Something that is implicit in this formulating of art being the craft of life is the aspect of personhood. It is not just that we are choosing what kind of car to drive or what to eat for breakfast and why and so forth even though those are elements of it too. Or to look at it another way, all of these types of choices that we make like what to wear for the day, what to read, how much news to consume and so forth goes into structuring a day but in structuring our day we are structuring, informing and inspiring ourselves. The day in a way becomes ourselves.
So what we do is an important aspect of this idea of crafting life. And I will talk more about that at another time. But for this post, I want to focus in on how our decisions and actions color our self and how they instill in us what it is we are like, in regards how we relate to ourselves, each other and the world. This is an essential element to art crafting life. We actually are this art. And in being it we are both a product and a process which really emerges on a continuum more than anything else.
It is important that we take a look at ourselves and see who is it that we are and also who is it that we are becoming. Who do we want to be? I do not mean to insinuate that we do this to an excessive degree. Life is for living after all and too much self-reflection could obscure our ability and desire to just live and enjoy our lives. But on the other side of things, I think it is helpful for us to check in with ourselves from time to time, throughout the days, weeks and months and so forth. Touching base in that way with ourselves helps us get in a sense of the present and helps us connect with what we currently want. It is a way of refreshing. Ashley Turner’s work has inspired me in this regard.
What is interesting is thinking about this process as art. Such practices have been discussed for years in therapeutic ways, analytic ways, and self-help ways and this is not to say that all of that is not somehow still related to checking in with one’s self. But just imagine how it might be to consider yourself an artwork. What if you think of your self like a sculpture for example, perhaps clay thrown on a wheel and that the wheel like the world is always spinning and so you are tasked with the exercise of continually sculpting to molding the clay as it spins to help form rise in the clay.
This is where this notion of co-creation comes into play as well. I think that there are a lot of ways to think about this but that one way, an important way is to think about a higher power working in tandem with your own free will, sort of contemporaneously producing a phenomenon that we identify with the phrasing “one’s life.” I think it is very important to find a balance between the ego in this way and the kind of bigger-than-us force that is at play in our lives. This all goes very much into who we are.
For me, goodness is a value. I do not mean it as a cliche but at the same time I do mean a very simple conception. Goodness. And I strive to generate and emit goodness with what I do in my life. Now of course through the idea of freewill, folks are free to promote whatever type of life they see fit to lead. However, I personally feel that goodness is imperative to a true understanding of our full potential. It is not so glamorous really but it is quite awesome at the same time. The Himalayas come to mind. They are not glamorous per se but are awesome. Again though finding a balance between these two registrations I think can be key to coming to life in all of its possibility and potential. Much more needs to be said in this regard. I look forward to unpacking with you the ideas and practices connected to being a person.