In a recent conversation with a fellow artist, the subject of deserving came up.
More specifically, how much we feel we deserve to be creative, and to be happy, and how these levels of deserving influence, and restrict, how creative we actually are.
We all have a desire to create. It’s not something we have chosen, it’s simply a part of who we are.
Sleeping, breathing, eating and creating. These are the essential core needs of our lives. Remove any one of them, and we rapidly begin to wither and die. That’s the deal.
So adjusting our levels of creativity according to how much we feel we deserve to be creative is possibly not the best barometer to use.
What we feel we deserve is caught up in all kinds of other issues linked with self worth, self image, needing control, and more.
If we wait only until we feel we deserve to create, we might never create at all.
Which, as we spoke about just now, is the beginning of dying.
Also, attaching our creativity only to our beliefs of how much we deserve it, is ultimately a narrow vision. This is a clue to how we can dissolve this connection, and start to be far more creative, without holding ourselves back.
Ask yourself this question – Do you really believe that the reason you create, and the benefits of you creating, are all about you?
You’re merely the beginning!
When you were bestowed your creativity – however you believe this might have happened – it didn’t come with instructions for use that went something like this:
Abundant Creativity: Only to be used in emergencies and the most terribly grey rainy days. Please store carefully in a fire proof box inside another fire proof box, in the back of a dusty cupboard, under your bed, in the attic, or another equally safe, cool, dry place, to preserve in its original untouched condition.
But maybe there have been times (and maybe you’re in the midst of such a phase right now) where this is almost exactly how you are treating your creativity.
Because you don’t feel you deserve to give life to your creations, to express your ideas, to be happy and fulfilled, you’ve boxed it up and hidden it away from the world.
Again, it’s not all about you.
What if the predominant reason you were given creative talents was to inspire other people and enable them to be more creative?
You do this in two major ways.
First, the artwork you create.
You know yourself how inspiring it can be to see, hear, touch, taste, feel the work of another artist that makes you feel excited, alive, overwhelmed, overjoyed. Art that literally changes your life in a moment.
If you’re not creating because you don’t feel you deserve it, you’re denying others the opportunity to be moved and inspired like this by your work.
What right have you to judge that they don’t deserve this potentially life changing source of creative inspiration?
Secondly, you inspire by the way you keep showing up to create.
You will never know just how many other people you inspire and give permission to create by stepping up to the page, the stage, the lens, the canvas every day.
When an artist who is struggling to give themselves permission to be creative (maybe they don’t think they deserve to be?) sees other artists showing up and honouring and sharing their creativity, a thousand tiny yeses explode inside them. That’s something they can’t ignore, and they’re compelled to take up their tools and let their work rush forth.
They don’t care whether you feel you deserve to be creative or not. All they need from you is for you to show up and give life to your gifts, your ideas, your visions as best you can.
Are you giving other artists (and other artists-in-waiting, desperate to create their first poem, painting and performance, but needing a nudge to say it’s ok) the inspiration they need? The inspiration and encouragement they deserve?
What if, by you showing up to create your work each day, it inspired just two other artists to do the same this week?
Then what if each of these two others inspire two more? And those then two more?
If this cycle happens just five times, there’ll be 32 artists creating their important work as a direct result of you showing up to create yours.
If it happens just ten times, it’ll be over 1000 artists.
Twenty cycles of inspiration takes us beyond one million artists. Yep, 1048576 to be exact. All set in motion by you.
This is not just life changing, it’s world changing.
So let me ask you one final question.
Are you going to let this little idea that maybe you don’t quite really actually possibly deserve to be a little more creative stand in the way of changing the world?
Of course you’re not…
Join the conversation to share your thoughts on desire and deserving.
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