Awareness. Acceptance. Allowance. Although deceivingly simple these, three principles create the foundation of any prosperous, creative process. Once initiated, this cycle creates a perpetual motion of honesty, spontaneity, and expression that springs from a deep, genuine place within the artist.
Awareness exists in us on different levels; emotional experiences, physical tensions, and repeating thought and life patterns. Consciousness works like magic: it is the light that allows us to perceive. Without it we would live in darkness, unaware of ourselves, unaware of each other. Without awareness, we are not able to change, but when we hone our awareness, quiet our minds, and bring our focus and attention to whatever is within or before us, the creative work can truly begin.
On the road to honing this awareness, there are common tendencies that are important to be aware of. Judgment creates one of the most fore-running barriers to our creative work and can stop our process even before we begin. This brings us to the importance of acceptance. Acceptance is defined as the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered. In acting, the processing of raw and powerful states of emotion must happen continuously and instantaneously. As artists, it is our calling to take our raw experiences and translate them through different mediums, be it paint, clay, or in the actor’s case, motion and sound. We spend an extreme amount of energy fighting and resisting our experiences. Before we can give an experience our full expression, we must welcome it with open arms no matter how extreme, intense, or painful. This is when the practice of acceptance comes into play. We consent to receive what is offered to us in a moment. Once we are no longer fighting our experience, our energy is free to move into forms of expression.
Allowing. This is where the real magic takes place and is perhaps the most overlooked. To create the most truthful performance, we must step out of our way. Often I see students in patterns of striving for intense emotional experiences. They want to cry, to lose themselves in the depth of their own emotion, but it is precisely the tension created by this grasping effort that keeps them from the goal they so long for. Allowance is about giving yourself permission to live the truth of the moment. All the emotional life you could ever dream of is already inside of you. You do not need to create it, manufacture it, or push it. You need to allow it. This opening, in combination with awareness and acceptance, begins to create a cycle and flow of energy in the artist.
When we have an intimate connection with ourselves, our creative expression evolves. We begin to tap into parts of ourselves that had lain hidden in the shadows, resulting in a transformation of our art and craft. This self-exploration sets our energy free, and we are then able to tap into deeper roots of expression and inspiration without any extraneous effort. What is so beautiful about this process is that it never stops. Within each of us, there is an infinite well of life and inspiration. We can always move deeper, be more honest, truthful, expressive, creative. We must take the dive, and we will find ourselves alive.
Movement Classes at the Maggie Flanigan Studio
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