October 13

Today's quotation:

When people are free to do as they please,
they usually imitate each other. Originality
is deliberate and forced, and partakes of
the nature of a protest.

Eric Hoffer

Today's Meditation:

We all have the potential to be original and creative.  We all have truly unique visions and ideas--that's the very nature of who we are, completely unique and very creative.  True creativity, though, isn't seen all that often in our daily lives.  After all, most of our models of creativity aren't creative at all--songmakers, moviemakers, television and radio producers, almost all are making "products" based on what they think will sell.  And they decide what to make based on what is selling now, copying the same over-used formulas and ideas that others already have used successfully.

Being original also opens us up to criticism, especially when people don't understand where we're coming from.  And why should they understand, when they can't get inside of our minds or hearts to understand our personal creativity?  The trick for us obviously is not to take their lack of understanding personally, not to take it as an insult, when they criticize the results of our creativity.

Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but to ourselves, it's an easy way out, a safe way to express ourselves in ways that could be more creative and fulfilling.  Creativity, though, takes work, first of all to depart from our learned tendency to imitate, and second of all to reach inside and find what truly wants to come out of ourselves in the form of expression.

What's inside of you?  How might you express yourself in ways that truly reflect your creativity and your love for your life and yourself?  What might you contribute to the world in a truly unique way if you were to trust your creativity fully?  You have the power to create rather than imitate, so just how can you use it and make things that you're proud of no matter what others might say?

Questions to consider:

Where does your strongest creativity come from?  How does it express itself?

Why do so many people choose to imitate rather than create?

Who determines whether you imitate or create?

For further thought:

I decided to start anew—to strip away what I had been taught, to accept as true my own thinking.  This was one of the best times of my life.  There was no one around to look at what I was doing, no one interested, no one to say anything about it one way or another.  I was alone and singularly free, working into my own, unknown—no one to satisfy but myself.  I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any color until it was impossible to do what I wanted to do in black and white.  I believe it was June before I needed blue.

Georgia O’Keefe

  

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