Why do we say reduced? Where does this come from? Is it really a reduction? And if it is why do we feel so good when it happens.
I just watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on “Nurturing the Imagination” and I was reduced to tears two or three times. And here, in this respect, reduced is a positive thing. For a few moments during her talk, I was utterly affected. Affected to the point that who I was didn’t matter and all that mattered was taking in that moment – everything it had to offer. It’s in moments like these that we find inspiration. People use the metaphor of a light bulb. I’ve thought up shit in a dark room and let me tell you first hand, there is no light bulb. Nothing lights up. In fact, if anything your “idea” or “discovery” just creates more dark. But this is good. We should strive to not only recognize these moments, but allow ourselves to be affected by them. When I’m inspired, it is very physical. I actually get chills. I can feel it coming on and I can feel it reverberate through my entire being. And when this happens, it is completely involuntary and I know I’ve just experienced something special.
So why do we say reduced?
It’s because we can only be inspired when we deconstruct ourselves. When we allow our mind to step outside of ourselves and to marvel at a larger idea. That marveling, which I say is simply recognizing inspiration, is for some reason called a reduction. And maybe it’s called this because for that moment, in the face of that inspiration, we do not have anything so grandiose to offer that can be compared.
But don’t feel reduced just yet. There’s hope for your being. And that hope is also a curse. Here it is.
You won’t stay small for long.
Inspiration is only so powerful because it is temporary. And “Creatives,” who are blessed with these moments more than the average person (whoever they are) have a problem with this. Creative people want to live in this state of inspiration. They want to remain reduced. And this is logical. It feels awesome. But if you had chills all the time, would you like it? Do you really want to be in tears throughout your existence?
Elizabeth’s argument is that – by reducing ourselves off the bat, and attributing our moments of “inspiration” to another being (say, a muse) we see them more as a gift than as a result of an action we made. And if we start to think this way, not only do we appreciate the moments more when they do happen, but we make ourselves more prone to them happening again. We remove the pressure from ourselves. We reduce anguish. We reduce frustration. So – we should all do ourselves a favor and make ourselves a little smaller, a little less meaningful. And if we do that, I think we’ll find that things around us take on more meaning.
Always Be Thinking