This is the third part of an impromptu mini-series of podcasts where we’ve been looking at Blessed are the Weird, by Jacob Nordby. In this episode we are thinking about what it means to be an ‘artist’ in the every day. Bringing the kind of art that speaks from the very bones of humanity. Not limited to those who paint, write, play music etc, but accessible to all of us.
All these episodes have been about permission. Not prescription. They are not lessons in how to be weird. But rather describe ways in which gentle rebels already experience the world from the outside of things. With the hope that you will feel less alone when you realise that you’re not alone in your blessed weirdness.
The world needs your art. It needs you to embrace the depth of your uniqueness. And to let your natural weird to flourish in a world that often encourages us to lock it away and hide the depths of what makes us who we are.
“You are an artist, the world needs your art, now go and make somebody’s day”.
This is what I say at the end of each episode. Why?
Art is about transformation. It unveils something extra-ordinary in the mundane and small. Something that transcends the normal flow of things. It jolts us with subversion. Where we expect one thing, another thing takes its place. Speaking to us with a renewed sense of vision.
You don’t have to be an artist to be an artist.
We beat ourselves up with the message that we’re not as creative, weird, interesting, rebellious, courageous, strong, funny, quick witted, beautiful, risk taking, cool, clever etc, as others. But this comparison trap is a big weapon the world uses to subdue the everyday art of life.
Whatever your comparison thing is, you are still an artist. You can still add colour, depth, and vibrancy to our experience of the world. Because you notice stuff, and you see the heart. You feel things and spot cracks where the light can get in.
You know those cracks when you see them. When you get that little niggle inside you, telling you to go there. To speak out, to ask if that person is OK, to smile at someone, to offer whatever you have to give.
And the bigger stuff. The idea that just wont leave you alone. The fire in your belly that makes you know you’ve got to change something. It doesn’t matter that you don’t quite know what or how just yet. Just allow that voice to rest within and keep bubbling away.
Angels in Disguise or Devils in the Margins
We are all agents of change. Secret agents of change. Angels in Disguise. Or devils in the margins. To borrow the idea from Henry Ford, whether we believe we can make a positive difference or we believe we can’t, we are right. However, if we don’t believe that what we do makes an impact, we are wrong. Because everything we do has some kind of impact on the world.
“Creativity is the greatest rebellion.” – Osho
Creativity is a commitment we must renew every day. It’s no good to be creative in one area, or at one moment, and then assume that we are done. Creativity without commitment breeds convention. And convention for convention’s sake leads to stagnation and regression.
Fear and Forgetfulness
Convention without cause is driven by fear and forgetfulness. A lack of appreciation for the inevitability of change. Rather than finding ways to flow with change in the most creative, loving ways, fear driven convention seeks to pull back and diminish all that looks forwards.
It comes from fear of losing something. Losing control, losing significance, losing life itself. We’ve all encountered these kinds of people (and these kinds of thoughts in ourselves). Where we shut ourselves off to change. It might come from an existential fear of irrelevance. The relevance that was present when the creativity was flowing.
It’s not because the world has changed (hint: the world is ALWAYS changing), it’s because we have changed. We are no longer living from a place of creativity and openness. We have been enveloped into the mindset, that OUR conventional is THE conventional.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus
For Nordby, he sums up what it means to be a Gentle Rebel with these words:
“Your life is your art. Your life is your manifesto. All true art is a manifesto of its creator, and every true manifesto is art.” – Jacob Nordby
If we are to live with freedom and creativity then it all starts here. Turning our lives into art. To keep unveiling extra-ordinary moments in the mundane everydayness. Committing ourselves to surprise. Doing and being things that surprise even us.
Watch the episode on YouTube
Listen to The Gentle Rebel (Extended Play) Private Podcast:
If you like this topic and want to hear more of my (more personal) thoughts and reflections, you can subscribe to the bonus podcast right now, through Patreon