“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. ~Thomas Merton
Merton’s words ring true and resonate with me. Deeper reflection and introspection on any kind of creative activity often reveals, that it not only helps us to discover more of who we truly are, it also helps us to loose ourself in something that we know is greater than us!
For me, ‘finding myself’ means, to go within myself in serious observation mode, to connect with the soul self, to know who I am and to recognise and accept what I really like and do not like. This examination, inevitably guides me to follow my intuition and to pursue and express what I truly love in my artists journey. Moreover, I have discovered, that when we create what we are crazy and obsessive about, we bring authenticity, a special quality to our work and our soul shines through!
Loosing myself in my creative process, often feels like a kind of meditation. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable period, where time does not hang heavy on my head - in the sense of either feeling like I’m running out of it, or that I don’t have enough of it! One remains immersed in and engaged with what one is creating, with a total sense of commitment, presence of mind and body in the moment, without undue stress or anxiety! In this situation, the momentum that builds up may seem like stress, but this is a kind of pressure that serves as an essential fuel to accomplish our objective. It is in my understanding, necessary and perhaps even desirable.
In these moments of complete absorption and focussed attention, I find creativity is not just a vocation or passion, it is a sought after pursuit and activity, that brings purposeful meaning to my daily life. Accompanying this greater clarity of mind is an awareness, that I am simply a channel for creating something that must be expressed with my unique perception and identity in what seems to be the best and only way I know how to.So then...Why do we create?
My understanding and response is clear and simple! We create because we must...! It keeps us truly alive, engaged with a life purpose and it fulfils us with a sense of raison d’être. Creativity expands our vision and stirs our imagination. It makes a difference to us and others in our world and it is an instrument of change for the creator and the viewer.
Finally, it acts like a bridge between what is real in this now and to what is a dream, soon to be manifested. It is a gateway for our continued evolution!