Creativity Is A Fickle Thing
For the next few weeks, I’m going to talk about something that I don’t often explore much here.
I’m going to be diving into my experience with and process around creativity, because I feel like some of what I’ve discovered for myself in terms of being able to be consistent in creating content may be helpful for those out there who are also working in creative fields, but also for those who simply consider themselves ‘creatives’ and who are looking for some more tools to add to their creativity toolbox.
I’m also going to be talking about my connection to what I perceive to be ‘God’ or ‘The Divine’ a lot in this series - because to me this is where creativity comes from. For me, the experience of learning how to connect with this bigger presence has been a tandem experience with learning how to be creative and how to be consistently creative. For me in my personal experience, there has been no separation between my expanding creative capacity and my deepening felt experience of God - and thus I am going to talk about both in this article.
If the idea of God or Divinity doesn’t resonate with you - that’s ok. We all have different experiences and I’m not saying that mine is any kind of Gold standard. Rather, I am simply going to share what’s enabled me to be in a state of maximum creativity and inspiration - and I would love for YOU to take what resonates with you and leave the rest. I would love for you to realize that if the God idea doesn’t work for you - that’s totally ok, fair and legitimate. That you will have your own access, your own source, your own experience - and hopefully what I share in terms of vessel building at the end will be able to apply to you no matter what your perspective is.
Also note that ‘connection to the Divine’ can also be interpreted as your connection to yourself, your deep inner world, your emotions and the ethereal nature of the reality we live in. You don’t have to label your own access to guidance, awareness, wisdom or love as anything other than you connecting to yourself. You don’t have to believe that there’s anything ‘greater’ than you, you can see it as you tapping into greater and greater aspects of YOURSELF. You can see it as tapping into greater and greater aspects of OTHERS and the collective human wisdom. To nature. To life itself. Because at the end of the day, we don’t really KNOW where spiritual wisdom/guidance/love comes from. So far be it for me to dictate what we must ALL believe about it.
Please don’t see this article series as any kind of pressure to believe in anything in particular. This is just my vantage point and explanation for things - and if you have a different vantage point or explanation, go with that! Listen to and trust yourself.
Creativity is for all of us. Wisdom is for all of us. Guidance and the feeling of being loved is for ALL of us, no matter what we do or don’t believe in - so know that however YOU practice to access these things is right for YOU. No matter how YOU perceive these things it’s right for YOU.
I believe everything I share here is available to all of us - and we all just have to find our own WAY to connect.
If God does it for you, great. If not, that’s fine, there are many, many other options. Filter this through your belief system so that you can benefit from the practices and connection without there having to be dogma.
Again, the biggest thing is that I believe ALL of this is available to ALL of us - and it’s just a matter of finding practices that help US feel connected. THAT is the key. So you find what works for YOU and stick to that - the examples I give of what I’ve done are just that, examples - not a prescription.
For the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you some deeply personal stories, in the hope that hearing my experience can validate your own. My journey with creativity has been a deeply vulnerable one, and one that’s encompassed pretty well all other areas of my life.
So this may be a bit different than the content you’re used to getting from me, but I hope it’s helpful for you nonetheless.
I Never Considered Myself To Be The “Creative Type”
Creativity isn’t something I’ve spoken too much around here, partially because I think I still have a lot of ‘impostor syndrome’ around the topic.
In other words, for most of my life I’ve felt as though I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to call myself a creative - because I’m not ‘artistic’ in the classical sense of the word.
I have no eye for color or design. I can’t paint or draw. I love music and dance but wouldn’t consider myself an artist in these fields by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t write stories or ‘creative’ works. I’m not a poet or a singer.
I’ve always seen ‘truly creative’ people as ARTISTS - as people who are whimsical and free. People who are unorganized and chaotic in all the best ways - allowing for that creative spark to pull them this way and that. Artists, to me, were people who lived eccentric lives, who spoke in poems and who felt deep emotions and lived by those emotions.
My sister was and is a perfect example of this. To my mind, SHE was creative. She is an illustrator, a designer, a fashionista. She was able to weave complex stories in her imagination that rivaled anything you could read in a book or watch on T.V. She created magical worlds for her toys out of found objects in her closet and desk. She was CONSTANTLY making something beautiful, or making what was even more beautiful - and to me this is what being ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’ was.
I was not that. At all. I was logical. I was practical. I was emotional and very, very far removed from the world of art that was her experience.
Clearly, I was pretty indoctrinated by the stereo-typing that is so rampant in our culture 😉
Over the years, I’ve come to understand that creativity isn’t relegated to only those who have chosen to or who must live lives of perpetual spontaneity.
It’s not a personality type necessarily and in real reality, we’re all having to be ‘creative’ in some way or other living life - a life where we don’t always know what’s going to happen and where we don’t always have ‘answers’ to what we ‘should’ be doing.
In a sense, all of us are living creative lives, because we are figuring things out, one step at a time, ‘creating’ our way forward given the fact that there’s no exacting blueprint for any of us. All of us are living lives that are unique - so even with the paths that have been laid down before us, even with the ways of being that are ‘normal’ that we follow to some degree, even with the patterns that we take on - we’re still always going to be in *some* form of creativity because our circumstances are never going to be exactly what anyone else’s are, and each moment of each day is going to contain something new that we have to work through.
But I also understand this is expanding the definition of creativity to include essentially everything - and for the purposes of this article, I do want to focus on a more ‘traditional’ view of creativity.
‘The use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of artistic works’ - this is the definition we’re given in the dictionary and I think it’s a good jumping off point.
