Thursday, March 11, 2010

Taming my Buffalo

It’s true. I’m a buffalo.

A team training exercise at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center using the Native American Medicine Wheel confirmed it. That means if you need someone to give your project a kick in the pants, I’m your girl. Buffalos get things done.

While this nature has served me well, I’ve learned the hard way that I need to tone down my inner buffalo so that I don’t trample everyone around me. And while I know how damaging an out-of-control buffalo can be to those around me, I never thought my buffalo nature could be damaging to me.

Lately Ive been pursuing things to help me escape the lack of creativity I feel in my day job. Although I’m part of an amazing team, we do so many things so fast that it ends up feeling more like an assembly line than a creative shop.Yet even in my own creative outlets, where every choice is mine, my buffalo wants to fall back into the assembly line mentality. It wants to get things done. 

All the buffalo has to do is whisper in my ear, “It’s Thursday. Create a new item so you can list it on Monday.” In protest I say, “I can’t work on it until Saturday because of my day job.”

"No problem," says the buffalo. “You have Saturday morning for the preliminary work before you grocery shop. Sunday you can finish the details and hopefully get some photos before you lose the light. “But what about cleaning the house?” I ask the buffalo to which it replies, “Who cares about cleaning? Rob won’t mind if the house gets a little messy.”

The buffalo in me says no sweat. I beat deadlines like this in my sleep. But is that a good thing? The creative process is a process yes, but I’m finding that adhering to a stringent process doesn’t allow the creative part to thrive. Ideas need time to percolate. I need time to make mistakes and to learn new things. And I need time to enjoy life outside of my two jobs.

I need to tame the buffalo.


  1. nicely written and I feel what you're sayin'. On the other hand, can my buffalo run with yours? I wonder what a herd could do....

  2. I love this post, Marie - but I hope you're not being too hard on yourself. I wish I had a little bit more buffalo, sometimes my eagle gets going too high and I need a buffalo to say "hey - woah, wait a minute - why don't you get STARTED on these plans that you're making" (oh yea...guess that's important too LOL!)

    I guess part of it for me is honoring each of my inner parts. Feeling buffalo-ey? Let the buffalo take over those parts of life that need the buffalos touch. Then, when you need to be eagle-y, the buffalo can say - okay, I had my turn, time for something else. I think sometimes those more extreme aspects of our personalities assert themselves for a particular reason - either they aren't getting honored, or are needed too much, or...your mileage may vary as to why.

    But Marie, your buffalo is just as important as the mouse, eagle...and bear. Honor it, respect it, and find a way to harness, not tame it :)

  3. Marie, this is delightful! I want a want an animal!

  4. Rock on Marie. I wonder if I'm a buffalo... definately many parts sleepy, sassy cat.

    Great post.

    Christan and Bevin, you wake up too early!!!

  5. Actually, I have spent some time around buffalos and find them to be calm and gentle as well as powerful. The mothers are very nurturing to their calves and highly protective. They are powerful medicine in the native american culture and you should be proud to be a buffalady!

  6. Wonderful post! I'm not sure if I'm a Buffalo, but I am sure that we do need a lot more creative time. It just doesn't work very well when you have to rush around.


Ooh,a comment! How delightful.


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