Creative living is an everyday commitment. A commitment to surrender to creative force, yes.
But is there anything we can do to elevate the surrender? Picasso is said to have observed, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” Is it enough to simply turn up at my desk and expect the force to penetrate?
Sometimes, yes - it works. Sometimes I can open the page, and simply begin to create something upon which there was once only space. It might suck, but I'm working, right? And by getting started, I know the creative force will soon appear to take hold of me and enter me like a lover, warm breath on my neck.
Other times, I just can't begin the work. I stare at the screen, I flick through the pages of the journal, I check out my Instagram feed or that doozy of all time suck, Facebook. Quite often I get up from my chair and before I know it, I'm stuffing an illicit chocolate digestive down my throat (if no one sees me do it, it doesn't count, right?) I'm not alone, I know it happens to you, too.
Catching the lover's attention
What can we do to spark our creativity when our beings are strongly resisting getting on with the work?
We already know the answers, don't we? We have always known but we need reminded sometimes. We just do. And sometimes our lover, the creative source, needs something extra to draw his attention.
Here are some of the ways I catch his eye;
Change physical location: My family is pretty much completely location independent but we can spend an inordinately large amount of time in one place, tied to our desks. Physically removing ourselves to a new location triggers an immediate flow of creative ideas. Always - it's like source needs to check up on me in this new place.
My favourite way to change location is by house swapping.
Engage play: It was through the rediscovery of the symbolic play of his childhood that psychologist CG Jung was able to connect with his creative spirit. The "active imagination" technique he developed from this connection forms the foundation of most of today's creative therapies. Playing opens doors. It allows for transformation and growth, just like when we were little.
Just now I'm finding play turn up in unexpected ways, creating joyful inspiration where I wasn't even looking for it.
Make magic: Jamie Ridler introduced me to cut and paste word and image collage a few years ago by way of her full moon dreamboards. It's something I developed into a daily practice called Found Inspirations. I can't explain the detailed ins and outs of how it works - I'm content simply to think of it as magic.
I am a sorceress, my magic wand a pair of scissors and a glue stick and I'm all the while batting my eyes flirtatiously at source.
Develop soul destiny: Sometimes we need only to ask the right questions of ourselves and we find in our answers the spark we need to make magic that day. I learned three soul questions a couple of years ago during a 21 day meditation challenge run by the Chopra Center. These questions have been guiding my way on a daily basis ever since. They never fail to deliver. It's like the creative source is listening out for the answers.
The questions: Who am I? What do I want? How do I serve?
Surround yourself with beauty: From John O'Donohue's book Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, "Beauty does not linger, it only visits. Yet beauty's visitation affects us and invites us into its rhythm, it calls us to feel, think, and act beautifully in the world : to create and live a life that awakens the beautiful ... Even, and perhaps especially, in the bleakest times, we can still discover and awaken beauty; these are precisely the times when we need it most."
Beauty ignites our creativity - that's the truth. It's one of my top life values and has never failed me - even in the most dire of circumstances.Surround yourself with beauty and you can't fail to be inspired.
Go outside: This one works for almost every person I know. It has worked since before the dawn of time. If like me, you believe that we share the same spirit as every plant, animal and landscape, then you can find easy cause for great wonderment. If you simply enjoy getting some fresh air and experiencing the great outdoors, see if you can slow down to notice what is going on all around you.
Before you know it, you will be filled with some energetic magic that sparks your creativity with hardly any effort at all.
What lights your creative fire?
Make a list (embellish it for optimum magical powers) of all of the nurturing behaviours that have worked for you in the past and when inspiration jumps ship and leaves you lonely for some creative lovin', pick one or more of them, or a quick version you can put into action right now.
You'll soon feel the spark and the heat within will begin to rise. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about!
Julie Gibbons enjoys art journaling, journal therapy and mixed media. Her passion is self discovery through intuitive, creative practice, to reveal personal patterns, symbolism & archetypes of the true self.Blog & Website + Etsy