The Brain Is Art: Truest Self

We are inherently creative beings.


Creatures.

 

(from the Latin verb creare, which translates, to create)

 

And so, when we are in it — inside the act of making — we are much more likely to feel that thing that vibrates — right now I’m my truest self.

 

Looking at, appreciating, and interpreting the work of others is a powerful brain tool. However, the thing that restores, cleans up, and allows for greater connectivity in the brain is creating things yourself. It doesn’t matter what. A drawing, a plan, a story. Lately I’ve been drawing a lot and I notice that simply the act of looking at the finished thing is rewarding. It is visible evidence of energy expenditure. And that, in turn, provides me with energy. Oftentimes it’s necessary to give energy in order to feel energized.

 

My art school training has ingrained in me the notion that I have to immediately implement my critical faculties in looking at my own work and the work of others. I’m in the process of re-training myself to simply enjoy the act of making and to notice the impact that it has on my brain. The hand-brain connection when I’m drawing, painting, sculpting, arranging objects for an installation, etc — is incredibly soothing. It’s actually medicinal — a moving meditation. Although I can be seriously stormy, I’m very much OVER the myth of the tormented artist. The artist’s brain should be a thing to strive for — in constant motion, knowing itself, in meditation, and in its truest state — that of creation.

 

Or, as Louise Bourgeois said / made / wrote: Art is a guarantee of sanity. She followed that up with: That is the most important thing I have said.

 

A guided meditation from me to you:

 

Imagine yourself feeling full — full of light, life, energy, and feeling like the best and most realized version of yourself. You are walking down the street feeling a great sense of accomplishment.

 

See the particular street.

See yourself.

Note the details of your walk, the way you carry yourself, the look on your face.

 

On your walk, you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while. None of that oh-my-god-I’m-about-to-see-someone-from-my-past terrible feeling in the gut comes up. It’s pure peace and you are at ease. You welcome the chance to say hi to this person.

 

The person asks: How are you?

You respond: “I’m feeling really good because I’ve just finished_____________.

 

Now, get out a laptop or a pen and paper. Write down everything you can remember about the self that you saw in your mediation. What were you wearing? What was your energy like? What street were you walking down? How were you carrying yourself?

 

Next, write about who you saw. Who was the person from your past that you ran into on the street? Why do you think you chose this person?

 

Lastly, what was the thing that you felt so good because you had just finished? Was it an art project? A presentation? A book? An activity of some sort? Don’t think too hard about this. That activity - project - thing that put the bounce in your step — that’s the creation that you might want to reorient your energy towards. The thing that will steer you towards your truest, most creative self.

 

(Image: Louise Bourgeois)


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