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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Arnold

How the "Spirit of the Gift" makes being an artist more meaningful - 100 Days of Soulforce #30

Why does a gig feel fulfilling or soulless? Why do are we proud of some students, but resent others? And what's up with high-level artists so often being a**holes?

It all has to do with the "Spirit of the Gift." Author Lewis Hyde says that a gift is only a gift if it circulates, and that as it circulates more its value and energy increases. Sound abstract? Think about it:

- When you give your gifts as a teach and your student listens and practices what you teach, you are both giving and receiving, circulating your gifts

- When you play your heart out for people who aren't even listening, your gifts aren't being reciprocated, and thus the energy of the gift dissipates, leaving you feeling drained

- Conceited famous artists want to hold onto the accolades their fans throw their way, instead of passing that joy and energy along, thus stopping the circulation of the gift

The Spirit of the Gift goes very deep into the arts and into life, in general. I will do more videos on this subject and am devoting a whole chapter or two to this subject in my book.

Here's a previous video I made on the Spirit of the Gift:

Day 30 of 100 Days of Soulforce:

- About the nature of gifts and the arts

- How continued circulation is essential to gifts

- Examples of how the circulation (or lack thereof) of our gifts makes being an artist or musician more or less meaningful

- A simple practice to begin embodying the Spirit of the Gift in yourself

Subscribe to my blog or this YouTube channel to stay tuned!

What's "100 Days of Soulforce"?

I'm embarking on a mission to spread the word about Soulforce Performing Arts because I believe it is a needed message for artists of all kinds in our times. To that end, I'm making 100 videos over the coming 100 days (or so) to explain all the different angles and ideas, and to hopefully spark inspiration in you! Each video will have inspirational and practical ideas for you to bring more Soulforce to your life as a performing artist.

These ideas are a part of my upcoming book: "Soulforce Performance Arts: Redefining Artistic Performance, Practice, and Pedagogy in a World That's Lost Its Mind." Subscribers to my newsletter will get early access and special perks. :)

Joseph Arnold

Violinist, Alexander Technique teacher, Founder of the Soulforce Arts Academy -- Sign up for my bodacious mailing list and blog!

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