Image for post
Image for post

Image by Peter Sis

We already contain what we most deeply desire. Life, love, inner freedom, connection to all. The more we can realize this, the more we can undertake all things with a sense of abundance. Our inner abundance radiates a sense of worth, value, and ease, of having something to give to the world and enjoying doing so. Without abundance, we can be in the midst of riches and feel like a hungry ghost. — Jack Kornfield

True confidence builds on an idea that stumbling and making an embarrassment of ourselves is normal at the start of anything worthwhile — and no indicator of being destined to fail long-term. Ideally we would see that messing up is a standard feature of the human condition, not a strange failing of our own and won’t ever have to prevent us from a chance to become more competent in the future, since every person whose competence we admire once began from a position of weakness. We learn to get good at things not by never finding them difficult, but by humbly accepting — and identifying — the problems and the pain and gradually working out how to manage them. — Alain de Botton

I assume I have everything needed for an interesting creation already inside me. It just needs to be awakened. That’s why I pick certain images and quotations. That’s the crank that gets the engine started. After that, the building instinct takes over. I don’t need to know what’s being built. I just start writing and it comes together. Maybe we humans have a story-building instinct.

Your conscious mind is a small part of your whole mind. It is not the captain of the ship it imagines itself to be. At deeper levels, you have stores of knowledge, ideas and sympathies you may not suspect. A little nudge and they start to speak.

Yes, you do have to be at peace with your larger self. You do have to respect it and be willing to listen to it. You need to value it and remain modest about your intentional learning. It is limited, after all, what you consciously know.

As a lifelong painter, I’m aware of the level of draftsmanship involved in the image I show here. I’m also aware of its dreamlike aura. The artist who created this image is in touch with deeper levels of mind than we normally use in our daily life. Being able to access these mental regions is a discipline. It can be taught and learned.

In writing my daily pieces for Medium, I find an image that stirs something in me. I peruse my collection of quotes to see what resonates, and then I’m off. A first sentence elicits a second and things appear I didn’t know were coming. I learn what I think as I write. None of that material was in my conscious mind ten minutes before I started.

For those who use a lot of data and statistics it could be a starting point. I understand that not everyone writes opinion or philosophical musings. But I don’t see why this process couldn’t be adapted to any writing style.

Not only do you learn what you think, you learn who you are. It’s a fascinating process. It engages parts of you that would otherwise remain dormant. This is how art cultivates your humanity.

Try it. You might be surprised how painless it is. In fact, it’s fun.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store