Chapter XII

Imagination is the key to your eden - Part II

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"Your imagination is the key to creation. Nothing has been created without the use of your imagination. You can't create dinner tonight without it and you certainly can't create hope for tomorrow." Diana Castle

Hope for tomorrow is about finding the river, your river, as in "the river that flows in you, also flows in me" quoted by Kabir. We often tend to think negatively about ourselves, fearfully thinking that the “boat” will get too crowded and that all of the sudden, someone will need to step out so that the others can survive. A funny thing about artists, is that we often begin to imagine and picture a right place for us that we could reach by listening to our own creative source of imagination and following its potential and guidance. We begin by hoping that we reach the right place at the right time, but then all of the sudden, something changes and we may become fearful of that same hope. Artists may have the tendency to think of their wishes as part of an egotistical self. Most of the times we figure that to achieve our silly dreams one must give up on something else or someone per chance. When we remember our creative aspiration and the many dreams that we secretly might have left behind, we always seem to master the 100 reasons why we couldn't follow our heart dreams, how we might end up hurting someone else's feelings or just anyone around us just because we decide to live the dream. Our ego centered desire. We often picture it as something impossible to attain to in a million years, or how crucifying it may turn out to be in end as a result of pursuing our ego. Perhaps that industry is tough and we believe that we are not enough, or not part of that "elite". An Elite is what Natalie Goldberg names as "special few struck by lightning" however the good news is that there isn't such a thing as special, enlightened elite. I believe that each and every person has a source of creativity, their internal Eden from within, which is connected to the superlative foundation. Therefore instead of trying to find out who are the geniuses out there, how about if we shift the focus on trying to increase the many geniuses who constantly surround us in our daily life, beginning with ourselves?

Once upon a Time, in Bali, I was told to giggle, to weasel, and taught to find my center, ultimately to discover something bigger than my people, than my lovers, than my beloved ones and even than my very own self. The intention was to establish a contact with a God, or perhaps with a spiritual path that could help me guide myself. Whatever God or divine manifestation that could speak to me; either Jesus, Mahomet, Buddha, a Goddess, the Universal Source or simply a higher power that could help me dismiss my abundant overwhelming loop thoughts and my continuously undefined struggles as a blocked artist. The ultimate point was to choose one; a divine source, and focus on experimenting new approaches, by opening myself towards new possibilities through the observation of the world in a different way from my own perceived interpretations until then. I have always been a very empathetic human being and that was the heart and motivation of my acting career, however, until this Indonesian journey took place, and where I was advised into a path of awareness, or my mind would very possibly take over completely at same point. Until then, I was still quite ignorant about how to use my acting capacities correctly in order to benefit from them, because I was constantly caught up by misreading the words written on the page due to my lack of self-confidence and expertise, and all I wanted was to be perfect, even though I felt like I was unsuccessful at most times. I was always seeking for validation because I was caring far too much about what other people thought about me. All I could think about was how foolish I would look and how everyone would think that I was trivial for even wanting to get in front of the camera or up on stage in the first place. The real danger lied on how much importance I gave to the audience, and some people around me. By repeating the same oblivious patterns or tendencies, my “mind” could very probably take over my actions and consequently turn my world upside down, when what I should have done was to start taking action (instead of reaction) to stop these thought patterns, otherwise, if I had not, I am sure that many dark nights of the soul would be currently haunting my sleepless mind... Which is definitely not the case. If I can be able to embrace the power and source of my own creativity “in service of others” and for the betterment of human kind, the world has a much better outlook for myself and consequently for the ones who surround me. This is an empowering response to the obstacles of life. One of my favorite daily affirmations is to think that a Ferrari without brakes is dangerous, but a Ferrari with brakes wins the races, metaphor by Dr. Edward Hallowell when referring to ADHD to be like a “Ferrari with bicycle brakes”. All to explain how this journey as a blocked artist (who by the way, is interested in irrigating, blooming and freeing her own creativity from within through a spiritual path to higher creativity) started out in the first place.

In the Artists way, Julia Cameron wrote that “those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as the creator, but seldom see the creator as the literal term for artist.” In her book, she therefore suggests readers to take the term “literally and seek to forge a creative artist-to-art alliance with the great creator simply by accepting that the great creator can greatly expand your creative possibilities.” Creativity might not seem spiritual to you or to me, but it is a valid form of imagination and being. You may not be aware of so, but creativity is a form of meditation which allows you to connect to your body, to manage stress and to simply feel. Eventually, this regular practice might activate the light of an inner power source of wisdom. Quoting May Sarton, in the work Journal of a Solitude: “It always comes back to the same necessity: go deep enough and there's a bedrock of truth, however hard. It looks as if I were "meant" to be alone, and that any hope of happiness is not meant.” You move from logic to the artistic brain, from fast to deliberate, narrow to arcane, and that capacity, in fact, can change everything. Imagination is that mythical gathering experience at heart. It is within your mist. Joseph Chilton Pearce quoted that "we must accept that this creative pulse within us is God's creative pulse itself, along with many other declared artists that also claim the creative spark to be sent to them by God”. In Madame Butterfly, for example, Giacomo Puccini claims that “the music of the opera was decreed to him by god, and he was barely an instrumental vehicle in putting it on paper and communicating it to the audience”. The same happened to Johannes Brahms, who shared the experience of this message coming directly from a divine source, and flowing straight through him. Quoting the work of Mary Daly Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation: "It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God."

Amos Ferguson assures us that it is better “not to paint by sight but by faith, for faith gives you your sight.” As Ralph Waldo Emerson once beautifully wrote “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” In this same context I happen to believe that the creative recovery/discovery may start by hoping and in living by the portrayed imaginative Eden’s source of power; a force of exceptional value, that exists intrinsically within us all.