Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

The art of being creatively alive.

8 Comments

There was a time when I did not think of myself as an artist. When I told myself I couldn’t paint. I had no talent.

Life, and the willingness to let go, showed me how little I know about my creative essence.

I tried to paint in my 20s. A friend gave me a set of oils, a canvas and some brushes and said, “Try it.”

I did.

I judged myself not very good.

I quit.

In my 40s I decided to join my then 14 year old daughter in painting. She loved to paint and I wanted to do something that was uniquely ‘ours’. Her younger sister and I rode horses together. She was hyper-allergic. Why not make painting ‘our thing’.

And that’s when I learned the first lesson in The Art of Being Creatively Alive.

  1. Let go of your plans.

My daughter was a teenager. Painting was fun. But she had a lot of other things to do that were equally as fun — some included me, some did not. And even though my plan had been to paint with her, I fell in love with the joy of splashing paint on a canvas, with or without her. In that joy, while we don’t often paint together, we love to visit galleries and devour other artists work whenever we are together.

The second lesson has had profound ramifications in my life.

2.  Don’t believe everything you tell yourself about yourself.

All my life I told myself I was a writer. I was not an artist. Committing myself to exploring my painterly ways in my 40s taught me that I was not always right. That in fact, the things I tell myself about myself are often based on my fears, not my heartfelt desire to live a true and authentic life. And, sometimes, the things I tell myself I can’t do are simply an expression of my fear of not being able to do it right or perfect.

Which brings me to the third and equally as important lesson falling in love with painting taught me.

3.  Set yourself free to express yourself, without expectation of what will happen next.

The beauty of any form of creative expression is that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way. There is simply ‘the way’ you choose to do it. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and unless you have expectations of being discovered as the next Picasso or Monet, the point of creative expression is to express, not create a masterpiece. Don’t set yourself up with expectations of what your creative expression will look like, or do or be in the world. Meaning is not found through your artistic endeavours, it’s created through the act of creating. When you live from that place of being free to express yourself, you create space for others to do so too. And in that space, the world within and around you is changed for the better

Set yourself free to express yourself and then… let the magic happen. Creative expression is one part alchemy, one part science, one part sweat and labour and all parts pure magic. When you give into the mystery and the magic, who knows what you will inspire that creates profound change in the world?

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

8 thoughts on “The art of being creatively alive.

  1. This is so very true. It’s taken me a long time to consider myself an artist. And I also know that I have to do it for me, no one else, just me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Please share this with artists studios, creative writing classes, wherever creativity flourishes. Wise words from one who has travelled the path!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m loving everything you said in this post, though that second lesson really hit home for me. I’ve just started having the realization that I don’t need to take all of my negative thoughts and judgments (especially about myself) so seriously, and it has been quite liberating so far. For me it’s been about learning to identify that negative little voice in my head and then kind of laugh at it, thank it even, because I think that voice is really just trying to keep us safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for chiming in Myles — I love your comment about kind of laughing at it, and thanking that ‘voice’. What a powerful way to say “I see you. I know you do not mean me harm, but you do not control me” You are so right — It isn’t trying to hurt us — it’s trying to keep us safe. And safe is that place where we don’t step out of our comfort zones, where it knows all the answers to what happens next. So lovely to meet you here!

      Like

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