Creative Expression is Worth the Risk

Why are we so afraid to be creative?

Because creative expression is hard work. Because the imagination works slowly. Because who has time to be still and listen to what resonates? Because it makes you vulnerable. Because you have to forget about yourself. Because there are no guarantees. Because failing is the point. Because it is risky. We might look stupid. People might connect our ideas with our self-worth. Because you might be wrong. You might be laughed at or shamed. You might look stupid in front of peers. You will have to admit you don’t know. Because you will have to practice new skills. Because it’s hard work. Because, as John Daido Loori tells us in The Zen of Creativity, you won’t be an original for a very long time.

Why should we practice our creativity anyway?

Because it’s hard work. Because slowing down lets us observe our lives. Because, listening, we can invite inspiration, which makes life bright. Because vulnerability builds intimacy. What a joyful cry! Because you have to forget about yourself. Just see what is in front of you. Because impermanence is the way of life. Because failing just means you showed up. Because being wrong is humbling. Because discussing shame interrupts patterns that dehumanize you. 

Admitting you don’t know will feel like you have been reunited with friend from elementary school. She doesn’t judge you or belittle you. She too has marched in a band uniform down Main Street playing a half-learned tune. 

Practicing new skills will make you an expert. 

Because hard work is the way of life. Because creating something original isn’t the point. Creativity that embodies your own unique reality is the point.