I’m remembering an old record cover (remember those), Charles Lloyd’s Soundtrack, where he is quoted on the back cover, something to this effect:
There is all that ugliness in the world and I want to wipe it out with beauty.
Beauty is the antidote to ugliness, love the antidote to hate, truth the antidote to lies. Those committed to transforming both themselves and the world can only do so by actively constructing the beauty, truth and love they’re hoping for.
And so, create. When thrown down to the ground by life’s terrors, the act of creation is a step up. When we create—be it art, music, poetry, dance, woodworking, what have you—we are wholly engaged with body, mind and imagination. No room for all the negative voices in our head to dominate the conversation. By letting the “mirror of malicious eyes” get under our skin, we deny ourselves the things we were made to create.
So alongside the reflection, meditation, exercise, active creation is another vehicle to heal ourselves and move on. When Duke Ellington was denied the well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for racist reasons, he said: “I pouted about it long enough to write some blues.”
So ends my four-step program. To re-cap:
Let it go, meditate, sweat it out and create!