Late last night, while working in my darkened room, with only the light of my laptop glowing... a big brown moth flew into the lit screen. Crashed several times. Hard.
The metaphor was not wasted on me. I recognized my own light-chasing, head-banging work-style. And I suddenly "got" that the completion of my creative goals do not require self-torture.
Nature is my favorite teacher. Here are a few other things that moth reminded me:
- Moths are nocturnal. - Know when YOUR creative peak hits, then protect and use that time... even if it's an "inconvenient" window, like 2am - 6am. Why organize your life according to someone else's arbitrary 9-to-5 designation? Learn, respect and defend your own creative cycles.
- Moths are related to butterflies, but they are not butterflies. - Comparing yourself to others -- especially those who are not even true/actual peers -- is a waste of your mental force. Instead, direct that wonderful creative energy toward just two things that unchain all other desirable things: FREE YOURSELF and BE YOURSELF.
- Moths are covered in sensory hairs, and they use them to feel their environment. - Sensory experience makes clear to you the subtle, the nuanced, the unspoken. It also moistens dry things. Flavors bland things. And enlivens stuck things. We are talking about THE VISCERAL. Consult and use it as the boundless sensory source that it is. (The under-used sixth sense could be your competitive advantage in the creative marketplace. And all marketplaces, for that matter.)
- Some moth species have no mouths. Because they cannot eat, they live only about a week. Their sole purpose is to mate and reproduce before they die. - You have a mouth. Fill it with good food, and empty it with true and kind words. Creators cannot be a force for good if they are not fed (nutritionally, cognitively, emotionally, soulfully and financially). Feed yourself, SO THAT you can feed others from the beauty of what you make.
- The moth species that do have mouths, pollinate plants that bloom at night. - If you struggle with feelings of obscurity, or you sometimes wonder: "Is anybody listening? Does anybody care?" The fact that "it" is in you to say, means there are ears -- there are causes, clients and audiences -- waiting and well-suited, for your message. So, keep pollinating.
- There are 9 times more moth species (160,000) than there are butterfly species (17,500). - What the moth lacks in showy colors and iconic acclaim, it boasts IN VOLUME. Those of us who work at night (more behind the scenes, than front and center) often feel alone and isolated. But that is not the case. We are actually VAST in number. Imagine what we will do collectively when we really wake up to that fact.
Have you had any encounters with moths, or other insects, that taught you something? Please describe it. Big lessons often come from tiny things.