Did you know that each one of us is a creative being? We all have elements of artistry inside of us? Whether it is what is commonly recognized and understood as art: drawing, painting, dancing, acting, writing/performing/composing/arranging music, sculpting, or not: science, mathematics, organization, teaching, administration – whatever we do as part of our self-expression, utilizing the fullness of our gifts and talents, and sharing them with the world is also an act of creation.
Creation is art and art is magical. It is the alchemical transmutation of one thing into another. A canvas and a collection of tinted oil, acrylic, or dried pigment becomes a tangible, visible representation of the painter’s vision and perspective. A jumbled mess of receipts, bills, statements, and payment schedules is gathered, categorized, and the raw data combined with software or ledgers and is transformed into an accounting system enabling the user to achieve the financial component to support dreams and goals.
I believe that we all have the opportunity to express our creative character each day.
If, like me, you experience chronic physical and mental health issues and/or have developed a life full of disruption, instability, and conflict it may often seem like there is no room for creativity. It may seem like there is no creativity inside of your head or your heart. The creative spark that once burned brightly may seem to have gone totally out, taking your joie de vivre with it.
It’s so insanely easy to ignore the inner radar for inspiration. There may have been an encroachment of events and responsibilities which have buried the interest and desire to act on your creative impulses. It has happened to me ~ it still does, on an almost daily basis, in fact.
However, I’m learning that like Love, Hope, Peace, and Forgiveness, Inspiration and Creativity are not merely feelings, preferences, and things that happen to you or are experienced by you. They are decisive actions, active choices, if you will. These are all spiritual connections to our inner beings and what connects us to others and the world around us.
Regardless of what your creative talent or gift is, it needs two things in order to grow and flourish: Practice and Inspiration. Practice requires concentrated effort and focused action. Inspiration can “just happen,” however there are some things which can be done to facilitate and invite Inspiration into your life.
Engage – if you leave the gearshift in Neutral, you might coast a short distance or be easier for external forces to move, but you certainly won’t get to your desired destination by staying in Neutral. You’ve got to get in gear, whether it’s Reverse or Drive, you’ve got to shift and engage the gears in order to get anywhere.
What this means in terms of Inspiration is you need to be paying attention to your surroundings and the people you encounter along the way. Inspiration can come in a phrase, image, or encounter. If you’re not engaged and paying attention, just coasting in Neutral or rolling along on cruise control, you can easily miss the off ramp labelled “Inspiration.”
Share – “Sharing is caring””,” may sound like a parenting cliché for teaching children to give up selfish behaviors and attitudes, but it is a key principle of growth and development. The inclination may be to avoid sharing about the things which interest and inspire you and the creative expressions you’ve put together, perhaps because of past ridicule or rejection. However, keeping these things to yourself puts a barrier up, hindering growth and limiting opportunities for Inspiration to enter. Think of it like the cross-pollination the birds and the bees do for plants and flowers. Opening your creative expressions, or even just the day-to-day mundanities of life, and allowing others to share in them, brings opportunities for new ideas and ways of seeing the world into your realm. By letting your seeds and pollen to be carried to others, you are allowing your Inspiration to grow, expand, and ignite inspiration in others.
Explore – staring at the same four walls, listening to the same people saying the same things, and walking the same, well-worn paths are the best ways I know to keep the door closed on Inspiration. Exploration and Discovery are often necessary in order for Inspiration to join the party. New people, places, and experiences may not always be fun and pain-free, however, if your mind and spirit are open to receiving and learning instead of closed with an agenda and expected outcome, it’s likely that Inspiration could make an appearance.
The times when I feel least like writing, the days when everything seems to conspire against me, and the moments I just want to hide away are also when Inspiration seems to have escaped or gone into hiding. That’s when it’s critical for me to Engage, Share, and Explore, even if it is just through the screen of my phone.