Sitting With the White Noise
I woke up this morning in a bit of a panic, realizing that I had nothing to say for today’s blog. It reminded me of our TV’s when I was little that would turn to white noise after the networks shut down at midnight. (Did I just date myself?) Everything just went blank.
I find that there’s a huge tension that shows up in the white-noise of our lives. When we go blank. Blank is uncomfortable. We want to know. Know the answers. Know the “right” way to do something. Know what people will like. Know what the ending will be.
We so desperately want to make the discomfort go away that far too often we force an answer where there is none, or run away from it, or we try to mute the discomfort through a variety of vices (my craving for a big cinnamon roll right now is no accident…). In the business world this discomfort results in us playing it safe. In not taking the risks we need to take to make bold choices that make a difference. In trying to control things too tightly. In putting too many processes in place in attempts to mitigate the risk of people not knowing what to do. Or in simply doing nothing.
In the arts and in innovation worlds, they call this not-knowing “creative tension” and instead of falling prey to our human tendency to eradicate it or escape it, they embrace it – trusting that therein lies the the key to making magic. Creative tension is essentially that space between your vision of what is possible and your current reality. For example, my vision of what was possible this morning was producing a thought-provoking blog. My current reality (or my reality when I started writing this morning) is that I didn’t have a topic in mind. That gap between where I was and where I wanted to be caused a whole heck of a lot of discomfort – or creative tension.
Thankfully, I didn’t succumb to numbing my tension with a cinnamon roll, but instead reminded myself that I’ve now countless ways to bridge that gap – my “hows” were unlimited.
We all find ourselves facing the white noise in our lives with the same choice. There days when I take the path of least resistance and there are days when I don’t. But I find more-often-than-not, that if I can sit with the white noise, what bubbles up through the silence is often more powerful than I could have anticipated.
“How” you get there may not be known. Yet. That’s okay. But there’s magic to be found in the discomfort.
***This is station OSL signing off and wishing you a very good day***
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