Art as a mirror

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Hi reader,

My favorite misconception, perhaps ever, is how creating is put on a pedestal. There is the modern day label separating “creators” from “non-creators”, as if there are full-grown people walking around who have never created anything - whether it be a spreadsheet or a symphony.

There is the argument that creating has to be in designated spaces, like the imaginative, boundary-pushing mentality works best… in imaginative, boundary-pushing safe zones, like after work or in a hobby. Couldn’t a creative mindset fuel the “work” as well?

And, most notably, there is the heavy reverence for those of us who do so-called creative work, as the assumption is that we are all sacrificing our stability, our income, and perhaps even our lives to bring something into the world.

Of course, those of us that do creative work know that creating itself is a selfish act. It just brings us closer to the unknown parts of ourselves 🪞

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By putting together a song, an article, or a video, we are forced to assemble the odd, disparate pieces in our mind, or perhaps in our heart, formed of mismatched curves and amorphous shapes, and align them to reflect even a fraction of their internal meaning.

The uncomfortable process forces us through the twin flames of reflection and limitation.

We have to reflect to move the abstract idea into the five senses. What am I intending? What is the point? Where did this come from? Where is this supposed to go?

We have to embrace the limitations to what the creation will be. How can I translate what’s in my head? How does it match to a tangible parallel? Whom has done something similar? Who is this for?

Creating is alchemy.

And the alchemised idea is forever transformed in your mind, even if you never do anything with it externally 🧠

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On, we’ve been talking a lot about the parts of us that are hidden: On accepting your shadow, on seeing yourself in your relationships, on letting go of control.

I’ve loved the conversations with y’all.

What all these discussions have in common is the challenge of seeing what, frankly, doesn’t want to be seen. The deep, dank, insecure parts of ourselves are in the dark for a reason. They are the soft belly of our souls.

And yet, these most vulnerable spots hold the secrets to us being our best selves.

Creating can tap into these areas, and the best moments are almost like seeing a solar eclipse through safety goggles: There is a filter, but you are still able to see the shape, the sound, the feel of this rare moment.

You are able to see a hidden side of the truth 🌒

On today’s #BringYourWorth live, I share how iconic rapper Kendrick Lamar uses art to explore his shadow side, what insights we can apply to our own trauma, and why his work landed a rare Pulitzer Prize for hip hop.

Bring your questions, thoughts, and your earbuds 👇🏾

Wednesday, May 8th

1:11 pm PT

👉🏾 Tap in

And don’t fear the reflection 🪞

🙋🏾 I’m Damon! ( I help side hustlers, solopreneurs & others like yourself bloom. As a bestselling author, 2x startup founder & 4x TEDTalker, I co-founded the popular connection app Cuddlr and led it to acquisition within a year while being a stay at home dad with his infant son.

🫱🏼‍🫲🏿 Today, my boutique coaching business Bring Your Worth supports hundreds through one-on-one virtual and in-person support, as well as behind-the-scenes services for TED, HEROIC, and other impactful organizations. You can catch this free weekly newsletter as well as the 18,000-subscriber strong television show

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