This month, I have been dealing with discouragement. For instance, I was working on a painting which turned out very dull, then I felt some people didn’t really seemed interested in a few events we organized. Also, a dear friend was acting very cold and I noticed myself reacting and not being able to live up to the high ideals I now know of! And the list goes on…maybe you have your own little examples popping up in your mind as you read this?!
I realize discouragement can be something people face regularly. How do we deal with this? Since it is still something I’m working with, I turn to Swami Kriyananda’s advice: “Forget yourself, and ask God to use you as He will — badly, if you get in the way, but even so He can use you to whatever extent you let Him. Forget yourself, and leave the problem of success vs. failure in His hands. ”
So, how can art help with this?
With art, I have realized that I just need to get started. My job is to put out the right energy and just get into a nice flow. Sometimes it works and clicks, and other times not so much. But nevertheless, art is a wonderful opportunity to practice forgetting ourselves. “The secret of overcoming discouragement is not to brood: instead, act!” – Swami Kriyananda
- Ask God to use you as He will: begin with a prayer or meditation, and listen to something that uplifts the hearts feelings. Invite the divine on a creative adventure with you and then allow yourself to be amazed by the outcomes!
- Let Him use you “badly”: this is fantastic because even if something didn’t turn out so well, if we can offer that effort to God, we become transformed! (The practice of being willing to throw away some attempts at art that didn’t turn out so well is one I’m still working on, but can really help develop this)
- Leave success vs. failure in His hands: it is soooo much more relaxing to not worry about the outcome! As long as we know in our hearts that we did our very best using our highest level of energy. THAT’S what becomes a part of us. People can feel that through us, and we can share that joy with the world.
The rest of it, the physical outcomes, the workshops, the coldness of a friend, our failure to stay positive, all of that will pass and much faster if we can really practice this simple advice: Do your best, with His power, and forget it.
When we act in this way, divine forces come to flow through us in our smallest efforts! And that’s true creativity! May your New Year be filled with greater joy, inner freedom and creativity! 🙂