Tag Archives: artists and creating

on meaning and meaningful

29 May

Creative ability is often confused with the creative process itself. Instead of focusing on what you want to create and its manifestation,  your energy is depleted with wondering if what you create will have any meaning. You get sidetracked into a need to make your work (therefore your life) meaningful. You are hesitant to create  because you begin to doubt your creativity.  This often results in a vicious cycle of  depression, anger and  frustration. The question is ‘What shall I create?’ not ‘Is what I create meaningful?’

The unconscious assumption is that ‘if what I create is meaningful, my life is meaningful.’ Conversely, ‘if what I create has no meaning, then I have no meaning.’ This assumption is especially hard on artists and creative types because so often they take meaning from their work, not from their ability to create their work.

Joseph Campbell, the mythologist, said that people often asked him what he felt was the meaning of life. He felt they had the question backwards. He felt the real question was ‘what meaning does life hold for you?’ What do you love? What makes you grin ear to ear? What means the world to you? What is precious? Where do you find your bliss?

You will find meaning in the same place that you find joy.  You create meaning in your life when you find yourself discovering joy. The things that light you up are the clues to where your meaning lies. When you know what brings you joy, you will know what your life means to you.

Somewhere around 1707, Antonio Stradivarius was making incredible stringed instruments in Cremona. He poured his heart and soul into making the best instruments in the world. People came from all over to hear the heavenly quality of the sound he produced. God decided one day to visit Stradivarius.

“Stradivarius my friend, indeed, you make the best violin on earth. The angels tell me every day how they too, would like to play a Stradivarius violin.”

“God,” said Stradivarius, “what a surprise to see you. Please, have a seat. I am not worthy of your attention. I use the humble talents you have given me to create great instruments. You know that I know that without You I am nothing.”

“Yes, this is true” said God, “without me you can do nothing. But without you, Stradivarius, the world would not have such wonderful violins!”

Stradivarius’ purpose was to express the God-force flowing through him. He found his meaning and greatest joy in creating incredible violins.

The life force will take a spin on your particular gifts, talents and pop out a combination that has never existed before. No one else can do it like you do. Your peculiar mix of talents and abilities combined with LIFE will allow a new note to be heard in the big song. And guess what? It’s up to you to decide how you want to play your tune.  You decide what’s meaningful for you. You decide how you are going to harmonize.

Where is your connection to meaning? In the direction of creativity, music, dance, raising your kids, writing novels, relationships, gardening, stamp collecting?  Even if you just accept the idea that you have the ability to create meaning for yourself, you begin a series of life-changing, life- enhancing realizations. You are always creating. Consciously choose whether the experiences you create are meaningful or not.

When you begin to focus on what is meaningful to you, you will become conscious of where you are placing your attention. Are you consciously thinking and doing those things that will bring meaning to your life? Or are you un-focused and at the whim of external events? Your thoughts, words and actions are creating the world around you. Is it meaningful?

As meaning starts inside you, it will expand to the walls of your own home, to your family and friends then outwards into your community. As your circle becomes wider, and includes others, synchronicity will become more apparent everywhere. People, events, and circumstances will begin to reveal your connection to and with everything. You will begin to see your role as co-creator in action. You will see your meaning as it is reflected back to by those people and things you influence. You will begin to define yourself from a deep place of joy. This is what is meant by ‘follow your bliss’. This is meaning from the inside-out, not from the outside-in.

 

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