As an artist, I spend most of my time creating. I write, sing, act, perform, direct, produce -- I've even decided to try my hand at drawing and painting. No matter what medium I decide to use to execute an idea, the place I occupy most -- or the incubator other than my studio -- seems to be my heart. There have been times I've created works from my head and this may happen again in the future. For the most part, when I reflect, the works created from thoughts alone -- maybe my intellect? -- feel more psychosexual, strong on word play, not necessarily forced, but carefully thought out. When working from my heart, the words seem to flow, layered meanings, double entendres find each other, connect, and say, "Hey, child! How u doing?" The experience always feels more organic and fun. I can create successfully from my head and heart, but my heart always feels like it has something that needs to be worked out or freed for the better.
Recently, I was lying in bed about to fall asleep thinking about where my career and life might be headed. My mind went back to moments when I learned some folks had been told to stay away from my work and practice. The few times I witnessed this, in my early career, was when the individuals did not realize I was present. They did not recognize me out of the disguise or character, so to say. Hearing the truth, which I already knew, reaffirmed: not everyone will like my work. These moments never made me sad or mad. Instead, I felt empowered by my choice to follow what was in my heart or move ahead with the projects that were totally mental.
As I continued to dwell in my mind, I thought about those who understood, supported, engaged with the pain, joy, sometimes -- extreme emotions, mental moments, and so on. I wondered if my intense relationship with my work diminished my relationships with family, friends, potential lovers, ex-lovers, and so on. The journey of an artist can be torturous, isolating, and lonely, sometimes leading to suicide. However, there are those who are content... thriving.
As I was attempting to figure out my place in all of this... where did I really stand? What are the next steps I should be taking? Will I ever get to do this and that and... ?
Then the question came to me. "What does your heart have time for?" When I asked this question, my loved ones and the things I am most passionate about became clear. So did the bullshit, which began to disappear. Embracing the things I loved and letting go of the latter gave me comfort. It also became clear, the heart can lead to triumphant moments, but also tragedy, depending on what I allowed to grow.
No matter how cloudy the mind becomes, love transforms and transcends those moments of weakness and/or darkness. I suggest whenever you are trying to make those tough decisions in your life, stop and ask yourself -- what does my heart have time for? I did, and things were quickly put back into perspective.
What does your heart have time for?