The 100 Day Reality Challenge

Michael Neill success coach and show host of You Can Have What You Want, a weekly call in show on Hay House Radio, was giving advice to one of his listeners whom spent many years being afraid of her creativity, afraid of what people think, afraid she might do things badly, afraid her creativity didn't have a reason - It was just something she wanted to do and it made her happy (except she was afraid of that!). He explained something called the three dragon concept - three things which get in the way of anyone who is beginning explore their creativity.

1) Dragon of product; if your going to create anything, you have to please the audience your creating for. It sounds reasonable, but unfortunately that reasonable approach is what stifles creativity. Remember, your not painting a picture, your just painting. There's a children's song called Flowers are Red by Harry Chapin...

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw
And the teacher said.. What you doin' young man
I'm paintin' flowers he said
She said... It's not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red
There's a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You've got to show concern for everyone else
For you're not the only one

And she said...
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said...
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Well the teacher said.. You're sassy
There's ways that things should be
And you'll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me.....

And she said...
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said...
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

The teacher put him in a corner
She said.. It's for your own good..
And you won't come out 'til you get it right
And are responding like you should
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen

Time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smilin'
She said...Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let's use every one

But that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen.

That's how the dragon of product works, it takes you out of the creative present by getting you to focus on how other people are going to look at what your doing. So, whatever creative endeavor you want to engage in, the dragon of product encourages you to move towards a logical, sail-able end result and say's "if you want to consider yourself an artist, you've got to create art that will please your audience" . If you've ever found yourself throwing out your novel, your recording, your design and starting again because your agent , publisher, manager, expert or family member said "oh, that's not very good!" or "it won't sell", then that's the voice of the dragon of product.

Bring your attention to back to the present moment. Right where your sitting now, tune into your feelings, tune into any internal images that may be playing in your mind. Anything you may be saying to yourself, any conversations going on inside your head - pretty much the critic that tells you your work isn't good enough, is pretty much the critic inside your head. Whatever your internal critic is, it's only a voice inside your head and it doesn't need any more weight than that.

2) Dragon of control; The more emotionally open you are, the more energy you spend trying to control your emotional expression - so that people with think well of you, they won't think your too emotional, or that there's something wrong with you. What a lot of us fear the most is that we'll be revealed as we truly are and not as we want to be seen. so, if you want to defeat the dragon of control, you've got to come to terms with who you really are. And who you really are, and who you really are is horrible and wonderful, it's a hero and a villain, it's a loser and a winner, and it's everything in between. Creativity isn't pretty although the end result may be, creativity it's going to places you wouldn't usually go.
Give yourself permission:

a) Permission to do things badly - when you create something, nobody is allowed to see it until your ready (which is one way of allowing yourself to do something badly).

b) Permission to be a bad person - Robert Frost once said "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader".

c) Permission to fail - to work outside the social norm, to not quite pull it off, to not make it all work, your going to create a creative avalanche. and that avalanche is going to carry you past the Dragon of Control.

3) Dragon of meaning; If you've ever been bored of a Shakespeare play, chances are it's because you had to study it (or it might have been a crap production) like; 'The Academic Analysis of a Shakespeare Poem, a Beethoven symphony or a picasso painting...' at some level we're aware that great art isn't really design to appeal primarily to our intellect... but when we're being creative we stifle our creative genius by trying to make sense of what we're doing as if creativity was an intellectual pursuit - we can see it in other peoples art but we don't see it in our own. It doesn't have to stop you, when you ask yourself why? and the answer is... "well, because I want to!" your probably on the right track with your creativity.

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Replies to This Discussion

Bravo! I really loved this post! So many times I have shushed my creative muse, because of something someone said about something I'd done before. When I first decided that I wanted to take up painting back in the mid 80's my Now ex husband Forbade me to buy oil paints because he didn't want to pay for me to have yet another hobby. Quote " you'll never do anything with it, you'll never make money at it, I refuse to allow you to spend money on paints!" end of quote.
Well long story short. my dad had given me 10 dollars for something maybe a birthday gift or just because, and my mom and I went to an estate sale. And woe and behold the woman who had passed on ,had been an artist ! And there in front of all of the items was a box full of oil paints, art books a few canvases and paint brushes! When I saw the box my heart leaped! I asked the daughter, "How much is the box of paints? "she paused and seemed rather sad as she explained how her mom had been quite an artist and that she was sad to sell them... "Oh, I don't know. she said "Is 10.00 ok?"
Well I told her my story and how grateful I was that she was passing her moms art supplies to me, I promised that I would use them. Now 25 years later I am still painting and enjoying it very much! Have I made a ton of money doing art? well not yet, BUT I HAVE SOLD More than a few paintings, and Even if I didn't, I'd still paint because I love art so much! I eat ,sleep and dream about art. I Thank the woman who parted with her moms paints to open up my future. Where ever you are ,THANK YOU!
And Thank you Kat for posting this! I think one of my next paintings will have to be rainbow flowers:)
I totally agree with these posts. Very good points being made.
Thank you - this a dynamic - Very well put. Everyone is creative. Everyone has talent. Everyone deserves to create in there own personal style. Everyone has a choice in there own canvas - whether it be words, paint, crayons, charcoal, dance, parenting, sewing, building, compassion, acting, teaching, learning, growing etc. The list is endless. We are all artists in our own personal way. It would be wonderful if more people realized the artist inside of them.

I have to share my greatest compliment I received as an artist. "Who the heck were you mad at when you painted THAT!" It came from my sister many years ago, and she regretted her words as soon as they came out of her mouth. I was initially stunned, but later, I realized that my art evoked emotion.

Express yourself with no regrets!
Wow! this is so true, self conciousness can really spoil the art of creating. I took my inner child out to play at the weekend, I created a giant flower painting, I painted like a child, without a care in the world, I didn't try to make it look realistic. I enjoyed every minuite of it and hung it on my wall...you know what though, when I look at it, my inner critic is coming out..it's saying what will others think? they'll think you have no talent..I'm gagging this critic right now..when I look at the painting I will enjoy the vibrant colour and the freedom I felt when painting. Thanks so much for this article and I just love the song lyrics, I've never heard that song before, I must find it..so beautiful x

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