I was asked to be a presenter at this year’s Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE) Conference this past weekend. Some of the other speakers included Jim Carrey, comedian Louie Anderson, filmmaker Tom Shadyac, and many other inspiring artists.
I wasn’t prepared.
That can be a very sobering realization when you’re about to speak to a thousand people.
In the middle of my panicky, epic melt-down, I had an epiphany.
In creativity (which is simply a metaphor for life itself) we have two choices.
1). We can run away. Yep. When we listen to the thoughts in our heads that tell us we can’t do something or we’re going to be an epic failure or embarrass ourselves, our first instinct is to chuck it all and run for the hills. Or in my case my car! Or grab for that bottle of wine. Or light up the bong. We compare our worst selves to other people’s seemingly put together and perfect selves and then despair. When these thoughts consume us, creativity ceases.
Or we can . . .
2). Learn to use all these thoughts – all this stuff going on inside of us; the fears, the anxiety, the comparisons, the worst-case-scenario-thinking – and make it work for us.
This is where all creativity comes from anyway. (Sure, original creative ideas are generated from the silence of being plugged into the right hemisphere of our brains that gives us access to the quantum creative matrix of which we’re all a part.) But once we begin working with that inspired idea, creativity involves a whole other step.
Birthing creativity from the idea phase into the actual application and expression of form isn’t easy. It’s not perfect-looking. It’s hard and scary and weird and risky and crunchy and ugly and sometimes it yields amazing results and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s all part of the process. To disregard one part in favor of something more palatable is to throw away all the potential creativity generates for us.
It’s simply learning how to harness all of this stuff that is going on inside each of us (a lot of the time), in a way that helps us understand that that stuff is the stuff that creates. It’s that stuff that produces the work. Writes screenplays. Expresses feeling. Dances the dance. Plays the instrument. Acts the scene. Tells a story. Auditions. Presents a lecture. Paints a canvas.
Your stuff is the stuff of creativity. Your stuff is your Creative Self. Your stuff – uniquely yours – and yet shared by all beings – is the stuff you need to transform, inspire, enlighten, entertain, move, educate, liberate, express and be.
Remember that next time you create. And always choose option #2.