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Monday, March 30, 2009

Diving In

"The great majority of artists are throwing themselves in with life-preservers around their necks, and more often than not it is the life-preserver which sinks them." Henry Miller

Below is some more wisdom from Michele Cassou (from her book, Life, Paint and Passion).

"Creation is never about changing yourself; it is about meeting yourself, probing deep into your own core. Creation wants only to fulfill your deepest desire: to know and accept yourself as you are. There are no conditions, no invitations to show at the door. You are at the door and your brush [pen, camera, musical instrument, voice] is the key. Nothing is a mistake, everything is an extension of your being. You go into what is there, you discover the courage to face what exists. You step into the middle of yourself and move from there."

This quote speaks to me. So often I wait for inspiration to come before I will sit down and create. If I'm not feeling inspired, I ask myself what's wrong with me, tell myself to snap out of it, decide the laundry should really be folded.

But instead, I could just meet myself--no resistance, no judgment, no attachment. I can simply begin from whatever state I happen to be in. This is a very beautiful thing because nothing needs to happen first. I don't need to put off my creativity until some great rush of emotion comes. If I'm feeling stuck and uninspired, I can simply begin from there. There is so much freedom in this. It's really about embracing all of what is, even our cranky, uninspired selves, even our stuck, depressed selves, even our quirky, sporadic selves. If we create from our place of truth, whatever that truth happens to be in any given moment, even if that means exposing our weaknesses (maybe especially if that means exposing our weaknesses), we find freedom of expression and that freedom of expression will resonate with and touch others.

If, on the other hand, we play it safe, hide ourselves from ourselves and others, pretend we feel a certain way when we really feel another way, then we create distance and resistance. There is no freedom in holding back. Our work will not touch others if we're hiding and playing it safe.

I'm really getting that freedom comes when we throw off those life preservers (which really are sinking us) and dive in head first, straight into the center--with big, accepting, wide open, brave arms.

Cheers to that.

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♥ Julia