The Artist in You Wants to Meet You

The greatest challenge in life is daring to be who we are. The greatest opportunity in life is daring to be who we might yet become. Life is a work of art, and like all art, is a work in process.

Whether you are ballerina, a barista or a barber, there is no reason not to consider yourself an artist. Personal development can make artists of any of us, and all transformational healing of the self is a work of art. If you doubt this, remember, all doctors know they are practicing the medical arts.

Personal development takes faith. And every artist knows, or quickly learns, that living the life of an artist is certainly an act of faith. Faith healers may be held by some to be suspect, but there is no healer who does not acknowledge that faith can be healing.

Healing oneself is the art of seeing the unseen, just as recovery is recovering the best in you. And it is any of us facing anything we have faced before, but this time saying, “I will not choose to do what is negative but familiar over what is healthy but new.”

Making our lives a work of art requires each of us to embrace the artist within — and the self you promised yourself but is yet unborn. All personal development is an act of creativity. If you look at your life’s self-portrait and don’t like what you see, pick up a brush, step up to your canvas and make changes. Nothing feels better than feeling better. We’re all in recovery; we’re all recovering from who we are to who we might yet be.

All of us have been surrounded and thus framed by family, friends, faith and society. None of us have to remain in a frame that doesn’t honor the work of art we want to know as who we are.

Nothing is sadder than those who complain their lives away, saying, “I’ve been framed.” This is a mindset that paints us into a corner so we can bemoan, “I’ve been painted into a corner.” Self-creation is liberating, and all liberation from every state of addiction mindset begins with asking, “Why am I here?”

Every artist in every field is always stunned by the magic necessary in another field. A dancer can’t believe how a composer can create symphonies. A writer can’t believe how a sculptor can turn a big rock into the statue of David. Don’t worry about the artist you are not; be the artist you are for you. Personal development is always personally creative.

Many people feel they don’t know how to even begin being a creative force in their own lives. So, here is what I have learned over the decades as a writer, and if you want to escape from writer’s block or addiction, I think you will find these steps an ally:

  1. Calm down.
  2. Your ego’s worries are only your ego’s worries.
  3. Quiet your ego.
  4. Listen to your voice.
  5. Don’t confuse who you are with how you feel.
  6. Play the part, not the result.
  7. Give yourself time.
  8. Sometimes going slowly is the fastest way to get somewhere.
  9. You are not here to meet someone else’s expectations.
  10. You are here to meet your expectations.
  11. Expect the best.
  12. Make peace with the rest.

Often, following a talk I have given, people tell me they also want to be a writer. And I am very supportive.

“What should I do?”

“Well,” I say, “what you should do is write one page every day for two years. Then throw away half of what you’ve written, and you will have a book.”

“Write every day?” they ask, stunned.

“Oh yes,” I say. “Being an artist in your life isn’t only something that you do when your lover has left you and you are in front of a fireplace on a rainy night.”

The creative process is profoundly healing, but no one has ever been healed from anything who hasn’t been part of the healing.

The artist in you is waiting to meet you. Creativity is the process of you meeting you. And transforming you.

And the audience in you can’t wait to see you at your better, better, best.

Take a bow!

This post was inspired by the creative arts therapy at The Oaks at La Paloma, a place of healing and hope that provides treatment for addiction and mental health conditions.