Click to hear me read this post:
Put your hand in here.
No really, feel this – it’s totally wild. I know you can’t see it but just put your hand in, come on.
It’s all good, seriously, you want to feel this. It’s incredible.
It’s beyond worth it, I promise.
I often feel artistically driven by something that’s hard to describe. Driven to create, to explore, to look at things upside down, spread apart and then from 80,000 feet above. It’s not even a drive maybe as much as a compulsion to keep uncovering and keep digging and keep sharing.
It comes naturally, though not predictably.
Sometimes in the dead of night I’ll wake straight up to a loud, silent voice. I’ll be suddenly consumed with words, inspired, and start scribbling in my notebook by the neon glow of my iPhone because I’m sure I’ll go mad if the words don’t get pinned down just as quickly as they appear in my mind.
Or I’ll come up with something decadent while blow drying my hair (long hair helps, plenty of zen time) and jot it down so I can spin it somehow later in the day. Or week. Or never. Doesn’t matter, as long as I get it down.
Other times, I’ll have to pull over while driving to write something down that just occurred to me and is immediately delicious and I need it on paper – badly and right now. This is especially frustrating when there’s no where to pull over and once I finally do, I discover the ink in the pen I’ve left in the car over night is now frozen solid. Cursing, I dip the pen onto my tongue trying desperately to warm the ink enough to start the flow.
Real writers lick pens when necessary. (Some lick them when not necessary but that’s another issue altogether, no?)
I digress. ;)
The thing is, no matter when or where inspiration graces me (slams me over the head, whatever) it always feels like being invited into somewhere I can’t see but I’m dying to go. It’s as though I’m being asked to reach in and touch on some kind of level.
It’s a call but it’s not a one-way deal, it’s like the compulsion in me to create has been precisely designed to respond to the force inviting me to do it.
“Ah, but when we begin. . .
When we conceive an enterprise and commit to it in the face of our fears, something wonderful happens. . . Angel midwives congregate around us; they assist as we give birth to ourselves, to that person we were born to be, to the one whose destiny was encoded in our soul, our daimon, our genius.” ~ The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
Beginners make better art because they willingly, openly accept an invitation into the unknown. No matter how much they may have learned along their way already, where they are about to go is new for them now.
And all we have is now.
In so many ways we are encouraged to “begin” or to “take the first step” toward our dream. In fact, it’s often the final word (ironically) in many inspirational speeches.
Beautiful words, beautiful motivational words all thrumming and stacked up and culminating in . . . “Begin!”
Ah, the crowd cheers! Spirits fly high on ecstatic hearts a-flutter!
And then we go home and everything gets quiet and we wonder what happened to our spirit. Where did the rush to move go? What do we do now? How do we begin?
We’re told “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” And that is very good and sexy and brazen indeed.
But it’s also deceiving in a way that it doesn’t mean to be. It implies that the beginning of a thing – an adventure, a poem, a business, a painting, a recovery, a diet – is the first forward movement. A step: something demonstrated, something the world can watch, that we can all see, evaluate, measure.
But the real beginning is invisible.
The real beginning is a mindset. It’s a change of mind from one that says “Maybe tomorrow.” or “Not right now.” to a mind that says “Yes. I accept.”
It’s the decision to trust in something and follow it without knowing exactly where it will lead.
The beginning is the minute you decide that it’s time.
It’s the second you break off from judgment. It’s the suspension of expectation, the giving over of everything you have to the process of creation itself.
The beginning is a remembering of what you are designed to do and from where you came in order to do it. It’s remembering who you truly are and moving into it rather than away from it.
We are creative beings by sacred design. To be creative is our destiny.
All we need to get to is that willingness to create, to open up, to think differently about a work, a problem, a piece. To trust in the unknown – to let go of trying to control the outcome and just enjoy the mystery for what it is.
Our willingness isn’t the spark, it’s the slick gliding of the matchstick along the side of the matchbox. It’s the taxi down the runway. It’s you racing toward the sky knowing you’ve got wings strong enough to fly.
“It’s called the principle of favorability, beginner’s luck. Because life wants you to realize your Personal Legend,” ~ The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
The energy of this life is working constantly on our behalf, guys. The slightest willingness on your part, in your mind, to become everything you are meant to be attracts all the powers of the universe and summons them to aid you in achieving your greatest and deepest desires.
The instant you believe this, you’ve begun.
Trust the Universe, trust there is more and it’s worth learning. It’s worth more than the comfort of holding back, of covering up. Trust you’ll be given everything you need to handle the rejection and the glory.
I’m not sure there’s a way to access the spiritual without being #creative in some way. Something provocative has to pry open your humanity.
— Allison Marie (@GloryBegin) January 21, 2015
Your brand new beginning is the instant you unstrap your self-made straight jacket of mental torment that says ‘you can’t’ and ‘you wouldn’t’ and ‘don’t you dare.’
The beginning is the invisible click, the change of mind.
The beginning welcomes the uncomfortable. It accepts that tension is inevitable. It’s the willingness to go first, without a map, without being told.
The second you accept exactly where you are and create from that authentic space, you have made the shift.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” ~ Plato
The creative beginner is willing to try something new without being able to predict the outcome. Without having any guarantee what it will feel like to put his hand in and experience it.
She accepts the invitation.
We create art, love, and peace because we connect to an invisible inner call to express who we are, who we truly, daringly, nakedly are.
What burns inside you to begin, beloved?
Are you willing to embrace the call?
Do you want to go first?
Put your hand in here.
~ ~ ~
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