Conversations next to windows

“I wish I could organize my mind, you know? In like…Drawers. Filing cabinets, maybe. With subcategories. I wish the world were like that too. Because then that way, I could choose how to be. Morals and values would be easy, you would know how to live. This is all clearly ‘good’, and this is all clearly ‘bad’. Do more ‘good’, stay away from ‘bad’, then you will have these reactions and consequences. You will not be hurt, because you chose to do ‘good’. You will not hurt others, because you chose to do ‘good’.

But even then, you wouldn’t be able to choose, really, would you? Even now, choosing takes practice. It takes an awareness that also takes practice. Everything is all about the practice, it would seem. Not about the doing right, or wrong, but rather doing. The how rather than the why.”

I could feel that I wasn’t making any sense, my nerves were on edge. It was important that I convey what I was trying to say, but the words weren’t there. I felt defensive, like the words chose to stay away from me.

“Maybe it is more of an unveiling. Of playing a character and unveiling who that character is. ‘Choose your own adventure’.”

I fell silent. I wasn’t sure if I was making any sense and it felt selfish to take up air and time just to go on on some self-important tangent.

“Every emotion always ends up feeling wrong.” I said, off-topic and more to myself than her.

“I guess…” I closed my eyes, and dared to take a minute to gather my thoughts. Trusting her, in her silence. I held my breath for a minute. The whirlwind of my mind was about to begin, but before I let it take me somewhere else, I closed my eyes and listened to my silence,waiting for that moment –that tiny moment– suspended in air, the moment where I knew what I was going to say, the moment you know is going to happen right before it does, but if you take too long then it’s gone because once you realize the moment is “there” it’s already gone.  And right before I felt the moment come, because that’s when you have to seize it, not when you know for sure, and it’s already past, but right before you know for sure it’s coming. It’s a confusing difference, but if you ignore it then you will never know what I’m talking about. And so the moment was there and I breathed in and instead of being carried by the whirlwind of my mind, I was next to it, watching it. The conversation happened as I listened.

“It is not about choosing but about unveiling. You watch who you are.”

“So Free Will doesn’t exist.”

“Well…oh, is that what you meant with the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’?”

“Yes. You can maybe choose what page to turn to, but the book has already been written. There’s only so many endings. So you can maybe have the will to turn the page, but it isn’t like you’re the writer. So someone else is still in control of your fate.”

“What if Free Will isn’t choosing to turn the page but rather to read the book? To see what stories have been chosen for you?”

“So like, ‘if you don’t like it just kill yourself'”

“That’s very morbid.”

“That’s all it ever comes back to. Like, what is the point?”

I couldn’t think of anything else to say, and she was quiet too.

I sat in uncomfortable anxiety at first, unsure of how to proceed. My brain went back to the movie I had watched the day before, about Robyn Davydson, an Australian woman who had crossed half the continent by foot with nothing but some camels and her dog. The true story is remarkable for so many reasons. For me one of the things that stood out was something I had not only been in awe of in Robyn, but also Christopher McCandless (who they also made a book and movie about, Into the Wild.) It was their sense of being able to be alone, with nature, for so long. To not need a partner, their family, a best friend, or a group. I could not imagine or fathom a life where I am not surrounded by anyone, and yet that is probably only because I am so aware of our meaninglessness. So I envied Robyn’s sense of self. Lusted after her radical independence. She needed no one, for nearly a year. Under all the odds, she did what she wanted as she wanted.

“Just imagine…” I continued, at first confident that I knew what I was going to say. But then I was imagining. A perfect world in which everyone goes on camel rides across the desert or going into the wild to discover themselves. But in that “perfect world” there is still theft, rape, inequality. I sighed. She had chosen her own adventure, Robyn. It had felt to me like some people weren’t just reading the book of their lives, but also writing it. I tried to explain that, but the moment had passed and I felt rushed. I frowned and looked at her, then back down. “I never know what I’m going to say anymore. I feel like I start one sentence and it doesn’t ever end. It feels like all I ever want to do is talk, even though I have no idea what I want to say, but I know it’s there, dying to be said.” I said finally.

“Well,” she said, right before inhaling and looking out the big dramatic window next to her, “then maybe you should write.”

