Creativity Is Like Pandora’s Box

“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”

Pablo Picasso

Pandora’s box floating in black acid in Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life

It was when I once again tried to find something about what happens when you’re highly creative, and how you can learn to control it or dampen it.
How to make creativity go away, even.
Just hypothetically, it was a question that interested me.
Although I was aware even the thought was ungrateful towards my creativity, my art, my purpose.

Just like speaking about how “it” haunted me down each day. And how times when I had experienced peace and serenity, were the days I managed to stay from its claws.
That was ungrateful too.

I hoped one day I would take my responsibility for my part in our relationship. That I would be able to show up as a pair: “This is my significant other. His name is Art and we’ve been together since 2006.”
And that I would not feel the need to add: “In good and bad times.”
Art too, would just smile and be nice. And we’d have a harmonious relationship, not just for the outside world, but also in the way we lived together.

I hoped that day would come, but it was not yesterday when I tried to find YouTube videos or articles with Google, how to be relieved from the presence of art.
Or how to soften its destructive slipstream that had the power to derail  friendships, and break your self-esteem.

That the slipstream of art had the power to destroy you, was a consequence the internet did not seem to know of.
Least of all the creators of YouTube videos that promised you unstoppable creativity. Or the authors of articles on daily habits that nourished your creative inspiration, and coached you through getting through a tough, uninspired time.

Their Art seemed to be scared away if you breathed to loudly.
Instead of a thing that chased them down, and sunk its teeth in them and sucked them dry.
Their Art did not do that.

There were three thoughts that came up, seeing these people summoning their creativity with an optimism that I had never experienced.
And the thoughts were kind of related.

The first one was of course:
“Be careful what you wish for.”
I don’t think you have the slightest clue of what you are trying to summon into your life. And even less of a clue of how to deal with it.
My guess is no preparations have been made, to accommodate this beast.  

And the second thought was:
“I sincerely doubt it can be set free, or unleashed, by your tips.”

And the third thought was:
“Which is probably a good thing.”

Complaining about lack of inspiration, and being proud of yourself for showing up for your work on discipline and willpower alone, seemed from my perspective preferable to having unstoppable creativity.

In particular because I, personally, would absolutely not show up for my art, for my creativity, on discipline or willpower.
If I woke up and art was gone?
I would throw myself headfirst in some sort of all consuming job that would prohibit art from ever coming back in!

Like opening an animal sanctuary or something.

I would make sure it was something with a lot of responsibility towards people or animals. Because I would not be able to fight art off by myself, if it changed its mind and came back.
But if lives were at stake I would.

So to me, those people struggling to create art?
I don’t understand them.
And why you would want to be unstoppable in your creativity, baffled me even more.

Once again, I was left to my own devices figuring out my problem with too much creativity.

How did I get from “this”, from “here”, from feeling like I didn’t control my life and that it was run through me, but not in a God And The Angels From Heaven kind of way;
To “that”, “there”, and having a mature relationship with art where we were equals.

How did I not just stop blaming Art for not taking my needs into consideration;
But also be clear on how we could work together, what I was going to do for him, and paint the picture of how we would make wonderful things together.
But that we needed to have some boundaries in place.

How?

What ultimately helped me, was an analogy used in the movie Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life. They use the story of Pandora’s Box, and give their own interpretation to what’s inside of it.
They say what was left in Pandora’s box was anti-life; Ramante.
The plagues, the destruction, that were the natural companion of the creation of life.

The aftermath of my creativity, the slipstream of it that could swallow anything in its way?
The chaotic energy surrounding me, on days my had projects soared? 

They were Ramante.

As I created, Ramante uncreated.
Ramante undid.
Ramante destroyed.

And suddenly I saw how the force of this creative push, which robbed me of my ability to really connect to other people;
How my creative fire that seemed to physically poison me;
And how the emptiness, and the pain after creation, the darkness and the restlessness of insecurity if you have done right, if it was good enough;
All resembled how I am with a man.

How, if Art was a man I was in love with, the insecurity, the one-on-one playtime, and the devastating loneliness the day after, would all have been exactly the same.

And in comparing Art to my love life, I also saw how to go about it.

After a night with a man, the pain is so strong and unbearable, that you think the only way to ease it, is to hear from him:
“It’s okay, I love you too.”
Or a text message: “I miss you too.”
Or even: “How about we drop this whole playing hard to get, and you move in with me this afternoon?”

