised is the one that delivers the most value for the least effort. We are motivated to do what is easy.”

It is easy to consume. It is powerful to create.

Last week my son punctured his bike tyre while riding through the bush. $25 dollars later and the front tyre was fixed thanks to our local bike store. However, a few days after getting his front tyre fixed, we opened the garage to get the bikes ready and found that the other tyre had deflated from a slower puncture.

This time, instead of taking the easy path, I got out my big black box of intentions (otherwise known as the bike repair kit I purchased from Aldi several years ago), whipped out my phone and YouTubed “how to patch a bike tube”.

30 minutes later my son had a working bike again, and I still had $25.

woman holding bike above her head looking happy and joyous

And so we see it play out right in front of our eyes. The consumers vs. the creators. What one person creates, another pays a premium to consume.

It’s time to let go of all the outside pressure to do more, have more and be more.

It really is just noise.

Clear your mind, clear your heart and you will be presented with something incredible.

Space…

…to breathe and to create.

It’s in our nature to create. To experiment. To learn. To fail. To get back up and try again. To give life, rather than take it.

When we stop consuming and start trusting our true guidance system, powerful things happen.

A blank canvas of potential and possibility appears at our fingertips. And you, the author, the composer, the creator – need only gently press your pen to the pages of life in front of you to start writing your own story.

We can all read a script, consume more messages and information, but the gift of creation that is innate within you calls for something greater. That you stop living in someone else’s story, and start writing your own.

When we abandon this gift – our free thinking and creativity – to the influence of those outside ourselves, we are consuming rather than creating.

You know how it feels, don’t you? To be weighed down by the unrealistic expectations and opinions of others?

So much stress and pressure…

And what is our go-to solution when the pressure becomes too much?

We try to “unplug”, ironically, by consuming more.

More netflix. More alcohol. More drugs. More sugar. More facebook. More games. More food. More work.

Anything to numb us from the idea that we won’t live up to the expectations of the world. Because deep down, the expectations of this world want you to be anyone else, except for who you really are.

But YOU are incredible. Just the way you are.

And you already have the wisdom inside to know what causes you harm or healing:

  • Consume too much bad food – and eventually we can’t keep up or keep going.
  • Consume too much negative news, information or opinions – and eventually we can’t think clearly anymore
  • Consume too much hate, anger and envy – and eventually we can’t love ourselves or others anymore.

Plato said “Those who tell the stories rule the world”.

And the only story worth telling – is yours.

Your story matters. Because you matter.

The next time you feel trapped, ask yourself “am I consuming or creating?”.

Because if we want to create a better world, it may be time to stop consuming it.

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