…Do not imagine there is anything
Limited about you – Damon Gautama
How can something be limited ‘about us’? We usually say we are limited ‘by’ things – time, money, physical attributes, energy, connections etc. How we see these limits is up to us.
I went to a talk last year in Sydney where young artists in different fields talked about how each of their art was limited by something and they said it made them more creative, not less. For the first (video) artist, the limit was time. He and his little team had to come up with 30 seconds of prime time TV each day – which of course took 24 hours to complete. He said the limit forced them to focus, nut out the most important thing to do next and think on their feet. It fuelled their creativity, having to make quick decisions and brainstorm together!
What he said stuck in my mind so I tried it recently. As writing is crowding out my painting time at the moment, I decided to limit myself and paint for only 5 minutes a day. For now I paint only essences, not things. No detail. I have to drop my perfectionism. It forces me to look for essences in life, not only in art. I can always go back to studying detail later.
(See the difference in images – I am a beginner, by the way).
Anyway I digress. The other artists were limited by money (using crowdfunding forced them to think about what they were trying to achieve and put it in writing to attract funds), technology and safety issues (a large spaceship like installation at a music festival had to be interesting, large enough to be a meeting point and impervious to drunk climbers), and space – a massive installation in the reception of a corporate office.
The point was that all of them welcomed the limits, which surprised them and dispelled my beliefs. It gave them confidence in a way and forced them to focus; to find their own essence. They welcomed being limited ‘by’ things.
But back to the quote. Damon is saying that there is nothing limited ‘about us’. Huge difference.
We may imagine that we are limited both by things and ourselves but we are not. He says not to imagine it which suggests it’s all in our imagination.
How freeing, how powerful it makes me feel, when I think about having nothing in my way, not even myself. I will concentrate now on getting out of my own way!
Thank you Damon for showing me that this invisible barrier, my limits, doesn’t exist. It existed only in my imagination. It’s up to me to realise my own potential now that there is nothing stopping me.