Non Attachment and the Creative Life


A lot has been shifting in my world this week! I joined a yoga group called Body Positive Yoga, and have begun learning all about yoga and the yoga mindset. Today was such a beautiful afternoon that included meditation, Mickey Hart and learning some things about Non Attachment.

When you are a creative it can be sooooo easy to get attached to outcomes. Perhaps when you first start out, you just push some paint around the page. Then after a couple of years you start to see other people’s art and wish your art was as good as theirs. Then you might try to sell your art and attachment really rears it’s ugly head. Suddenly you are a failure if you can’t sell your art, and the outcome begins to feel more important than what brought you to art in the first place.

Non Attachment is a teaching in both yoga and Buddhism. It is an idea that you aren’t so fixed on the outcome, and you allow your creativity to just be what it is without a preconceived idea of what it SHOULD look like.

I’ve been trying to have less attachment to outcomes with my own creativity. I rarely try to sell my art but when I do put it out there it has to feel just right, it has to feel really good to me. And I’m less concerned about each work being better than the last. I’m more about what really feels fun, and allow passion to push me further into my own imagination. That might not be a straight shot to financial success, but I sleep really well at night knowing that the things I do are a true representation of my spirit.

Here are some ideas for your own creative hobby…some ways to be less attached to the outcome.

  1. Follow your passion when you create! If you have to, limit how much other art you look at and try not to compare your work to what other people are making. In my own practice I strive to be original and make things that only I could make. I stay true to my style even if it isn’t popular because it brings me joy.

  2. Try to make art as a way to express your voice, and as a way to heal your spirit. Art has such a way of enriching your life. It is a damn shame that so much art gets commercialized, especially too soon. There are so many ways to be creative that can totally empower you! Treat your art as you would a sacred jewel. Allow it to unfold as it wants to.

  3. Do what feels fun! That might mean collage or paint or flinging acrylics at the canvas, or graffiti. Sage advice from a friend has stayed with me, you don’t have to worry about having a cohesive collection. The most important thing is that you are doing what you love.

  4. Every work is a success, because each work naturally leads to the next. Art is not an end result, it is a journey that begins with a single step and continues throughout life. If you follow your passion every time you get out your paints, the work will be pure. And it won’t be in vain, regardless of how many works you sell in your lifetime. Making things has deep meaning, find your why and let that carry you through.