I came across this quote from Henry Miller, in his book “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch”.
“Whoever uses the spirit that is in him creatively is an artist. To make living itself an art, that is the goal.”
I really like this. Approaching life fully, with curiosity gives richer meaning to life, I feel.
One doesn’t need to make grand gestures, or a tremendous output of product.
For example, today I did a deep cleaning of my house. I have a little table set by a window that looks out to my back yard. For a long time it’s held a collection of all the thing my magpie side finds out on my explorations. Today I decided to clear that off, and intuitively, I put a journal and a pen on the table. In that moment, I knew I was committing to begin journaling again, or at the very least spend some time every day sitting there and writing or doodling/drawing.
My whole place feels fresh, reset, and open to possibilities. The cleaning’s not complete, but stagnant energy has dissipated.
A simple and mundane task became the gateway to new things. I really need to rewire that lamp. Electricty projects freak me out a bit.
“Even if you don’t call yourself an artist, you have the potential to be a dynamic creator who is always hatching new plans, coming up with fresh ideas, and shifting your approach to everything you do as you adjust to life’s ceaseless invitation to change.
It’s to this part of you — the restless, inventive spirit — that I address the following: Unleash yourself! Don’t be satisfied with the world the way it is; don’t sit back passively and blankly complain about the dead weight of the mediocre status quo.
Instead, call on your curiosity and charisma and expressiveness and lust for life as you tinker with and rebuild everything you see so that it’s in greater harmony with the laws of love and more hospitable to your soul’s code. ” ~ Rob Brezny ************************************** What do you envision when you think of creativity? An artist/writer/musician/performer of some kind? The act of making? Do you feel uncreative if you you don’t have output? Or if it isn’t “perfect”? If it doesn’t get recognition?
To me, scientists, mechanics, gardeners, teachers… anyone really, are just as creative as what is often thought of as such.
What if instead you shift your perspective to envision creativity as a state of being, rather than a state of doing? To being a continual process of making meaning in one’s life, rather than completion of a painting/novel/song/performance piece? To make for the joy of making, how it warps time and space and you get lost in it.
Being willing to seeing things differently.. to reordering routine.. having the courage to try something new… all of these can open up dimensions of reality and possibility that have remained hidden behind old perceptions.
For example, the next time you go for a walk, focus fully on the experience. The sounds around you, and of your feet, step by step. The textures, visual and felt. The smell of the air- the feel of it against your skin. How if the walk is strenuous enough, everything falls away other than the act of walking and your breath.
Do you feel other things arise? A solution? A song? A poem? A dance? Someone you’d like to visit?
All of this is creating and being creative.
We are, from birth to death, through all our experience, the embodiment of creativity.
Thank you for reading.
I love you. *************************************************** photo I took while hiking. And wondering if coyotes would play fetch with a tangerine.
Greetings, all, and Happy Solstice! Some of us are celebrating Winter- a time to go within and nurture seeds to emerge in Spring. Some of us are celebrating Summer- long days, being outdoors, readying for the harvests of Fall.
There are festivals of light in many cultures around the world. Wednesday the 25th is the last New Moon of the year. Take a moment, light a candle,or a fire in a fireplace or under the stars, sit for awhile, and take in the light. With each breath, take in comfort, take in love. Imagine your most beautiful Self.
I did this the other night, and looked down the hallway into darkness. I imagined my future Self, and all that is asking to come forward. I walked down the hall and stood in the place of this part of me, and looked down the hall to where I’d been sitting, and acknowledged all the work, the successes, all I had seen as failure, which was really growth and learning. I gave myself words of encouragement and forgiveness.
For the first time saying and really meaning it, I said out loud, to my Self, “I love you, Adele.” I
t was a beautiful, tender, and most vulnerable moment.
And I walked back down the hall to the present, and played some music on my singing bowls, with my path seemingly more clear.
I invite you to try this exercise, or one of your own making.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. I love you.
Some of you already know my fondness for using what if as a point of exploration, rather than a source of anxiety.
This week’s topic and exercise is around “what if”.
Think about what-if as a treasure map, or a puzzle.
One thing I like to do, when feeling challenged, it to commit to 15 minutes for a practice. If that feels like too much, go for five, but not less than that. Set a timer if you like.
Get out your journal, paper, or tablet (although I feel the brain works a bit differently when writing with a pen/pencil/crayon than typing). At the the top write “What if I could…….” and then write! Maybe you already have a topic in mind. If not, go back to one of the early exercises about writing through creative block.
Dream big! Bring all your spicy wildness to the page!
Or small. Strive to set your mind free, beyond your comfort zone even.
What if I could travel for a year without inpacting my finances?
What if I committed to an hour a day to my chosen creative activity?
What if I could work up to touching my toes without bending my knees?
After you’ve written for five minutes, or fifteen, or until you feel you’ve exhausted the topic, sit back and settle into your body.
What would this what-if reality feel like? Sound like? Look like? How woud this ripple out into your every day creative practice? To your life?
What could you do right now to make this happen?
What do you need?
Write more if you like, or express this new world through your creativity… sing, dance, draw, bake, photograph.
I would love to hear what you come up with in your new what-if universe!
I’m not feeling so deeply inspired today. I have a shoulder that’s persistently reminding me I’m human today.
This is a more.. erm.. contemporary way to ask one to consider approaching things with a beginner’s mind. Very rarely, at least for most of us, are we good at something new the moment we try it.
I invite you this week to try something new. For me, working in an unfamiliar medium will often unlock a stuck spot for something I’m working on. When you try something new, you haven’t formed any rules for how to do it yet.
Use the “what if I tried…” as a jumping off point, rather than a wall of fear and stalling. See how this willingness to let curiosity lead your exploring something new might be applied to something you already do. How might you look at something, or do something, in a fresh way?
If you can’t think of anything. Do something you usually do with your nondominant hand. I would love to hear what you try, and what you discover!