Inspired
by the
Baha’i Faith
The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith. The official website of the Baha'i Faith is: Bahai.org. The official website of the Baha'is of the United States can be found here: Bahai.us.
GOT IT
The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
How do I become Baha’i?
Culture

Give Yourself Permission to Create

Jaine Toth | Oct 15, 2015

PART 3 IN SERIES Discovering the Artist Within

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

Interested in Other Topics?

We’ve got something for everyone.
Jaine Toth | Oct 15, 2015

PART 3 IN SERIES Discovering the Artist Within

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

If your artistic self has been buried for a long time, it may not be easy or painless to unearth it again.

The ghosts of long-suppressed and hidden insecurities may try to haunt you, but without risk and without some pain—suppressed hurts, memories of being invalidated in our artistic efforts, fears of failure and success—there can be no progress. In any effort at growth in any field of endeavor, we must be willing to take our baby steps and fall occasionally, possibly do poorly in the beginning, but see the attempt as a success because 1) we tried, and 2) learned from the effort.

When I decided to attempt the process of writing poetry, one of my earliest efforts came out, in effect, as a prayer:

throw open the window of my mind
let all thoughts, / ideas, / preconceived notions
flow out into the ether.
experience sensations of lightness–
a feather wafting on cushions of air.
emptiness, readiness / to absorb, spongelike,
and filter / reality, / spirituality,
to gray cells, / heart’s wells—
fill all once more / with truth,
bring pure / intentions, / inventions, sciences / arts
thus the new may enter / the old depart

Recreate me, Lord! / Set me toward
the path divine / that I follow Your design.

Well, it’s working—and yet I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. But I persevere. Through study of the Baha’i writings, prayer and meditation, I’ve found the strength, spiritual stimulus and inner determination to continue:

All Art is a gift of the Holy Spirit. When this light shines through the mind of a musician, it manifests itself in beautiful harmonies. Again, shining through the mind of a poet, it is seen in fine poetry and poetic prose. When the Light of the Sun of Truth inspires the mind of a painter, he produces marvellous pictures. These gifts are fulfilling their highest purpose, when showing forth the praise of God. – Abdu’l-Baha, quoted by Lady Blomfield in The Chosen Highway, p. 167.

You, too, can confidently learn to take those initial steps, pick yourself up when you stumble, and stay up a bit longer each time, making one success follow another.

Begin by deciding what area of the arts interests you the most. Try several, and find your natural inclination. Then, let your inspiration flow out into your art, and learn from each attempt.

Julia Cameron admonishes those who try to develop or recover their inner artist to give themselves permission to be a beginner. It’s perfectly okay, she advises, not to be a good artist when you first start out. No artist begins by creating something perfect.

If you continue, faithfully, with determination, with the conviction that this is a spiritual effort, and give yourself room to grow and improve, you will eventually become a good artist. When making this point in teaching, Cameron says she is sometimes met by instant, defensive hostility. People challenge her:

But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/act/paint/write a decent play?

“Yes,” she replies, “…the same age you will be if you don’t. So let’s start.” – Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, p. 30.

You May Also Like

Culture

Brexit, Nationalism and World Unity

Culture

On Mother’s Day, Gladden Every Soul

Culture

Consultation and the News Media: When Flint and Steel Spark


Comments

characters remaining
x
x
Connect with Baha’is in your area
Welcome!
What's your name?
Thanks my friend ! We want to connect you with a Baha’i in your area, where would that be?
Thank you so much! How can they best reach you?
To put you in touch with a Baha’i in your area who can answer your questions, we would like to kindly ask for a few details about yourself.
Connect with Baha’is in your area
Connect with Baha’is in your area
Get in touch with the Baha’is in your community.