Artist's Musings : Mistaking Arrogance For Humility?
Artist's Musings On Creative Process
Are You Mistaking Arrogance For Humility?
By Tatiana Kuzyk
From personal experience I can tell you that whenever I'm feeling creatively congested, aka blocked, I've had, somewhere along the way, applied a mental-emotional break to the creative flow that's awaiting its expression. I believe that creativity is NOT of our own making and our free will does not give us a right to determine WHAT will come through us into this visible, 3-Dimensional reality as defined by our five senses. Our control of the process (read 'interference') is limited to stalling and stopping our creative expression, or making the so called aesthetic adjustments that we hope will render our work acceptable by adhering to some illusory standards.
Oftentimes the thwarting of our creative self-expression begins when the process moves into the unfamiliar territory. Perhaps we feel attracted to experiment with a new technique, a new genre, or a new color palette and decide to give it a try. Our uncertainty deepens as we hesitantly begin to explore the unknown creative vistas. Soon two old and familiar companions join us on our journey ~ doubt and criticism. In order to make their presence tolerable we try to mitigate (read: control) the path of our creative journey. We start running towards the ever-elusive sense of safety by changing the course and heading back for the familiar grounds, or out of panic and desperation, we stop ourselves dead in our creative tracks altogether.
American Heritage Dictionary defines the word humility as "being free from pride and arrogance." Yet way too often we put the proverbial horse before the cart by mis~perceiving arrogance for humility, particularly in our creative life. The popular message, often clothed in the garments of authority, loudly and unanimously declares the extent of our creative ability, aka talent. And herein lays the hidden arrogance. Since our creative gifts are NOT of our own making, but instead are bestowed upon us to be freely expressed THROUGH us, we have no business in trademarking them as our own property while attempting to control their expression. Too often we shut off the valve of the creative flow with a classical blocker: "Who do I think I am to assume that I can write, sing, dance, paint .create?" Meet arrogance in its pure form! By labeling ourselves as "not creative enough" we are NOT practicing humility. A genuine humility recognizes that we must let creativity flow forth BECAUSE we are ENTRUSTED with this task as something Larger than ourselves is at work. In the middle of a creative expression, qualities such as cooperation and allowing are called upon to nurture the Mystery of the Process. And here we are blinded into believing that we're "too small" to be a vessel for the Sacred to be expressed. But perhaps an appropriate question to ask ourselves instead is: "Who do we think we are to usurp a right to stand in the way???"
If you find yourself experiencing a creative drought of any kind I encourage you to move back into the Awe of Mystery that you have been blessed with. You have no control, whatsoever, over the so called Creative Product, but you have been entrusted with being a sole guardian of allowing and nurturing the flow of the Creative Process. And it may seem like a small and unimportant function to perform, yet every creative block is rooted in our insistence on controlling the uncontrollable. Perhaps the universal prescription for freeing yourself from a creative stagnation is dedicating yourself to treating your creative self-expression as a Sacred Practice. In this context the word sacred is applied, as denoted by American Heritage Dictionary, as: "dedication, devotion, regarding with reverence." Now you are able to step back into authentic humility, by re~membering again your only part in the creative process and by staying away from the confusing role reversal that had kept you from sharing the abundance of gifts you have been so generously blessed with.
When you are not sure if arrogance may be masquerading for humility, a good rule of thumb to follow is to ask your Inner Guidance System if you're feeling at peace. If the answer is "no" ~ you can safely assume that your inner peace about the Process has been thwarted by attempts to control the outcome, the Product, of your self-expression. Return to peace by letting go of any expectations, by trusting and allowing the Mystery to reveal Itself to you anew. The only adequate reaction to what is being expressed through you is awe, reverence, a heartfelt sense of wonder, and most of all gratitude. Now there's no more confusion, as deep within, you Know what a true humility is ~ it is your original sense of freedom, adventure, and play completely unconcerned with anything but the Process itself. When you devote yourself to the practice of your creative self-expression as a sacred duty through which you offer yourself as a channel for the Unknown to become Known, creative hindrance of any kind will truly become a term of the past for you. And the original exhilaration and Joy of creation will be yours again. •
© 2009 Tatiana Kuzyk. All rights reserved.
Tatiana Kuzyk is an intuitive artist, writer, and a spiritual teacher. Tatiana's personal prescription for a so called 'creative blockage' is a complete surrender to the Sacredness of the mysteries of one's Creative Process. More »