We are all Artists, we’re all divine
When we allow who we are to really shine
Our lives, true works of beauty it seems
When we pour what’s best in us, to all our deeds and schemes
When we do things because we want to, because we can and because we get a kick out of it
When we choose not to fear and hesitate, or listen to the critic
Let life and art then be centred on feeling good
Trusting that beauty will ensue
And that in our lives and in all we create
A spark of the divine will shine through
The picture you see above is part of a mosaic decorating the men’s wash-room at the Harbour Restaurant in Santa Barbara. It is not often I see something that is so bright and colourful (and nice to look at) adorning a washroom (of all places)… so I had to take a picture! Yet, looking back at it, I am not actually surprised. Santa Barbara struck me as a place that had a strong connection with art and creativity – a fact that seemed reflected everywhere I looked.
As humans, we are capable of appreciating beauty and so tend to admire the work and creativity of those who produce beautiful things. What many people (including myself, until recently) fail to realise is that we – all of us – are creative, in that we create our lives . We do this every minute of our lives through our thoughts, words and actions (I am very thankful to Louise Hay, author and founder of Hayhouse Publishing, for introducing me to this idea). I had heard the expression ‘Life Imitates Art’ many years ago and I took it at face value then. But when I was introduced to the idea that ALL people are artists, (creating their lives), it started to hold even more meaning for me. In this post I’ll share as to why this is so.
When it comes to art, we often talk of inspiration, but what is inspiration? Some would say that inspiration is communion with our divine nature and with that which we call ‘God’. Others might say that inspiration is being connected to one’s ‘heart-space’. There might be a thousand other ways of describing inspiration. Yet, what I see as the common denominator in most of these descriptions is the absence (or at least the lessening of) the influence of the part of us that tends to judge, criticise, analyse, compare and worry. It seems like if we took these things away, what is left is ‘inspiration’. I am finding more and more that inspiration is not just something that belongs in the realm of art – our lives too can be lived from a place of inspiration.
We tend to be very generous when we think of artists and often offer them an abundance of creative freedom. Yet, how much artistic freedom are we willing to offer to ourselves and to the people in our lives? Isn’t judgement, criticism, analysis, comparison and worry, the order of the day? What is left when these things hold sway? I am not sure, but you can bet that it is not ‘inspiration’. So how can we create inspired lives without giving ourselves the space and the permission to do so?
Artists are brave enough to confront and vanquish their greatest nemesis: their own inner-critic. Without victory over this most cunning and forceful of enemies, no art could ever be produced or shared. What could we accomplish if we too could go beyond what our inner-critic would allow us to do?
When I see artists create, I see their loving attention to detail; I see them losing track of time; things are usually done with care. Artists, I believe, create because they want to, because they can, because they get a kick out of it and because it hurts too much to ignore or suppress the calling from within.
What about when it comes to living life? Couldn’t these things apply equally well? Why not do the things we really want to? Why not do things just because we can? Just because we get a kick out of it? And while we’re at it, why not lose track of time (or at least give ourselves decent amounts of time to do what we love)?
The artist doesn’t create for the approval of others. They are more concerned with expressing what is inside them, or creating something that is calling to be released forth into the world. I’m sure that while praise, accolades and material rewards are all very welcome, they are not the point to art. Some might not like the artist’s creation and some might not ‘get it’ but to the artist, staying true to what is calling them matters the most. How would our lives change if we adopted such an attitude, even in the slightest of ways? How much more liberating and satisfying would that be?
As individuals, we are capable of creating lives that are masterpieces; lives that reflect who we really are; lives that are both inspired and inspiring. But we have to bring forth the artist that lies within us and let them work their magic – as only they can.