Art & Radical Trust
...it seems to be that part of growing up is learning to doubt ourselves.
I've got a million creative ideas...flowing through my head, right now, at the speed of like 1,000 miles per hour. I am a creative person. I think creatively. Sure, I have my blocks, the chunks of time where I can't reach anything...those times when I have nothing left, not one more created image left in me. Moments when I'm 100% positive I've used it all up, that my creativity is certainly a finite resource and I've lived to see the end of it. More often than not I find myself in ample supply of it. And you, too, are in ample supply. I do not believe I am different than anyone else. I wasn't born blessed by angels with the magic gift of creativity bestowed upon me, and only a select few others. I worked for it. And I am just passionate enough about it that I taught myself to approach life in a new way; I dug new neural pathways.
Years ago when I was studying energy work and alternative healing like I now study art, back when I was developing my intuition, I came across a piece of advice that has stuck with me over the years. 'The best way to strengthen your intuition is to trust it.' Then one day, I figured art and intuition come from the same place...so the way to be more creative must be to trust the muses to show up. And if you're trusting them to show up, you're not letting your inner critic chase them away when they get here. It's not that I wasn't always intuitive/creative, it's not that I wasn't born that way, it's not that you weren't born intuitive/creative. It's that it seems to be that part of growing up is learning to doubt ourselves.
But part of really growing up is learning to trust yourself again...
For the majority of my life, my inner critic ran things. She was always on high alert, ready to come running up and start shouting at me all the reasons why...."NO," "No, no no. That is not going to work. No. You are wrong. That is crap.". Much of the time I lived in fear of her, and in fear of myself. I didn't trust a lot of "gut feelings" that I later learned I should have trusted, I didn't make much art, and the art I did make felt...hesitant. But part of really growing up is learning to trust yourself again, and I was determined to do just that. I set out on a mission to let go of fear, to free fall into myself and trust that I would learn to fly. Learning to let go of fear wasn't easy, it had become such an ingrained response, those neural pathways had been dug into trenches and it was going to require conscious effort to change. I am just passionate enough to keep on doing it, to keep on fighting for it. It comes a lot easier now...the trusting, the art, the intuitions. But, for a long time I would have to stop and take a moment to really get my own inner attention, and say to myself "trust". Trust myself; the universe; the muses. There were plenty of moments, there still are moments, when I have to shake myself awake to the beauty in this space we inhabit. I am finding this to be more and more true everyday; the more I trust, the more intuitive and creative I become.
The difference between an artist and the person that swears they aren't creative is the artist doesn't have time for an inner critic.
Moral of the story is if you want to be more creative, you've got to trust that you already are. Artists come up with plenty of bad ideas, they make their fair share of bad art; however, they trust that the muses will show up again, just as they have so many times before. They trust themselves enough to recognize the muses when they do show, and they trust the universe enough to provide, and it's this trust that enables them to fearlessly play with as many of their ideas as they possibly can. The difference between an artist and the person that swears they aren't creative is the artist doesn't have time for an inner critic.