A sweet soul daughter of mine asked me to participate in a project on creativity. Honored and curious, I accepted and answered six questions on my view and process of all things creative. Below are my responses to questions that we should all ask ourselves regularly, as they always change a bit as we grow; understanding what we are creating, and how we engage in the process shines a bright light on an important element of our soul, illuminating our inner selves and our own perceptions. I included the original questions at the bottom of the page. How would you be the answer?
We are always in creation; we are creating something to be experienced whether we are aware of it or not. It’s an ongoing conversation between the soul and the mind, responses to emotional charges and intuitive impulses. Allowing spirit to produce in and through us something we can experience, whether tangibly or emotionally, often both.
So it’s an expression of the essence of who we are, mingled with divine breath or inspiration to provoke emotion in ourselves or others, to enhance the experience of being human.
Accessing my creativity is usually just becoming aware of myself and my emotions. My process is generally assessing how I want to feel, and then using my thoughts to direct the flow of creation towards the goal of the desired outcome. I can feel excitement and a manic joy overwhelm me when I have a rush of creativity or an idea I want to manifest. To stay in creativity, or awareness of what I am creating, I manipulate my body to feel excited and anticipatory to sustain the flow or begin a new project. It’s amazing how connected our physical body is to our cognitive and spiritual energies.
I love to be alone. My most productive environment is in nature, warm and isolated, where I can express myself uninhibited and allow the emotion behind my ideas to take form through my body. Implementing creative ideas are effortless once I return to a quiet spot with whatever tools I am using, I’ve been known to use a sharpie on walls and furniture to quickly write down passing ideas caught in the air.
I wake up slowly. By the time I’ve had five cappuccinos fed four kids and done whatever else is on the to do list, I recharge with loud music, cathartic dance, and a great orgasm. Although every afternoon I do a prayer/meditation walk through nature, and get a completely different kind of inspiration. More of a glimpse into myself, an ecstatic experience of the creation around me, rather than the chaotic experience of expression through and within me. But if I have my evenings alone, that is when I am most alive, and most productive. I read a lot. Reading anything I can get my hands on inspires me to always be learning, never arriving, and to prefer a question over an answer.
Feeling “uncreative” is just being unaware, or deciding we are not enjoying what we are creating. Getting out of a stagnant or stuck feeling, removing a block or lifting a veil is only difficult when we determine that it is. Although, just as the moon waxes and wanes, we too respond in a cyclical rhythm. I am practicing being in a place of non-judgment. Rumi poetically reminds us, “Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field, I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”
When I can embrace myself once again, loving and appreciating even the things that I once judged critically, my feelings of frustration evaporate and creativity can be enjoyable again.
And if I’m really stuck? Heavy eyeliner, a provocative tank and perfectly fitted jeans; my favorite jewelry, bare feet, Rolling Stones in the headphones and twenty minutes of heart pounding entertainment for my kids peering out the windows, the disapproving neighbors, the creator of the universe, and the various animals that gather around the field to take it all in. At least one more cappuccino and a roll of tobacco, and I’m unstuck.
Stimulate wonder, be emotional, don’t judge
And now it’s your turn!
1. Creativity: What is creativity to you? Where does it come from? Is creativity a tool, a friend, a partner, a muse, or a cognitive process?
2. Know Yourself: what is your creative process; how do you access your creativity; where do you feel it in your body? How do you know a creative idea is coming? How do you stay in creativity?
3. Space: What type of environment do you need to feel creative? Where do you do your best work?
4. Inspiration: At what time of day are you most creative? Morning, before lunch, while exercising, when walking the dog, and/or late at night? What inspires you: music, nature, other designers, images, textures, scents?
5. Overcome: What do you do when you’re uncreative, when you don’t know what to do or when the project doesn’t speak to you, but you know you have to do it? In other works, how do you overcome feeling stuck?
6. Summary: If you had to sum up your creative process in one word or in one short phrase, what would it be?