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    You, The Artist

           You are an artist in one definitive sense. You create your life. And anybody who creates, anything, is, in my book, an artist. So you’re an artist. Maybe you don’t think of yourself as one. Maybe you don’t call yourself one. But I challenge that. Here and now. Come along on this ride with me for a few minutes and see what happens. For the rest of the read, call yourself an artist. Think of yourself as an artist. You can go back to calling yourself whatever you want afterwards. That identity will still be there. But maybe, if I’ve done my job, that identity will be a little broader. And that’s a beautiful thing.
           In the simplest of actions, we can think of ourselves as artists. When we say hello to somebody, for example, we are creating something. An interaction. A moment. Maybe that moment lasts but a second or so. Maybe it’s gone as quickly as it was created. Over in a flash. But not all art is permanent. Most of it is fleeting. That isn’t the point. The point is that we created it. It existed. It’s gone. We make another moment. It’s gone too. We make more. And on it goes.
           Look at your life. You are creating moments perpetually. You are creating something, perpetually. The most mundane of acts is a creation. Of something. It’s very zen, for as mundane as it is, it is as equally sacred.
           An email. A voice message. A conversation. A Facebook post. A selfie. All little creations. All little art projects. One after another. Even when we sleep, we create. From the subconscious come our dreams. Even if we don’t remember them, we’re still dreaming. It’s what we do. So even when we don’t remember our creations, we create. Actually, we can’t not create. Even our thoughts are creations. And when’s the last time you didn’t think? Anything? During meditation, perhaps. Maybe you have lots of quiet, thoughtless moments. But even in meditation, even in thoughtless moments, you are creating. You are creating space. Space within yourself. You are creating open moments.
           What if you actually thought of yourself as an artist throughout this process? Consciously at first. Right now, say to yourself, “I am an artist”. Maybe it sounds silly. Do it anyway. Nobody will hear you. Except you. And you matter. Your mind and your heart and your soul need to hear you say that. Because your mind and your heart and your soul love to create. The proof is in the pudding, because they are doing it all the time.
           Why bother consciously calling yourself an artist? Because if you practice, you start thinking of yourself as an artist without being aware you’re thinking it. You just are it. But we need to practice that. It’s a muscle. Flex it. Use it. It grows over time.
           The benefits of calling ourselves artists is that, because we are being conscious of our creations, because we are more aware of the fact that we’re creating all the time, we start seeing opportunities to create even more. We see that a simple hello is indeed a creative act, and that maybe we want to create something consciously. Like a really positive moment. Like a real connection. Like love. As temporary or as lasting as it may be. Awareness breeds awareness. Consciousness breeds consciousness. Love creates love. The more we realize that we are creating, the more we create.
           And the more we create, the more meaning our lives have. The more fun our lives are. The more impact we have on others. The more connected we are to all of humanity, to all of each other. The more connected we are to ourselves. The act of creation is hard wired into us as viscerally as our bloodstream. The more we create, the more alive we feel. The more alive we are. Even quantum mechanics tells us that, if we break it all down to its most basic level, all of everything is energy. So when we create, anything, we are creating energy. And the more energy we create, the more energy we have to create. Energy begets energy. So our lives have more energy. Our lives have more blood, more meat, more juice. Our lives have more of us. In every moment.
           So how was that? Artist.

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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