Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The creative process; that fountain of youthful imagination where grand schemes and wonderful dreams spring forth... Alas, that place, that fountain where many feel they have never and will never visit and sip of its cool waters...

Next week I have been invited to speak before a women's prayer support group. The topic? My recent publication, I Have Just The Gift For You, and the creative process. I haven't spoken before a group since my extended sabbatical began as at-home caretaker of our triplets in the fall of 2003, so this opportunity allows me to feel exhilirated and inadequate on the subject matter of the creative process.

So, on our Morning Walk this morning, please allow me to share a few thoughts - a precursor to my presentation next week...

It is theorized that at his/early phase in life, prior to 12 years of age, a human being utilizes 95% of their creativity and imagination. And through the process of parenting and social/educational conformity, that percentage is dramatically reduced by the age of eight. It's no wonder so many of us feel that we are not creative or imaginative souls. But I propose to you, as I will to the women of the prayer support group, that this is simply not true.

Creativity finds its origin in the Latin word creatus, which means "“to grow”; it is the quality of something created rather than imitated. Again, many will state that "I've never had an original thought in my head." Maybe so, but the problem begins when we begin with the head, instead of the heart. My friend, the single most creative, unique, genuine, and never-imitated aspect of your life is just that: your life. Creativity means "to grow" - slowly and carefully and over time and experience. A wine, a rose, a symphony all begins with the single seed of a grape, a bud and a note and is then nurtured over time. Such as it is with your creative process, which emerges from yours-and-yours-alone, never-imitated life. You were created in uniqueness and rarety and so your life emerges and continues on in this same path of uniqueness and rarety - you just have to let that Life within speak to you.

Take a moment to quiet yourself. Set aside your worries and responsibilities scheduled for the remaining hours of today. Quiet yourself and relax your mind. Breathe in and out deeply. Close your eyes for a moment and be mindful of your breathing. When ready, open your eyes and continue…

Now, take a moment to think of and write down at least one response to each of the following questions:

  • What am I most passionate about in Life?
  • What are some of my most deeply held values?
  • What one message would I like to share with my family, friends, and world?
  • What was unique/special about my day yesterday?
  • What do I love most about my personal life?

I truly believe that answers to these questions will further articulate your unique creative process and journey. It is not only about discovering what makes you passionate, but also being able to recognize it on a daily basis, celebrate it, nurture it and cultivate it.

Your singular unique creative process is not dried up at all - it is there below the surface, welling up and ready to spring forth. But for it to spring forth and continue, it is my belief that it needs to be personal; that process and journey cannot be through anyone else's eyes or life. It needs to also be purposeful; it needs to allow and exude the greater purpose of your life. And finally, if it is personal and purposeful, it will be powerful. It will be a creative journey that will change your life and touch the lives of others. For it's further my belief that your creative journey is closely tied with your unique purpose to which you are called by the Grand Creator.

Being creative does not, in any way, mean that you are or will be socially/financially successful. And being or becoming socially/financially successful does not, in any way, mean that you are being creative. But I guarantee you this: Explore and pursuing that unique creative journey within you will make you happier and more hopeful. And no social or financial success can compare to that reward.