How Crazymakers and Poisonous Playmates can hurt your creativity

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I posted a comment on a Facebook group yesterday. It's content doesn't matter, except to say that it was polite, and I thought helpful, as a woman was being attacked by what seemed to be a deliberate misstatement of the law. The attacker popped up again today, this time even more aggressive, as though she had charged up overnight. I felt my whole energy begin to tremble. I sat with it, felt it, acknowledged it.

It caused me to think of what can happen to you as your begin to connect with your creative side. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, identifies two personality types that seem to come out of the woodwork and attack us on our journey. They've always been there, but suddenly, their character traits become larger than life, and they can be frightening to someone who is sensitive and in tune with their emotions. I see many friends on Facebook waging wars with them, shedding tears, and silently grieving for the part of them that they steal.

At the end of this article, I give you a simple exercise to help you centre yourself, and nurture yourself this week. But first, let's identify who these folk are.

Crazymakers are everywhere. We all know at least one. They are creative, but only in the sense that they create mini storm centres. Other than that, they are usually painfully blocked.

Julia nominates their key attributes as being charismatic, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And for creative people, they are hugely destructive. Now, for someone on a creative journey, this can be confusing, particularly if they are in your life, but you can't quite figure out why they make you feel 'icky'.

Here are some traits that Julia Cameron warns to watch out for:

  1. They break deals and destroy schedules.

  2. They expect special treatment - illness, meals, to do what they like after an upset

  3. They discount your reality, do not respect boundaries, call even though you've told them you go to bed at eight.

  4. They don't respect your time or money. I have lost count of people who don't connect with me for months, and then send a message asking for a "small" favour. I put my solutions hat on, help, only to have it ignored, dismissed or criticised. These people have no regard for anything you have.

  5. They triangulate. This means that they use their charm, to have people pitted against each other, so that the power remains in their own dead centre. They pass on information that has been said by one person about another, to the other. And then, do the same back the other way. "Oh yes, I was telling such and such how fabulous your photography was, and she rolled her eyes!" Then they will take back your reaction to that person, but in a sneaky way.

  6. They deny they are Crazymakers. They place blame anywhere but themselves. In fact, they are expert at this.

  7. They hate schedules, unless the schedule is their own. And then they will try and interrupt your own important time blocks.

  8. They create dramas, but only if it negatively impacts somebody else's schedule.

  9. The hate order. This one is likely seen if you live with one. You might set up your own space, to come home and find their own stuff all over it.

Creatives tend to seek out these kinds of people as they act as buffers to getting down to the business of creativity. They are diversions, excuses. They help us stay blocked. We turn our energy to how crazy they make us feel, instead of inwards. We forget to nurture ourselves, or stop nurturing ourselves, and become resentful.

If we recognise them, that's a great thing, because it's a sign we are waking up!

Creativity is inherent in all of us. It's pretty much what makes the world function. But everyone is on their own journey, and it is inevitable you will come across blocked people...lots of them! The moment you begin to recognise them, the more you will become aware of your own identity and personal power.

This happened for me last year. I realised the reason I was not doing a lot of things that my soul loved and needed, was fear of the Crazymakers and Poisonous Playmates. Poisonous Playmates are possibly the most damaging, because they are jealous. They thieve your personal joy, simply because they find your creativity disturbing. I've touched on this before. They might call you selfish, point out that your children's needs should override your need to take an hour art class a week.

Now here's the kicker. Creativity is far from being selfish. I feel more love and compassion in this world than ever before. I feel at peace. There are few dramas in my life, and those that are there are dealt with, with a centred energy. Well, most of the time! But I'm less critical of myself when I review my day.

I'm still learning, but at least I have a clear idea of the grace I seek. And I seek it daily. I ask for inner guidance. Two years ago, I would have been terrified of facing a classroom of young faces. The fear would have been inextricably linked to my ego. "What if I fail?" "What will they think of me?"

Now, 45 pairs of seven and eight-year old eyes is still daunting! But I told myself, just be me. If they don't like my art or book, that's okay. They are honest. Listen to their feedback. And if they do like it, listen. Be grateful. Fortunately, they liked both. Fortunately, my ego was sitting in the corner outside the door.

Children can be brutally honest, but at that age, haven't learned the art of crazy making and poison to the degree that adults can. I felt an incredible energy come from them, and am delighted that the school is beginning Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Successful Children later this year. They have a really good chance to learn positive behaviours before they hit their teens.

But they will also need to learn to nurture the creative soul, and how to face these people as they enter the world. And they will know how, if their sense of identity and personal power is strong.

Back to the Crazymaker on Facebook this morning. And a note a beautiful friend sent yesterday, in response to my post yesterday about my visit with the children.

She wrote: "It's Amazing how fear destabilises us and breaks creative flow! Shuts down right brain function completely."

Fear causes us to lash out, blame, hate, despise, resent, destroy. This same lady taught me that there are only two emotions. Love, and fear. When we have love, we create, we experience peace. For me, there is a connectedness with all around me.

Crazymakers can come at us on all stages of the journey. Be alert for them, and know that they are operating from a blocked place, from a platform of fear. They stick they heads out on Facebook, lurking about groups for the opportunity to spit their venom.

How do I know all this? How am I so certain that Julia's words are right?

I've been a Crazymaker. Yep. Not on all counts, but definitely for some of them. And you know what? It sucks. It feels icky. And that's not just because it makes other people feel icky. It's a departure from your northern lights, your guiding purpose, your reason for being. A major disconnect happens. It's like walking around with a live electric plug in your hands, waving it in the face of everyone who dares to upset your journey. Yep, even computers. (At least one of my friends is smiling as she reads this...!)

The esteemed Shakti Gawain sums it up beautifully.

"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness."

And then, you walk with a sense of dread, seeking out others to lay blame on, looking for ways to fill up the well.

Well, I now thank the Crazymakers and Poisonous Playmates. They turn up every now and then. And I see them. They are a reminder of my blocked past. And a prompt to listen to my inner voice, and remain, yours faithfully, unblocked.

It's a wonderful place to be.

To see where you are at, try this exercise.

Draw a circle. Divide it into six segments. Write Relationships, Spirituality, Friends, Work, Romance/Adventure and Exercise in each.

Now, place a dot where you are fulfilled in each area - outside, great, middle, terrible.

Make a choice to focus on bringing something special to the lowest area of your life this week. Write one plan for each in a diary and stick to it. If spirituality is low, listen to some music that lifts your soul. Remember, this is not necessarily a religious pursuit. It is nurturing the spirit within you.

Have fun with it, but nurture yourself, so that you don't become the Crazymaker who can invade our boundaries and take us on their wild and woolly journey with them.


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