Happy Wednesday! I’ve spent most of today composing music and writing. Based on my own observations, it would appear that my creative cycle generally flows in a series of triple phases.
PHASE ONE: INTAKE
This is the phase where inspiration is absorbed. Such information could be personal emotional processing, mental growth, exposure to new philosophies, participation in exciting events, indulging in beautiful experiences or in sacred ritual. I wrote this list quite organically, but now that I think about it there does seem to be a pattern of events within the Intake Phase. Emotional/metal breakdown, emotional/mental growth, enhancing this growth through outside resources, clearing my mind through social activity, and sealing the deal with magick.
PHASE TWO: GERMINATION
Depending on the level of emotional/mental breakdown, I sometimes find myself running through the aforementioned pattern more than once in order to get everything through my system. Some of my revelations will start to take seed and grow, while others need a little more time to fully flesh out their germination process. This can be a frustrating phase. Certain percentages of my mind and heart are thrilled to be devoted to experiencing this amazing new growth, while other percentages of my mind and heart frustratingly work on untangling the stubbornly-knotted finishing touches. This is the part where I’m lecturing myself: “Yep, this is annoying. You definitely need to be writing about this, but unfortunately you’re under end-of-process stress and can’t actually produce anything. So please just make sure to safely drop any arising ideas into the creative memory bank. Thanks!”
PHASE THREE: OUTTAKE
The emotional/mental breakdown has been fully processed and alchemized into a personally earth-shattering EPIPHANY. Yay for epiphanies! I live for epiphanies. They are the best thing ever. There’s nothing more wonderful than taking a newly born sparkling baby epiphany and writing about it. I used to limit my epiphany-sharing to my personal journal and Facebook posts but I’ve found it more challenging and creatively rewarding to turn personal epiphanies into universally-applicable epiphanies that can be played, sang, and performed in theatrically badass immersion.
Right now, it would appear that I am in between phases two and three of the current cycle. This would explain the “sitting inside my house all day” syndrome. Which isn’t typical behavior of my extroverted hyper-bubbly self, but people change. And I haven’t always been aware of my Epiphany Manifestation Purpose so it’s very interesting to figure out ways to accommodate this more introspective and ruminating side of Hope Diamond. (This is pretty much just a complicated way of saying that I’m an extroverted introvert.)
On a somewhat unrelated note, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the concept of “paying your dues.” I don’t believe in paying dues. I refuse to pay these mythological dues. Paying dues is something that does not exist to me. Now before you start stereotyping me as some entitled pretty girl who expects to get what she wants solely because of her looks, let me explain to you what I DO believe in. I believe in working hard. But wait, isn’t working hard the exact same thing as paying your dues? No, it’s not. Here’s why.
You wanna get a good job out of college? Pay your dues! You wanna be a successful artist? Pay your dues! You wanna be a successful AND financially prosperous artist? You’d better pay those fucking dues! You wanna be a rockstar? DUES MUST BE PAID VERY HEAVILY FOR THIS. I’ve experienced receiving this type of advice and been witness to others receiving similar advice. The younger, excited, hopeful person expresses their wishes, dreams, and desires. The older, jaded, bitter, holier-than-thou, and largely unsuccessful person responds with telling the hopeful person that they need to pay their dues before they can reap the benefits of glory. What an awful attitude!
Paying dues is presented in such a light where the person with the dream intrinsically has what it takes to get what they want, but for some unexplained reason they are forced to run this torture gauntlet of trials and tribulations to prove their worth until they can be finally accepted and receive the fruits of their blood, sweat, and tears. It’s no wonder than paying dues sets the stage for someone to halfheartedly go through the actions of taking the steps needed to complete their dreams. If you’re resentfully sloughing through these imagined depths of despair, it’s very unlikely that you will retain your inner sparkle and hope needed to actually manifest your desires once you get to the other side. The more you suffer, the more success you can potentially achieve. (Or so these promoters of due-paying say.)
Paying dues is a sneaky negative concept related to an underlying sense of low self esteem and unworthiness of reaching your desired goal(s.) Paying dues robs people of personal power and personal responsibility. It’s as if paying your dues is a magick bean for success—digesting this bean is horrible, but once it’s out of your system you’ll get exactly what you want. Telling someone to pay their dues actually creates a sense of entitlement, resentment towards hard work, and unreasonable expectations regarding success. This isn’t a mindset or a process I wish to choose for myself. I don’t enjoy being miserable and I don’t enjoy paying dues. I would like to catch all the little dues in a bottle and promptly flush them all down the nearest toilet to a watery grave. No more dues shall exist! No more dues shall be paid!
Hmmm. So how do I reach my goals now if all the dues have perished? Well, what do I enjoy doing?
I enjoy working hard. Working hard is empowering. It gives the individual in question a sense of strength and the ability to actually manifest their wishes. OK, so you want to reach this goal? Cool! Working hard is being excited about completing all the little baby steps and making these little baby steps a fun process and learning experience. You receive immediate gratification from completing small steps, so you’ll naturally keep wanting to complete small steps because you become hooked to the endorphin rush of completion. You gain pleasure from completing goals, small and large. The completion process in and of itself is the foundation for this enjoyment.
On top of this enjoyment, you can layer the individual enjoyment of completing different types of goals. Some goals are completed through collaborations with others. Some goals are completed through a series of smaller completed goals. Some goals are completed through one large project dedication. No matter what type of goal you set out to achieve, you will be all the more positive and hopeful because these unique goals rest upon your unconditional love of completing them.
The concept of working hard promotes innovation, high self esteem, creativity, resilience, and a steadfast belief in one’s goals and purpose. Working hard gives you a sense of responsibility and self-created joy. A good work ethic is a lifetime quality which can be applied to endless goals, purposes, wishes, dreams, manifestations, and quests. You took pleasure in the process of reaching one goal, so you’ll naturally take pleasure in the process of reaching a second unrelated goal. You took pleasure in the process of reaching a mini goal, so you’ll take pleasure in the process of reaching a big goal.
A good work ethic can also play out into other areas of life outside of the personal goal-achieving department. You’ll naturally put more effort into building quality friendships, quality romantic relationships, and practical security. Working hard can make you a wealthier person on so many wonderful and unique levels. You can live an enriched and satisfied life in a garden of your own cultivation and creation. Or perhaps it’s a blend of your beautiful garden with the gardens of other hard working individuals.
The next time someone tells me (or suggests to me) that I need to “pay my dues” before I can have what I want, I will have this answer prepared for them: “No thanks. I don’t believe in paying dues. I believe in working hard. Have you ever tried doing that?”
Hope Diamond—Star of Venus & Queen of the Faerie Realm