Getting out of your own way

Often the best art comes when we get out of our own ways. When we allow the spirit to write its own passages and to be its own creator. Yet… how could this be the case?
This is the hardest thing to do and to accept. Our sense of self seems to create the things that we see in front of us, but where does it really come from? The art, the ideas, the music, the life.

From where it comes is the most truthful source. Getting in touch with this source only requires that you feel into it, and get out of your own way in doing so.

Liberating, scary, relentless, brilliant… Sounds like life to me.

As a practice or meditation, try following the flow back to its source, and see what you notice about the details of your interactions with life as you do continue to do so.


-Ben

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Learning from the Pain in our lives.

Most people don’t learn from the problems that come up in their lives. They deal with one problem at a time and expect not another to come, thinking that they are safe. Then they go back to doing what they were doing before.

If you want to become a conqueror of your own life, you need to look at every issue that comes up in your life as a creative problem. A creative problem that is here to teach you to grow.

My brother broke his collar bone recently when he fell playing football. He couldn’t understand why. He is a great footballer and all around sportsman, and plays hard and like an athlete. Then when he is not he is in front of his xbox for hours on end, living off a diet of mainly pizza, brioche, chocolate, and coke.

It healed then he broke it again… !?

This isn’t a coincidence. Seemingly spontaneous events that come up in your life, creative and destructive, are there to send you a message. They are there to tell you what’s up. To tell you to live more holistically, or to tell you that you are going in the wrong direction.

When you listen to the messages, you look back and the dots do connect.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.” – Steve Jobs


-Ben

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Image by graphixartphoto

The Benefits of Collaborating with other Artists

To collaborate with people is sometimes quite a scary prospect. One is revealed in all of their glory and their downfalls. Yet this is why it is such a valuable process.

The process of a shared practice gives you the opportunity to emotionally involve yourself in your growth. You become motivated to be better, and you grow (simply by the process of assimilation).

EVEN if you are a guitar player, for instance,  jamming with a piano player: You will learn about the piano players process, musical knowledge, repertoire, strengths, shortcomings, the list goes on… This knowledge that you have gathered through shared practice is actionable and invaluable to you a person, and as an artist. This analogy is applies to every walk of life.

Just make sure that you are either doing this in your leisure time, OR that it is directly contributing to your primary goal/purpose. Otherwise you may find yourself learning about the bassoon while you’re trying to get your rock album down… that could be a waste of time.

Be willing to suck. You won’t suck for long.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” —Henry Ford

Also… couldn’t leave this out:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” —Isaac Newton


-Ben

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Photography by Pok Rie