Maximizing Your Creativity
Individuality and Creativity are closely linked. Finding your creative voice is a matter of getting to know who you truly are---at a deep level—and what you most desire to accomplish or project in life. Being creative means using every facet of mind and heart to create your life in the world.
As Mary Oliver wrote: “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
This regret can be addressed no matter how old we are. It isn’t about art, but the art of life. We ARE the creators of our own life.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I have found out how to begin to say something in my own voice. Virginia Woolf, July 26, 1922
When Virginia Woolf wrote this, she had already been publishing since 1915, but felt it took her that long to find her voice. This gives consolation to many writers or artists who are feeling their way towards who they are. But Creativity is not just about art. Every act of our lives, aside from those that are involuntary and part of the normal schedule of things, has a creative possibility. How we create our families, our businesses and our social world has many of the aspects of artistic creativity. As much as we could draw a picture or write a score, we are directing the course of our lives. We can do this unconsciously or consciously. Conscious living involves the spirit of creativity. We begin by asking ourselves the following questions:
· Who am I?
· Who do I want to be?
· How do I want to fashion my life? My work?
· What’s next?
· What is conscious living?
That last one comes first. What IS conscious living? It’s living from a point of view that we think about, plan for and implement. We are creatures of mind, body and spirit. We try to roll with the punches when things go wrong, but that is a passive act. The active way of seeing life leads to fashioning our way of being no matter what is happening. It’s NOT this; then this; then this. For example, as Mary Oliver wrote, it’s even more important to take the negative things in life and deduce how to fit them into our plan.
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand this too was a gift.
As we begin to discover who we are, no matter how late in life, those boxes full of darkness are as important as the unexpected and welcome light. I believe, in fact, that the lessons found in our darkest hours have the most impact on our character and growth. For example: the death of my son led me to the compassionate life of noting what, as Miller Williams said, “goes on down there where the blood meets the bone.” My invisibility in my grieving taught me that all people grieving, unless they tear their beard and put on sack cloth and ashes, are invisible to others. No one knows what is going on deep inside. So it is when we are consciously building the new person we will become. Our shell disintegrates and a new one grows. In the in-between times of this growth, we learn. We suffer or we rejoice, but we learn. We can learn compassion or we can learn to block ourselves from emotions. Compassion will help us to build upon our creativity. Because we can relate to others, we can intuit what will assist them in recovery, speaking their truth or even teaching others what their commonalities are. We become multi-dimensional because our joy or sorrow has opened us to more sensitivity.
People who are angry and confrontational are one-dimensional. Their fear keeps them from being creative and understanding the feelings of others. When you are ready to grow, try this exercise.
1. Allow yourself at least 15 minutes. Sit in a quiet space and breathe deeply.
2. Imagine the energy that surrounds your body. Breathe this energy into your heart. Breathe in to the count of 5, out to the count of 5.
3. Now think of an emotion like compassion or love as you breathe in for another minute.
4. Now imagine someone you know, or someone you have seen in the world who is suffering, and send them your energetic presence. Just watch your energy flow out into the world and envelop that person or group with your love. Continue to breathe deeply.
5. Wish this person or group the ability to creatively turn their pain into action, whether for themselves or others, or just to feel peace. Hold your energy there as long as possible.
6. Return to you space, breathing deeply. Thank your guidance for allowing you to be a means of change in the world.
As you go about your day, ask your guidance how your work or your daily life can more creatively impact others—in or out of your immediate environment. This works well on boards; in work spaces; in classrooms or across the globe. You are a catalyst for change whether your work is personal transformation for yourself or a way of impacting the globe. Consider joining the Global Coherence Initiative through the HeartMath® site, where individuals get together in a group to send positive energy to specific areas of the planet for a specific reason. It is a powerful tool for change.