The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Art of Being You



What is "Art?" That is an old question, which has been endlessly debated by people much smarter than me. Nonetheless, let’s try this: "Art is Self-Expression."
Wait, you ask. Is that it? Is that all there is? Is it art if my 2-year old dips his hand into the potty and smears a handful of goo on the wall and says: "Looky what I did!"
Well...yes and no. Consider "Art" to be like the water within a vase. What allows us to appreciate that art, or judge it in comparison with other offerings, is generally the shape and style and quality of the vase.
So...to appreciate art we need craft. If I look at the people I've known who were successful artists (proud of their work, popular with their audience, acknowledged by their peers) there are a number of things in common about them. Here are three:

1) They put in that "10,000 hours." Every time I've ever gotten close to someone who is considered a "master" (one in whose presence dedicated students feel uplifted. One who has mastered basics sufficiently that they can be re-combined, under pressure, to create spontaneously and unconsciously) what has been obvious is a lifetime of focused work. Millions of repetitions of the basics, whether you are talking martial arts, writing, or spiritual disciplines. I have been blessed to know masters in each of these three arenas, and they mirror each other beautifully.

2) They did not scatter their efforts. Although they may have astoundingly high skills in a number of arenas, they did NOT try to "chase two cats at the same time." There was something, SOMETHING that drew them most strongly, and they pursued it to the limit of their capacity, monomaniacally. This, BTW, comes of having clear values. Some have this quality naturally. Others must work at it. But if you would master your life, it is critical that you have a single thing that is more important than everything else. If you had a fever, and someone woke you up out of a deep sleep and asked you what was the most important thing, you could tell them, instantly. For me, it is "balance." What is yours?

3) They believed their own inner voice. They trusted their instincts. Now, this is NOT to say that they were not plagued by doubts. When you bet EVERYTHING on the belief that you have something to say, that you can be great...when you cut off paths of retreat, and sacrifice parties, and fun, and casual entertainments, and security for the privilege of spending their lives actualizing childhood dreams.


Take a look at Musashi's first two principles: DO NOT THINK DISHONESTLY, and THE WAY IS IN TRAINING. The first encourages you to ask the most important questions in the world: "What is true?" and "Who am I?" This is an inquiry into the Self. The true self, not the presenting aspects of name, occupation, history, gender, race, nationality, etc.

The second ("The Way is in Training") is a simple reminder that whatever you want to be good at, you have to do every day.
For the things I care about, that means:
Work breath, movement, and structure in yoga and martial arts EVERY DAY.
Read and write EVERY DAY
Meditate and connect with those I love EVERY DAY
Re-assess my goals and plans EVERY DAY.

With all of them, continually asking: "Who am I?" and "What is true?" Deeper and deeper. There will be no end to it, until I get to the answers that cannot be reduced further. And if you are measuring results in the external world, you'll notice that your work is sometimes better, sometimes worse, but that overall it improves, sometimes massively. But you will be practicing the "art" of being you. And that is the highest, deepest art in the world.

Steve
www.diamondhour.com

18 comments:

Paul Weimer said...

Thanks. Steven.

There is no royal road to geometry, or anything else...

https://www.rx247.net/astelin-nasal-spray.html said...

In my opinion Art is a term that describes a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, but here refers to the visual arts, which cover the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media. Architecture is often included as one of the visual arts; however, like the decorative arts, it creates objects where the practical considerations of use are essential—in a way that they are usually not for a painting, for example. Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature, and other media such as interactive media are included in a broader definition of art or the arts. Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences, but in modern usage the fine arts, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, are distinguished from acquired skills in general, and the decorative or applied arts.

Munandwngh said...

In my opinion Art is a term that describes a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities, but here refers to the visual arts, which cover the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media. Architecture is often included as one of the visual arts; however, like the decorative arts, it creates objects where the practical considerations of use are essential—in a way that they are usually not for a painting, for example. Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature, and other media such as interactive media are included in a broader definition of art or the arts. Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences, but in modern usage the fine arts, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, are distinguished from acquired skills in general, and the decorative or applied arts.

