We’re always on a journey from brokenness to wholeness, from disconnection to connection, and from giving up to keeping going. So, this may be the twenty third story for letting go and letting come, but it’s about taking care of the basics – something we can never lose sight of.
Pixar’s Ed Catmull uses the phrase “the Beast and the Baby” to describe the need to keep creating stories that feed the movie system as well as the original new ideas which lead to films that tell great and inspiring stories.
It’s not as simple as saying the beast is bad and the baby is good – a beast can be trained and a baby may never mature.*
This left me thinking about how there is a beast and a baby in each of us.
The beast is the every hungry me with all kinds of cravings, and the baby is the potential me, who I can become. Cravings are not bad in and of themselves but it’s about how I feed them. And I have to remember, I have hopes and aspirations which I need to give shape to as well.
There are basic things we train ourselves to do in order not to let the beast have its way.* Choreographer Twyla Tharp describes her daily routine: shower, dress in her gym clothes, call a taxi cab, and then two hours in the gym at the beginning of the day.
Her creative habit was not the two hours in the gym, however. It was more basic than that – it was calling the cab.
The difference between foolishness and wisdom are the faithful habits and practices we shape so avoid overfeeding the beast, making it possible to develop the baby.
(*Dan and Chip Heath’s Switch makes interesting reading: the brothers picture our thinking and behaving as an elephant, rider, and path.)