I believe there is art in all of us. We all possess limitless capacity to create. No matter what our mediums, each of us are most certainly blessed with the right and left sides of the brain, and the capacity to utilize them equally. Some people are said to be ‘left-brain dominant’, meaning they are more analytical, while the ‘right-brain dominant’ folks are more creative. It’s my belief that this is a myth. Being creative doesn’t mean that you necessarily know how to paint, or play an instrument. Creativity can flow in the form of words on a page, expression of dance or even your relationships. My boyfriend is extremely analytical and fact-based in his communication, but if you ever get the opportunity to watch him hunt, ski or create something with his hands, you’d be hard pressed to argue that he’s not an artist. Every moment of his life he is creating art, in the systematic, mindful way he does things. It’s in each of us. I’ve heard plenty of people say that they ‘just aren’t creative’. Directly after this comment, I’ve witnessed them bake a spectacular cake, perfectly train an animal or have a creative conversation that leaves me in awe. It’s a travesty that we can’t all embrace and nurture our creative differences and expressions as they blossom.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
One awesome example that I recently started considering is relationship as art. Whether this is romantic, interspecies, with ourselves or any other form of relationship, there is room to create splendid works of art from within the interaction. We all know people who seem to have fluid connection to the world around them. It’s not hard to identify someone who has achieved inner peace. That sort of kinship doesn’t happen by chance. Whether or not the person in this sort of alliance realizes it, this is pure and pleasant relational art at it’s best. Sincere and complete, this is what we all must strive for, removing the drama and indulging in a vibrant, heightened form of being.
Just like any other creative undertaking, artful relationship creation is like a muscle. The more we define and practice it, the better we become at it, and the easier it becomes to be GOOD at it! When I first started playing the fiddle, a random hiker mistook the sound for a dying animal. Over time, with much effort, I began to be able to play songs by ear. People can actually be in the same room as me while I play! Yes! Building healthy and symbiotic relationships is exactly the same thing. When you make the time to learn how to recognize what a healthy relationship looks like to you, and educate yourself on how to correctly propagate these relationships, you’ll notice them blossoming everywhere in your garden of alliances.
Let me be clear and state that this is not about control. I’ve been wrestling with the concept of control and why everyone seems to obsess over it for a good chunk of my life. ‘WHY do I insist on having such control of everything? I want more flow! Aahhhh!’ Most of us have trouble controlling every detail of our own beings without having the added task of trying to control everything else in our lives. Relationships can’t be controlled to the degree we wish, or they ultimately would become empty and provide us with nothing of value. The first step to creating artful relationship, is to let go of the control.
The next step is to ask questions, valuable questions that cause us to think. What does this relationship mean to me? How can I create the most value for everyone involved? What does a win-win relationship look like? What am I grateful for in this relationship? Is this relationship healthy or significant?
The third step is to act out of love, always love. Opportunity abounds for each of us to relate to others. Since this is the case, we must focus on coming from a place of love instead of fear, and quality instead of quantity concerning the interactions in our lives. Sometimes acting out of love means letting go. We can outgrow relationships, hold on to the unhealthy ones and stay stuck in our expectations of how something must look for us to be happy. None of these actions are healthy. As our maturity levels grow, and we build our ‘relationship muscles’, we will notice that a potent shift in our affiliations will occur.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
It’s taken me almost 30 years to stretch my ‘awareness muscle’. I’ve made a ton of mistakes in relationships of every sort, especially my relationship with myself. I’ve spent countless hours beating myself up for poor choices I made in relationships. I’ve hurt others and myself greatly from my immaturity and dependency. For much of that time, I didn’t know what I wanted, needed or how to act in a way that would help build the quality of relationship I desperately needed in my existence. I didn’t know how to love myself or what it took to let go of control and expectation. I’m just not realizing that relationships are similar to any of my other creations, the more I live in my authenticity and love, the better the outcome will taste. I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve made a commitment in 2014 to make art of my relationships. I can never fully know someone the way I might think is necessary, but I choose love. Love is better. ❤