“Begin at the beginning….and go on until you come to the end: then end.”
- Alice Evidence, CHAPTER XII
This is Alice’s evidence and also mine. The way you put your dreams and ideas into action, very often begins with the process of failure, and most of the times down inside that hole you tripped into. From there, you need to bring yourself up after falling, every time, which is when you learn several lessons about life, until the end, by storytelling the evidence of all of the lessons you’ve learnt. The end is, consequently, the result of the trip which you have encountered and lived. In other words, I knew that it was time to wrap it up, and this present article should summarize the results and processes of the journey which got me here. Having started this trip as a blocked artist myself, caught up in this dream of action and fear of failure, I should write about how I stopped this nonsense dread of disappointment and began putting my dreams into action, yet all I keep thinking about is how these dreams in action haven’t yet stopped me from stupid apprehension, shame or even expectations of what I still don’t know. What if I fail? How can I write this article in the first place, if I haven’t yet made my dreams come true by being published or by even making profit from what I love to do. I am still figuring out how to make it happen and how exactly will I be able to get my art aligned with form. Finally, a bird whispered in my ear something like “you fake it until you make it”… Consequently, here are some of my attempts as to what I have gotten to so far, regarding taking “ACTION” towards dreams, without restrictions…
First and foremost, you should “pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can” and then never ask yourself “whether you can do something”. Say to yourself, I am “going” for it. This is what the writer Julia Cameron would recommend. The author of The Artist's Way movement, believes that “a blocked creative manifests an addiction to fantasy”, therefore instead of “working and living in the now”, blocked creatives spin their “wheels and indulge in daydreams of could have, should have and would have been…” So, here is what you start by doing: you should “fasten your self-belt” and get ready to brace for impact as “The most remarkable things would happen” once you hit the very ground, and notwithstanding our ideas about God not really running “the movie business” as what we really want to hear is what that Creative Artists Agency “does” … It’s all rubbish! According to Cameron, you should “expect the universe to support your dream”. However, in order for this to happen, you first have to spend the time in finding out what you love doing, your passion, your purpose, to then take some attitude towards that will. Ekaterina Walker, author of the WSJ bestseller The Power of Visual Storytelling, believes those 3 things shape our path in life. She says that “passion fuels our actions”. Passion shapes our purpose as much it “defines us, molds us into who we are”. Life purposes on the other hand, give meaning to our lives. “Having meaning in your life is one of the most powerful foundations a human being can be driven by.” Walker believes that purpose can give us “confidence” and “makes us fearless”. In deduction, passion and purpose are ultimately going to affect your attitude. “When you know who you are, and what you want to achieve, then your attitude shifts” making you “unstoppable” by walking through “the journey that is only yours”. I personally agree that passion and purpose indeed affect attitude, but in order to really succeed, you should foremost decide to take some action towards “inspiring” and “stimulating” your own self on a regular basis, as much as to give up on “plan B” and always take “No for an answer”, here paraphrasing Justin Conklin.
The success analyst, author, and speaker, Richard St John, who spent a decade researching the lessons of success, confesses in his 3-minute Ted talk slide-show that the eight big things that lead you in order to achieve success, are:
PASSION comes up first. If you do it for love, the interesting thing is that money comes as a result;
WORK hard but really have lots of fun doing so;
FOCUS on one thing at the time;
PUSH through shyness and self-doubt;
GOOD comes from practice, there’s no magic to it;
SERVE others something of value;
IDEAS are simple things that come with lots of evidence;
PERSIST criticism, rejection assholes and pressure.
According to Elizabeth Gilbert in her “illusive creative genius” ted talk, Gilbert spent almost six years failing at getting published. She recalls it to be a devastating experience, and every single time she had to ask herself if she should just quit and spare herself all of that pain, but she persisted despite of all of that “criticism”, all of that “rejection, assholes and pressure” by saying “I’m not going to quit, I’m going home”, going “home” to her meant becoming the author of the novel “Eat, Pray, Love”, which meant going back to writing, because writing has her “home”. She loved writing more than she hated failing at it, more than she loved her ego, more than herself, and that is how she pushed through. In other words, writing is her passion, therefore, she would get focused, push through “shyness and self-doubt” and work hard because she ultimately had more fun doing it, than thinking about the odds of failing at it. Coming “home” again and again to work made her “wholesome” in doing it. Or at least she trusted that at some point, ideas would come again with something of value to serve others.
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”
- Carl G. Jung
Art is a sensory craving assimilated through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Routed in passion, in the sensual, sexual, sensory world of love and attraction at first sight. It is born of attention and made of details. Art is triggered by images, our sense of wonder and utterly by paying attention to the right now, one thing at a time. Just like meditating, “the reward for attention is always healing. It may begin through the healing of a particular pain - a lost lover, the sickly pain that underlies all pain: the pain that we all have. Rilke phases it “unutterably alone”, in Cameron´s Artist´s Way. Art is not qualified, neither quantified in intellectual terms, the creative work has no time, space or strategy besides this deep focus into the intimate, instinctive inner necessity of the now. For the author of the Artist’s Way, it often happens in times of pain “(…) when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember”. Therefore, I’m guessing that the power of ACTION, takes place in the right now when you take some action towards that going home to work kind of thing… Instead of reacting, by storytelling all of those secrets deep complex or intense feelings that you have been bottling up to that point. Art really lies on becoming available to push it through, to meet your truth and surrender. Art requires faith.
Saint Augustine once said “for what is faith unless to believe what you do not see?”
I would therefore say that by all means, you should use that “source” to meet your needs through people, places and things, instead of depending on any person, place or thing. This is what makes you persist through all of that pressure and whatever crap that may cross your path, making you less afraid of others in a higher power. Interestingly, this would also make you gradually lose the fear of real intimacy with who surrounds you. Please note that being good does not mean being nice or helpful neither means being superior. For the record, that is IMO a false spiritual belief as much as worrying too much about everyone is a risk you shouldn’t be taking since it might push you to nonaction.
Sometimes, art and the creative process begins just like this, or at least that is how I began, and keep beginning every single time; it feels just like falling down the rabbit hole. In fact, when I believe to already know where the process is heading to, the season is already changing… Therefore, I really try to trust the source to let it come as it may, very much like Jackson Pollock’s paintings which he claimed had “a life of their own”. He only tried to let it come through. For Lewis Carroll, imagining the White Rabbit crashing a tea party with the Mad Hatter was his inner necessity to lose some longstanding self-concepts. Enjoying all sorts of bizarre adventures got him not only to a new emerging self, but the end product of this trip produced “Alice in Wonderland”, which became one of the world’s best achieved artistic master pieces, and a continuous reference until today.