We Are All Artists

You are creative. The principles of creating the lives and experiences which most fulfill and satisfy you are no different than those which apply to any work of art. If you're unhappy with either the process or the results you may want to examine your perspective.

It Doesn't Have to Look That Way

In 1994 I became interested in learning watercolor painting. Uninstructed, and armed with extremely rudimentary equipment, I began. My basic notion of how to paint was that one had to reproduce, as faithfully as possible, what one saw. If a tree trunk was gray that was how I had to paint it, and every leaf had to be painted exactly as it appeared.

After a while, moved by the suspicion that there was more to painting than what was doing, I signed up for some classes. Here I was disturbed to learn that there could be blue in trees, green or even yellow in the sky, and a host of colors where they didn't belong. I discovered that I didn't have to paint everything I saw or paint it exactly as I saw it.

This was only the beginning. As my explorations took me into deeper water I realized that I could change what I saw, that the visual scene before me could serve as no more than raw material to fuel my imagination. I began to take risks with my painting.

The Danger of Risks

Initially I experienced great frustration. I could see in my mind and feel in my heart exactly what I wanted to create, but what came out were the kinds of paintings executed by modestly talented chimpanzees.

Frustration generated fear of further frustration and failure. After tearing up some spectacular failures and vowing that I would never return to my class I realized that some limiting beliefs might be guiding my paintbrush.

I let myself experience the feeling of vulnerability which trying to manifest my inner visions engendered. I discovered that my visions and dreams felt safe when I kept them inside. No one could see them, laugh at them, tell me that I was crazy or simply untalented.

In order for me to manifest or you to manifest our visions, though, we have to take them from the womb of heart/mind, and give birth to them, bring them forth into a world which we fear may scorn them. It sometimes seems wise for us to scorn them before the world ever has a chance to.

Creating Disappointment

Sometimes the result of a literal birth may be equally discouraging. New mothers may experience postpartum depression. Medical people usually blame it on hormonal shifts, but there are other possible interpretations. A woman may have looked forward for years to having a baby, but perhaps no one ever told her that it never slept when she desperately needed to, that it cried for apparently no reason, that it created mountains of laundry, and worst of all, that her life doesn't automatically become heaven.

To take another example, suppose you buy your own house. You can control the thermostat; you can paint the walls purple; you can hire competent plumbers and electricians. Then you move in, and handles fall off drawers; there are scratches and stains you didn't notice when you were falling in love with the house; the furnace dies. You might be stuck with this house for the rest of your life. What happened to your dream once it came true?

Why Even Bother?

Faced with the disappointment which so many creations seem to be, m any of us (often without fully realizing it) decide that it's better to keep our dreams to ourselves so that they can never turn out to be disappointing.

The Bhagavad-Gita has a response to this desire: "No one can become perfect by merely ceasing to act."

It is in acting, in practicing and developing our creative abilities that we learn how to faithfully give life to our dreams. If I'm to become a better painter it's because I didn't quit. If I continue to get better it will be because I continue to practice.

It will also be because I've learned something important about creating. We will never be fully satisfied with our creations if we base their form on something which already exists. We don't want someone else's creation; we want our own. Our individual dreams are unique' so must be our creations, and we must paint them in whatever colors we see with the inner eye. We must create, not from what the world believes to be possible, but from the unique richness of our imagination.

If we can do that, if we can be brave and be true to our visions, and gently and joyfully bring them to life, then all of our creations will be works of art.

Crystalline Creations

Crystals are among the most original of art forms, manifesting innumerable combinations of shapes and colors. To look at them inspires us to believe that the possibilities for creative imagination are endless.

In terms of specific creative inspiration the blue stones are generally recommended: amazonite, aquamarine, blue lace agate, chrysocolla, and turquoise. Amazonite can help give you the courage to express yourself through creative acts. Aquamarine can help you feel peaceful about the unfolding of your creation. Blue lace agate also lends a peaceful and loving quality to the process. Chrysocolla helps to create self-confidence in personal expression. Turquoise is helpful if you need to enlist the help of others in fulfilling your creation.

If low self-esteem with regard to your ability to create is at issue, smoky quartz is a good choice. If you're concerned about the opinions of others choose hematite.

Clear quartz is a very special crystal for creating. As white contains the frequencies of all colors, so does clear quartz. Not only can it be used to enhance the energies of other crystals, when used either in combination with other stones or alone it can help you to see things in new ways.

The Essence of Creativity

The FES flower essence Iris helps us to draw inspiration from the infinite creativity of the soul, especially through its connection with universal wisdom. Indian Paintbrush, another FES remedy, helps to ground creative inspiration.

Several of the Wild Earth Animal Essences can be helpful in stimulating and nurturing creativity. Bear helps us to go within to access the creative power of sleep and dreams. Mountain Lion helps to be true to our own creative expression, and not be diverted from our path by the opinions of others. Hummingbird opens our appreciation of beauty; while Otter teaches us to be playful about our creations.

Beyond the Rainbow
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