I Double Dog Dare You
To be creative when no one cares! It could be worse, I Triple Dog Dare You… to be in the mood, to be creative even when your thoughts betray you. When you don’t care, you cannot very well expect anyone else to. Every internal thought has a buried seed of wisdom that invariably goes unnourished.
Lori James and her fear of the double dog dare.
The weatherman said to expect a wintry mix, and sure enough as Lori sat in her high-back wing chair, facing the window across the room, Lori could easily make out the very wet sleet drizzling down the glass. In some ways, she was comforted by what she was seeing. Her thoughts were drifting in and out of a gnawing depression that often plagued her when she was desperately trying to work out the stanza to her latest poem. But even as she tried to concentrate on her poetry, she knew and felt inside, there was absolutely no audience for anything she had created over the past 40 years.
Lori thought to herself, “I know I’m good, I know when I complete my prose, I feel especially exhilarated, and an overwhelming sense of contentment permeates my soul.” But that sense of joyousness dissipates as quickly as the sleet on the window turns into small streams of running water, coursing its way down the house warmed glass. Lori focused her eyes on the window, everything beyond the glass was blurry, by this time she could not even make out a single recognizable feature in her yard.
Staring at that sleet soaked window was mesmerizing. Lori spoke out loud to her empty room. “My creativity runs off my soul, like those icy streams on that window.” She was quickly maneuvering herself into another depression. Which always seemed to start out with her self talk, repeating the mantra; “No one cares.” Which in her case was absolutely true. Was it? All she really needed was someone to say “I double dog dare you.” The question then becomes, what does she really dare herself to do, once she’s been challenged?
A lifetime of never being appreciated for your creativity, is not exactly a reality. After all, no one really knows for sure what will be. Creative thoughts and ideas are a way of stirring the mind and causing the universe to tune in. Keeping your creative channels open even when you feel like there’s no one on this earthly plane tuning in, is a sure sign that you are abundantly talented. When you can achieve autonomy in your creative endeavors, then you are living free of the hobbling effects of societal judgments.
If everyone is dyeing their hair blue and you are dying your hair green, it doesn’t make you more creative. It makes you a contrary renegade. To be confidently creative in the hair dyeing scene, you need to not dye your hair at all. In fact, you need to be oblivious to those goings-on. In act 1 scene 3 of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet; you will read or hear, “To thy own self be true.” True creativity requires us to be true to our own thoughts and ideas, never allowing the judgments of others to influence them.
“He fiddled until the fiddle could take no more. The fiddle spoke out; stop fiddling with me, why can’t you inspire yourself.” Rod Jones Artist
A dare is a challenge that we rarely thrust upon ourselves. Instead, we plunge ourselves into an unchallengeable world where we fend off any bold dare, especially those from within. It takes gumption to double dog dare yourself. But it can be done. Start with a very small dare; like, “I dare myself to sit down for 20-minutes and listen to soft music and come up with at least one original thought.” You could even create a dare when you wash up. Look at a bar of soap, look at the bubbles that start to form as you massage it into your hands. Stop for a few seconds and imagine what goes on in the short life of those bubbles. Dare yourself to do this three times in one day. This is assuming that you wash your hands at least three times in one day: hopefully more.
Daring yourself is a form of productive self talk. At first it’s like playing a game, but soon you learn to strategize and make the most out of every self served dare. The lesson here is like the tried-and-true advertising slogan goes, “Dare to be different.” But be different in your thinking not in your outward appearance. Original creative thoughts are always with us. But we have to double dog dare ourselves and maybe even, triple dog dare ourselves into becoming a fountain of originality.
Like most, you may never be recognized for your creative output. To be concerned when no one cares, is really a sabotaging betrayal to true creative authenticity. You know what you know, and I double dog dare you to find solace and reassurance in every creative thought you have. In fact I triple dog dare you…