Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Yin Yang of Creativity

Last winter I wrote quite a bit about being blocked as an artist, because I felt blocked as an artist.  I read volumes about creativity and unlocking or unblocking it.  I tried a lot of things to unblock it.  The most recurring theme that presented itself was that negative energy blocks creativity.  Negative situations, thoughts, actions/behaviors and so on.  While I agree with this,  I also have to disagree.

Eastern religion teaches balance.  The yin yang of life.  Though I practice Christianity, the duality of man is still the overriding idea.  So while I agree that negativity might block our creativity, I have to say I've learned a huge lesson from the eastern philosophy.  A surprising lesson.

As I was trying desperately to rid myself of my "negative energy" and to unblock my creative self, I became very aware of the negative.  It was as though in my attempt to exorcise it, I amplified it.  That's a bummer!  And try as I might, hard as I could, as focused as I was on being positive-right behind was the negative!  Ouch!

But the yin yang idea teaches me that although the negative might be perceived as bad (and I'm not saying it's not here-believe me) the two are, well...They just ARE!  My understanding now is that I need both to make me who I am. That the two exist as one. I don't know if I'm stating it right, but  I am the artist I am-the person I am- because of both the negative and positive.  And I can learn to work with and be productive in and with both.

For example, where would country music be with out the dysfunctional relationship?  Without troubles who would sing the blues?  Many of the worlds greatest masterpieces were created by tortured artists working out their angst!  And lets not even go there about literature... I have to tell you, the books that stand out in my life are not the ones I've read that had only positive things in them.  The human experience, the good, bad and ugly are what make for good reading!  (I don't know if you can translate this to my Foodie friends, except to say-without the failed or experimental dish gone wrong we would be eating oatmeal every meal world wide!!)  Sometimes we have to embrace the negative and deal with the fact that it just "is" to unblock ourselves.  To just relax and accept that we cant control what is. From that has come some of my best insights and consequently my best art. 

I think the current trend is to "positive think" yourself where you want to go.  While I do believe that, I have found great comfort in my failures lately.  And I am accepting all of me.  The good/bad person I am. The good/bad artist.  The artist who doesn't make a masterpiece with each attempt even though I've been at it for years.  I am forgiving myself.  And others.  For being human.  For the universal yin yang factor.

Does that mean I sit back and not try to be more positive?  No.  I think making the negative a positive is still my goal.  But without the negative, where would the struggle be?  How would we grow?

Just another thought.   

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, I love to read your blog because it seems to me that everyone can relate this to their lives. I think being positive is a great goal for everyone to have! Although I agree that much of the masterpieces wouldn't have been created without the negative! In my own experience I find that the negativity in my life motivates me to create. For instance when I am feeling bad/angry I want to find a corner and create. However, I know many people who it is just the opposite for....