It is natural for us to have a myriad of ideas move through our consciousness thousands of times a day, but not everyone has the courage to entertain and share those ideas for the potential betterment of humanity. Rather than seeing creativity as what it is -- a path available to everyone through which we may express our innate human purpose -- which is to be a creative being -- we judge and personalize our inspirations and ideas like there are only a limited number of good ideas out there in the Universe from which to choose from. We say this person is good at art, while that person is poor at it -- instead of honoring the true accomplishment -- which is that they had the courage to be open to an idea and then share it with the world.
We have a tendency to shame idea-makers by judging and labeling their ideas. And, consequently, we shut these potentially brilliant creators down. Why do we do this? I think it is because at the foundation of all of our beliefs we believe in lack; we believe that there are only a limited number of good creative ideas out there in the universe. And that is simply is not so.
From an early age we learn that it is a scary to risk sharing our crazy ideas. We perpetuate this fear in our culture by saying things like, "Don't be silly," when children come up with a crazy idea. Even though, if we think about it, it has always been the ones who dare to have a so-called crazy idea, daring to think outside the box, that create the most innovative inventions and technologies that we enjoy today. We have this way of teaching all wrong. We need to start revering and celebrating the crazy idea-makers. They are our true heroes.
When I was a child I learned early on to look at what the popular kid was doing and to mimic that behavior, if I wanted to fit in. My peers and my teachers told me, through their actions, that if I could squeeze myself into that enticing little box I would be held in higher esteem. I did not learn to be me. Nor did I learn to risk expressing anything that would be considered unique and authentic about myself. From the beginning I learned to be someone else. I learned that who I was was not good enough. I learned to wear masks. And, obviously, I was NEVER comfortable in my masks. Like everyone else in masks, none of them fit me very well. When I tried to be that popular person, it never translated the same way. It came across as what it was -- a superficial poor second at best. It is true: Be you, everyone else is taken. And that is great advice. But just how are we in this in the box society supposed to put that advice into practice?
Looking back at my education, which was painful for a misfit who moved around a lot, it was impossible for me to think that I could share any idea that would fit with the kind of me I was trying to project -- which was someone who would, at all costs, NOT stand out. I learned early on that if I shared anything at all it better be normal, and if it wasn't normal, it better be perfect then (which I was never able to quite pull off). I didn't dare risk looking like a weirdo. There was no room in my construct of who I was, for that kind of shenanigans. Feeling different felt like certain death to me.
I do remember there being the odd student that kept to themselves -- not trying to fit in. These weirdos seemed to quietly withdraw into their own world. I believe they were the truly creatives ones; not trying to fit in, they remained true to themselves on the fringe, consistently working at honing their craft. That did not appeal to me, though. It looked dark and lonely to live in that kind of isolated world. I craved being a part of more than anything, I just wanted to fit in. No, I wanted to stand out like the popular ones did; I wanted the love and attention that they seemed to be getting (now I can see that even they were not getting what they needed either -- which was to be loved for being their authentic selves too), so I straddled both worlds, and by doing so I fit into neither. I'm still working on undoing the tendency that I have to to slip on a mask to feel like I fit in, today. But, I know masks don't work. They only make me resentful. When I am resentful I can't express myself creatively. I become dark and depressed and shut myself off from all inspiration. I have to be authentic to be creative. Being authentic is the cure for all that ails me, and I dare say you, as well.
This old paradigm we have about what makes someone an artist interferes in the natural process and ability we have to be who we truly are -- which is a mini universe in and of ourselves; creating our lives through the thoughts we hold as true. We are constantly creating our lives through the seeds we plant through our prevalent thoughts and emotions. But, if we are shut down by society during the germinating process of our best and most crazy ideas we learn to stifle our creativity for the sake of survival. When we are judged negatively for our creativity we get fearful. We say things like, "I am so not an artist." And this is so not true. We are all born to create. This is the very thing we were intended for -- so remember this -- don't let anyone take your creativity away from you.
This brings me to this morning. I think we ought to teach Creativity classes, rather than Art classes, in school. It would serve humanity well to teach our children to open up to their true nature and potential, as creative beings, through encouraging authenticity, innovation and risk taking. We could do this by teaching children how NOT to covet what others do, but to LOVE what they (and others) do. We could do this by NOT teaching children how to do art, but through rewarding the risks they take to express their authentic, creative, original, and out of the box thinking, instead. We can give an example of the kind of art that we enjoy, that others do or have done, and use that as inspiration. But, I believe we must stop labeling art as good or bad in school, but rather use all art as representation of different forms of creative expression. But, we cannot teach to others what we ourselves do not possess. If we, as teachers, are still wearing our masks; if we are trying to be someone other than who we are because of our own un-integrated issues we've yet to work thorough; if we have not yet been able to dare show our own true selves to others, we will not be able to teach a child, or anyone else for that matter, how to be authentically creative. So, as always, we must heal ourselves first.
Love and Light,