I will continue on the theme of control and resistance. I have been reading on yoga and meditation and how you want to shine your light onto the world by being yourself, by accepting yourself, by sharing yourself. How can you shine onto the world if you feel you are not fully participating, if you are not putting your self out there? As a creative artist it is sometimes difficult to feel like we are fully playing our part in life.
Are you looking for inspiration because you think this is the cause of your creative block? I met a fellow artist last summer at a diner party. I knew him only by sight and I did not know he was going to be at this event. We got to talk and it was very interesting because he felt he was out of inspiration. This is a common reason among a lot of us artists that stop painting: we feel like we are out of inspiration. He was telling me he had not touched a paintbrush in over a year because he did not feel inspired. I saw him again yesterday, six months later, and he still has not started painting again. This is a lot like the “writers’ block” we hear so much about. When we artist are besieged with self doubt about ourselves, the importance of our work, the meaning of it or its purpose, we just freeze, go around in circles and find reasons not to paint. And life can throw a lot of these our way. It is not difficult at all to find excuses.
Yet it is only by sitting in front of the canvas and painting that we become good at it and that ideas flow. Working is the trigger. We have to do something every day for our art, like a fire, it needs to be stroked. Our art kind of has a life of its own and we cannot deny its place in our lives. I notice how unhappy I become after a few weeks without touching a paintbrush, how uneasy I feel. When I think of going to paint, my heart skips a beat, excitement, apprehension, fear, challenged. All these feelings get mixed up and create anxiety. An anxiety that ends the minute I am installed and working on a project.
We have to understand that our resistance is made up of all these things and that the minute we start working, it just falls away and disappears. I often feel this way too The feeling that it doesn’t matter, that your work is not good enough, that nobody cares, that it won’t make a difference anyhow. Another good one is that you won’t meet people expectations of your work, especially of you have been successful in the past or you want to explore something different or that you have 10 different projects started and none finished,
For some of us, we are even past this. We don’t identify these negative feelings anymore. We don’t even realize we are anxious. We just figure our lives are too busy, too many demands and obligations to spend time on painting. It is easy to fill our lives with obligations, activities, and busyness. It is easy to leave no room for painting or creating. It is easy to let it slip at the bottom of our priority list. But what happens to your self then? Your core that wants to create, that needs to create, is screaming to get out, is screaming for you to let it be free.
And by not finding time to create, we are sending a message to ourselves that it is not important enough to give it room. But what does it do to you? What message does it send to your core if it is not that YOU are not important enough?
When we don’t respect our core like this, we walk with our head hanging, we feel like a failure, we feel the discomfort within ourselves without being able to identify the problem. After all it is not our fault if we don’t have enough time…
Excuses, resistance and fear are a great combination for unhappiness. So take one hour everyday to create, paint, doodle, to let the flow go in and out of your mind and your body. One hour with your paints, your pencils, the smell of oils or acrylics. Give yourself the permission to just sit and feel the paint on the canvas, to just apply color, to just feel the texture of the paint. One hour for yourself, for your happiness, for your life.
Have a great day J