Because if you do, you will gift to the world expressions and stories that only you can give. And we want them. Need them even.
You see beauty that no one else sees. You hear truth that no one else listens to. You have a belief in the goodness of the world that is completely unique to you.
And your mission, if you cease to refuse it, is to make it. And give it. And move people.
That’s what art does. It moves people.
It moves them into something deeper in themselves – a place of ungrasped potential, or dishonoured tears.
They are moved into a different vision. They see life’s landscape through your eyes, and something touches them. And their world changes.
What is your art?
Your art is your expression of your inner world, in outer form.
The medium is less important. Writing. Song. Public speaking. Film. Facebook posts. Sex. Massage. Carpentry. Whatever feels good. Whatever allows your expression to be woven into something potent.
What’s important is that you practice channelling your expression. No one can teach you what your expression is. They can teach you technique. They impart principles of practice. They can give you maps for the journey. But the expression is yours. It follows no rules. Except the rule of authenticity, which is not really a rule at all.
The practice of expression is very simple.
- Express yourself through art
The greatest teacher is your own experience.
No one can teach you your expression, because your expression is simply what happens when you sink into yourself, and make stuff.
Just as no one could teach John Lennon to be John Lennon, no one can teach you to be more you. Except you.
Making it is very simple.
You carve out time, and you make it.
If you’re a writer, you sit down and write. If you’re a tantrica, you feel your desire and fuck. If you’re a dolphin whisper, you get in the water and talk to dolphins.
The goal is not to make good stuff; the goal is to make stuff. Good is not in your realm of control. Making is. And more you make, the more goodness you will craft.
If you paint a hundred paintings, some of them will suck ass, half of them will be below average, and a handful will catch something beautiful in a way you couldn’t have predicted.
Doing it every day is best.
Doing is whether you feel like it or not, is crucial.
It doesn’t count if no one sees it
Art is something that moves people. If you don’t share it, then no one can be moved, and so it is not art. It’s a thing you made, and then hid.
Once you’ve made it, give it away.
Then it’s not yours anymore. It never really was to begin with. You were its parent. And the time comes, when you must let that child go its own way in the world. You cannot choose its impact.
You don’t have to share all of your art. It’s better to not share all of it. Because a lot of it is junk. But you probably need to share more than you think you should.
Risk over exposure.
Do not try to repeat your success
Listen for the impact your art has. What struck a beautiful chord? What hit a bum note? Notice how it permeates the people that engage it.
But do not try to ‘repeat your success’.
Art is the expression of novelty. You cannot repeat novelty. If you try to replicate novelty, you will simply mimic the past, and that is not art.
So listen, very carefully, and let your impact on others impact you. Ruminate on its lessons. Let it work you.
And then when you sit down the next day to make your art, forget all of it.
Your excuses mean something
They mean it’s something important that your resisting making.
“I don’t have enough time, I’m too busy.”
“I’m not good enough, it won’t work.”
“It’s not appropriate, people will judge me for it.”
These are the voices of resistance. Resistance is the density you feel when you try to push through into an explored place, like cutting your way through a virgin jungle.
Following the advice of your resistance is choosing the wrong guide. Resistance wants you to turn around and return to safety. So go deeper into the exact place resistance is telling you to avoid. That’s where your art is.
The closer your art is to your soul, that bigger the resistance you will feel.
Choose your art and make it
Today, I’m going to carve out 45 minutes.
I’m going to sit down, and write about things that want to be written about.
Then I’m going to do the same thing tomorrow.
I’m going to share more of my art than seems sensible.
I’m going to listen for the feedback, and then I’m going to dismiss it.
I’m not going to be lulled into believing my resistance.
I’m going to touch people.
In the way only I can.
Now it’s your turn.