The self is an ambiguous idea. It’s difficult to put your finger on it, to define it as anything particular.
That’s because what we call the self, is an emotional body that is always acting and reacting to the environment.
Self talk is often the way to define things.
The words we use to define the moment, to understand what we see and feel, are just that, words.
These words have a powerful effect on how we feel. The words are the symbols we use to recreate emotions.
The symbols, words, elicit feelings and emotions in ourselves which motivate us to act.
If you think about it, the emotions are what drive us. The words create a connection with certain emotions that we want to stand at the forefront of our minds. We know that if we can think about, and feel, the emotions of positive energy, clearly see our own plans for the present, and hear our own voice, then we will be successful in our actions.
A creative person is always trying to understand how to transcribe an emotion into a solid idea. To materialize thoughts into useful objects that others can enjoy.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out so simply. We spend a lot of time swiping at cloud formations that look like good ideas, and end up with nothing but wet hands.
Emotional impulses cause us to get up and out of bed in the morning when we remember that we have something important to do. Emotions drive us on when we are tired.
We carry out daily tasks by responding to habitual emotional patterns.
The words we use when we talk to ourselves are the symbols that create our lives. They are the igniters of the locus of control — the right emotions.
I define between emotions and feelings as two distinct things. Feelings are those sweeping statements of thought that cause a temporary rise in sensations. They come, and they go.
If you stand at the edge of a landscape and experience the view of the sky and the clouds, the wind and the rain, you will feel something powerful rise in you. A powerful feeling of ‘happy to be alive’. Or a feeling of great wonder at nature.
These feelings can be brushed aside as quickly as you get back to your real life, your everyday existence of work and relationships. It’s amazing how important the landscape seemed to you at that moment, but you knew that you can’t possess it, and own it. You can always go back and experience it.
The landscape is a quiet place, and your reaction to it is your own choice. You experience it, or you ignore it. There is nobody there to tell you how you should feel about it.
The most creative thought would be to build a windmill, and bake bread on a windy day.
When we have those quiet moments in life, the secret places where our own thoughts reflect our true selves, and our own needs are met with our own words, then we are living simply. We are listening to our own voice, and we find it easier to choose the right words that define the emotions we want to manifest in our minds.
The right emotions are the real us. That deeper person who is brave enough to take a thought, develop it into the creative process, making connections, then solidify it with materials. Writing, painting, music, dancing, making a film. The list of materials goes on, and on. We have enormous choices about how we manifest an idea.
Our battle in daily life can often seem daunting. The sound of our own voice becomes drowned out.
The voices of others, people expressing their own needs loudly, and the barrage of suggestions about how we should act, and how we should feel, and think, can overwhelm us. All these loud ideas vibrating in the air, and our little voices are muted by the desires of others.
Overcoming other people’s talk with your own voice seems to be a tiring experience. Just so that you can hear yourself clearly enough to create an emotional response. To turn an emotion into a useful idea.
Many people experience the “other people’s voices” thing like an echo chamber in the mind. As if there were a crowd of chatter memories going on inside their heads. How did they get there?
The creative personality is like the great landscape. It is grand, broad, and open to the winds and the rain, as much as it is open to the sunny days, and the warmth of life.
The chatter of voices in our minds is a taboo subject to openly talk about. It’s like talking about sexual preferences with your local vicar. Red faces, and, “well, I don’t really know what you’re on about, doesn’t happen to me”.
Creative people learn to be tough. They learn that although their personality is “open” to the world around them, they must protect themselves from too many sensations that invade the creative mind. It’s as if the kitchen door is always open, so wandering vagabonds invite themselves in.
The problem is that much of the mental chatter we deal with stems from the memory, not from the outside. It originated with well meant advice, or a comment from a close friend who thought they should mention something important.
To close down and refuse to think about ideas, would be to cut off the tree that bears the fruit. A creative person must live with an open mind. That’s their path to happiness.
A writer, an artist, any person who needs to use their mind to make powerful connections about what they see and feel, must learn that giving themselves the permission to create is a mental tool. That to allow themselves to take the risk of creating the connections that take the mind deeper into areas that others won’t tread, is an imperative emotional response to their daily activity.
A creative person must not block themselves with sensible, responsible thoughts about how they respond to an idea. They must stay sensitive, but stay tough.
The world and its rush to make, sell, profit — get money, and destroy everything in its path on the way through, promotes the flippant response of not caring about things.
The creative person who lives with the urge to investigate, to risk the rabbit hole and find out what’s down there in the dimly lit parts of life, risks making a mistake. Creative people will always put themselves in the limelight when they create something, then present it the world around them.
Naturally, we want to test, perfect, and mull over our ideas. But we must give ourselves permission to create, and to show our creations to the rest of the world. It’s the objective of the action.
It’s when we take a risk and show our work, whatever that may be, it’s then that we take control. We command our mental space, and dominate our part of the world with what we’ve created.
Whether you write stories, articles, paint or dance, make music, or are just starting out on your path to self discovery as a creative person, you must balance your sensitivity with toughness of mind. To be disciplined with yourself, to push towards the limits of living as an artist in the real world.
A creative person’s task is to show the world that it’s worth stopping and looking at the landscape.
My Medium Page for Articles and Stories by Sean P. Durham
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