Episode 23: Listening Has Consequences

Apr 28, 2016

In this episode, Stewart Cubley talks about what happens when we resist painting something — an image, gesture, color or feeling — that is asking to be expressed. And the power available to us when we go ahead and paint it anyway.

An excerpt from Listening Has Consequences . . .

There’s a great quote from the poet, David Whyte, that I like very much. He says, “The act of writing poetry is like overhearing yourself say something you didn’t want to know you knew.” And there’s something about painting that’s very similar, because listening has consequences. When you stop and come to the edge of your own being and enter the state of not knowing, which is really the source of the creative force itself, things come to you. They come to you from another dimension — not from the preferences of the self, the desire for achievement or the more superficial aspects of consciousness. These impulses come from an intelligence that resides in the mystery beyond our conscious self; to listen to them means we’re going to be moved by them.

The very fact that we object to something that comes from that other dimension is an indication of our proximity to it. Of course there’s resistance, because it means going beyond ourselves in order to paint it. It means entering an area where we don’t know what’s going to happen. We have to let go of our opinions about it and go swimming in this stream — and we don’t know where it’s going to take us. There’s something fascinating and exhilarating about that and at the same time, taking the leap requires courage. So it’s important to realize that, when we engage the creative process, when we engage this quality of listening and exhibit an interest in what might show up. When we don’t impose our own will and needs on what arises — for instance, that the painting look a certain way and that it turn out a certain way — we’re going to come up against things that we think we don’t want to do but actually we do want to do.

Listen to learn more!

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