Being a writer & entrepreneur, I’ve spent the last couple of years traveling around the world, meeting some out-of-the-ordinary characters, some truly kind souls, acquiring incredible stories and even making great friends. I’ve been blessed to experience life in an anti-colloquial way — it’s been an adventure, most certainly. Joy, laughter, love and excitement have been my bedside companions, but pain, failure and heartache have been all too happy to take me for a spin on the dance floor of life — to my chagrin, and their delight.
I’ve lost everything and had to start anew, been divorced, fallen madly in love, come full circle in my career and been utterly devastated (oh, and not in that particular order) but who hasn’t? French Writer Alexandre Dumas believed that “only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.” To that I say: yes, yes, hell yes!
I’ve actually enjoyed every minute of it. Indeed, even the crappy parts. Those instances have really allowed me to savor the scrumptious nuggets of life with the fantastic side of awesome sauce when I’ve climbed out of the valley and found myself looking to the horizon and up to the stars from the peak. What’s fed so graciously the wicked fervor to move forward and an unbreakable positive disposition has always been a lover I return to once & again: My passion for creativity and for art.
We all have the capacity to be artistic. Remember when you were in kindergarten or elementary school, and the utter exuberance of drawing, painting, learning music or creating something? I bet you didn’t sit there and judge yourself thinking what you conceived sucked. You loved your creation and proudly displayed it. You ran home and gave it as a gift to a loved one. If you colored outside of the lines, that meant you were a rock star. Your inspiration sprung from inside of you — does it still? And here’s the most important inquiry: Are you aware how significant being inspired and tapping into creativity is for your state of mind?
Art allows us to feed the shadow that keeps our darker sides at bay, and passion is the piping-hot furnace that puts things into motion. In the Tibetan Chod practice, it’s believed that to release chronic anxiety, compulsive eating, anger, depression and panic attacks, one must “feed the demons”…or what’s also referred to as our shadow. I’m sure you’ve had that moment. When something inside of you stirs. You’re agitated, uncomfortable, even waiting to pick a fight at the expense of another. That stirring in you is the shadow and it needs to be addressed.
“When it comes to art, sometimes all you have to do is look around and get inspired.”
The way that this is done is by allowing your imagination to be set free and to be creative. Once a week, it’s crucial to allocate time for being innovative and inventive. Whether it’s painting, dancing, writing — we must commune with the elements, allow our body to flow as it wants to, and express ourselves through art.
We all have that aptitude, we’re born with it and it’s a devoir — an act of civility and respect toward our soul and mind. Sages considered it an eternal truth, like the Greek myth of Amphion’s taming of the savage beast with his lyre. The savage beast is a metaphor for what he needed to tame within himself, and he did so with art. You don’t have to seek inspiration. There’s no need to set up an intricate easel and purchase expensive paint to get the artist in you going — although if that’s what you fancy, why not?
Allow the stimuli around you to be your inspiration. Go for a walk…and, as Poet & Writer William Wordsworth proclaimed: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart”. Write whatever comes to mind, allow your heart to speak — write without judgment, purge it all out. That is poetry, and it’s oh so liberating.
In the end, it’s important to see yourself as an artist; to take pride in all that you do. Don’t look to explain or find excuses. Let the child in you express him or herself. Once a week is all that’s needed. Join activity groups, art painting classes, find out about local book fairs (hearing an artist speak of his or her work is extremely motivating), go to gallery openings, go to a musical, act in a play.
All you have to do is learn to step out of your comfort zone and into a space where you can immerse yourself in art and heal. Clive Barker shares the notion that: “Any fool can be happy, but it takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” Make beauty out of everything in your life and let your inner artist possess you in whatever you do.