Today’s Thoughts: A Liberation Artist focuses not on being what others expect, but on genuine self-actualization. Yet, rejecting conformity to the status quo isn’t about blind rebellion, it is about taking a stand for self-expression, the freedom to be who you are at core.
Theoretically this should be simple unless one is living under oppression or without the basic tools for survival. Why then do so many behave like lemmings, mimicking one another to ‘fit in’? In part this is the result of media pressure and conditioning that drives us to ‘buy, buy, buy!’ This is part and parcel of the Cult of Brokenness, designed to convince us we are never going to be good enough, ‘unless…’ The ‘unless’, of course, tied primarily to consumption, which in turn often leads to the indentured servitude of debt. Liberation Artists reject these temptations. True, getting there may be a process involving the need to first work out of bondage to debt, while learning to reject blind consumption. No one said we were perfect, we earn our Liberation Artist cards.
How, though, does one self-actualize from there?
That we must ask this question is telling, it demonstrates the depth of conditioning. The simple answer is that we stand in the way of our own happiness. If only we would let ourselves be! However, that is more complicated than it sounds. Many are lost, unsure of their desires beyond basic appetites. We’ve grown accustomed to outside stimulation and the idea of sitting still long enough to recognize, much less name our deeper desires, is almost frightening. However, Liberation Artists cultivate strength to move past that. We sit still with our heart, to remember what brings us joy.
Chances are it is something you dismissed long ago, perhaps following criticism. Or it could be a passion you set aside for work, family, and other ‘shoulds.’ However, a Liberation Artist knows we will have far more to offer our family and the world, if we create the space to genuinely self-actualize. We learn to embrace our passions, to pursue and cultivate inspiration. Then, once we’ve cleared our life of the noise of debt, distraction, and consumption, there is room for our true self to peek out. Now our artistic side, playful self, or our inner entrepreneur or geek can shine. This is our amazing, our own personal brand of specialness. It is already there, you only have to set it free. There is no ‘becoming’ or ‘working on’ – there is only releasing, only freeing.
At first we will only allow others a tiny glimpse of our secret self. However, when we see the world doesn’t come to a grinding halt at this revelation of our innermost being, our courage will grow. We will continue to seek inspiration, avoiding distraction and thoughtless consumption, and soon everything in our world begins to center around sources of quality, depth, and joy. Finally, our real values and passions have become the organizing principles of our lives.
This moment here, where you no longer seek the approval of others, or source happiness in your wallet, is where you taste self-actualization. Enjoy it! Allow it to swirl around on your tongue, and swallow in sweet deliberation, for these are just mere medallions, only a hint of what is yet to come, so savor it! Hang onto your hat, because next thing you know you will experience a burst of confidence unlike anything you’ve known before. Life is about to get good. Really really good.
For Today: Take the leap! If you haven’t let go of your addiction to the cult of brokenness, take action to do so now. If you are still a slave to debt, turn that around starting five minutes ago; if your choices are still driven by the expectations of others or the need for external validation, let it go! Sit still and ask yourself what brings you joy. Turn off all external stimulation and just be.
It may not come right away, but practice daily. Try journaling about it, if you wish. Until you find the answer, at least eliminate from your life the things that don’t bring you joy. De-clutter, and kick commitments that don’t serve you to the curb. Often the very process of eliminating what doesn’t fit opens the path to discovering what resonates on the deepest level. That right there is your key to your most amazing you. Now come on, get to it – Go Be Amazing!