Similarly to the craving for connection with a lover the day after, I have always felt the desire to create again after creating.
To create even more.

The reason I am so prolific (I work on multiple media, and under multiple names) is because creating something new is the only thing that makes the pain go away.

After sex with a man, I know the only thing that will help, is more of him. Another night, another day, or an entire life together.
But I have taught myself to resist that.

I have taught myself NOT to call, not to be needy, and in all honesty, I often ease that pain by writing.
And it works.
As the Ramante of our night together does its destructive work of pulling me into loneliness and despair, I team up with Art behind my desk.
We have a beer, some Japanese balls (pretzels) and commence writing. We are a real team.
Art really has my back, and we create a beautiful story from what happened.
Until the day after that, when the second wave of Ramante comes.

A second wave of loneliness, disconnect.
And by now there is no way of telling if this destructive aftermath is from the night with the lover, of from creating the art.

Or, most likely, both.

All you know is that the only thing that helps, is to create new art. That the act of creation will take away the pain. 

But I m going to break that habit of automatically going for the art, creating new things, when Ramante comes.
Let it rest. Sink in.
Integrate the pain, however uncomfortable it may be.

What I have done with men, and which has allowed me to take more emotional risks, and be in relationships most people would not be able to sustain;
I must also do with Art;
To NOT treat it as an everyday thing, you can just be in day after day after day. That you need something different, to ease the pain afterwards. And I don’t know what that is yet!
But that you, or I, can’t keep reaching for the same thing.

Just like I do not want to be the sobbing, or accusatory lover who loses her shit the next day, and blames the man for taking advantage of her;
I do not want to be the one blaming art for the devastating Ramante, destruction, that always takes my breath away and causes havoc in the days after creation.
It’s not his fault, or its fault.

You can’t have the highs without the lows.
You can’t create a beautiful sexual encounter, or a work of art, without suffering the Ramante, the destruction that follows in its steps.
But what you can do, is stop being reactive when dealing with it.

What you can also do, is to stop wishing for unstoppable creativity.

In Tomb Raider, Lara Croft prohibits the box from being opened, and lets it sink back into the vulcano.
She gives the key, the legend, to the tribe that guards the mountain, the Cradle of Life, where the box is buried.
And she says:
“Some things are not meant to be found.”


Suzanne L. Beenackers

s_beenackers@hotmail.com
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At 3:30 Lara Croft explains all about Pandora’s Box;

Categories art

Great art, great yoga, and great life; Can fail

What started as this blog World Between Worlds, the most abstract subject I have ever written about, is spreading itself through the rest of my life.

The existential questions I have been asking myself with regard to art – How do I keep it pure? What comes if I do not DO anything? Where does it come from? How can I get closer? – are the same questions I should have been asking myself in every area of my life!

I am just learning what that means, and the vast extend to which my life will be different, if I unlearn all the habits of control and by the book, the habits of grasping and molding and WILLING it into existence;
And start applying the same principles in every area of my life instead. The principles as I have understood them with art.
Let go.
Sit with it.
Let it come through you, not by you.

Let God or the Universe work through you. The entity called “the Genius” or the Genie.
Or, alternatively, but probably simultaneously, let the conversations you have, the things you read, the world around you and its collective consciousness (the Scenius, as named by Brian Eno) work through you.
But do not DO the work.

I m currently on a really big project, which you can describe as the rediscovery of yoga. After 20 years of being on a professional path of learning yoga, teaching yoga, and also practicing yoga without that joie de vivre that it had prior to that; How can I go back to not knowing yoga and let it come to me?
Can I get that beginner’s enthusiasm back?
Can I unlearn?

And if I have found “that” yoga back, that I lost two decades ago, can I then develop it from there? 
Can I share it with others, or even teach it?

And what do I teach from this newfound happy place of doing yoga?
Do I teach yoga, or do I teach the love for yoga?
Do I instruct or do I inspire?

It was in this project of excavating my love for yoga, that I realized the answers to these questions are similar to the ones I have been asking myself for this blog.
My goal is to let yoga flow through me, like my writing flows out of me.
I wish for the incentive to go to the yoga mat, to be as loud, demanding, and relentless as my urge to write.

