Can your art or art-making practice positively influence people around you? Can the small act of making simple marks cause a ripple of inspiration? Ripples are small, gentle movements that can go unnoticed unless you pay attention to them, but they do have an effect on their surroundings. In the similar way, a friend could notice how your face lights up in conversation about making art and be secretly be inspired to have a go. By being yourself and sharing your joyful experiences, you silently give permission to others to do the same.
Jonathan Fields in How to Live a Good Life suggests “It’s the path of the ripple. Simple actions, movements, and experiences. Created, offered, and delivered with such a purity of intention and depth of integrity and clarity that they set in motion a ripple that, quietly, in its own way, in its own time, expands outward.” Your actions don’t need to be huge grand gestures to inspire others. A few words, enthusiasm and encouragement can have more power and resonate louder than you’d think.
Dennis Merritt Jones in The Art of Abundance speaks of the ripple effect: “If you want to change the world for the better, begin by changing yourself for the better; in the process you’ll not only discover your purpose, you’ll uncover the gift you are – and you’ll also see that the ripple effect of you truly matters to the world.”
Don’t underestimate the power of a ripple because tiny movements effect the environment whether or not anyone is noticing. Continue to share your enthusiasm and trust that those who are ready to be inspired, will notice.
“Be the light that inspires others to dream.” ― Ken Poirot
When you give yourself permission to make art, you slowly and silently give permission to others around you. You don’t have to physically show others what you make. It’s enough to talk about the creative experience and share how you feel while making art (it’s not always helpful to reveal your ‘messy’ art to potentially judgmental eyes). Sharing the experience could have a big impact on many others in more ways than you’ll ever know.
Victoria Moran encourages “The idea that everything is purposeful really changes the way you live. To think that everything that you do has a ripple effect, that every word that you speak, every action that you make affects other people and the planet.”
Perhaps you share with a friend how free you feel while making art and how excited you are to make more. Or even a stranger overhears and sees your enthusiasm. That enthusiasm could plant a seed of inspiration in other minds. It could be a gentle nudge of silent encouragement that they too could have a go. No need to tell people to copy you, instead honestly share your insights from being more creative. If that seed one day grows bigger and they decide to take action, you’ve helped them just by being yourself (it may never grow bigger for them and that’s okay too because the main thing is you’re growing your own seeds).
As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. — Marianne Williamson, from the poem ‘Our Deepest Fear’ in Return to Love
Making your own art can have some wonderful side effects that might just inspire others to embrace their own creativity. By embracing your own creativity, the ripple effect can cause small positive changes for others in your life. Jonathan Fields in How To Live a Good Life explains “It’s the path of the ripple. Simple actions, movements, and experiences. Created, offered, and delivered with such a purity of intention and depth of integrity and clarity that they set in motion a ripple that, quietly, in its own way, in its own time, expands outward.”
Dr Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire in Wired To Create encourage us to embrace our strange messy selves and our creativity: “When we embrace our own messiness – engaging with the world with our own unique imagination and artistry – we give others permission to do the same.” We could all do with giving ourselves permission to regularly be more creative because tapping into our creativity allows us to create more connection to ourselves, and subsequently to others. “We help create a world that is more welcoming of the creative spirit and, it is hoped, make it possible to find a greater connection with ourselves and others in the process.”
Just by practicing your art making, you may be inspiring others to do the same. The creative force – the light that shines out of us when we create – may be reaching people in ways you could never anticipate. Don’t underestimate the small, silent ways you may be effecting others because as Marge Piercy advises, “You never know when your poem will come to someone’s rescue.”