A couple weeks ago I asked my subscribers to share with me the current struggles and obstacles they face in their Creative Practice(s).
Much to my delight, I received way more replies than I expected.
I am often reminded of the simple truth that we creatives share many of the same struggles... different details, unique circumstances, and at different times… but similar themes.
It’s one of those reasons that we need each other - us consciously artistic, creative types. Because not everyone 'gets' it… and that can sadly include those people closest to us sometimes.
Today, I am going to address a challenge that is foundational - and so often keeps many of us from our call to make art, pursue a dream, or even just establish and stick with our Creative Practice.
The challenge, the disconnect - a powerful, but false belief - is that something inside us believes maybe we really just aren't naturally creative when it comes right down to it.
That we aren't as creative as ________ (fill in whatever or whoever comes to mind for you).
Or that we aren’t creative anymore. Or even creative at all. As if we weren't given the creativity seed at the human-making factory... but others were.
Like we’re broken or lacking something essential to creativity somehow, or not good enough, or un-chosen for this particular gift.
There is a long list of possible reasons and experiences why each of us may go through this deceptive and paralyzing belief at some point.
And then, there are even some artists who, on the outside, never really seem to struggle with this issue at all. And that can make it even harder when we are faced with it. But I'll tell you the truth - I have yet to meet an artist/creative who hasn't faced these sneaky doubts at some point.
Some of the reasons we struggle with this DO need and deserve singular attention, unpacking and healing. For the most part though, they usually point back to something basically wonderful, that we can all too easily forget...
... that creativity permeates within our very nature.
That you can’t not be creative.
You may fall somewhere on a spectrum of creative expression, skill, ability or capacity, but that creative seed is there. Maybe it's dormant, waiting for the right environment, food or light to wake it up… but it's there.
It's so simple, really... and yet it's something that our fearful, over-protective, busy-body, egoic minds can keep hidden from our awareness in this upside down world.
Maybe because if we remembered it regularly, if we believed it deeply, we just might have to arrange to live by that truth a bit more. And then, in the midst of staying true to our creative impetus, we just might have little choice but to transform, heal, or grow - or risk changing some things, being seen in a new way, or shocking some people in our life.
And that can feel really, really unsettling to our comfortable self (consciousness).
But I'm here to tell you it is worth it to remember that part of you daily. It can be nerve-rattling, odd and even hard sometimes, you bet. But it is a liberating truth that only improves the quality of life.
It could be said like this (try it on, see how it makes you feel):
You were created and in-spired into life in mysterious ways we still don't fully comprehend. That is some Holy shit. I like to call it God - you call her what you will.
You are not creatED, and then done with, on your own for life. You are still being created. And when you leave your body and pass on, that is a part of this ongoing matrix of Creating that you cannot be separate from, too.
You are (a part of) the miracle of the cycles of creation, and there is no way out of that creative energy continuum. Even if you try. Even if you don't believe in it. You can't mess this part of the truth up, dove. You ARE because it IS.
It has been given to you, and can be multiplied and given through you, with an overflowing… and if you get real quiet and listen close, I bet this is also part of the directive placed in your heart…
To care for and take part in creation and creating. By the very nature of your Life, energy and attention.
To embrace and shine forth your creative awareness and expression in acts of beauty, love and truth.
To give yourself to making visible and experiential something within you that is invisible but so very real, even in the moments of its first imagining and revelation within you.
And that's it.
Creative energy flows through the unbreakable interconnectivity of us all, and when we wake up to that abundance we see how it overflows in ever-present exchange and transformation between all of creation, and into every facet of our lives - even the mundane.
Some people may find this idea to be ‘out there’… yet it is so very real and basic. And that may be why it can be so easy to overlook, take for granted and forget. To convince ourselves otherwise for more conventionally-accepted ‘practical’ matters.
There is a web here, loves. You don’t have to (re)make or (re)imagine anything to be creative. Though the imagining can help us remember sometimes.
You are a part of its very structure and wholeness, by body, spirit, mind, breath.
So this is post today is just a reminder for those of you that struggle with not feeling creative at all.
For those of you that have been told you are not, or have decided you aren't because your expressions and creativity looks different than others around you or what the world rewards or because of something someone said once. Or because it doesn’t result in productive time spent, or consumable stuff or entertainment for others. (Our capitalistic culture just loves to try to put art and creativity into that box, now doesn’t it?)
This is for those of you that have struggled with the belief that only a chosen few are actually creatively talented, and you just weren't chosen or blessed in that way.
I want you to know… that why you carry those beliefs and deceptions does matter, and may very well be important for you to work with. But you don't have to figure all that out before you get to the doing and making of your Creative Practice.
What matters more is that you see the lie in it and don’t let it keep you from exploring and identifying the creative impulses and inspiration planted within you.
So I'm calling out some of the I’m-not-creative lies for you. Do try to stop telling them like an automatic response to your aching creative heart, ok?
Let the curiosity and the longing you feel to bring things to fruition, to engage creatively and expressively with your life be what it is: put there for a reason, and meant to be cared for and cultivated.
The question is, will you accept the invitation to explore what that means without assumption, comparison, perfectionism or expectations stifling you?
Are you consciously open to strenghtening your creative awareness and expression? Bringing what is invisible into the visible, sharing what is within you with how you relate outwardly in the world? (and I'm not talking about sharing on social media here, friends)
Because this willingness to see ourselves creatively is where so much of our vitality and spirited energy comes from. Any change we want to make in our life, it starts here, in a posture of acceptance for our own beloved creative nature.
Made to make. Given breath to express. Imagination to enjoy and honor and realize.
A regular Creative Practice is an access point to this. A way to strengthen, stoke and stay warm to those life-giving fires within.
So here is today's takeaway:
Let yourself be how you were made to be.
You are creatively made, with bones and vision and love.
With creativity infused right into your blood.
(And it doesn’t matter if you deny its presence - it’s there)
You don't have to try or prove or earn the right to call yourself Creative.
You have it by birthright and breath.
Maybe your way with it will look like your current concept of ‘art,’ and maybe it won’t. That doesn’t diminish it.
It might just look like acts of Love and presence and doing the right thing with creative perspective and attitude.
It doesn’t even really matter how it looks (or sounds) at all, if you are staying true to your creative energy and perspective as you experience it.
And even if that creative seed of awareness, connection and energy in you feels small or fragile or hurting - or hard to access today - you can nurture and grow it and keep it alive and well. With sweeping changes or quiet continuous care and practice, whatever is right at this time.
Just try not to forget, no matter the struggles and doubts and seemingly dry spells:
You are innately Creative - and called to your creative practice, ways, experiences and perspectives - for a reason.
And that is something in this crazy world you can trust.
Thank you to my subscribers for your replies to the last Creative Practice Note!
If you would like to add your current Creative Practice struggles to the mix, your honest response is appreciated and it matters - I would love to witness you and add it to the fodder for this year's collective exploration and reflections. Use the comments below if you like, or my contact form (more confidential).
We creatives need each other - and sharing about our current process and insights is one way we can encourage, support and inspire one another.