The spider has a job that she must do to ensure her survival – she must spin webs.
When the time comes for this job to be undertaken, she simply does it. She doesn’t contemplate it, plan it, worry about it, think about whether there are other tasks that she’d rather be doing, wonder if it might be better to put it off until tomorrow, or worry about how the finished product will turn out. When the moment arrives to spin a web, she mindfully sets about spinning a web, without being distracted, without wondering whether it will live up to her expectations or the expectations of others. She doesn’t contemplate whether that which comes naturally to her will be deemed the right thing to have done by others. She just does it. She spins her web with focus and intent to create that which comes naturally to her. She works with persistence, and if something should unexpectedly interrupt her, it is dealt with, after which she dutifully returns to the task at hand.
When her work is finished, the spider doesn’t stand back and critique her work. She doesn’t fret over whether others will judge her work favourably. She immediately moves on to whatever it is that her instincts direct her to next. If her work is destroyed by unforeseen circumstances, she doesn’t spend an instant grieving over the loss of her creation that she poured so much time and effort into. She moves on and does what needs to be done. She creates another web.
There is something to be learnt from the spider and her web spinning. We humans are naturally creative beings, and there is so much potential within us, waiting for us to let go and give birth to the creations that we were made to transform from potential into existence. We spend so much time and energy thinking, wondering, contemplating, worrying, analysing, assuming, and judging. All this mind work imprisons our potential, stifles it. It holds us back from birthing our creative projects. When we do manage to wade our way though the quagmire of mental mess, our creations fail to be born into the full expression of their potential. There is pure magic and magnificence lying dormant within a creative idea. A creative idea holds the possibility of beauty, joy, wonder, brilliance. The practice of mindfulness releases us from this prison of stifled creativity. When we disidentify from the ego, and model the spider’s approach to spinning her web, a world of glorious, fully expressed creativity falls effortlessly into our laps.
The mind isn’t all bad. Luckily for us humans, we also have the pleasure of enjoying and fully appreciating the beauty that has been created in the world. What a true blessing.
Image credit: spider web by x76882, under license.