Have you ever looked up to the “artists” of our world – the ones who actually make a living being musicians, visual artists, writers, photographers, too many mediums to name here – and thought, “I wish I could be like that” or “I could never be like that”?
Do you consider yourself more of a listener or consumer of art than a maker of art?
Well, I have news for you.
The only reason you resonate with the creative work of artists in the world is because of the creativity that is housed inside of you.
All of us have it.
Art is simply self-expression. And everyone has something to express. It doesn’t have to be a message, it doesn’t have to be coherent. It can be a feeling. And why is it important to express a feeling? Because if you are feeling it, it means other are feeling it, and if they see your feeling in an expressed form, they will resonate with it and know they are not alone. And that is service.
Every time I hear someone say, “I’m just not a creative person,” I think, “just you wait.”
Creativity is an energy that lives inside of us. Try this on for size: sexual energy is creative energy. It’s used to create, well, humans! But it doesn’t have to be – it can be channeled to create any number of beautiful things in this world.
Is there any one human in the world who is devoid of sexual energy? I’m pretty sure history has taught us that, no matter how hard we try to repress this energy, it’s a part of us – and the only choice we have in the matter is how we channel it.
So, if all of us are artists – we can safely conclude that many of us are blocked artists.
(A blocked artist isn’t any less of an artist.)
What can this lead to?
- A feeling of deadness inside
- Knowing that there “must be something more”
- Using substances and behaviors from the outside to fill a void and/or to “feel alive”
- Isolation and hiding
As Humans, creativity is our birthright. And so much of what we have been taught about art and creativity is not helpful; such as:
- You have to be naturally talented to be an artist (time and practice outweigh natural talent every time).
- You have to be skilled in order to make something of value. (Skill is just one part of the equation – pure life energy is the other part; and if you are able to tap into that, skill – or whatever else you think you might need – can be learned. Remember: anyone can learn anything.)
- You have to have something to say (creativity can be pure self-expression; plus, who says you shouldn’t practice a language before you have something “important to say”? I would argue that practicing is key, so that if and when you have something to say, you already have a medium to say it in!)
- You have to wait to be inspired (someone once said, fabulously, “when the muse comes, I want her to find me working.”)
- You can’t have a strong left brain and also be an artist. (No one ever condemned Humans to choose one side of their brain at the expense of the other. It’s perfectly possible and healthy to cultivate both).
- Art is not a viable contribution to society (perhaps the most dangerous and tragic misconception of them all. Art in all its forms keeps the life force of our planet circulating, thus preventing energetic stagnation, which ultimately manifests as disease. In addition, healthy self-expression has the power to disarm toxic emotions by channeling them, which may result in less crime against self and others. Because of this, I would propose that authentic self-expression is a key ingredient in the salvation of our world, if there is to be one).
So, what to do if you are a blocked artist? Get that life flow moving!
It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but the only thing that will break through that dam of creativity is to try something, do something, move something.
A.R.T.S. Anonymous, a 12-Step program for artists, has as their bottom-line sobriety a commitment to pick up your work for just 5 minutes a day – and Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art” reminds us that we will have to battle resistance every day, so there is no use in letting resistance stop us.
The only way is to begin.
Beginning …. is the medicine.