Updated: Apr 15
Having grown up in a household of surfers, the saying ‘the early bird gets the worm’ is both pertinent and true as the best surf is always in the early morning. Meanwhile I had just got out of the shower and was in casual pursuit of a lost towel. When I reached the kitchen I froze hearing the sound of my brother and his friends back earlier than expected approaching the front door. Stationed directly in front of the door, I panicked as my towel was out of reach and there were few directions I could go without being seen. The pantry being one of them, I sprinted to it and closed the door behind me.
Hearing footsteps approach my heart-rate quickened as I heard my brother say, “you guys hungry?” I flustered to think of a suitable explanation as I stood behind the pantry door dripping wet with one hand over my chest and a box of shapes covering my crotch with the other. Thankfully they weren’t hungry and when I eventually heard a door close I sprung from the pantry like a cave woman ejected from a time machine. The box of shapes still in hand, I embarked on the naked dash back to the bathroom as my cat, Max watched wide-eyed.
Surfing will tell you everything you need to know about your relationship with fear, perhaps because your physical safety is potentially compromised. If you’re out of your depth the ocean doesn’t care for such nuances, if anything it will teach you a lesson and before you know it your leg rope is wrapped around you like spaghetti on a fork. While I was right to be scared of the oceans wrath, it was the fear of looking like an idiot that caused me to pull off a wave and then act disappointed that I ‘missed it’. Perhaps the very reason drunk painting has taken off in recent years is that no one gives a fuck what their pineapple painting looks like if they are hammered. Which made me think there must be a healthier way of telling your inhibitions to pipe down so you can paint a pineapple in peace.
There is a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which explores creativity. Cameron has an exercise in which she describes the Censor, this is your inner ass-hole that says, “you call that a fucking pineapple?” Cameron describes these ‘blurts’ as your core negative beliefs about creativity which are derived from your life experience and culture.
If you want to try it, write down an affirmation related to your creative interest 10 times such as “I _ am a great _.” if that makes you uncomfortable good, it's time to unmask your personal ass-hole and identify where or who this has come from. I was disturbed to discover that just seven affirmations were met with three pages of heckles from my Censor. Once you recognise where the heckles come from you can respond accordingly. I would recommend reacting in the way a surfer once did when I sat in front of the break and tell it to “get out of the fucking way!”
Reference: JULIA CAMERON, 'The Artist's Way' published by Macmillan, 2016.