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.
You can listen to a podcast version of this post here:
When I entered the consciousness of this morning’s dream, I was in a large meeting room. It seemed Craftsman in style, with open rafters and large light fixtures with amber panes of glass. The quality of light, though, was harsh.
The room was filled with women, mostly, wearing activewear and seated on their yoga mats. I was at the front of the room, and at first thought I was leading the group. Gradually though, almost as if I was being nudged away from my seat, were a man and woman clearly in charge. the woman was dressed like the other women, and the man was dressed business casual, with a very thin black belt worn a few notches too tight.
The women, one by one, were bringing up small tokens they’d made as part of an exercise. One brought up a slice of wood with writing on it. The couple asked her what it meant, she shyly muttered something, and then the couple interpreted what she’d done, and told her what to do next. She went back to her mat, looking disheartened.
And so it went, person after person. They would open up a little, then were told what they should do.
From out of no where, as it often happens in dreams, came a man dressed in full punk regalia- shaved head, black leather motorcycle jacket, all black clothing with paint splatters and patches, boots. His process art was huge, and he distinctly made the couple leading the workshop uneasy.
His art immediately brought tears to my eyes. It was a large frame of roughly hewn timbers that looked like a torture device. Suspended in it a few inches above the ground was a rectangular slab of stone. It looked like it was hewn with the same tool that shaped the wood. It had a chain wrapped around the center, but somehow he’d manage to connect the stone so it looked like it was floating. Above the stone was floating a bouquet of dried brambles and large dandelion type flowers. (If I could figure a way to make this in waking life, I would, it was so powerful!)
The couple quicky moved to conclude the workshop, but I kept pushing to hear what he had to say. Eventually they relented.
“I’m going to leave this path,” the artist said. “I’m going to pursue mathematics” and he went on to say how he didn’t want to leave art, because it was his soul, but mathematics was more practical, and he could manipulate it to make a lot of money, and someday, maybe some day, he could get back to art.
I asked him what the art represented to him. He replied that the stone was obligations weighing him down, yet somehow also his strength, and that the chain was binding his power. When I asked him about the bouquet, he responded “I just put it there”. I invited him to explore deeper. “It’s my hopes and dreams. My hopes and dreams are withering away”
I asked him to explore his desire to focus on mathematics. To consider that mathematics, once you dive in deeply, is beyond numbers. I mean.. look at the beautiful art created by fractals! That maybe if he got curious, he would see a correlation between the kind of art he did, and math. That he didn’t have to have just one life purpose. That sometimes goals can get in the way of our true heart.
And then I woke up. Thinking about the dream, but also the good old “Is the glass half full, or half empty” thing.
You know what? The glass is never empty. The space above the liquid is full of things we can’t see- air molecules, microscopic bits of plants, stardust, music. We see the glass as half full or half empty because that’s what our perception has been conditioned to see.
And what about the world outside of the glass? What potential is there? What if there were no glass at all?
What would happen if we approach other things in life with this shift in perception? I invite you to stop reading for a moment and pick up an object near you. Look at it with your ordinary vision, then begin to look at it differently. Get curious about the texture, weight, smell, perhaps taste. What are the stories behind any markings on it, or how it came to be in your possession?
When you are ready, explore something going on in your life. A goal, maybe. Sometimes when we hyper focus on a goal, we can lose sight of other corollary goals that might support it, or be a more life fulfilling way of being.Some people know from an early age what they were “meant” to do or be. Others spend their whole life seeking, aching for meaning. Or what they long to do or be doesn’t fit into every day existence.
Many of us believe that we have a life purpose, often just out of reach or perception. Or we’ve been trained to think of it as impractical, or not noble enough. What if we were to consider the possibility of having multiple life purposes, working in partnership? Or look at the deeper meaning of our goal. What basic needs are we wanting to be met with that goal? Love? Attention? Money? Appreciation?
