Artist's Prayer

Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Be Still And..... Create!

I feel that for next five weeks I'll be more of an observer than an active participant of a creative process.... Let me explain. My company has arrived last week to spend their summer time with us ~ two adults and a four-year old. So far, right now is the first time I'm home by myself trying to decide how to spent an hour of 'distraction-free' time..... I go for writing because for me this is the fastest way to re-connect within, find my spiritual and emotional balance, perhaps typing or long hand writing brings my Truth up to the tangible surface of my awareness. Artmaking moves energy at much deeper level for me, yet it's not as time efficient as writing my soul out. So, I listen and write.

I'm an extrovert with a strong need for time alone.... I love people, but a small group is preferred over a larger one. There's something about feeling emotionally and spiritually lost, 'out of tune' internally, when I find myself in a larger group ~ maybe C. G. Jung would elaborate his theories here by saying..... personal unconscious gives into collective psyche/unconscious....? Whatever. This meandering point I'm trying to express is the fact I've learned about myself not so long ago, namely being a hostess is my 'blind spot' ~ there's a lot of skills I'm proficient in, but not this one. I loose myself in the endless role playing and striving to fulfill everyone's needs ~ there's a set limit for how long my psyche will tolerate it..... next thing I know I begin to withdraw in order to search for my Self. Perhaps this precarious expression 'role playing' is at the heart of this uncomfortable matter..... role playing and living authentically are mutually exclusive modes of Being.... Just try to imagine for a moment; play a role of being creative. To me it is a pure oxymoron partially because my creative self-expression had begun, unbeknownst to me, the moment I decided to put a long list of pre-assigned roles into my mental re-cycling bin. Shortly afterwords I 'stumbled upon' what I call a 'creative hotline' ~ Julia Cameron's 'Artist's Way'.... that was almost twelve years ago and though, I've connected many, many 'dots' along the way my personal journey, there are still patterns to emerge....

But let me get back to my main intention for this post.... Creative Self-Expression. I've been witnessing something mysterious and beautiful. Somehow the energy of my 'Creative Zone' (that's 100% judgement FREE) has attracted my guests' attention..... I've shared all of my paper craft tools and materials at hand and all I can say is, that some kind of Creative Vortex has bursted open many channels of creative expression in everyone around! Today is a second day of over 5-hour long card-making sessions without any instructions or pointers whatsoever! The results are not only stunning design/composition~wise, but most importantly Creativity~Wise.

I truly believe that when we are in the presence of someone's creative self-expression reverence is in order.... it's so easy to stop this precious gift from flowing forth by offering either a so-called 'good' or 'bad' comment~remark.... one will injure our inner artist directly, the other will inflate the ego by handing it an 'exclusive authorship rights' to the artwork. At that moment a 'ready-made creative recipe' replaces fun, play, spontaneity, adventure, surprise, exploration, awe, letting our creativity happen and enliven us to the core of our being..... Both, 'positive' and 'negative' valuations of one's creative expression will shut down its uninterrupted flow abruptly.

As I've been practicing, what the Buddhists call 'being a compassionate observer,' by witnessing, one after another, a new greeting card being born, I realized that creativity is beyond, or rather completely outside of the borders, of one's age..... a four-year-old and a thirty-six-year-old, both tapping the Source of Beauty right in front of my eyes. Of course, any museum is a testament to time-lessness of art, but Art (with a capital A) seems soooooo beyond the reach of a 'mere mortal' ~ thus the origin of, a rather popular, misconception that timelessness of art is reserved for very, very few individuals, usually dead ones, who are proclaimed to be 'masters' or 'geniuses' by some deeply blocked, 'closet artists' masquerading as art critics or academicians..... I encourage each creative individual to write down her/his own Creative Credo that will become a rescue, a 'Creative 911 call' that you can read in times of self-doubt ~ when your journey is leading you through an unfamiliar territory and/or the critical voices are temporarily louder than the encouraging and nurturing ones....

I like to paraphrase an Old Testament quote 'Be Still And Know That I AM God' (Psalm 46:10) into: Be Still And Create..... At that moment any seeming 'creative block' becomes obsolete and yields to the flow of creativity....

Here's a sample of creative card-making by a math teacher with no, so called, 'art background'..... the only credentials that help us on our creative journey is Trust~Faith..... however your understand it. I deeply believe that the greatest lesson and mastery we will ever achieve/demonstrate is trusting and following this still, small voice within.....

How do you align yourself with your creative flow?

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