But also, and this is what I have done in writing and not in yoga;
I wanted my yoga to be pure, straight from the heavens so to speak! 
And not have yoga tied up and tied down to things that were proper yoga, and things that were not.

If you want to follow this “journey excavating yoga” (from the ashes of my 20 year career!) you can sign up to my new YouTube channel
No Yoga with Suzanne Beenackers
And! 
And you’re gonna love this, or at least I did, I m unlocking my YouTube vaults, hundreds and hundreds of vlogs but also yoga videos. And I m reposting them on the following blog:
Suzanne Beenackers Curated
So follow it for my curated video content, including yoga videos.

Once I understood my yoga had turned sour because I had learned to “do it properly”, and after watching my own yoga videos where I was not just doing it properly but I was totally rocking it;
I knew I would find my love for yoga back.
Once I understood what had happened, it lost its power over me.

I no longer mourned what had felt like two lost decades of studying and teaching yoga. No longer felt like I wasted 20 years that I would gladly tear out of my life like pages from a book.
I was okay with it.
Wrong turn, wrong path, not for me.
Let’s start again.

And because with regard to writing I did have the positive experience of how natural and in flow it becomes if you only write what comes out of you;
I knew what to aim for.
I knew what it was.
And was excited by the idea of letting go of the reins and letting the horse, or even better, the stallion of yoga run free!

The videos where I teach yoga, rock. You can see this woman is not going to drop the ball and mess it up.
This is yoga capital Y on repeat, and you know it.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post, about great art, great yoga, great life, being fallible.
It comes from Marina Abramovic, and I think I remember her having it from one of her teachers;
Great art can fail.

And this illustrates what the difference is between what I want, and what we know as yoga; Yoga as we know it can’t fail.
The yoga teacher can’t fail because the class is build up with a certain formula that will always give a “B+”
And a practitioner on their mats can’t fail because just showing up is enough.

But if you let yoga be pure and let it flow out of you, just like this blog post flew out of me?
It can fail!
Maybe what “comes out of you” is not recognized as a yoga class. Or maybe if you practice yourself, you are distracted or not in tune with what you feel, and you hurt yourself.

A yoga teacher letting go of the reigns and teaching purely from soul can fail, because he or she will not know what comes out.
And a practitioner can fail because they may not even find the flow, it may stay clunky. Yoga can even give you a headache. I ve had countless times when I felt worse after yoga, or quit because I was just disgusted being on my yoga mat.
It wasn’t until now that I realize that meant I was taking it seriously!
If I had stuck with a known routine, I would not have gotten so frustrated.

Another way to illustrate the difference, and the importance of work that can fail, is compare it to a craft.
You can only get better at a craft.
If your work is something you will only get better at as you age, like teaching yoga, like working with your hands (like a craftsman); It is a craft.
But if you can fail even after 30 years?
If you can fail it is art!

Before this blog post I spent time on a different blog post for my Rock Star Writer blog.
When I started I knew it was something I had never tried before. Even if I succeeded, I probably would not be finished until midnight or even later.
But 75 minutes later?
I pulled the plug.
Deleted the draft, but this is called “move to trash bin”, so for good measure I went to the trash bin and deleted it there too.

At first I was bogged down that I had wasted 75 minutes.
How could I have done that? What a waste! I have been writing for 15 years, I know how to write a blog post, I know how to keep the time frame limited.
I know what topics to avoid not to ruffle feathers, and I know which feathers I will never get tired of ruffling.

But then I relaxed:
With my new mindset, my new values, my new goal of wanting to be in flow, and letting things come out naturally;
The fact that I had started a blog post without knowing how it would end, or if I would be able to pull it off, was from now on going to be labeled positive!
It was a good thing!

I really like that idea of unlearning the rules of your craft, and of going to the edge accepting risks, and excited to see what’s up next.
Yes, it can be failure!

But, as Master Yoda said in Star Wars;
“The greatest teacher failure is.”

And, in all likeliness, the greatest art.

.

Suzanne L. Beenackers

You can subscribe to the Wold Between Worlds and receive new messages in your Inbox.
The button is on this page, probably somewhere on the right.

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Also by me:

Rock Star Writer
Blog dedicated to Bon Jovi, sex, and rock n roll.
And Rock Star Writer on Facebook
&
my rock star writer YouTube

Liefdeseend en vintage yoga (Nederlands/ Dutch)

beertje Puux op Facebook (Nederlands/ Dutch)