Creating and consuming- a pathway to clearing the mind

photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop

There is an interesting tension for me, between creating something new, and consuming something which exists. I find this in email (the emails I send, versus the emails I read), blog posts (those I write, versus those I read), and in many other areas such as todo list items, code pull requests, etc. The principle applies almost everywhere. Creation versus consumption. Are these two sides of the same coin? Are they independent, and being grouped together by sheer chance? What is the net affect of going in one direction or the other? Ultimately, the driver behind this search is searching for opportunities to quiet and clear the mind, be it of ideas for creation, or the need and desire for consumption.

I hypothesize that we exist between these two states of creation and consumption at different moments in our day. I find I like to create in the mornings, and consume in the afternoons. Often, I end up not fully being aware of this, and split my day between switching between these two paradigms throughout the day. There is surely a net affect there, even if purely from the context switching.

The ultimate goal of both of these paradigms is a clear mind. There is something on one’s mind to release into the world (via creation), or there is a nagging desire to learn or demystify something (via consumption). Setting the intention upfront, and being open and vulnerable with oneself can illuminate which of these paradigms is our current most immediate desire.

When sitting down at the laptop this morning, I found myself beginning the usual routine of checking email, clearing out any junk, and seeing if anyone needs to be unblocked on a task or question. While an important routine, this is also an easy pathway to being drawn into a consumption space. I’ve pushed against this in several ways, such as by setting up my daily task list the night before, freeing up space in my morning to get right down to it. That space is now available, and should be used wisely, either for creation or consumption. While I know I create more freely in my mornings, I’ve also found myself feeling as though I need to consume before I create. The result of this approach is that I create less and consume more, as I enter an afternoon consumption state.

This routine which bumps up against one’s internal drive at different times of the day, results in the net affect of a cluttered mind, filled with a desire to get more and more done of the paradigm we’re forcing ourselves out of. As this routine builds, so does the clutter. Leaning in, and listening to oneself, is the first step to clearing out the clutter of the mind.

This post is a stepping stone to shifting mornings into a creation space. Writing this feels so so good.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on

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