In this series of posts, you might have noticed I’m quoting Big Magic. Yes indeedy, you betcha.
Like I said in “Expressed By You” a few days ago, Liz Gilbert’s words turned my world upside down for a second time in life.
Today, I’d like to ponder the helpful intentions behind the creations.
I’ve gotten to a place in life, call it age or #whathaveyou, where I desire the feeling of joy over most anything else. I believe that cultivating joy is a great gift to the world, and from a state of joy we can actually help people. And let’s face it, people don’t really want our help as much as we think they do.
Unsolicited advice num nums: You will know when someone wants your help, because they will say “I want (or need) your help.” Sometimes it’s that simple.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m want to help as many people as divinely possible, but if someone is not interested, it’s near impossible to lend them your helping hand.
So, if you are creating art entirely as a way to help others, then listen to what EG has to say:
“Please don’t try to help me.
I mean, it is very kind of you to want to help people, but don’t make it your sole creative motive, because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.” (98)
I snort-laughed when I read this, ’cause it’s so damn awesome.
I agree – please just make art because you enjoy it, and let the rest of us decide what that art means to us. I personally don’t want to deal with the hidden agenda running through your music or photography. It makes me feel boxed in, and kinda gross.
Liz Gilbert goes on to talk about creating because you like doing it. For me, that is the process of allowing joy to flow through my veins and my work. The “allowing joy” process is something to practice, and we can all get better at it for the rest of our lives.
Finding what you like to do is a never ending process, and the more you do things you like, the better you get at doing things you like.
I know! What a weird thing to say, but do you have any idea how many people have lost the ability to know what they enjoy???? Truly, deeply, enjoy?
Liz’s ideas speak to the much larger issue of doing things because you like doing them. Especially when you are creating art, in whatever form. Don’t get all lofty and esoteric, just create things because you want to. Be brave enough to see where the chips fall after you do the thing because you like doing it.
I have a feeling that art created for the sake of bringing joy has the potential to reach deeper and wider than any other kind.
Now, we all get to go out and see if that’s true.