It was in this year I tried incredibly hard to stare my demons in their faces whilst shouting to them: "I will not let you hinder me any longer!" These demons know me as if I'm their progeny. They've called shots in my life like they're strict Catholic parents, and I'm the poor church boy; one who'd maybe never see the light of day again if I was ever so foolish to be insubordinate. Surely there has been plenty of times the panic of seeing their putrid faces has left me to only flee with fear, but the point is, I stood up and fought with determination more times than I ever have this year, and although I cannot say I've completely won, I've gained control of areas I haven't stepped foot upon in many years.
Allow me to pull you onto this train of thought for a moment, and lets take a quick ride.
It is difficult being a creator. You seclude yourself from the world, become restless, skip meals; become highly agitated by interruptions, indifferent towards everything not about your work, skip showering (or maybe this is only what I do during a creative process), nonetheless, it's a fully physical and mentally demanding lifestyle. With your work, you cut it, crumble it, twist it, pull it, and even be highly apprehensive about it next to others creations. However, to create a tangible (or audible) object derived from a figment of your imagination -- you cherish that with the utmost of feeling. You treat it like a progeny of your own. You've bathed it, dressed it, told it what to say, how to act, etc. Thereafter the creative process is finished, you tie all the luminous balloons onto that creation, and offer it up to the wind so that it may carry it into the skies; the skies you believe and hope people are looking up to so that they may spot what you've sent afloat. Your creation went as high as it could into the sky patiently awaiting for someone to feast their eyes upon it, and demand it be reeled in for a closer look or approval, love, etc. You've set it up to light off flares, trigger bells and whistles, and whatever else to be seen, and then comes the arrow. The arrow bestowed deeply into the tissues of your chest and layers of your heart when no one decides to look up when your creations are aerial. People decide to treat it as just another object taking up airspace. The balloons pop and that creation of yours plummets at terminal velocity into a pool of acid where its remains are ate away. After two or three of these occurrences, you really just start to believe your work had no right to be seen in the first place. You start to believe you really are just another object taking up airspace, and you have no business thinking your creations are worthy of attention.
One could dismiss this feeling as being overly dramatic, but I challenge anyone to create content, I mean, really dig deep to the point that you lose yourself in a realm, and then release it only to find that even people you're closest to dismiss it. Granted not a lot of people have issues with others being interested in them and what they do, it may not be a challenge for very many, but for the rest of us, it's a struggle everyday to receive that pat on the back. When you're creating, you're 25% doing it for yourself, 35% for others, and 40% for the validity of yourself. These are complete subjective and shot in the dark numbers, but the bottom line is: we don't create just to enlighten ourselves. After creating for so long, you already know your abilities. The excitement behind creation dulled because you've fulfilled that satisfaction within yourself that: "yes, I can create and do it well". So exciting yourself isn't necessarily useful any longer. You're looking to validate if your claim is even true. It seems that only when others cheer us on, validate our success, or pat us on the back are we propelled into new territories of abilities. When people unprovokingly commend you, and speak highly of you or your work, it prompts this little meter of "holy-shit-I'm-motivated" to bust at its seams. One could argue you have to believe in yourself, and that is true; however, no matter what, we all look for reasons to even believe in ourselves in the first place. I'd argue that the largest propellor is "the people". I've spoken with other creators who have a hard time receiving feedback. Most would rather keep it to themselves, but there's no reason to let it go behind unseen or unheard alike the greatness you create.
A conversation with a fellow twitter friend/creator who adheres to the feeling.
So now that you've got a slight overview of what a creator might encounter mentally, we arrive back at the area in which I felt I've gained more control over.
This area includes three layers: perseverance, persistence, and optimism. These are certainly areas I've always had grasp of, but over the years entranced by their deceit, handed over to my demons to rule. I stopped allowing my subconscious mind to evolve into a blackhole where my soul would collapse into itself. I would undoubtedly let the act of being dismissed and ignored very easily push me to forfeit. The energy I would fill into the veins of a project would be so easily split open by the sharp edges of people's idleness, and or just my own subconscious garbage. My means to persevere were very much weak. Although I've always been strengthening this grip, within this year, I've took to the foot of that mountain and shouted down the demons who stuck their flag into the apex.
Perseverance collapses and adheres directly to persistence. This is where I have had the most difficulty, and in spite of weakened perseverance, persistence would crumble instantly. I've learned to no matter what, set a rate of flow and keep it there. Plenty times I'd initiate projects and within a few weeks or months span, have exhausted my energy with it. I'd also make releases and plummet back into a blackhole not spitting anything out for a very long time; moreover, because I'd receive no assurance that what was done was good. Persistence has been assuredly fought for and I'm learning to keep it in my grip.
Optimism has always been something I've had. People have commended me for being optimistic in which I think should always be ones choice in state of mind. However, I noticed the gaping wound on my optimism when it had been drained of nearly all of its life. I gave up being optimistic for being pessimistic and hardly believing that anything would spring forth from the seeds I've thrown out. It is difficult to always be so positive, and I actually do believe that negativity needs to be there to balance us, but I've reinvigorated myself by simply WANTING and practicing a new mindset.
In closing, this year has been the year of the mirror. The year the mirror has put itself in full frontal view and spoke to me saying: "Hey, this is how you can evolve and you WILL evolve"
My motto for this entire year has been "evolve/transcend". You may have heard me say it a million times. I had it written on nearly all my social networks. It was a message to myself as much as it was to everyone else. I have been a living experiment of my own internal words. Although I'm sure this will continue to be my motto, I'm looking to create new terms to fulfill in the following year. I'm amazed to see the universe at work and how the repairs and additions to my mind state have reactivated self-recognition. For so long I stared into a mirror without the knowledge of sight. Soon my sight was restore, and then came my memory of who I'm even looking at.
I've exhausted this statement nearly all year, but I challenge everyone to evolve and transcend. We as a species unprovokingly evolve, but that doesn't mean we evolve into what we could be. We're a live process of wheel-throwing. The pottery wheel is our platform, Earth. The vase is our life, and our external being is behind the plate. Get your fingers in there and give your life shape. Push yourself to evolve into a blossoming character, and a fruitful minded person. Transcend your current realm. Transcend the environment, societal dogma, rules, religion, etc, and look for higher ground. Sometimes you transcend in spirit and leave your physical being to autopilot it's way through life. Once your spirit finds it's higher ground, you pull up all that you look to bring with you into that new realm. I know the concept may run circles around your head, but the more you embrace it, the more it reveals its properties.
Create a motto you're going to watch transform into the meaning of your life next year, and watch how it all unfolds. I'm going to revisit this once more by the complete end of the year, but I hope to have broken ground in a new area of your mindset.
Love & Light!
P.S for some inspiring write ups from life, love, personal truth to empowering women, check Tiara Braswell's postings at www.somenterespire.com