If you think you can’t paint
If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. – Vincent Van Gogh
Profound advice from the master. Swap the word “paint” for dance, draw, act – or whatever your art is – and then get busy!
What happened? Did the results of your efforts make the voice grow louder? Then take Van Gogh’s advice again, except this time shift your focus from your mind to your body. Focus completely on the physical process of creation. Feel your butt pushed against the chair or your fingers on the keyboard. Place your full awareness on your breath as you mix the paint or stretch your hips.
If the voice comes up, let it, but don’t hold onto it. Neither push nor pull. Just go back to all the sensations in your physical body, go back to your breath. And keep pushing the charcoal into the paper.
My creative joy is not born in results. It is born in process. Making that process part of who I am – part of my very breath – is what makes me create on a consistent basis. If I can master that, I can master my craft. I’m betting the same is true for you.