Express Yourself - The Artists Journey

Express Yourself - The Artists Journey

Express Your... I know that is an overused term, and depending on who it was coming from may have had a very different definition. If you go back to the Madonna era, she used this term carrying an adult undercurrent. I intend to speak about how we can express ourselves every day in everything we do.

One of the things I have always said to my wife is to find your form of expression. Her usual response is she is not an artist, and she has no skill or talent to express. I will censor my answer, which I usually give her, but it is pretty much a load of poop.

 Find Expression While Remaining Present

When we were children learning everything, we could express good and bad because we didn't have control and we were finding our voice. Growing up we encounter, people's opinions, critics, and we are guided towards expressing what is considered acceptable. In that process, we tend to censor and hold back in fear of being visible or standout. We have become comfortable living in the shadows, and the bright public light is not our cozy place. That is where the expression, which is part of our lifeblood, resides, and we must overcome the fear we have put on ourselves to tap into our expressiveness.

Expression comes in many forms and is not limited to art. I tell my children that whenever you do something, your name is attached to it, representing you. In those moments of life, be it cleaning your room, doing what your boss at work asks, or knitting a pair of socks, put your expression in it. That makes a job something more and creates an emotional tie to the task or effort.

When you have an emotional connection, you are invested in the moment. When you attach and invest in whatever you are doing, you are present and not a million miles away, living in your mental fantasy land. That is where the difference lies, and this is the opportunity to apply your expression versus existing.

Open Your Mind and Heart To Expression - Even If It Is Scary

One of the mountains we shy people must overcome is our irrational belief that we are unworthy of being noticed. There are external and internal forms of expression. I keep a journal, which I keep to myself because that is my safe place.

On the other side, our outward expression has its place too. Either way, expression is essential to our mental health. If we don't have a voice of individual expression, it leads to a lonely journey, limiting our opportunity for acceptance and acknowledgment with others along our path. Yes, that is where the fear of rejection lives, but if you don't put yourself out there, you will walk your journey alone. Along with rejection comes acceptance, the opposite side of the same coin, but if we don't put any part of our being out there living in fear, we will get nothing. I admit that getting nothing is a safe place, but is it the healthiest life? 

Overcoming Roadblocks

For me, expression meant putting myself out there for judgment. That is not exactly something that is a comfortable place for me. I can put my form of expression out in my paintings because when I paint, it is for me, and if you like it, excellent, and if not, that's ok too. But my writing is much more difficult for me.

Growing up and even today, I have never felt confident in my writing skills, which has held me back from expressing myself through writing. I have learned on my journey with a lot of wisdom through mentoring that I have pretty good content to share, and my fear was based on the formal editing of my writing. The great thing about living in today's day and age is that computers and applications help us overcome those challenges. I still deal with those insecurities, sure, but I also know that my content is a vital part of my expressive writing, not the skill of editing or punctuating. There are tools and people who can help me solve those minor details. Most authors use editors to help pull their works together in an acceptable format. The key is to find the cures to your roadblocks. Don't settle with good enough or fear.

Sharing Your Expression

If we choose to keep our expression to ourselves, then we are selfish to believe we are the only people in the entire world who feel what we are feeling. Many others might be in the same place and need a word or hand to pull them out of their dark place. When we are only looking inward because of fear, we can miss the opportunity to help others like us even if we do not feel we are worthy.

Our unique forms of expression are our signature to who we are and create an opportunity for people to see and recognize us. Expression is the personal undercurrent an individual brings to whatever they are doing. An individual's expression can be boisterous and loud or subtle and lingering.

As an artist, I tap into my emotions and express them often. After a long hard day at work, it is a tool that helps me make sense of the good and bad feelings from my recent journey. When I say express yourself, I am challenging you to find that place where you can rebuild your inner peace, and if you choose, you can share it with others. As an artist, I seek expression everywhere as we are all different, and my experience limits my form of expression. Seeing others express themselves inspires me and teaches me to understand beyond what I already see and know.