Making Messes : Thoughts on Creativity

Lately I’ve been trying out tons of new recipes. When I was in the 4th grade, my aspiration was to be a chef. Over time, I realized that I probably wouldn’t want to be a chef full-time, but I still have a love for cooking and trying new recipes. Our cookbook collection is always growing, my husband is well aware of my addiction.

I was making some cookies the other day. Lemon Ricotta Cookies. Oh my goodness. The recipe was from the Nordstrom cookbook, and the cookies did not disappoint. They were one of the more complex cookie recipes that I have tried, but the end result was perfection. But, during the middle of baking, I turned around and looked at my kitchen. It was a disaster.

I definitely do not cook like I am on a cooking show. I cook like I am trying to use each and every inch of my countertops. Flour everywhere. 15 measuring cups in the sink. Bowls, cups, baking sheets, towels, paper towels, lids to who knows what…It gets crazy.

But while I was looking around, I was thinking about the similarities to baking and life.

Messes must be made for things to be created.

Right now, I feel like I am in a transition time with my business. I am evaluating things and deciding what needs to change. What I need to work on. What I need to stop doing. What I need to start doing. My desk is full of lists. Things to research, things to change, things to re-vamp and re-design.

And I know it’s going to be a little messy. Things might get a little crazy…they already are. Because creating new patterns and systems is challenging. So is deciding to change things. To grow things. To create things.

My mind is probably going to even get a little messy. I won’t have all of the picture when I start creating. I will just have to learn as I go. Making messes, and cleaning them up along the way.

Ask a farmer, if growing seeds into crops is clean…or messy.

Ask a mother, if giving birth to new life is clean…or messy.

Ask a business man, if following his dream to create a new company was clean…or messy.

Ask a chef, if creating a new dish was clean…or messy.

Ask a writer, if their first draft was clean…or messy.

Creating beautiful things takes a lot of messes, I’ve found.

Because the PROCESS of creativity is normally a mishmash of things. Mixing inspiration, vision, hard work, sweat, tears, dreams, goals, plans. Just like making some cookies, there are lots of ingredients involved in order to reach the finished product. To the final image. To the book, the recipe…You get the idea.

So, while sometimes the middle of the process is overwhelming. And while there are moments when I am tempted to throw away all of my new ideas, put everything back in its “place”, and tidy up…I’m going to lean in. Lean into the messes. Embrace the chaos. Knowing that from all of it will emerge something that I could not have created in a clean, tidy, sterile environment. I couldn’t have created something new while leaving everything tucked away in the pantry.

And I won’t be able to create anything new with my business by keeping things exactly the way they have always been. I have to get things out and use them, throw them away, mix them up, change them. And then, and only then, will I be able to see that the result was worth the process.

Instead, I need flour in my hair, and egg shells on my counter.

Cheers, friends. Embrace the mess.

Kels

Cookie

 

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