Several weeks back, I began writing this four-part series in an attempt to describe a critical path for expanding one’s creative and spiritual growth. Over many years of personal research, my experiences taught me that creativity and spirituality are intimately interwoven. In fact, I often wonder if we are using two different words to describe the same “way of being.” This series of blogs dabbles at demystifying our human “being-ness” by outlining four foundational pillars that liberate creativity — awareness, deep-felt experience, deep collaboration and finally, this blog’s topic, creative expression.
Not unlike learning any new skill, creativity requires practice. Regardless if our intention is to play tennis or paint a picture, we might first become aware of the helpful tools and techniques associated with either activity. Rightly named, these transformation tools enhance our ability to progress with regard to our intention. However, these external aids and expertise are only a small piece of the truth puzzle.
Of equal, or arguably greater, importance is our personal knowledge of our own body, mind and spirit. In the end, such intimate knowledge of ourselves provides the discernment needed to enhance overall wellbeing and navigate life with confidence and mastery.
Whether we are finessing a tennis stroke or a painting style, the deep-felt experience of our sensations, thoughts and emotions (our self-study) unfolds confidence and self-mastery. Through self-study, we learn where our limitations and inhibitions are and can then choose to accept or move beyond them.
The truth acquired through the self-study of deep-felt experiences confirms what transformation is required in our current limitations. Fortunately, this deeper understanding of our mind-body connection also provides us with direct access to past knowledge and present emerging experience. This “information” comes in the form of intuitive knowing. Intuition, our sixth sense, is the ability to understand something without the need or use of reasoning. Instead, it denotes a “spiritual insight or immediate spiritual communication” enabling us to see the truth with clarity.
Intuition is the transformation tool that accompanies deep collaboration and plunges us into the murky waters of the mysterious nature of our being. As I wrote in Part III of this four-part series, to fully integrate deep collaboration we must first practice intra- and then inter-personal collaboration. Much more mysterious, however, is the practice of extra-personal collaboration which further expands our capacity and wisdom.
When we rest awareness on present moment emerging experience, we are deeply collaborating with all of life. Simply, we are surrendering to what is and trusting that what we need is being provided to us in each passing moment. Such deep collaboration aligns us intra-, inter-and extra-personally with the flow of life.
Opening up to life’s wisdom gives us access to the Akashic records of all past, present and future human experience. Of course, if your mind is full of inane and constant chatter, it is unlikely you can allow what you want to know to flow through you courtesy of the universe. This is why so many people take up meditation.
Our combined practices of awareness, deep-felt experience and deep collaboration prepare us physically, energetically and mentally-emotionally to discover, claim and express our spiritual essence and creative gifts. Traditionally, the ability to create was associated with genius, and those who did not break new ground were considered neither creative nor genius. In a somewhat more contemporary discussion, creative insights and illuminations were explained by a process consisting of the following five stages —
(i) preparation (preparatory work on a problem that focuses the individual’s mind on the problem and explores the problem’s dimensions),
(ii) incubation (where the problem is internalized into the unconscious mind and nothing appears externally to be happening),
(iii) intimation (the creative person gets a “feeling” that a solution is on its way),
(iv) illumination or insight (where the creative idea bursts forth from its preconscious processing into conscious awareness);
(v) verification (where the idea is consciously verified, elaborated, and then applied).
Although I appreciate the above creation process, some years back I simplified it to three stages —
(where intuition and imagination combine and burst forth a creative idea — as experienced during present moment awareness)
(where knowledge and experience regarding the creative idea are acquired — new beliefs precede new behaviours as deep-felt experience and deep collaboration unfold)
(where knowledge and experience transform into wisdom — behaviour catches up in the form of creative expression)
IMHO, there is nothing more personally powerful and joyful than being able to live in your genius. Creativity is our human legacy allowing us to adapt quickly and evolve. We are born with the capacity to create. Of course, the risk required to step into our genius brings up great fear and resistance. As Marianne Williamson (2020 US presidential candidate), states in A Return to Love:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.