When you start making art, or doing something else that requires you to squeeze all your creativity out of you, you literally face the best and worst parts of you. Best because being creative is one of the most divine qualities a human being can have. Worst because, at that moment, you face – just for a few seconds, perhaps – all your fears, misgivings, doubts, frustrations, pain, anger and everything else that is holding you back from life.
The act of creation, by definition, is creating life, it’s giving life to something. And whenever there is creation, there has to be destruction – removal of the garbage of the past – to give you an empty canvas to paint yourself on.
This is, sadly, also the reason why many people either give up too early or don’t attempt to do creative things at all! They are not able to face parts of them, that are holding them back. The anger feels very real. The disappointments are fresh. The feeling of a lack of fulfillment is very ripe.
How I Face My Demons
There are many things I do to stay creative and keep on going on. But there is one thing that stands out, which I know is the fuel I run and jog on – it is my devotion to Swamiji and Mahadeva. As per Hindu scriptures, he is called Neelkanth, the one who can drink any poison. When I invoke Him, at the start of any work, he vaccuums the negativity out of me, when I start to face it. Somehow, it leaves my system. Somehow, I am able to go on. I, like everyone else, have had a good life, but had a long list of things that “could have been” or which I wanted should happen, but didn’t. Reasons don’t matter. The disappointments still do rankle many times. Because that is how we operate as human beings. But when I involve Mahadeva, and ask him to drink the poison, he does. Because he is alive, available, to everyone, whoever calls him.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the recipe of “success” or “fulfillment” or “manifesting what you want.” I can quote many things verbatim from Swamiji’s discourses. And all of them are true. But I wanted to share that one “click” or blind spot I uncovered, which by itself alone I think is enough to keep me going, and would take care of everything else.
That one master password is integrity to myself and Mahadeva. The word is pregnant with meaning, & means different things to different people, but let me simplify it and explain what I mean from it.
It simply means removing conflicting ideas, beliefs, actions, thought currents from your life. Taking a strong stand to remove these and making sure you do something every day for it.
For example, if there is something you want to do, are you doing something about it every day?
Like, I love making art. I want to expand as an artist, it is a secret dream. But am I doing it every day? Worrying about it, thinking about how to monetize it, thinking about what it will bring to you, or what others will think about it – is NOT making art. It is thinking about making art.
The Biggest Problem
The biggest problem atleast I have when I start making any sort of TO DOs or lists is that the moment I do that, it begins to feel like “work” rather than “passion.”
It is the quandary for every artist. They hate being framed in rules and schedules and routines. The very act of making art is an act of rebellion. You are doing something differently, adding your footprint to life itself, not just your life.
So I don’t think of it as a “to do.”
I think of it as removing hypocrisy from my life.
If I say I want to do something, and I dont actually do it, that is hypocrisy! So if I am 100% sure that I want some things in my life, and I know there are certain things I am capable of doing towards that end, then not doing those is nothing but hypocrisy.
And that is how I make art. I love something. I do that in my life. No hypocrisy 🙂