Live Your Creative Vision
Minds, bodies, relationships and even the world can be healed with the powerful transformative tool of the creative process. The creative process encompasses a variety of expressions. Some people use words to express feelings and thoughts.
Words alone are sometimes stumbling blocks on the path to spiritual growth and self-knowledge. Personal transformations can be fostered and recorded in many ways. Allowing one’s eyes and hands to create the reflection of images in the heart transforms the individual one creation at a time.
Creativity is a necessary and natural part of life. It is how people explore things that become beneficial to them. It does not come without risks. Fear of creative risk-taking is a strong emotion to overcome because a previously untouched area is being explored.
A stigma of conformity to the norm is a hurdle to be jumped. People, who battled with conformity versus pushing boundaries and won, have made incredible health care advances and have come to understand our natural world.
Children have a curiosity they use to explore the environment and their bodies. When successful and unsuccessful experiments are encouraged, the urge to create grows. Adults are no different. When experiences are validated rather than condemned our courage grows, and we reveal more and more of ourselves.
How to Begin
Overcoming the fear and potential embarrassment of self-revelation begins in a supportive environment with asking the question, what is the worst that can happen? Every individual has a set of approaches and skills that are unique to him or her. Knowing there is no right or wrong approach makes one more willing to play creatively.
Often creativity blooms in the process rather than the finished product. Being humble and non-competitive allows us to learn from the process. We learn from mistakes that are made as well as our successes.
The first step is the hardest. If even a non-competitive group is beyond your comfort zone, become your own, accepting support. Writers should write with abandon, athletes and dancers should move in a way that uses their whole bodies, and artists can express themselves with a large sheet of paper and crayons or create three-dimensionally with blocks or clay. If you feel tender and vulnerable, you do not have to share your work.
Taking a beginner’s class where you know no one is also an excellent way to learn to let the creative juices flow. You will come to realize that nothing awful happens when your first attempt is not perfect. By taking baby steps, you learn to tolerate your imperfections as you learn and can see harsh criticism as the defense mechanism of an insecure person who struggles with diversity.
Creative stretching is a primal play experience that should be enjoyable. Have fun with it and you will amaze yourself, and maybe others, with the results.
Mind Over Matter
The mind is a marvelous thing. It gets us through our daily routines. Challenges we meet, actions we take, and decisions we make stem from the trust we place in our minds. The mind can also diminish, inhibit, squelch, and limit creativity. The mind becomes more stubborn as we age. Children have no problem creating without inhibition. To become childlike is a level of creativity that intensifies the creative experience.
It becomes necessary to separate our gifts from our minds. Eckhart Tolle has written a book entitled The Power of Now, where he shares his powerful transition from hopelessness to a devout spiritual path. Click on the link to read some of his profound quotes. We need to learn to give that part of ourselves that longs for something more permission to reside within us.
To invoke real creativity create a ritual that turns into a habit that begins the creative process. The ritual can be as unique as you are. It can be finger painting, praying, meditating, lighting a candle, or visualizing yourself as a child full of spontaneity. Your mind will learn this ritual is a transition to a sacred process.
The creative force inside each of us is uniquely different. Whatever that ‘force’ is, needs your surrender. The memory of a loved one, a symbol of some sort, your inner child, the universe, nature, and God are examples of the power source that holds your raw brilliance. The mind is not in charge of what is being created.
The Road to Spirituality
The spiritual path is more than simplistic explanations, clever ideas, and lovely things. People, seeking spirituality, often fall in love with the “stuff” of spirituality. They latch on to an interesting suggestion then travel on to that which continues to beckon.
We need to create a spiritual vessel that is both durable and lightweight. It allows us to explore, yet helps anchor us. As creative, spiritual beings, this process is both challenging and a source of joy. The blessing comes from having choices. There is no getting around having to choose. Once a choice is made, commitment to the challenges, consequences, and rewards of the outcome is required to live authentically.
Dealing with Our Inner Critic
Before becoming an adult, we internalized warning voices of our parents and teachers. An inner critic developed that continues to send out warning signals. We feel scolded into a behavior or warned of consequences for failure to obey.
In some ways, the inner critic is useful. It prevents us from irrational behavior and reminds us of obligations. The voice sometimes goes beyond usefulness. We begin to believe that no one is interested in our opinions or that revealing our true selves will make people aware of our flaws and reject us.
Talk back to the negative self-talk. When your inner critic attempts to shut down your creative ideas, substitute a retort in your mind that you would say to a friend who shared a lack of confidence in himself with you.
Here is a resource list to use as you begin your creative exploration.
- Overcoming the Fear of Creative Risk-Taking
- Creating Mindlessly: Getting Out of Your Own Way
- Creating a Spiritual Anchor
- Memoir: Finding Your Voice
- How Creativity Heals
- Making Time to Create
- Nurturing Your Creative Spirit: Giving Inner Peace a Chance
- Threads that Weave a Creative Practice
- The Power of As If Thinking