A thread of learning about prioritising the acts of creation emerged from three contexts recently. The observation of if, how much and when creation is made important proved valuable in itself. The new practice is to put it first rather than last, though still in limited proportions, and see what results.
The contexts were: receiving an email about a social enterprise’s economic impact, reviewing personal tasks, time and projects fit with a redefined personal and professional focus, and consideration of the proportion of oceans-related industries in Western Australia devoted to different activities such as: defence, monitoring, conservation or growing new forms of value.
The observation was of the relative proportion and prioritisation of activities that could be broadly categorised as: conserving, perpetuating, repairing or regenerating, defending, learning, or creating. By creating I’m referring to things new, previously non-existent, intended to be durable, repeatedly useful and of value.
While these categories are broad and not defined, my personal observation is a common tendency to put first (in priorities and time proportion) perpetuation, addressing repair when necessary, and making time for creation at the end, or later.
I’m not problematising the observed situation, simply noticing it to be so. And in noticing, being aware of the choices being made, their motivations and possibility to try things in different orders and proportions. A bit like adding the lime twist first in a lime and soda, rather than at the end. The lime is a relatively small proportion, but it is what makes it what it is, is the taste one is after, and doing it in a different order may result in a different experience.
Putting creation last can mean we never actually get to it. Prioritising perpetuation, repair, defence or learning of what’s existent can mean the best that ever results is more efficient continuation, or a positive ‘impact’ within the existing scope or frame.
Looking after what is already, is very compelling because it’s there. It’s like prioritising commitments to people I already know, rather than the people I don’t yet know, the person I could be, or that those I already know could become. There’s a choice being made, I just don’t often realise it.
It seems the foundations of our existence, history, infrastructure and social circles are necessary to maintain for without them there would be nothing to stand on? It seems we must put energy and effort into them for what would happen if they failed and we fell? Yet also they are already and it seems to be us giving them attention that keep them so, but perhaps we give them too much attention?
An interesting perspective, accessible in meditation, contemplation or sincere unknowing reaching to the edges, is that what is already existent once wasn’t. That all of it came from nothing prior, before being so present, solid or important. So, not having it or having something different may not really be anything to be afraid of. What we thought previously to be solid foundations, things desperately, importantly in need of defending, conservation, regeneration may be just as everything is: an invention, once created, now perpetuated, for a purpose, intended to be of service, but may no longer be so.
The benefit of that sort of observation of priorities and proportion is simply that: to notice and hold as an open inquiry-while-in-action of where energy and attention is directed, what results, and how that compares to the possibilities of other choices.
For now though too, in ‘daily life’ and economic activities, I’m going to twist attention towards creation first. Perhaps in no greater proportion, but just with a different timing and see if and what benefits are resultant.