The Weekend 4/20/12 ~The Creative Spark

I had saved this excerpt from Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification by Christopher Peterson, Martin Seligman, Chapter 4 Creativity pg 109-110  intending to share. Then this week I came across a blog written by Jeff Goins full of boundless inspiration for my already churning mind. I began to puzzle together this excerpt with last weekends pursuing your passions.  And as I began reading his blog entry called You must Engage Your Creative Side, my half written piece on living up to your creative potential came to the forefront. It began with a list of questions:

  • Do you live up to your full creative potential?
  • Do you realize how extraordinary you are?
  • Are you living your passions?
  • If not what is stopping you?

Jeff had engaged in an evening of creative exploration by drawing eyes closed on a sheet of paper. I began to ponder. How do you unlock creative potential?  Some ideas sprang to mind. Try drawing from an image turned upside down, Pick a word randomly and begin writing a short story, Find a photo and create your own caption, Pick three incongruous items from your kitchen and cook something. Or chose from one of the suggestions in 33 ways to stay creative or Why not be Creative by Shannon Ables.

We live in a world of stereotypes “intellectual, artistic, athletic. As you may have gathered from my article on Nicknames these stereotypes pigeonhole us into categories. We even categorize artists (painters, singers, dancers, chefs, architects etc.) You don’t have to be published or recorded. Even if your work is never seen this by no means excludes you as creative. Every single one of us has a creative spark. We’re all creative. It is one of the things that connects us.

As Jeff put it,

“We don’t create for others.
We don’t create to impress or be the best.
We create, because we can.”

I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free”….Michelangelo

For me creating is divine, the spark that comes from deep within when we drop our defenses. I believe this is part of my own spiritual expression, the sacred. In this space I feel my own connection to all things. I delight with the ideas and pictures seeking expression and feel the flow and presence of my whole mind, the reality of the “I am”.  Whatever you call it, divine inspiration, the human spirit, a muse, the intangible, God, whatever your source, unleash it.

Don’t let your limited belief systems hold you back. Those mental habits that keep playing in a perpetual loop in your mind, that fixed companion, the nagging thoughts that your dreams are unobtainable. You know…I’m not good enough, funny enough, and smart enough. I say enough! Break up these very belief systems before they become self-fulfilling. Don’t become less than what you truly are. Seek the truth, shine your light, and start fresh unencumbered.

If you don’t know what your gift is then just try something, anything, until you find the thing that whispers to you long after you’ve put it down. What is it you see that no one else does? Your voice is uniquely your own so share it. Get to know yourself. What are you willing to give your heart and soul for? Create conversation, ask questions, and stand on your tip toes, spend an entire day fasting from self-concern. Engage, experiment, and give art the space it needs to grow, to breathe. Then keep doing it so it can flourish.

Any passion must be practiced. So you must love it or you’re bound to quit. Jeff Goins says of writing that you must “learn how to enjoy writing for what it is — an arduous and sometimes tedious process of dying to yourself and being reborn. It is painful and glorious all at the same time and not to be taken lightly in the least.”

Don’t create for others, create for yourself. Whether anyone ever sees it or not is irrelevant. If you deny this spark you are denying a part of who you are. And with each new creation you will discover a part of yourself. Perhaps something you never knew you were capable of. Delve into your Passionate Curiosity and be Fearless, bold. Hold nothing back.

We are all Creative. Our greatest masterpiece is our life. So what are you waiting for? Create.

Weekend Reading List:


Images: Here / Here / Here / Here / Here / Here

The Weekend~ 4/6/12

I was reading a post by guest blogger Catia Michelle on AMSdaily. She spoke about practicing self-care and Sabbath. Jewish Sabbath law says you stay close to home, limit technology, partake in Ritual-filled family meals, visits with friends and neighbors, and theological discussion. Sabbath is about spiritual community, connection,and consciousness. It is the sense of sacred in our lives.

As Catia puts it:

Sabbath gives us time and space for wonder.

Sabbath lets us rest and honor our bodies

Sabbath opens us up to appreciated deep human relationships.

Sabbath gives us time to experience the beauty and transcendence in our world.

Sabbath’s mantra is there is plenty of time for the things that matter most in life. So there is no need to run, run, run as our culture tries to convince us.

As I read her post it occurred to me that Sabbatical was rooted in Sabbath, a day of rest. Recently I quit teaching. Now I am the kind of teacher that gives everything I have to my students. There is both a light and dark aspect to this part of my nature. Giving away more of yourself then you have to give is not good self-care. I love teaching but one morning I realized I was maxed out, exhausted. I was constantly getting sick. For the first time ever I felt dread. This is not the kind of teacher I want to be. In that moment I knew. I needed time. Time to recharge, replenish and renew myself. I needed to stop.

I believe we are responsible for our own well-being and fully capable of influencing our stress levels and health. That said, I still haven’t figured out how to lower my blood pressure without the use of medication but first things first.

A group of my students recently emailed me imploring me to stay, to teach one more class. But the thing about good self-care is it often comes in saying NO. Because in the long run you know what is best for you. You listen to your own hearts whisperings. And if your lucky enough you have a community that understands.

I am grateful to live most of these things out in my daily life, to have the support of community. I have arrived at the doorway to my own crossroads. And I am choosing to dive head first into my own internal soul feeding, mind-body replenishing Sabbath.

So here on the Sabbath and Easter weekend I hope you find time for community, connection and consciousness so you can be relaxed, renewed, and hopefully rejuvenated.

Until Monday!

Weekend Reading List:

  • How to Overcome Fatigue with Socks, Colored Pencils and Your Nose~Joy for Today  (also inspiration for todays photo collage)
  • Why Fashion Bloggers are more like designers than critics ~ Final Fashion
  • Titanic:Fashion From the Doomed Unsinkable Ship ~Huffington Post
  • Anja Rubik Vogue Japan May 2012 ~Fashnberry
  • What Does Luxury Mean to You ~ Vmac & Cheese


Images: Here / Here / Here