The Water and the Pump
I listened to a friend talking the other day about her pilot husband who would just not give it up.
His entire career had been devoted to piloting passengers across the US. After he retired, he volunteered for the Air National Guard. Now, years later, he’s still flying solo.
She’s concerned that he won’t be able to maintain that pace at his advancing age. Piloting is physically demanding and even with advanced instruments, you still have to be on the edge of your seat in awareness. Weather is unpredictable and a toy drone or random bird could end your life.
But he won’t stop.
She’s right to be concerned, but I don’t think he could turn in his wings even if he tried. Flying is his soul’s expression.
The devoted pilots I know touch their spirit when they touch the sky. Just like an artist, a musician, a weaver or a game designer, when your soul finds its expression, you feel uneasy when it’s not coming through you. It’s where your heart lives and you need to be in touch with it every day to feel whole.
It’s like water flowing from a pump. The water is the expression of your soul, and the pump is how that expression comes through. We call the pump “talent” or a “passion.”
A writer expresses their soul through their pen, a musician through their voice, an actor through the stage, a weaver through the loom, a gardener through prized tomatoes and a pilot through wings. Each expression brings deep satisfaction.
The pump is merely the mechanism that allows the soul’s expression to flow.
Your soul’s expression is your creativity.
You are always creative because your soul expresses itself all the time. And good news, it will shape the pump you need. You are naturally drawn to it. You’re curious about it. You wonder if you could… if you tried….
It calls you.
When you give that daring idea a try it brings enjoyment. And as you keep at it and continue to align with your creativity, eventually you and the pump merge.
A writer isn’t a writer only when they’re in front of a keyboard. They constantly observe their life and are always on the alert to capture moments for the truth of their pen. They jot down a random turn of phrase overheard at the grocery store or capture a description of a dog licking ice cream from an unsuspecting 3-year-old’s dish.
A writer is never “not a writer” and a pilot is never “not a pilot.” You are never “not creative.”
Trust the process
If you’re concerned that you don’t have a pump, or maybe the pump you think might be yours isn’t the “right” one for you, don’t fear. It’s there.
You’re already curious about it. You already wonder what it would be like to do that thing, to experience that moment, or to live that kind of life. You always wanted to.
Let yourself experience just a taste.
Take baby steps to explore options. Try a class. Watch a YouTube tutorial. Read up. Ask a friend to join you. Begin with small leaps of faith. Let the flow start to trickle and try making something of your own.
Use what’s handy. Use what’s interesting. Use the path that feels good to explore.
Tap into what wants to come out and the pump will begin to form around you.
You can’t get it wrong.