Practice shifting your perspective, and see what unfolds. Maybe you too, will discover a way to create magic within every day life.
This was the prompt at the end of each of my training sessions. Instinctive meditation is giving yourself permission to embody the joy of being fully alive. It’s not about certain postures, breathing techniques, a specific spiritual practice, or quieting the mind. It’s about setting aside some time to fully allow your body mind to relax, to repair and reset. to simply be.
Here is a sample of what I offer. It’s the Presence script, as transmitted by Camille Maurine, one of the founders of the Radiance Sutras School of Meditation. I’ve included my song “Zephyr” that I wrote as part of the experience.
I invite you to join me via Zoom for this FREE weekly brief meditation on Saturdays at 10 AM Pacific time. You can register by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I also facilitate fee-based one on one sessions, and group live experiences, with or without a musical sound experience included.
Thanks for listening, and I hope to “see” you soon.
As I was sitting in the plumeria grove yesterday, drifting in and out of meditation, I looked down to see my left hand completely in shadow, and my right hand completely lit up.
I’ll admit. I spent a bit of time figuring out how to photograph it; it was quite lovely. I settled back in again. Enjoying the solitude, the breeze, watching the parrots’ sideways walking on the branches.
I began to think of shadows.. and the concept of shadow work. So many times when shadow work is talked about, it’s meant the parts of us we don’t like. Or trauma we have experienced. Things we’ve shoved way back in our brain cupboards. Unwanted, and yet, we can’t quite bring ourselves to get rid of them either.
And then I thought… “what if” … and if you’ve known me any length of time you know how fond I am of “what if” being a jumping off point for exploration rather than a tsunami of anxiety….
What if there are things in the shadows that are wonderful, and precious, and maybe our deepest true self? Tucked away because they were “too”. Too odd. Too bold. Too different. Maybe tucked away out of fear of losing what is familiar- groups of people we relate to, too big a challenge to our sense of self. Hidden behind a big ol’ box of What Will Other People Think. Requiring the deepest relational commitment of all. To our Self.
This and. Not either or.
As we look into the shadows, healing wounds and discovering treasures, it’s important to be compassionate with ourselves, and with others. There might be a whole lot of internal work that happens that will shock people who knew one aspect of you, when they suddenly meet your next incarnation
(there can be many incarnations within one lifetime, I feel)
Like back in high school math class, when I sometimes just knew the answer to a complex problem. The teacher would challenge me to “show my work” and I couldn’t, because I simply knew the answer by looking at it.
One of my friends has been posting amazing images of all the monarch butterflies emerging in their yard this Spring. It’s amazing to watch the chrysalis go from a green and gold jewel to clear, and then the butterfly makes its way out, transformed.
I have so many life shifts happening right now. The very pragmatic and fast approaching need to find where “home” is next. Work that is not so hard on my body and spirit. And beautiful inner alchemy.
So yes, I may seem the same, yet somehow different. I can hardly wait to step out of the shadows, into the light.
Not my usual pretty picture to go with my words, but it’s so beautiful to me.
An affirmation that it’s worth putting one’s Self out there. I create music as part of what I do… both electronic and acoustic. During Fleet Maul’s free online summit “Best Year of Your Life”, people kept mentioning this app called Insight Timer. I’m not much an app user, but I thought I’d check it out. In case like me, you don’t know what it is, it’s the worlds largest free meditation app, with over 18,000,000 users, and over 10,000 people providing content.
And hey! They have music. And I thought… what’s the worse that could happen… people won’t listen to it, or what I submit won’t get approved (it’s curated.)
The first time, about a month ago, I got an email that I had one of my pieces chosen as a staff pick. I was blown away, thought it was a fluke, and enjoyed it for what it was.
This morning I woke up to an email that another piece had been chosen to be featured.
Mind. Blown. I really needed that boost today. I hope this encourages at least one of you to put yourself out there.. you never know what can happen!