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Breaking down inspiration

(SeLoFest17 Post: Day 8, click here for all prompts so far)

For this Beta version of the SeLoFest workshop (I offer this workshop as a “realtime” face to face workshop with me on location) I use books to help me perfect how I present my theories, and so that I can offer meaningful activities that help you access your self-confidence in ways that are supported by experts in the field of creativity, inspiration, courage, vulnerability, and confidence. All which are tools in manifesting and practicing self-love. In The Artist’s way, by Julia Cameron, she begins the book by speaking about God and how one might define it, since in the book she explains God to be the Creator, but that in essence you can define that energy however you want, and stay agnostic or atheist if that is how you define yourself when it comes to Spiritual matters.

However, like Julia, I believe that creativity is a spiritual practice, and that even if we consider ourselves to be Agnostic or Atheist, we must embrace the spiritual side of the creative side that we all undeniably have in order to be able to embrace it in its full unpredictable and unlimited glory. So while today’s art exercise is simple, the creative work is internal.

SeLoFest17 Challenge

The Prompt: What is inspiration to you?

The activity: set the mood for yourself to free form write. Make a point to have an hour (at least) to not be interrupted, put your cellphone somewhere where it will not bother you, and set lighting, music, the space around you in a way that allows you to feel comfortable, and creative. Think about how you would explain inspiration to someone who is not you and has never felt inspired the way you have. Think about what inspires you. Think about moments that you have felt inspired, what did it for you, who did it for you. Why do you think those particular things inspire you? Explore within yourself and try to be as descriptive as possible. Allow yourself to write without thinking. Then allow yourself to think about the following statements in regards to you as a creator, someone that is artistic and full of inspiration:

  • Stop telling yourself “it’s too late”
  • Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you’d really love.
  • Stop telling yourself, “it’s just my ego” whenever you yearn for a more creative life.
  • Stop telling yourself that your dreams don’t matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible.
  • Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
  • Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you’ve got.

Think about these statements and feel them around in your heart.

In your journal: Is where you should freeform write about inspiration, and also write out the “stop” statements above, perhaps choosing those that truly apply to you and then writing out where those beliefs come from, how they may have limited you. Take this time to free yourselves of false and limiting beliefs. You choose what is true and what isn’t for you based on what you want and are willing to do. Explore that in your journal.

11825813_10154194790755021_696122382102036395_nWe all have creative powers, admit this to yourself, tap into it, and the world’s magic will be more visible to you.

#LUPA – Day Two: The Verb Inspire

Hello and welcome to #LUPA Day Two! 

I LOVED yesterday’s results, and can’t wait to continue it along. You don’t have to participate every day, or participate at all in order to do this. Just read the prompts, and take a moment to reflect about what’s written. if you’re moved to, maybe leave me a message about your thoughts! 

Today’s prompt is: The verb inspire. 

We all talk about how people “Inspire” us. To inspire means “to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence” and I would say that’s a good definition of what it feels like physically to be inspired. But what’s that “exalting influence” made of? WHAT inspires us?

What truly genuinely inspires us?

Not what us moves us to create, but what moves us at all, and why? I believe inspiration is one of the most powerful forces out there, following at the tail of Love. It moves us to create beautiful pieces of art, sure, but what about inspiration to exist? Inspiration to be better? Inspiration to help? Inspiration simply to continue to be inspired, to be higher, to be driven? Are we ignoring other moments of inspiration? 

The artist many times leaves the painting to come back to it, to look at it through fresh eyes, to find where the next line needs to take her. Like the artist, sometimes we too must pull back and take a look at ourselves with fresh eyes, to continue to work on the masterpiece that is Us. 

What about when inspiration comes and it isn’t an animating or exalting influence? What happens when it’s a soft whisper, a “what if” that peeps up, and we ignore it or don’t hear it? Are you only listening to inspiration when it hits you in giant waves, when it promises a master piece?

Listen to the times that you get inspired today, when you feel that little animated whisper, what’s it telling you to do? Is there an ultimate creation out there that you could be working on? Is the ultimate creation you? Is there a project you haven’t really known how to take forward but you aren’t listening to the voice within?

Think about the word inspire as a verb. An active influence within you. What’s that look like? 

And now for #LUPA: What will the picture be of? Will you try to capture what inspiration feels like? Or will it be the subject of your inspiration? You can get totally creative because there’s no expectations. Let’s see what comes out. 

All my love,
Maëlle