Episode 29 : Critical Voices

Apr 25, 2017


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In this episode, Stewart returns to the persistent topic of Critical Voices: We know them so well, but what are they really trying to tell us?

An excerpt from Critical Voices . . .

I’m working with somebody and he tells me, “This painting is so trite” and then a moment later I’m working with someone else and she says, “This is such a cliché” and then I work with somebody else and they say, “This is just so superficial and stereotypical.” It’s the same voice for everybody, which then of course stimulates the question, “Whose voice is it?” Not only is it limited in its vocabulary but it’s the same vocabulary for everybody. Whose voice is this after all? That is a pretty big question. It is a big leap to ask that question. I mean we take it so personally, we are so identified with those critical voices that we believe them to be ourselves.

The fact is these critical voices don’t exist in a void; they exist in a relationship. They are a response to the arising of the creative imagination. They happen when you do something. When you commit yourself to something in the painting process — that is when these voices arise. Even when they show up before you have started it’s because you are getting ready to start. They’re a reaction to the creative imagination, to the movement of the creative imagination within you.

It’s when you dare to do something that is individual, that is your own, that is unique to you that they get riled up. It’s threatening to them. In fact, your own process of individuation is what stimulates the critical voices. That is powerful to see because then you realize there is a dance going on here. There is this evolution of your own soul daring to take form, daring to come into form, daring to take on its own unique potential and to show up in the world and to be individual — not to take on a stereotypical personality.

Listen to learn more!


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