Want to be creative? First, be these five thingsJan 21, 2023
Creativity allows us to shape what’s possible into something tangible. The thing is, “being creative” is less about the outcome and more about your inner state. It’s who you “be” that matters most.
To be creative means we allow what’s in our heart to flow out of us. The more open the path, the wider the flow. The wider the flow, and the more of you that comes through your work, the more significant the impact.
To learn to be creative is to uncover that path and allow it to flow. It has relatively little to do with talent or being an artist. Not really.
What “being creative” looks like
Lynn Johnson, a brilliant photographer for National Geographic in the December 2022 issue explains what it’s like when her pathway is clear. She said:
“I move around. I’m body and an eye, an appetite, a sensory gathering device. I want that moment. I want that beautiful light…
“… You know that old sound in the movies, where they’re trying to tune a shortwave radio, and you hear the buzzing warble of the dial as it searches? In my psyche I’m doing that, trying to get all my fibers on the one right wavelength.”
When our fibers are in alignment, we know. Our audience knows. When our heart aligns and contributes what it must, art happens.
Creativity is transformation.
Creativity is an energy transfer that transforms everything. That transformation happens on three levels.
First, we transform ourselves as we release judgment and focus on improving skills. Creativity is how we grow, we align ourselves and our environment with who we truly are inside.
We transform the materials or ideas we work with to manifest something new. This is where curiosity and skill-building shine.
And finally, the person experiencing the end product is transformed. Perhaps they feel the emotion you felt, perhaps they are inspired to try their own hand, or perhaps they are left with deeper understanding.
Then the real magic happens: they send that energy back to you through appreciation. Creativity transforms everything.
So how can I be creative?
Focus on self-transformation and the outcomes will take care of themselves. Here are five areas to focus on as you clear your path.
Curiosity - Curiosity stimulates your inner artist. Julia Cameron suggests a weekly artist date. A stroll through the hardware store, an interesting museum, a craft store, or even a walk in the woods invites curiosity. Curiosity is to creativity as yeast is to bread; it leavens and enriches. Explore something every day!
Willingness - There are two sides to willingness. Most importantly, we need to be willing to believe it’s possible to be creative. That belief allows the inner messages that berate or belittle us to slide off our backs, like water off a penguin. Willingness also allows us to relax into the flow of creativity and release what wants to come forth.
Radar - When we’re willing to allow curiosity to steer our path, we develop a sort of radar: an alertness for the possible. Standing in line for a latte, a writer might overhear snippets of conversation that can birth a book. Colors can speak, music can resonate, inspiration is everywhere when the radar is on alert.
Permission - There’s another kind of radar: the awareness of what stops us from creating. Whatever happened in the past may be over and done, but we can sometimes cling to it as part of our identity. Permission allows self-forgiveness so we can let it go. It invites us to keep being a beginner without judging our effort.
Patience - Carve the letter T into your brain to remind yourself that These Things Take Time. Patience is staying in our lane and doing our work, while remaining open to what’s possible without expecting instant results. Please remember that patience is not passive. Being in motion and holding expectancy for magic is an active pursuit.
Will our creativity ever end? It didn’t for David Crosby. When he recently passed at age 81, he was still creating. His path was open and he was still touching hearts.
That’s the plan.