mars 13, 2014

What allows change

Dear Wonder,

Last week, I was saying that it’s possible to create something new. That our present reality isn’t as fixed as it seems. That everything is constantly changing.

If you don’t surrender to inertia, of course. Some people seem not so much to change as to become stiff and used up over time. Digging themselves into their grooves. Wrinkles deepen, habits freeze, mobility disappears — and little by little possibilities give way to regrets…

I don’t want to lose my mobility as I grow old. I don’t want arthritis to cripple my joints or my ways of thinking and seeing.

The liveliest people, the ones who keep their mobility even at an advanced age, are the ones who love and create.

I’m not speaking of those artists who have sacrificed entire spheres of their lives for the sake of their work, who have stiffened in all areas save the one for which they are praised — I’m speaking of those who practice the art of creating their very existence, as well as their professional sphere.

What facilitates change, what allows the creation of something new?

1. Seeing that nothing that strikes me as fixed and unchanging is actually fixed and unchanging.

If I don’t see this, I will tend to stay in the world I’ve made for myself, to stop moving.

Life itself is the engine of change if it is not thwarted.

2. Seeing that thoughts make up what I call “reality”.

And since thoughts come and go (see #1), reality can change.

If I don’t see this, I will be subjugated to external forces and circumstances.

3. Understanding that it’s possible to be at least functional in all the important areas of life: emotional, intellectual, financial, relational, creative…

There’s no need to resign oneself to being “defective” in any aspect of life that matters.

If I don’t see this, I’ll keep tolerating what I believe to be my limits.

4. Getting to know the workings of the creative process: having at least some understanding of the art of dancing with the universe to reveal something new.

If I don’t know how to create, I will view changes as “problems to be solved” and my journey will be dry and joyless.

5. Having a vision, even a blurry one, of what I want to create.

Without vision, I am condemned to reaction. I tend to merely avoid what I don’t want.

What do I love so much that I long to see more of it in the world? If it calls to me, it already exists. It wants to grow. It can grow, if for just one minute I could tear my eyes away from the false limits I have set for myself.

Pina Bausch

Pina Bausch

6. A capacity to get moving.

Otherwise what I want to create will stay in an embryonic state, mere intentions and wishful thinking.

7. The direct perception that I am already whole, complete, enough — regardless of what I have done, made, or accomplished.

If I don’t see this, all my efforts will aim to fill a bottomless hole, and my attempts to create will be polluted by the fear of inadequacy.

Sounds like an ambitious program? Sure. But a more interesting one than mental arthritis and cynical resignation, isn’t it?