A friend turned me on to this article by Herb Alpert, musician and artist. It resonates with me, as I too have been enlivened by finding my creative self in visual art in the last couple of years. I also feel very present when I'm creating my art work, in the moment. Hours pass without my noticing. It's a flow state that psychologist Csikszentmihalyi talks about. It's a wonderful feeling and seems to have ripple effects into other areas of my life.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Playing the trumpet since I was eight years old has given me the feeling, throughout my life and career, of being in the exact, present moment of my life. An ageless feeling comes to me when practicing, recording or performing. I believe that it is a myth that only certain people are creative. Over 40 years ago I found that painting and sculpting gave me the same energy that playing the trumpet and making music did.
I say this because I find that people who have found a creative passion seem happier and more fulfilled. I practice playing the trumpet every day not just because it keeps me in shape, but also because it gives me energy. Creativity guides my life and I have learned so much from trying to grow as an artist and be honest with myself. But I can also get into trouble by judging myself too harshly or by comparing my gifts with someone else’s gifts.
My goal is to stay relaxed and keep moving forward. Finding ways to help others is another creative expression for me. Never underestimate the power of kindness. When I reach out to others, I find that my life has meaning… and not my age.
Herb Alpert is a musician and the “A” of A&M records. www.herbalpert.com