Journey to Creativity

Creativity is a state of consciousness.  We cultivate creativity when we suspend our routines and automatic patterns of thinking and try new approaches to solving the problems and challenges of life.  Sometimes our lives become too predictable and there Is no room for growth and transformation.  We need to switch off the cruise control or the automatic pilot so that we can respond spontaneously to opportunities that arise.  When the old energy field around us is  no longer held in place by habitual patterns, new  doors open and we can walk through them.    This enables us to be more playful and engage in activities that bring greater joy to ourselves and others.

Opposite States of Consciousness:  Living on automatic pilot, habitual or rote behavior and patterns of thinking, being stuck in unhealthy energetic patterns that emphasize duty and predictability over joy and spontaneity. Our routines are inflexible, our roles rigid, and our time highly pressured or conscribed, sabotaging our energy so that we are unable to take risks and grow beyond our fear-based limits. 

The Teaching

Creativity brings new energy into our lives.  Old patterns and routines fall apart and new directions are explored.  Like a child with a new toy, we investigate all the possibilities and have fun doing it.  Joy and playfulness are the characteristics
of living a creative life. 
     In our world, energy moves into form and expresses through that form. But no form lasts forever.  Every form has a useable life.  When its lifespan is exceeded the form either explodes or implodes.  When energy expands from within and the form is unable to expand to contain it, the form will explode.  Energy will be liberated and it will find a new form to inhabit or a new way to express.  On the other hand, when the form contracts and the energy inside it is compressed it implodes. In other words, it collapses into itself or disintegrates from within.  In this way also, the energy is disembodied and has to find a new way to express. 
    In spiritual terms, this is cyclical process of death and rebirth.   In Physics the same principle is explained by the first law of Thermodynamics, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy. This law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.
    Cycles are part of life.  Forms come into being and then fall apart.  Then the energy that is liberated finds a new form or way of expressing.   When we are conscious of our cycles and cooperate with them, rebirth becomes both a conscious act and an organic process.  We detach from the old willingly and so create the space for the new energy to come in.  The form does not need to explode or implode (a violent act) for it is surrendered gracefully.
     It is one of the challenges of life that old forms must die for energy to be transformed and reinvested.  This is how life renews itself.  The creative energy cannot manifest until the space is created for it to express.  So either there is a let go and a detachment from old energy patterns or there is an explosion/implosion that releases the energy. 
     From a practical point of new, you foster creativity by letting go of old rigid patterns of thought and behavior.  If you cannot let go, you set yourself up for a more dramatic event, in which you are forced to let go.  In the Hindu tradition, this is the Shiva energy taking over, coming in to destroy the old so that the new can be born.  For us the question really is how to cooperate with Shiva so that the old can be released without major trauma.
     The death of form results in a period of chaos or formlessness.  The energy swings are intense and frequent until the energy released finds a new form or a direction for its expression.  This is true, albeit to a lesser degree, even if we cooperate and voluntarily detach and let go. Exploration and playfulness are the first part of the creative process.
     That is why creative energy cannot and should not be embodied or invested in form before it is ready.  It needs time for exploration. The beginning of a cycle is not the time for commitment, structure or discipline.   That is why I point out in my book Having the Time of Your Life, there are two years of detachment (8, 9) and two years of exploration (1-2) in any given 9-year cycle.  Only years 3-7 are moving concretely into form.  They are the five active years of the cycle.
     The lesson here is that we often put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed that we just keep re-creating the same limiting forms in our lives.  We do not grow, because we have not expanded beyond our limited beliefs and habitual behavior patterns.  The more we restrict our growth and keep old energetic patterns alive, the more frustrated our soul becomes, because the goal of the soul is growth and transformation. 
     If we don’t learn to detach from rigid forms and roles, fixed ideas, and dysfunctional energetic patterns that result in self-betrayal, then our soul will cry out for Shiva’s help and we will go through a big drama. The earth will shake under our feet.  A volcano or tidal wave of emotion will erupt.

The Practice

Today, be open to new, creative approaches to life.  Let go of fixed thinking,
rigid roles and repetitive or habitual behavior patterns.  Try a new diet, find a different way to drive to work, turn off the television and take a walk on the beach.  
      Today try to see the world as if you are looking at it for the first time.  There is a huge part of life you are not experiencing because you keep looking at it from the same angle. Today, open your eyes a little wider.  See the big picture or change your perspective   
    You are most creative when you allow yourself to explore and to play.  So don’t be afraid to daydream or brainstorm.  Write down your thoughts without editing yourself.  Just let the words come tumbling out however they want to.  You are not writing for anyone else.  You are not trying to impress anyone. 
     Today, dance like no one is watching.   Give yourself the freedom to be and to explore.  Don’t try to be practical.  Don’t try to write your business plan or make big commitments/decisions.  It’s not the time for that.  So take the pressure off.   If you can, take the day off from work.  Or at least change your daily routine.
You don’t have to perform today.  Just have fun.  Just walk through the open doors and see where they lead.
      Notice when you are putting the pressure back on yourself.  Observe when you are trying to fit into a structure that no longer works. Be mindful when you are taking yourself or others too seriously.  Can you just relax and have fun?  Can you enjoy the process without knowing where it is going to lead?
     Creative artists in any genre learn to trust their intuition.  Art is not a rational or intellectual process.  It is a play of the mind and the heart.  It is an exploration into uncharted waters.  If you know where it is leading, chances are it is not art.
It is something else.
     If a new idea comes it, dance with it.  Don’t try to understand it or qualify it.  Just bring it in.  And let the next one come in right after it.  Stream of consciousness it the human form of the universal play.  
     There will be time later to edit or structure if that is what is needed.  But if you bring the structure in too soon, you will squeeze out all of the creative energy.     Today is a day to expand, travel, learn, play, explore.   It is not a day of form but a day of content unfolding.
    It will eventually find the form that suits it. But not today.  Today, we don’t know what it is or where it is going. Today it is in free flow.  
     Tomorrow it might become a sonnet or Haiku, but today it is just free verse.  It is not sight reading the notes in the score.  There is no score.  Today is a day for improvisation.  
     We don’t know where we are going and we don’t need to know.  Isn’t that in and of itself an amazing gift?   That is the gift that creativity brings to all of us.   

Journaling Questions

When have you been most creative in your life? How can you be more creative right now?

Audio Recording: click on the link to download the audio only file: | download audio |