Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food – Part 2: The Power of Intention

BY Parvati

(Continued from Personal Perception and the Universal)
I had to take a few steps back before I sent out the video of me singing and playing the piano the other day on 9/11. After walking away, taking some space, I looked at the take with as much objectivity as I could. Technically, it was not one of my best “performances” of the song “You Gotta Believe”, but there was a presence in the delivery that somehow I felt I wanted to share. I decided to send it out mostly because it gave me goosebumps as I heard it back. What was it that gave me goosebumps? I asked a couple friends to watch it, and observed their reaction. I saw them too shudder a couple of times. Why did they respond that way? I could guess, but ultimately, I don’t know. It just felt right to send it so I did. I feel very sincere in singing about 9/11, so much so that I cried after the tape was off. Perhaps that vulnerability and sincerity came across. When I put the video out there, I wanted to communicate with transparent honesty above delivering with technical perfection.
All art communicates, whether it is done through narrative, colour, light, mood or vibration. After we have spent time with a work of art, we either feel we have been touched or not. Why then does certain art make us feel invigorated and others depleted? Why do certain songs have us tapping our feet but wanting to run out of the room?
I believe that the power of intention is at least in part responsible for how music makes me feel. My life is dedicated to a spiritual honesty. I am therefore more likely to resonate with music that communicates sincerity and supports evolution, connection and expansion than music that comes from the ego. I find the style of music does not matter as much as the creative intention.
If someone is writing a song from a place of “gotta get it right” or “wanna make a million bucks”, I feel it. I have heard songs on the radio that, on paper, would be a song I would write. The lyrics seem positive, the rhythm catchy, and the melody imaginative. But the song either leaves me flat or makes me feel unwell and I need to change the station. If the songwriter and performers are creating from ego, to me, it comes across.
My body never lies. It has been a great teacher and friend. When my consciousness rests in a place of expansion, my body feels relaxed and expansive. When I am disconnected or spaced out, my body is tense or agitated. My body is like a litmus test for my state of consciousness. It keeps me honest, humble and tuned in.
So I usually go to my body for advice on sounds and art. I ask myself, how does it feel? Not just emotionally, but physically. If I were to look at a painting, does the collection of colours, textures, mood and tone make me feel expansive? Or when I look at it, do I feel like a flower that quickly fades?
In art, there is both the personal and the transpersonal. To me, powerful art is where the artist touches the realm of the transpersonal, when it goes beyond the ego of the creator(s) and accesses the timeless and eternal. Great art can become a vehicle to cultivate our human potential. It can remind us of our divinity. It can help guide our way home. It can help dissolve the ego so that we may be rooted in selflessness.
(Continues tomorrow with The Source of Creativity: Ego or Selflessness)