Chapter XII

Embracing Creativity - Part II

Just as you see life as a journey, as it happens in many journeys, you will need a map. Embracing creativity is your map in thinking out of the box, drawing new limits and opening your mind towards new ways, new tracks, new opportunities, goals and desires, which could be followed and achieved, even if that means risking everything to get off the road and follow "no certain path" into the unexpected and the unknown. There are going to be dead ends, there are going to be multiple holes along the way, and even if you know where they are, you can´t always be in charge of your own plan. Whichever way you decide to follow, it will ultimately bring change rather than continue holding you on into an unbalanced, perhaps unhappy life where you first started off, which is also the safety zone you want to break free from. Following the way towards your goals and desires is not a safe sound path one steps into, as it may feel like we are traveling on a jet plane. When you take off, you better start fastening your seat belt and stop "pretending it’s hard to follow your heart dreams", as the concept of difficulty turns into the many places you didn’t reach and "the many doors that open up to you" which you may end up avoiding once they become open. You can go inside the door instead of fearing it, if you understand that you are connected to everything around you, and that you are capable of so much more than you presently perceive. We may all secretly wish to be more creative but we are "caught in the dream of action and the fear of failure" and if we fail, what happens then? What will the neighbors think of that? We tend to view ourselves as fools with no real talent but unconsciously we are only building up a numerous amount of false beliefs that only operate to increase our self-doubts towards a possible vicious cycle of self-abuse, which eventually will build into a tantrum, and sooner than later that reaction may strike back upon us.

All of us often have brilliant ideas, but we pretend we are unable to tap into them, excusing ourselves, specifically because we are drawn to shift our attention to others rather that at our own visions since it might feel way too egotistical not to do so. Cameron suggests that people believe that spending their lives "taking responsibilities for others makes them feel like good people", and I think that only by initially freeing and healing yourself fundamentally, can one be able to actually help others, otherwise one may start increasing their frustration at an individual level, and perhaps with time you may become wounded, ending up not really being able to support those around you. Self-acceptance and self-will are two major components to your creative recovery as much as a supporting environment. Avoiding excessive self-criticism is another one, because that would only damage, dismiss, ridicule, and condemn every piece of you. Stop wanting for your illusions to come back or pretend the relationship works, stop being upset for feeling lost, for being stressed out, for having to find a new job, because it's never too late to change, getting to know ourselves as better as possible, being in tune with our personal needs and interests is key to your unblocking journey as an artist as much as an individual, and ultimately as a collective being. Meeting oneself is meeting our own self to expression and expansion. Quoting the Russian playwright and short-story writer, Anton Chekhov "If want to work on your art, work on your life". In another words, in order to find self-expression, you need to discover how to encompass your life in harmony with how you aspire things to be done; which is the same modus vivendi Charlie Chaplin represented himself. Our recovery relies in the realignment of our values, and in living in tune with our personal genuineness. Trusting ourselves and that resulting process as much as avoiding self-sabotage, fighting against fear and shame, by making these feelings conscious and non-affecting. It is important to nurture our own inner artist child-self by playing and trusting our sensory world as it casts into our inner silence, making some head space for new opinions and possibilities, by emptying your life of distractions, figuratively in a spiritual chiropractice. This is definitely easier said than done, which is for that same reason Cameron advises all artists "to be very careful in order to safeguard your newly recovering artist". Creativity is "blocked by falling into other people's plans for us, as we want to be set aside for our creative work, but you start feeling you should do something else instead."

I personally believe that just as myself, there many other blocked creatives out there, who may be genuinely creatively talented, and who have been brought to feel bad about their own talents and creative abilities due to previous experiences in their lives. Peter Duncker once said, "there is the risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford to not take", therefore there is always the possibility that you are genuinely creatively talented as you secretly wish you would be. People wrongly confuse creativity and the artistic lifestyle to be originated or based on fantasy, but in fact creativity also derives from precepted reality, and just as it happens with any other form of meditation, creativity aims its attention on focus, on the particular, the well observed or specifically imagined. It cuts off across different landmarks and cultures and it is about becoming mindful, attentive and more aware of your thoughts, emotions, speech and actions, as well as more tuned into how your set of choices may affect others, or how can you can heal yourself and others perchance, making new paths available for others to follow through. The creative recovery is similar to mindfulness, where you begin to be mindful of your body and thoughts. Quoting the American Poet Theodore Roethke "God bless the roots! Body and soul are one.” Whenever you find your thoughts wandering you can observe them, or perhaps record them, simply noticing them without judgement or manipulation, bringing your attention to the present moment by allowing yourself to fully experience the joy of the now. Committing to a creative recovery resembles the practice of meditation in whatever form, and gives rise to an abundance of holistic benefits.

Cameron states that “Art lies in the moment of the encounter: we meet ourselves - we meet our self-expression - we become original because we become something specific: an origin from which work flows. As we gain or regain our creative identity, we lose the made-up self we were sustaining” It is possible to approach your creative U-turn in a relatively spiritual way; perhaps you might want to understand better how the mind works, either way, your recovery will always include elements of loving kindness and compassion, as you are also looking to be in service of others, by sharing insight through your art of living. Quoting Dr. Joseph Murphy. "Your desire is your prayer. Picture the fulfillment of your desire now and feel it's reality and you will experience the joy of the answered prayer.” Therefore if you feel an image creates a particular sensation or quality, you could then close your eyes and imagine any visualization that makes sense to you, or even focus your body on movement. You may want to expand your awareness by including just about anything that that keeps you moving, or perhaps concentrate exclusively on whatever you are doing rather than multitasking. Creativity is not a capricious thing. As Charlie Parker once expressed: "Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.”

Creativity supplies and fuels lovers, friends, currency and meaningful efforts. Either it be music itself, or chanting, or mantra meditation; whichever ones just may suit you best. There are so many ways to explore creativity, just allow your mind to concentrate on the sound of the world, both the melody and the tempo. The Brazilian Psychiatrist Nise da Silveira once said that “health is in your hands” hence never stop your creative streak from painting the world, because this just may be a way of opening new paths for others to join in. Ultimately, Art can be a solution, a refuge, and a way to ease our suffering.

"It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough, and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard."

- May Sarton