whats-behind-the-artwork

Meditation and Creativity- clearing thoughts to make room for the good stuff

maëry lanahan

My favorite place to be is in the comforting arms of the creative process.  It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. To me, it’s all about arranging my life to get time to spend in the realm of possibilities.  This is my sacred place of self discovery.  

 In my early years, I used art making and music making to explore the inner workings of my personality.  I would even attack the canvas with paint, and scratching and tearing to get my anger out. As a teenager, I would skip the Friday night parties and instead stay in and spend hours reflecting, painting, making up songs… I loved being alone with my thoughts, and creative tools, to just let it take me wherever I would want to go. I was very determined to get to the root of things, and really find out what the world was all about, where my place was in it, and how I could contribute something meaningful before my life was over. 

 

I realized there was a limit to my understanding and ability to transcend the ordinary. Who was I? Why did my opinion really matter more than anyone elses? This led me to try meditation so I could get to the core of my own being and hopefully have something more profound to offer. I always wanted to go beyond my limitations creatively, but I realized that more sessions, more life experiences, more reading, etc. weren't going to take me there.  

As I tried meditating I really got more than I bargained for, and true self reflection, and self improvement takes bravery! It takes trust in the process.  It takes a willingness to let go of preconceived ideas. Ideas that are so much a part of you that you can’t really imagine life without them. In order to truly have a paradigm shift, one has to be willing to hold all one’s conditionings up in a bundle while crossing the waist-high river. The bundle might fall in and float away.  You have to really be okay with that.

When I first started meditating, it felt really similar to the creative sessions I had been having.  But then stumbling blocks came in, and I had to let go of some things that I never even thought I should let go of.  This really got me out of my comfort zone.  This allowed me to offer something more than I otherwise would, creatively.  But more importantly it allowed me to enjoy my life.

When I am cloudy and involved with my mundane thoughts, I cannot see clearly what I should be creating, and sometimes the creative sessions I do in that state don’t amount to anything worthwhile, and in fact can set me back if I, say add a layer to a painting that I regret and have to make up for it later on.  

Anytime I meditate first, and really reach a state of Nirvichara, or thoughtless awareness, my creative sessions are golden.  I give myself goosebumps, so excited to be working on it.  It is exhilarating, really.  And again, it doesn’t matter much about the end result to me.  It all blends together in the end anyways.  It’s more about being full-throttle involved in the creative process and happy to be there.  Like there is no place you would rather be.  Elaborate vacations are for chumps.  I am vacationing every time I have a spectacular creative session. There really is no other place I’d rather be….in the comforting arms of creativity.


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