"We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems."
Powerful and empowering
Influential people come into the world subtly, surreptitiously, armed with the power to bring about phenomenal change in the world, to inspire, and to unshackle stagnant potentials of greatness.
It takes one to know one.
" Imagination is the Divine Body in every man"- William Blake
I know it in my heart of hearts that every single person is talented, original and has something important to say. So often I hear friends putting themselves down by saying that they can't create, or don't have talent. To whom, I always reply: 'Are you alive? Can you feel, can you see? Then you can create. It simply takes a little time to slow down and listen, look, feel the world." It's impossible not to create; as we are the makers of our own reality moment by moment, and viewing the world through our own colored lens enriches the world in completely unique way. "There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost." Martha Graham
It's not easy being an artist - return to the untamed spirit
And yet, so many of us are paralyzed by indecision, self-doubt and the fear of public criticism. There is a dichotomy between the need of originality and the conformist mentality promoted by schools, media, people who want "the best" for you, urging you to seek safety in the comfort bubble of society, " safety in numbers". But we are not born in numbers, we are born and die singly, and through our solitary lens we spontaneously experience, discover and create the world ... When one feels compelled by this Divine Body to create their version of reality, whatever the medium is, he is a Creator. An Artist. And he is summoned to infuse the world around him with this newfound meaning, his version of reality that wanted to come through him.
And it is so important to acknowledge this, to accept it as a gift and a responsibility (all superhero movie cliches aside :)). You are being called to speak, to play, to express your Self; with all it virtues and foibles.
Embracing the balance
But we live in a society that labels and separates everything, in a world of opposites, that praises the good, positive, pleasurable, comfortable; while condemning the bad, negative; resenting pain and death... But these are also teachers that can help the soul transcend the illusion of separateness, and realize that there can never be life without death, and black without white.
Just as there are no lotuses without mud, growth happens at the limits of control, as "yang and yin go together."-Alan Watts
"All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life." M.C.Richards
Feeling empowered by people...for people
I say follow your heart, let your intuition guide you, and then follow it fearlessly and resolutely. The creative mind is chaotic, messy place, and very often it's a genuine endeavour to descipher the code. There is much energy stored in a complex mind ( both positive and negative), and it takes great awareness and active effort to dispel the dark clouds of doubt, guilt and judgment that can pull one into periods of depression, or addiction. One must fight back with art.
" Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Art is a reflection of humanity, and humanity’s greatest virtue is its ability to overcome adversity. It's good to remember that discomfort and suffering are often a birthplace for epiphanies, great ideas and positive change.
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.” Chuck Palahniuk
And it's not to say that all artists must go through this; fortunately there have been great inspirational leaders that grew up in a nurturing environment, conducive to positive self-expression. (check out Adriene Mischler- a phenomenal woman who shares her yogic wisdom on her Youtube channel- please do take a look and prepare to take your physical, mental and spiritual life to the next level - happiness guaranteed!)
BUT, be wary of falling into the trap of gealousy... When we see a successful figure, our ego may feel threatened, small and worried. Complexed that we may not be as good. But rarely do we stop to look at their journey, to see that their beginnings are oftentimes humble and small... like ours could be. Instead, let's turn these amazing people into our heroes, our role models and teachers; emulate them, and allow them to help us climb the ladder of knowledge to eventually fulfill our destiny.
As a impassioned creative, I'm habitually looking for inspiration. Nature is a tremendously fertile muse and it has much to offer and teach, but it's us humans who give meaning to life, and have the ability to empower each other and recognize our own inner beauty and strength. And I say, when you meet one of these wonderful characters, do let them know they are appreciated! Everyone of us is trying our best to make a difference, and naturally, rides the ebb and flow pattern of life. We all need a pick-me-up once in a while, and it's nice to support each other and fortify this wonderful network of change-makers.
What a refreshing treat it is to meet in person spirited, resolute fellow humans that are able to astonish and leave one sitting in wonder, reverence and awe for days ...
Intro to Capoeira
Recently, I had the honor of spending a little time with several of these incredibly talented, inspirational people brimming with joie de vivre; of various cultural backgrounds, history and professions, all of them united in the name of an unforgettable form of art.
A Brazilian martial art that combines the cheerfulness of acrobatics, the liveliness of dance and entrancing rythms of music, Capoeira is a dialogue between two people, played in an elegant and magnetic way.
It was created nearly 500 years ago in Brazil by African slaves (mainly from Angola). Taken from their homes against their will and kept in slavery, they started inventing fighting techniques for self-defense. To cover their inside combats from their prisoners, the African slaves used their traditional music, singing and dancing. Thus, Capoeira continued its development and soon became not only for self-defense but for rebellion, self-expression and perpetuating the rich legacy of this cultural movement.(you can read more about it here and see it in action. )
What my family and I found at Capoeira Morro Verde is all that, and much, much more. A warm community of people- all moved by the ineffable positive energy that comes through, interesting friends, and inspirational, supportive leaders... a fecund soil on which a willing, open soul can truly thrive and flourish.
...We are so grateful... Thank you Gata Brava, for being an awesome role model!
With this I leave you my friends, to inspire and keep being the wonderful people you know you are.
Life is short. Breathe. Smile. Enjoy.