A very important thing in life is the need for avenues of expression. Too often, we tend to emphasize the need to gain or change/develop ourselves. Though these are good, it always seemed to me that something is missing. This is expression. In order to complete the ‘experience’ of life we need to have adequate forms of expression.
I have always had this belief that ‘experience’ has three phases that can be compared to eating:
- The ‘taking in’. This is comparable to the eating of food.
- The ‘absorbing’. This is comparable to the digestion of food.
- The ‘expending’. This is the expending of what we absorbed from food (as energy, growth, or waste).
Experiencing is like food as it ‘feeds’ us, but in a different way. Through experience we become people and live. Experiencing, then, is like a form of ‘food’. It ‘feeds’ our life, so to speak. We take it in, absorb it, and need to expend it as well. In order for the process to be completed all three processes need to be manifested, just as with food. But there is a tendency to forget the last phase.
Why is this?
Some thoughts concerning this question are these:
- For one, I think we’ve become too ‘cranial’, as I always say. This basically says that ‘since we think it we think its been done’ but the problem is that it hasn’t been done. Because of our strong intellectual orientation nowadays we have begun to allow thinking to be too much the avenue of expression. There are times when thinking is the best form of expression, but for most people it is not that effective most of the time. As a result, our intellectual nature actually inhibits our expression, though we ‘think’ otherwise.
- We spend too much time ‘living’ through other people. We watch TV, read books, hear the news, etc., which shows us what other people do. This creates a tendency to ‘live’ through them. We watch and have feelings for what they do but this is not experiencing and its not expression.
- An absence of ‘passion’. Typically, expression requires some sort of ‘passion’, I think. This is not the same as emotion, necessarily, but it can be. What we are needing to express are these forms of ‘passion’. Nowadays, it seems this ‘passion’ gets bogged down in the humdrum and rat race of life. In a way, it gets completely displaced from our life. Many of us seem to loose a hold on passion, particularly as we get older.
- An absence of a connection with ones inner self. Nowadays, we tend to be more alienated. Because expression involves ones passion a person must have a strong ‘connection’ with their inner self (which is where the passion originates). If this connection is not there it makes it difficult to adequately find means of expression.
- We are often scared or reluctant to express things. This may be a result of fearing failure, criticism, shyness, or other things. Many of us are reluctant to express because it makes us feel self-concious, even though there’s no one there! We become overly aware of ourselves and, as a result, cease expressing ourselves.
- An absence of ability and skill to express. Its no doubt that expression is an ability and requires a skill to perform. Nowadays, it seems, we do not try to find, no less develop, a skill for expression.
- Because expressions do not originate from experience. It seems that some ‘expressions’ are not rooted in actual experience but with specific intentions and motives in mind. That is to say, we do things for a reason, to achieve some end. This is not expression but a deliberate action.
I have always felt its good to find a form of expression that ‘works’ for you. Because expression is so personal, a person has to look for it. Finding the correct way to express oneself can take some time . . . and practice.
Some thoughts on finding expression are:
- Just express things. We need just do it.
- Do different things. Find different ways to express. Different passions require different forms of expression.
- Practice expressing oneself. Do things just to express yourself and that’s all.
- Find the passion within yourself. Once you found it, hold on to it and express it.
- Learn to appreciate different forms of expression.
There are many forms of expression. In fact, it seems practically anything we do in life can be used as a form of expression. These include:
- Playing musical instruments.
- Practicing some form of art.
- Doing a sports activity.
- Being humorous.
- Associating with people.
- Taking care of people, animals, plants, etc.
- Living a certain way (such as according to a belief or point of view).
- Disciplining oneself.
Notice how these all entail something we do. Expression is not watching someone else do something or say something. If we don’t do it there is no expression. In many ways, expression is nothing but putting passion into the things we do. It’s like ‘putting ourselves into it’.
But we must remember that expression needs to be done for expressions sake. It cannot be done for some other purpose or intention. When we do expression it creates ‘food’, for us to digest again, something to ‘take in’. In other words, the three phases I stated above are started over again, so it becomes a big circle that goes around and around, building on itself.