Not Creative, But Deeply Spiritual And That’s Kinda The Same Thing
So growing up, ‘a creative’ wasn’t something I would have pegged myself as, but spiritual? That was very much a part of my identity.
Now, not to get too ‘woo-woo’ on you, but for my entire life, I’ve lived in a way that could be considered rather mystical.’
I would consider myself a deeply spiritual person, one who has been seeking ‘God’ for pretty much as long as I can remember. My mom said that the first words that I spoke were asking for water, and asking where God was/asking questions about heaven. Which was odd because my family wasn’t religious, and I hadn’t been exposed to religious materials.
I’ve also spent my life being very ‘different’ from others. I struggled socially all through my school career - always feeling like I was on the outside of whatever experience everyone else was having. I could never personally relate to the struggles of everyone around me, nor could I personally relate to what seemed to drive everyone else. I was seeking deep connection, God, forward momentum out of the pain that was my everyday existence. Everyone else was caught up in popularity contests, looking for validation from peers, struggling with studies - I could *understand* but I couldn’t actually say I KNEW what they were going through on a personal level, because my experience was just SO different.
With that, I made it my mission to try to understand the experience of others. I really wanted to empathize, to get into what was going on for others, because I really wanted to be someone who was able to support others in feeling better. I also really wanted to connect and I felt that this route was my best bet - given how much any other method of connecting was failing me. I knew if I could understand what people were going through, if I could ‘study’ them so to speak, I could help them problem solve and figure out a new path forward. I could see that people were repeating patterns in their lives that were giving them results they didn’t want - and I could see that people were living via their emotions and feelings FAR more than their logical minds. They were living from what they BELIEVED their emotions and feelings were telling them - which oftentimes wasn’t in alignment with real reality - and this led to all sorts of issues that usually became ruts people looped in, over and over again. This perplexed me for a long time, but eventually it became the basis of the work I do now.
Supporting people in figuring out their patterns, looking for the emotional ‘trip wires’ that usually drive them, questioning their realities, questioning their perceptions and working towards new patterns that are going to work better than the ones they’re currently in - these things became the foundation for my entire world view, an obsession, something I would study - and still study - consistently.
Over the years, the main thing I’ve learned is that humans are always doing the best they can with what they currently know. No one is ‘bad’ in the sense that they are actually trying to cause harm for harm's sake. Everyone is trying to get their needs met, to be safe, to feel that they have security. I’ve witnessed that all of us have patterns from our youth that drive us and that again, usually aren’t based in real reality but are based in what WAS reality in our childhoods, and based on what we THOUGHT was reality in our childhoods.
The more I talked to people, the more I was able to get to know where people were coming from, the more I spent time really studying people the more I could see this.
Everyone was good. Everyone was trying their best. Everyone was managing life in the ways they knew to do to try to keep themselves safe.
This period in my life where I was constantly being ‘let in’ to peoples deepest, darkest places showed me this truth over and over again. No matter who I talked to and no matter what we talked about, EVERYONE had a REASON for being who and what they were - and it became VERY clear to me that the less people were supported, the less people were safe, the more there was going to be the tendency for harmful behavior and negative labels. Labels that to me, weren’t fair in the slightest.
People needed safety and support not punishment and rejection - and it was clear to me that the more we rejected ‘bad’ people, the more we created the conditions for people to feel unsafe and unworthy, and the more they would then be driven to desperate action to try to keep themselves safe.
But I digress, this isn’t the point of this article at all. Back to creativity 😉
In all of this, in my study of human psychology and patterns, in my journey through figuring out how I can best support people as they discover more and more about who they are and what they need to live a fulfilled life - I’ve also learned a LOT about what it means to be a creator.
I’ve had to learn how to take ideas and concepts and make them into usable pieces of content. I’ve had to learn how to consistently show up with NEW material on a regular basis (hello algorithm and trying to keep up with social media platforms so people will see the work).
I’ve had to figure out ways to put the same information into multiple different formats so that it’s more accessible to more people - people with different learning styles, different content they relate to and different ways of thinking.
I’ve learned that staying in a constant state of curiosity and receptivity rather than believing I have it all figured out creates the conditions not only for better and better content, but also the conditions for a perpetual state of having SOMETHING I COULD be creating.
I’ve also had to learn, the hard way many times, that creativity is a FULL being, FULL body experience. I’ve had to learn that just because my MIND says I can do something this doesn’t mean that my BEING can do it. I’ve had to learn how to take BIG, complex webs of information and slowly piece them together into linear, understandable tracks that people can actually use.
I’ve spent a LOT of time over the last decade in a state that feels like I am exiting between two worlds.
On the one hand, I’ve been grounded in the practical/real/physical world. Working with people, needing to COMMUNICATE ideas in an effective way that people can use and follow, being in a physical body with limits and very real feelings - all of this has kept me ‘grounded’ in human life.
On the other, there has been a MASSIVE part of my experience that feels very deeply ‘other-worldly.’ SO much of the content I create comes from what feels like an alternate space where large doses of information come into my awareness all at once, where projects come in the form of ‘energy’ that my body then needs to process before it can be ‘unpacked’ into something tangible, where I can visually ‘see’ patterns of human behavior and all the events that preceded it as well as everything that’s currently existing in support of those patterns.
As much as my work may seem really practical, the WAY it’s created, what I see and experience in order to create it, how it comes into being and what precedes the actual manifestation is all quite ‘esoteric.’
Let’s take a pause here, and come back next week for more!
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