"So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges.
Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?"
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
Creativity is a life lived in response to the pulse of revealed reality, it can be both beautiful and painful to stop and notice life unfolding around us. Words like meaningfulness, muse, inspiration; they all speak to a romance that is hidden within our hearts, a longing for something tangibly transcendent. The irony is the "ether", this invisible creative force, is found in the every day grit of ordinary life, it demands the stage of the ordinary but lifts us to the heavenly. Oooooh now you've got me all fired up!
I would love to share with you just a few tips that have helped me start or re-start my creative journey. Let's be honest, if we see creativity ONLY as a super-romantic force that shines like golden fairy dust we are sure to be disappointed, which then can lead to a certain type of creative-cynicism or interior betrayal of the heart. Creativity is formed, birthed, carried and delivered by the heart, it is heart language. Therefore step one on finding your creative mojo.....
1. Listen To Your Heart: the heart is a unique space that connects soul with flesh, the very crossroads of transcendence, the exact same intersection where creativity resides. We must learn to make time and space for things that are not fully logical or physical. Could you stop and listen to your heart every 90 minutes or so? That is what I am doing, every 90 min I stop, I try to breath fresh air, take a short walk, have a cup of tea on the deck, read a poem, listen to my favourite song! I take 15 minutes every 90 minutes for a heart and soul check in, the only rules are I must do something soothing and beautiful in that time.
2. Learn to Fail: Creativity is about discovery, not about establishment. I confess, I wrote one or two songs early on in my career that people really loved. Early success caused me to have a self-imposed judgement that all my songs needed to be brilliant and have instant commercial viability. Not true! Does your inner editor sound gentle or demanding? Do you embrace failure and celebrate it? Allow yourself to fail; even better fail alongside someone, take a new class, try co-writing, publish something unfinished online.
3. Consume More Than You Output: Are you like me, do you have stacks of books, just like this all over the house? I LOVE reading, but I never am reading just one book. I have books for all moods, occasion and needs. Fiction for just before bed, The Passion version of The Psalms for songwriting, The Artists Way for creative guidance and on and on. See my recommend books list below!
I have a painter-friend who has multiple Pinterest boards for visual inspiration, I have another friend who listens to music I have never even heard of and I love asking them to share what is inspiring them! Creativity is like having a huge library in our mind and soul, fill it up, and it will deliver beauty and connections when you least expect it! I also recommend having a few journals to help you jot down things that are inspiring you, the one in the picture is my quote journal. An online tool like Evernote is also a great way to keep track of inspiring things!
Karla's Recommended Book List (for a creativity kick start)
The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
Present Over Perfect - Shauna Niequest
Poetry on Fire - The Psalms (Passion Translation)
The Road Back To You (Enneagram Introduction) - Ian Morgon Cron + Suzanne Stabile
Image Journal (a web page link).
The Broken Way - Ann Voskamp