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Technically, the gift was over 12 weeks late.
In fact, a full season has passed.
Nonetheless, I was delighted during this final week of September, to get a gift from Malibu’s parents for my July 2nd birthday.
Specifically, a book by Rick Rubin,The Creative Act: A Way of Being.
I’m inviting you to read it along with me this month, particularly since it’s inspired the theme for this month’s new meditation (Creativity) HERE.
Vlad and I had noticed the book a few times in a dog-friendly hipster vintage and accessory shop in our neighborhood, but somehow had not purchased it.
This was probably because I was at best only dimly aware of the author Rick Rubin.
A quick google reveals he’s a titan in the music industry.
In fact, MTV called him “the most important producer of the last 20 years.”
This title seems quite reasonable given his popularizing of hip hop via artists like the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Public Enemy and LL Cool J, as well as his contributions to heavy metal (Metallica), alternative rock (the Red Hot Chili Peppers), old school hard rock (Aerosmith) and even country (Johnny Cash).
I’ve only just begun the book––rather than chapters it’s divided into “78 areas of thought”––and I’d love to share what’s already resonating for me.
But first, let’s check-in with Vlad’s perspective.
I’m always impressed with how curious dogs are.
In fact, I devoted an entire chapter about the topic in my book Upward Dog.
This week alone, Vlad was completely intrigued when, for the first time ever, I brought him along as I got my hair trimmed.
(He’d been formally invited last month when we ran into my barber in the street).
Not only was every aspect of the environment but also every single one of her hair-trimming tools of tremendous interest to him.
Those 30 minutes together was as fascinating as a trip to another galaxy.
And, on that topic interstellar travel, a few days later, this extremely friendly but mysterious group (below) arrived on the baseball field at 8:15 am, shouting from a distance that they were happy to share the space but were going to be launching rockets across it.
Eager to understand the latest advancements in aerodynamics, Vlad raced over to engage them, leading me to realize––with explosions pending––that it might be wise to cut our park time a little short that morning.
Since the way it’s written makes The Creative Act so digestible––and since my perpetual curiosity on the topic is piqued––this month I’m also going to re-read Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit.
Paragraphs into Rubin’s book, I realize they’re on the exact same wavelength.
Tharp writes that:
“Creativity is not just for artists.”
In fact, she continues:
“It’s for businesspeople looking for a new way to close a sale;
it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem;
it’s for parents who want their children
to see the world in more than one way.”
Rubin begins his book with that same expansive thought, stating
“Just as trees grow flowers and fruits, humanity creates works of art.
The Golden Gate Bridge, the White Album, Guernica, Hagia Sophia, the Sphinx, the space shuttle,
the Autobahn, “Clair de lune,” the Colosseum in Rome, the Phillips screwdriver,
the iPad, Philadelphia cheesesteak.”
Indeed, there have been many times when we’ve all found far greater satisfaction in the creativity behind a really good cheesesteak than a mediocre art gallery event.
I was initially quite surprised to learn that of the 38 guided meditations I’ve shared on my site, never once had I chosen the theme of Creativity.
Like a fish unaware of the water, as with many things in life that one is most immersed in, it’s easy to forget something so fundamental.
In fact, I often feel I’m working to counter-balance my (potentially) OVER–creative life.
As I said to acreative coaching client recently, when it comes to major projects you need both Vision Boards and spreadsheets.
I’ve tended to focus on the former, and in the past have been slightly dismissive of the latter.
That’s partly why I got my Executive MBA last year, to look at both sides of the creative equation.
Speaking of which…
I’ve always loved this Andy Warhol quote:
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.
Making money is art
and working is art
and good business is the best art.”
Another similar quote of Andy’s has actually inspired a new series of visual art I’m making about Radical Abundance™.
I’m keeping the project relatively quiet for the moment––my updated art website is even password protected––but this week I’ve begun to talk to my savviest networking contacts about it.
In the marketing program I’m enrolled in, we’re always forced to define a single avatar.
Right now, since some funding is required to take this to the next level, to the chagrin of my marketing mentors, I have three:
I’m searching for:
1. A modern-day Peggy Guggenheim, the remarkably passionate art collector, whose father, just FYI, sank with the Titanic in 1912 and whose uncle founded the Guggenheim museums.
2. Lukas Matsson, Alexander Skarsgård’s character on Succession. IE, a brash young tech baron eager to impact the cultural conversation…
3. A potentially bitter but ultimately fabulous and triumphant divorcée,flush with cash and ready to make a big statement.
If you’re any of those people––or just a really good guesser at passwords––let me know and I’ll send you the art site link.
In any case, I hope you’ll join me this month to explore Rick Rubin’s and Twyla Tharp’s books.
Yes, the theme of Creativity was staring me in the face all this time, but fortunately it’s truly inexhaustible.
Indeed, as the always quotable Maya Angelou wrote:
“You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.”
Or, as the Sufi-inspired philosopher A. H. Almaas penned:
“Creativity is the living out of your presence.
The more you are yourself,
the more you’re being naturally creative.”
Whether that’s writing a novel or perfecting a recipe, supporting my new art installation or enjoying Rick Rubin’s uniting Run-DMC with Aerosmith for a cover of “Walk This Way,” a creative adventure is always possible.
Ultimately, creativity offers an endless series of open invitations.
Like Vlad sniffing around the barber shop or jumping into rocket science––or even a thoughtful birthday gift three months late––when creativity calls, our job is merely to respond with a resounding “Yes!”.
Namaste for Now,