I speak of love and joy because these two things have always made me feel happy, and after all wouldn’t it be safe to say that happiness is the ultimate goal in life? Who doesn’t want to be happy, and why wouldn’t one seek happiness?
Let’s take singing for example. When I sing I feel uplifted and joyous. The same thing goes for woodworking or anything creative. Playing an instrument is another fine example of tapping into this joy and sense of wonder. I love doing these things, and it is in the love of a thing that we find true peace and harmony. It is when we feel the most alive and connected to our creator. Many people however are reluctant to take this “journey” into their creativity. They are afraid of being criticized and ridiculed. The mere thought of venturing forth into this area brings all sorts of feelings; inadequacy, inferiority and insecurity, self-judgment and self-doubt. However, there is good news and I speak from experience.
I have experienced all of the above emotions and have managed to confront them all one by one. I say one by one because this is the only way that it can be done. It’s like being in kindergarten. You have to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to be a beginner. Here is an example. I remember when I made my first wood project. I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but something inside of me was dying to come out. As I recall, I had a lot of negative voices in my head but the bottom line was that I didn’t want to experience any failure. That would have been just too unbearable. So I decided to start small, real small, kindergarten remember? I made a paper towel holder which sits upright. It was made out of two pieces of wood: a sawed off broom handle and a flat piece of wood. You can’t get much simpler. I derived so much joy and satisfaction from it that I kept on going. The next project consisted of three pieces of wood, then four and five, etc. Within a year or so I was feeling so good about myself I built a 16 foot kayak. I had never been so excited in my life. So much so, that I couldn’t sleep at night. It was like being reborn to a new me I never knew existed.
As I look back on it now I know what took place. I simply put myself into an atmosphere of total peace and joy by allowing myself to tap into my creativity, and it wasn’t long before I came to the realization that whatever it is that created us, wants us to create. It is a cycle, it doesn’t stop at us. If you think you aren’t creative, think again. The way that you bake a pie, or update your bankbook, comb your hair, the type of clothes you wear, the way you express yourself and conduct your life; you are being creative all the time and just haven’t been aware of it. The more creative you become, the more enjoyable your life becomes. There is no end, it is limitless. There is no limit to the amount of peace and joy that you can experience. If you were to share this with others you would in turn be doing God’s work. Why keep it to yourself? Be gentle with yourself, and the brothers and sisters around you.
Glenn Lacasse, a 15-year resident of the Comox Valley, is a natural humourist and storyteller. Expressing his creativity through photography, woodworking and singing, this is his first foray into publishing.