When was the last time you intentionally broke the rules? I’m not talking about laws, but rules that you carry along inside you, often without even recognizing them.
I have personal rules for my photography. I know this for a fact, because my newfound love of mobile photography is exposing a lot of them. It’s a very good thing to have these rules challenged once in a while, so you can see where you’ve created boundaries and decide how to push past them. Whether or not you push past them.
In the workshop with David duChemin a couple of weeks ago, he talked about constraints. He was talking about starting a project and setting the constraints. Constraints are a good thing, because they promote creativity. They help you move ahead when you otherwise get too mired in all of the options. You can always change the constraints as you go along, he reminded us.
Unless, of course, your constraints have somehow become rules. Over time, constraints that have worked for us can be internalized as rules that limit us. I don’t think we even notice as this happens. It can take something big to shake us out of them. But when we can shake off these constraints-that-have-become-rules… Wow. The freedom. The creativity. The joy that results.
Last week, in the comments on the blog Brenda wrote something that resonated with me: “And sometimes, I think we take ourselves too seriously – loading ourselves down with the idea of creating ‘serious’ art. We forget to simply have fun with it. You have shown us what can happen when we create simply for the joy of it.”
Her comment, and my recent experience, inspired me to create a new mantra:
No rules, just joy.
Just create what brings you joy. Forget the rules. The expectations of others, or worse, yourself. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Follow what brings you joy.
What do you think? Do you want to adopt this mantra too? We could create a movement, bringing more happiness to the world through the sheer joy of creating. I’m in!