Learning to live life the way I make art
Nearly all of us have been divorced from the full strength of our creative flow since the freewheeling freedom of childhood. And honestly, I know many of us didn’t have the kinds of childhoods that encompass a whole lotta freewheeling. So it makes perfect sense that we may be a bit unfamiliar, wary, even afraid of the flow that we can sense is just within our reach, that all powerful creative flow we were born with.
We may have been warned about the dangers of dipping into such powerful flow. Through no fault of our caregivers, diversions, redirects, even dams may have been taught in order to “keep us safe,” or because that’s the “way things are taught,” or a million other reasons. It happens. It’s good to notice, be aware of our jam ups as we pass through them.
Truthfully, I don’t think hardly anyone in the Western world is in their full creative flow. The nature of our culture is nearly the antithesis of creative flow. Suppression, control, rationality, proof… are highly valued. I always felt out of step with our culture I think because of this.
Looking to understand myself and this amazing power that “seemed” best suppressed, I have spent my life a devotee of the creative force. I have watched how creativity moves through us; what supports it; what keeps it moving; how to access it when it seems far away. I have watched it in myself and probably thousands of children and adults. I have created structures from what I’ve learned to guide educators. Creative flow is something I think about probably every day. And yet, I too find myself afraid of the flow at times.
I can’t tell you completely why, but I have this irrational fear that I may drown somehow, be taken away by some enormous wave never to be seen again. When it comes to art, I can ride the highest tsunami and revel in a state close to ecstasy with only prayers of yesyesyes! on my lips. I trust where creativity takes me no matter how far flung. But when it comes to creating particular aspects of my life I find myself afraid to go too deep, ride the current, lift up on a wave. I hold back. I doubt. I fear. This is why I always use art to teach me about creating my life. I’m much smarter in the art department.
Lately, I can feel this lifelong pull pulling harder. Go here. Walk in this direction. Do it. Do it. I want to release more fully into my deepest self in some way that I never have. But then doubt. Fear. It takes me a moment to realize my fear. I don’t think, “I’m afraid.” That’s too easy. I don’t want to feel the fear. So I disconnect and just feel a bit uneasy, unflowing so to speak. Jammed up. But if I listen to my thoughts I can hear it.
What if this isn’t right? Who do I think I am? I am no one. There will be no one there to meet me. I am alone. My voice cannot be heard and if it could it would not matter. Do I really have what it takes?
I don’t think them all the time. These are my special thoughts I pull out when I’m about to step out of my own bounds. I have spent years resolving, you might say healing, numerous ways that I have pinned myself in with limiting thoughts, judgment, pain, fear. And here I am currently at the end of resolving one of my life’s most challenging lessons, being bullied. I have had much to learn about bullying. And now without it in my life, I find myself new. I am free.
This gives me the sense that I can do anything. I can relax without my inner eye looking over my shoulder to see if I will pay for my actions in some way. This is one of those strange moments, when I know exactly who I am and yet I don’t know who I will become. I have never been free like this before. I can hear something calling but I don’t understand yet. Will being free like this open me up to more flow? Who will I become? Will I be able to handle it? Will I drown? Can one drown in the creative flow?
What I notice is that when I can feel the fear and sit with it, there’s always this sadness underneath. This wild, howling sadness that has very little story, but immediately seeks release. It moves through fast and on the other side of this grief, this sense of loss I find my freewheeling, freedom of being that I was born with.
It remains. Intact. I can see it. I can feel it. I realize this is what it means to come back to my deepest self. It’s there, but it’s layered down. Now, I can sense the creative force flowing in a very real, visceral way. I am that flow. My body, my self, my life, my world are an expression of that great creative flow. I am at once the artist and the art. I can understand why I would have sadness, this is an amazing feeling. But it is so powerful! It feels overwhelming. It’s HUGE.
Afraid of the flow? A bit. I can tell I still have A LOT to learn. But I’m jumping in. I’m a devotee after all and if I can learn how to live my life the way I make art, well hell, I’m there. I am so there.
I feel like the empty paper just before the brush hits. I feel like the brush, loaded with paint about to touch down. I am the creator and the created. I am all things. The art and the artist.
I create my reality. I create myself.
I almost forgot.
Come join me this January for my new online class, Believing is Seeing: Daily Journal of Transformation, as we embrace the creative flow together to manifest what we want in life.