This is a great year for developing your creativity because, well, we are bring forced to. Thinking about living in 2022 as a creative project is a way to turn your focus away from griping and toward layers of opportunity for transformation.
Earlier this month I gave a talk about creativity as a spiritual practice. I discussed Qigong and Creativity in particular but much of the talk applies to creativity and spiritual transformation in general.
The creative process invites us into three aspects of spiritual transformation. We create and are created.
In this monthâ€™s blog I invite you to think about what you want to create this year. Think about how you will be created by your creative endeavors and by the novel ways you can encounter the challenges of 2022.
What is your creative goal?
Maybe your creative goal is to have 12 connective gatherings with friends this year and the creative challenge is to host/cook/design the interactions of these events. Or it could be to organize your basement. Or figuring out how to eat 50% local food. Of course â€œtypicalâ€ creative goals could include writing family stories, learning to play an instrument, or sewing a quilt. You may have many goals! I encourage you to focus in on one that you sense will contribute the most to creating you. More on that below.
Getting into flow
The creative process begins by getting into flow. Itâ€™s about learning the notes of a song so that it can flow through your fingers. That feeling is so wonderful, itâ€™s quite easy to be impatient to get there. It takes practice! It takes consistently showing up. Daily is best. Weekly at least. Otherwise you are simply stopping and starting and have no momentum.
How are you going to show up for your creative goals for your life? What would it look like to show up to this goal regularly, even if for only 15 minutes?
Finding the Heartbeat
Being in creative flow is fun, and there is actually another richer layer of the creative process to come. This is the process of refinement, when we revise the draft, or polish our performance. Itâ€™s when we get rid of all the excess ideas and clutter. We tune into the real heartbeat of our project. (Shout out to my honey Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew who has written a whole book about revision as a spiritual practice.)
I believe that our hearts and the hearts of our creative projects are entwined. Attuning to the heart of our efforts is a way of attuning to and refining our hearts.
Remember that your creative goals for this year will benefit from a refinement stage. How will you attune to the heartbeat of your work and let go of things that do not serve it? Can you imagine how this process may support refining your attunement to your own heart?
Sharing is creating
Sharing our creations is itself a creative act. When we share food we have cooked we create community. As a dancer I perform on a stage only rarely because that format of sharing doesnâ€™t create the depth of relationships that inspired me to specialize in folkdance in the first place. One could be tempted into thinking creative success equals publishing or in some way making it â€œbig.â€ But this approach is crushingly transactional. Our creations are a gift (a flow) we have received and refined. We need to share them with the world. They are transformed in the sharing, much as bread is transformed into relationship.
When the time comes to share your creative endeavor, pay attention to what is created in the sharing. How do you hope that your creative projects will impact how you share your presence? What is your highest dream for how sharing your creations will impact your relationships or the world around you?
To listen to all my thoughts on Qigong and Creativity click here.
May all the challenges of today be a creative opportunity that is powerfully transformative for you.
Additional Support for Creating Balance and Joy in Your Year
Join me any week for Healing Waters Qigong, a Spring Forest Qigong practice group or the Wisdom Dances Circle, based on Laura Shannonâ€™s research on traditional dances as tools for healing and transformation.