Anonymous said...

order an cheap louis vuitton bags trypkMBm [URL=http://www.louis-vuitton--outlet.org/]fake louis vuitton handbags[/URL] to get new coupon BZkJNSPu [URL=http://www.louis-vuitton--outlet.org/ ] http://www.louis-vuitton--outlet.org/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

must check [URL=http://jacket-dresses.net/]moncler cheap[/URL] for less bqpDOGdN [URL=http://jacket-dresses.net/ ] http://jacket-dresses.net/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

buy best UFhguKfM [URL=http://www.moncler-outlet2013.org/]cheap moncler[/URL] and get big save BSnrxsVG [URL=http://www.moncler-outlet2013.org/ ] http://www.moncler-outlet2013.org/ [/URL]

Anonymous said...

it must be worked for, studied for, thought for, and more than all, must be
http://www.bottesuggpascheri.com/ 6r7v4w9a7u2s5m4q
http://store.ghdaustraliashopz.com/ 8m1d2u5w8y5z1f5i
http://www.burberryoutletusaxa.com/ 3t1v0r7a9y2m2f2w
http://www.casquemonsterbeatsers.com/ 4h0y4i1n2t5w3s5d
http://www.coachfactoryoutletsef.com/ 6v2s2a1n2y8k5m6p
http://www.ghdnewzealandshops.com/ 7c7q5t0z0j8o7t0o
http://www.nflnikejerseysshopse.com/ 3r9f7u4a2h5m3i6r

Anonymous said...

Wise men are silent; fools talk.
http://www.nflnikejerseysshopse.com/ 2o5l3d6r1s7b3p7s
http://www.coachfactoryoutletsef.com/ 5g5b8m7p0g0l6i0i
http://store.ghdaustraliashopz.com/ 3k6a5a1r2o0d6g2z
http://www.casquemonsterbeatsers.com/ 3l4a2p8b3t0w7q0s
http://www.ghdnewzealandshops.com/ 8k1d8p1i8m3b7z7x
http://www.burberryoutletusaxa.com/ 6a8n5a7g1k8l9y8u
http://www.bottesuggpascheri.com/ 3a5c3w9i4e4a6t3i

Anonymous said...

check this link, qwPlRASr [URL=]burberry wallet[/URL] for gift PyoxTQmg [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

burberry sale txapndtm burberry outlet iuggruuc burberry bags ajnvkvdc burberry handbags gyzrbxpe

Anonymous said...

beats by dr dre ekvkczyi beats by dre qolmazev beats dr dre wolhdjha beats for sale aarnrwqv beats headphones npzdrumi cheap monster beats sqrahokd dr dre beats uoocqgpy dr dre headphones nlokijil monster beats by dre lqvwijdr monster beats headphones ucoboyro monster beats nsgsgdbs monster headphones pfptcgqt

Anonymous said...

beats by dre bjffdqnf casque beats by dre pas cher tkezgasn casque beats by dre phjlesrm casque docteur dre zsnbdwqn casque monster beats pas cher xcyslwpt casque monster beats gmjtlcyl ecouteur beats jrzxcecg monster beats pas cher zeurrwqu monster beats eiijamky

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Cheap Timberland Boots rtxjxthk Timberland Outlet zctgbwdi Timberland Boots Cheap ydedlhex Timberland Boots eonpnagr

Anonymous said...

michael kors bags owfujulh michael kors handbags cvmuajzw michael kors outlet crxzjfww michael kors purses nmzhqycx michael kors sale hmlbtzbu Michael Kors bmoshycn

Anonymous said...

ugg thiqfelc botas ugg ikoiujxr ugg españa

Anonymous said...

chaussures christian louboutin xkynacob chaussures louboutin pas cher seqtjzvo chaussures louboutin rvnzmzry christian louboutin pas cher eabeqngb christian louboutin xsslveli louboutin femme uxtduytg louboutin pas cher tdhmwufm louboutin soldes edtoscvo louboutin fstdtabd