Where do creative ideas come from?
You could describe creativity in terms of random synapses firing together, but most mystics would agree that creativity is spiritual in nature.
The first explanation of this I found was in The Artist’s Way. Cameron explains that when we say God we mean Creator, which is the same as saying God is an Artist, the first Artist, and every time we make something, we’re doing exactly what God did.
I don’t really believe in a personified God, but the essence is there. We are invoking the creative Divine to call something new into being.
People talk about God having a “plan”, but if you read Genesis, it says God created X Y or Z and “saw that it was good”. Sounds to me like he was making things up as he went along and liked how it turned out–but he didn’t know it would turn out well until he finished. Sounds like the creative process to me. Maybe “God” was just the first artist.
All creativity involves surrender and willingness to not know.
Terry Cole Whittaker describes creative flow in terms of having an internal faucet.
We can open the faucet, and let Divine creative energy flow through us, out into the world. By choosing to let this energy through, we become a vehicle for the expression of the living creative energy of the Universe.
My personal metaphor for this is play-dough rather than water. I think of each person as a unique play-dough mold: creative energy is the dough, and it comes out of us shaped by our uniqueness into whatever magical thing only we can make.
This is co-creation: both are needed. We need to be who we are, and we need to surrender to something greater.
The creative energy is unformed, and we give it form. It has to pass through us for this to happen–it doesn’t come from us, but through us.
My definition of Divinity: The unformed potential that gives rise to all things; the field of Love that is the ground of our being.
My definition of creativity: The process of surrendering to an energetic flow of universal energy that comes through us, is shaped by our unique gifts, and enters the world to re-make it in new ways.
When we surrender to this flow, magical things happen.
Being in the flow of creativity feels awesome. There is momentum, miracles, and serendipity that we could never have predicted.
This happens because we plug into the larger web of life that we are a strand in, and the power of that huge tapestry is now coursing through us. By saying YES to our unique function, we align with our purpose and the larger harmony of all things. We gain the power of the entire process of Creation. We become an expression of the Divine pattern.
And we’re happy.
This is what we are made for. And nothing feels better than being used by something Good that is larger than you for the purpose for which you’ve been made.
It’s not always sunshine and puppies though. It can take focus to keep the flow open. It’s a practice.
When we don’t feel God, we’re the ones that left. God didn’t go anywhere.
We can constrict the flow, or turn it off entirely. Even though it’s an essential and inborn quality of all of us, we still have choice. Free will and all.
Beliefs That Block Creativity
- Who am I to be creative? (self-worth)
- What if I don’t feel anything? (doubt)
- What I create is a reflection of my identity and worth, so it better be good. (demanding)
- There’s no such thing as purpose, Divinity, or energy. (nihilism)
- I’m just not talented. (despair)
- I have to look good / never make a mistake or fail.
Strategies That Block Creativity
- trying really hard (struggle mentality)
- getting more technique, but not letting go into creative flow
- copying others but never owning your unique voice (self-worth again)
Habits That Block Creativity
- If I don’t feel inspired, I won’t write/draw/etc.
- It’s easier to distract myself with TV.
- I’ll just do what I know will work.
There’s no judgement here. We all have these demons. It’s dealing with them that matters.
Choose to take one more step each day toward opening that faucet.
Choose to believe that the forces at work in the Cosmos are good. Talk to God, or walk in nature, and soak up the energy of it.
Choose to nourish and support whatever form your creativity takes. Buy yourself colored pencils. Take that improv class. Start a daily writing practice.
When we move toward our deepest truth and our purest pleasure, we go toward God and good.
When we believe in the goodness of our own happiness, we create healing in ourselves and the world.
When we trust in the magic and beauty of this world, we invoke its power.