What are we practicing?
There have been many books written on the how to’s of making art.
Specifics on mathematically precise ways to achieve a desired result—the nuts and bolts of creating something. I have no argument with this. I have in fact delved, consumed and put into practice a fair number of the ideas presented within those books.
There is one thing in particular though that piques my interest, that comes under an entirely different process.
It is the art of allowing.
I think before one even starts down this path of allowing we have to know that it calls for a belief in magic. Yep, I said magic:))
And by magic I mean recognizing that everything can’t be explained.
That a sequential, explainable route to great art doesn’t always exist. Times when the whole is MUCH greater than the sum of its parts. That maybe there was magic afoot.
You’re working on a project–could be a painting, a song, a business plan.
A teasing thought—an idea from out of nowhere shows up.
Now if you stop and think about this —you know the difference between the magic thoughts and all the others. The ideas that come from straining, working it like a job, thinking ‘til you’ve given yourself a colossal headache as opposed to those ideas that just seemingly drop out of nowhere into your mind. Maybe it comes to you in a dream or the answer you’ve been looking for literally jumps off a roadway sign at you.
These ideas aren’t shouters. You don’t necessarily stand up and yell Eureka. They are just sweet, solid little seeds of “hmmmmm” like a drop of honey on your tongue.
And this is where the razor edge exists!
It is in that moment that Allowing is knocking at the door with an idea.
“Will you let me come in and play?”
This goes against most of what we have believed and trained for all our lives. Years of ingrained thinking that goes something like this:
- No pain, no gain
- Things are hard
- You gotta earn it
- It can’t be this simple
Those thoughts are in our line of sight, peering over the shoulder of Allowing, jumping up and down to get your attention like a bunch of locals on the 6 o’clock news.
That is the moment. The moment of truth. The moment you decide to allow what is coming through to come through or you retreat out of fear and not knowing to the safety of the “known”–the old comfortable ways of how things are supposed to happen, be done, designed.
So what happens when you allow yourself to try something on without knowing the outcome?
To begin writing a book without knowing the ending?
To put a piece of paint in a particular place on your painting for no obvious reason other than it felt right?
To sing one note, one line, without knowing what the chorus will be?
TO ACTUALLY LET AN IDEA BE BIRTHED WITHOUT SHOUTING IT DOWN LIKE AN INVADER??
I’m just gonna say it. Allowing can produce some pretty amazing stuff! It defies how we have been taught that things are supposed to go. It won’t feel like work.
When tried on, allowed to happen, our belief in magic stirs within us an awe. Everything can’t be explained. No matter how small the concession, we see a resulting beauty. A precisely formed piece of life puzzle snap into its place…..effortlessly.
All it took from us was the allowing portion. Allowing the idea to pass through us and come to life via our song, our painting, our dance.
The things that amaze us, stagger us, cause our eyes to well with tears of deep joy come from these unknown places that ideas drop down from. We are, at our best, vehicles for this. Practicing this trust, this opening of the door to magic, gets sweeter and smoother and more beautiful with each engagement.
And that which transforms our life, our art, is not merely what we believe, but what we practice.
The art of allowing.
A worthy practice.
What are you grateful for today??
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