Sunday, August 19, 2012

Any Given Path We Choose

I, and so many more people I know, are certain that their life's "spiritual path" lies along the lines of creativity.  In this day and age when it is becoming ever more realistic to entertain the idea of making a living from ones creative work, I think it is important to say a little something about the reconciliation between the two.

For one, I see a lot of people give up way too quickly on their creative goals, both as a means of making part, or all of a living from it, and in terms of exploring it as a spiritual path. I suspect this is, in great part, due to what my Zen teacher used to say all the time. "Anything that you truly love or love to do will be lonely."

Creative work usually demands we spend time alone and many people simply are not good at this.

So I would just like to share a quick thought on these ideas above. Just my own perspective.

I am fortunate in this way to have always craved my time alone. It's a preference I developed very young and though it came from a myriad of factors, some just circumstance and some created, it is something I treasure for all of those reasons now.

The spiritual part of my creativity is easy for me to accept. I have been creating since I can remember and there is nothing in the world that makes me feel more at peace, more at one within my own life and more true to who I am. It can take many forms and, in truth, I have been working in fields that always allowed some creative outlet since I was 19.

Now, that spiritual exploration is separate in every way from creating with an idea of it being considered "art" or being "marketable". The two do not coexist in most ways. Any idea of what art is is a creation outside of the spirit. A marking of the time and place and a mix of history and relevance but not at all to be linked with the spirit of creating. For me, this makes it easy to see my creative work as my spiritual path. It is also why I work in so many different disciplines. 

Making music, for years, was how I dealt with the world around me. A therapy undoubtedly. . . but not my creative spiritual path.  When I realized that, I began to try other disciplines. Photography, painting, writing. . . of course, they were all there all along. But the spiritual path has to come from something deeper. More from your landscape of childhood and early experiences.

That path was reserved for the creating of worlds and sinking into them. . . BELIEVING in them. . . that is at the very heart of who I am. It is how I live my life daily. And it has always been that way since I can recall.

As a child, empty cardboard boxes became houses and cars for action figures who not only were part of a world with identities and lives of their own, but who were integral to my own. Not separate.

I became part of the sports teams I followed through my own invented games and ways of playing those games all on my own. For the most part, I could not share them. . . nor did I want to.  They were a part of me. A spiritual part I realize now.

But then I just played because it came naturally. As it does to most of us in childhood.

So, after 20 years of playing the "adult world" games and never feeling the same satisfaction, I began working towards merging it all again.

I am just two years into this process and nowhere near where I want to be though, yes, I do primarily create for a living now. I work at home and spend countless hours in my own imagination once again.

But in both the potential for that creative life and for it's spiritual depth, I am just scratching the surface.

Everything I create for sale has a story, Each story has layers to go before I reach the depth I want to achieve with my creations. Also, the level at which I execute each piece is just beginning to grow. This ideal is also what keeps me from ever being bored. There is always more to learn and deeper levels to go to. And this is another area where many often fall short and give up.

There is such depth in routine and in working through repetition that cannot be found any other way. Especially in the spiritual realm. Much like people who travel, bouncing from place to place for a day here a day there and never settling in and really taking in a culture or a locale. It is still wonderful to travel but it lacks the depth of understanding that comes only with investment of time.

I feel like the transition back to this creative, all inclusive world was somewhat easy for me.
I was fortunate in this way too.
I have always believed in what I do.
In the things I make.
In what I have to offer.

That has come with the 20 plus years swimming in the adult world.  And the time invested in places, people and endeavors. . . all learning lessons preparing me for now.

That's all I can say at this moment. . .I am still just beginning in so many ways.
And I do not believe one masters this or any path.
I think it is a daily process of learning and growing that never ends.

But at the core, either creatively or spiritually, are a few truths

Be strong enough to work at it daily
Embrace being a beginner and the learning curves that go with it
Believe it is the most important thing you can do for yourself or your life
Accept that it will be hard and lonely at times

But if you love it, if you have ALWAYS loved it. . . know that it is the right path for you too. 

Thanx for reading,


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