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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

Creative Spirit Blog June 12,2024 The Integrity of Selfhood

Inner Journey Mixed Media

”To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight; and never stop fighting”  ee.cummings

I recently came across the word “selfhood” in an article on Eastern Culture and my thought was, “what a wonderful word”!  This one word explains what we all work toward in our lifetime.  Some of us achieve it early in life and others work years to understand its importance.  After all, we live in a world where we are bombarded with advertising telling us who we need to be and what we need to do. Conform to be accepted! Conform to be popular!  You must use this to be beautiful!

The problem here is, to conform does not allow us to be who we are. It does not allow us to experience our individuality, our uniqueness, or explore our ideas. It is not the conformists who change or advance the world in a good way or make positive marks on the advancements to our society.

The word fascinated me. It made me look back over my life and assess how I lived and how true to myself I was. It’s been an interesting passage. I write a lot about our “unique self” and finding our “inner voice”.  And when I saw this word, I thought, that sums up and encompasses so much more. It’s not only about being ourselves in our artistic expression but accepting our unique characteristics in all aspects of our life.

My art life was always uniquely mine. I truly understood the concept of "your inner voice”, when it came to the creative process.  After all I studied art in the 60s! It was a time when the more unique you were the more acceptance you gained.  But other areas of my life were not so uniquely mine. 

Looking back at my life after discovering this word, I know it took me a long time to find my “selfhood” in all areas of my life. In retrospect, I was probably 50 when I realized that there were some areas of my life that my “selfhood” did not extend to.  By 60 I think I found it.  Was it the aging process that made me less likely to care what people thought or was it some life events?  Maybe a combination. 


“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard. In owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.”  Michelle Obama


Our artwork is a window to our soul. It speaks of who we are and what we believe no matter if we have made an overt or covert statement on our subject. What is important is that we express it in a way that is uniquely ours. That we have not mentally conformed to the...this is what’s popular and the thing to do.

“It is very important that we pursue truth in our artwork.  You change the world by being yourself.”   Yoko Ono

I’m pretty sure I am not going to change the world with my art.  But I do hope I help some people see the world in a different way; to see the elements in nature which they might have overlooked and to appreciate all our natural world has to offer.

The painting I am publishing today was done between Covid and cancer. It is my life journey.  I thought it was appropriate for this subject.  It is mixed media and heavily textured. 24 x 36 "Inner Journey"

Embrace who you are!  Surprisingly it is a very comfortable place to be. 😊


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1 Comment

Jun 13

Again I find m y mouth open and a smile on my face when I see your work. Thi is sa new favorite maybe the top pne. When Its not the end of the day I will take the time to look at my old favorites. You are an amazing artist and woman.. G

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