Every one of us is creating …
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We are creating with every thought, word, and action.
It’s as natural as breathing and about as hard to stop.
But how much time do we spend re-creating?
Creating thought, action, emotion
that originated with someone else,
or from our own repertoire?
We re-create things we think we know
will work, will look good, will be easy.
We think we’re pretty smart about our re-creating, our copying.
Problem is –
It can be a lie.
It can be lazy.
It can be a waste of good brains, imagination and intuition.
And often, it doesn’t work.
And yet, we often reward re-creating rather than stepping out;
We celebrate how much ‘like’ this or that person one is, or
how close we came to that meeting that
mark of genius of so-and-so’s
Let’s look closer,
when so-and-so or such-and-such got their
first bit of attention …
we were more likely to see them as threats than genius.
And we know that.
And we fear that reaction for ourselves.
So this is the question:
How do we create meaningfully, originally,
if we don’t have the confidence and will to be
Without that confidence, we are less motivated to
see the world around us with our own eyes,
take in information our own way…
process it our own way.
It stops us from mishy-mashing it all up into our own little gestalt
and offering it back to the world for better or worse.
It stops us from manifesting
That is a loss for us and for the world.
We experience that loss by not living true.
The world loses our insights, skills,
questions and answers,
Choreographer Martha Graham expressed it like this:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.
And if you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and will be lost. ”
In fact, poor self esteem keeps us from
experiencing and knowing freedom.
When one avoids becoming and expressing their true self,
they are left with two options:
– to copy others
– to withdraw from the world.
The problem with withdrawal?
It’s a state of self-imprisonment.
Who wants that?
Some may, but I have to wonder if that isn’t because
they prefer to be themselves alone
that someone else with others.
That is a still fearful choice, not a free one.
That leaves the choice to copy, or re-create…
This choice is a little more complex.
Re-creating can be raised to an elegant, high craft,
and, while it can be useful, faster, efficient,
while it can be safer …
if bound in fear,
it is not free.
Copying someone (or an older way) may keep us organized and secure,
and re-creating something we haven’t done before can be fun,
a good learning experience.
Thats what’s happening when we choose to
stop for a red light, shower and shave,
program a computer this way,
speak that way,
learn to color the illuminated manuscripts your way.
Copying creates safety, efficiency, predictability,
a sense of belonging.
Not always bad,
copying actions and behaviors can keep us healthy and alive:
out of wars, prisons, accidents, isolation.
But, there are times when we
endeavor to change, to improv, to evolve.
And, that requires originating.
And what about our
unique observations, dreams, visions,
reactions to and feelings about our lives and the world?
Producing and expressing these require –
will only be satisfied by –
acting out of our selves,
our own free will.
But, what if we are afraid?
may be an attempt to avoid the risk of being different.
It may be evidence that we don’t have the esteem
to be ourselves.
Our choice to adopt someone else’s
may mean that we are
afraid of being laughed at,
The risk may be real.
But, hiding, avoiding being authentic, carries risk as well.
At a personal level, it creates anxiety.
It requires acute attention and hyper-alertness.
It requires us to simultaneously
suppress ourselves, negate
our ideas –
while constantly attending to and
attempting to re-create
what ‘the other’ does.
It’s hard work.
It challenges balance,
and makes it hard to commit energetically to things and people.
Copying puts us at the mercy of others’ outcomes.
Copying out of fear is exhausting and drains life energy.
So Why Do We?
Many of us learned to fearfully mirror others
when we were children.
We tried to appease or fit in with
parents, siblings, friends, school and church authorities.
For the most part,
we adopted this behavior subconsciously
remain unaware as adults.
For many of us, it was or has became a life and death matter,
or we may just believe it is,
or we may just feel a little edgy
when we get those looks for being too weird.
Groups of us come together
in varying states of awareness
someone else’s belief system or way of life
out of fear of being different.
We may laugh it off, but –
what is so safe about (blindly?) putting one’s
emotional and spiritual well-being
in someone else’s hands?
What is so safe about deeply fearing
the one person we can’t get away from,
the person who visits us in our dreams…
Not knowing or making an enemy of our self
robs us of
of feeling safe,
of the security of inner knowing.
It can rob us of satisfaction,
the thrill of our own vision,
the joy of feeling truly alive.
We rob our self of the ability to love well.
OK, but what does this have to do
with being creative?
Creativity involves you ‘generating’.
And in order to do that with originality, authenticity,
you must feel free to be original.
To be you.
Copying is generating a copy, so in some sense it is creating.
But, life’s most effective solutions,
most satisfying endeavors,
and deepest loves
don’t come from generating copies.
Were Gandhi, Galileo, Einstein,
Muddy Waters, Marie Curie, Michelangelo, Martin Luther King,
Amadeus Mozart, Nicola Tesla,
the framers of the Magna Carta – the US Constitution,
Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ, Buddha,
Nelson Mandela, Confucius, Malala Yousafzai, Louis Pasteur,
Albert Schweitzer, Steven Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk,
Plato, Dewey Sanderson, Martha Graham,
Bjork, Johann Gutenberg …
and so, so many more …
were these people mindless copiers?
Who’s moving and shaking your world?
Are they fearful copiers?
What would the world have lost if these people had
chosen to copy ancestors, friends, family,
What if they had chosen to dance like them,
write like them,
dress like them,
ask the same questions,
be satisfied with the same answers?
The big difference
between you and these geniuses
may not be your talent or skill,
but your courage to be yourself.
I know, most of the time you think
it’s better to ‘go along’,
but, in fact, we admire those who
courageously own their thoughts, their inspirations,
who consider and act on them,
and who move us forward into new territory.
Secretly, we want to be like them.
The only way to be like them, is to be our selves.
Remember Martha Graham?
“We were each born with something unique,
something only we can bring into this world.”
Enough about us, what about the world?
It’s a tricky time for us earthlings.
No doubt, many generations before us have said this,
but that makes it no less true now.
The world needs our special sauce
more than ever.
The world needs our courage to be
grand originators who thrill to the challenge.
The world needs us to step out.
The world needs us improving, protecting and nurturing
in ways we’ve never considered,
or had the courage to live before.
The world needs us to know, become, and be our selves.
Some are fast on way.
Others of us have a journey to get
through blindness, fear, anger, mistrust
that hiding may have produced.
More on this in other posts.
But for now, consider this –
As you contemplate living out the gift of your self …
Are you afraid you’ll be
left, lost, rejected, alone?
Here’s a secret …. it’s contagious.
As Marianne Williamson wrote,
and Nelson Mandela magnified:
“As we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others,”
So take a breath, and take a look,
Every one of us is creating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It’s as natural to us as breathing, and about as hard to stop.
What are you creating today ….
© Christie James, 2011