“You are imperfect,
permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are
beautiful.” ~Amy Bloom
Dear Creative Friend
One of the biggest leaps in my evolution from constipated creative slug to free-wheeling artistic
spirit was tapping into my less than desirable traits and feelings... my shadow.
Giving up all effort to be perfect was one of the best things I ever did and capitalizing on my laziness ended up saving me from crashing and burning. It allowed my recklessness -- the half baked drawings, the imperfect application of paint, and the irreverent, yet half-ass approach to writing -- to actually get done because I was no longer paralyzed by the pressure to be anything but myself. I stopped caring and started producing. And in an unexpected encore, not caring seemed to attract my kindred tribe. I didn't plan it that way, it's just what happened when I gave up trying to follow someone else's notion of what you're "supposed to do."
"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."
Well, maybe I'm not "at the top" but my reckless
creativity is my style and I do it mostly to amuse myself and others.
Another freeing aspect the Shadow Muse is ditching unrealistic
propaganda to be positive all the time.
It's exhausting trying to be
positive all the time and if you haven't noticed, a good work of art contains negative space as well as positive, good writing has conflict, light has no contrast without the darkness. I use my energy to persist in the process, not trying to suppress being human. It doesn't mean I dwell on my judgmental, cranky, lazy, doubting, occasionally snarling
tendencies . It mostly means I salute those qualities with compassionate acceptance, and tell them, "Thanks for validating that I'm a member of the tribe called humans," and then I muster up the cajoles to find what behavior better serves my next tiny step toward creative amusement.
It's called mindfulness.
Mindfulness helps us befriend the shadow.
One of our most heroic quests is to
acknowledge and ACCEPT our
negativity instead of rationalizing, denying, skimming over, and blaming someone else for it. Ironically, after
awareness, acceptance is a first step in change.
When we are aware, we have a choice and ... compassion.