Thursday, May 17, 2012
Fawn paper doll and Cultivating Creativity in Gentleness
Sometimes, I feel like I am chasing inspiration, chasing down my aspirations, hunting them through the woods.
And I'm making a lot of noise, crashing through the woods with my clumsy intentions.
My inspiration runs off, faster than I can keep up, and disappears into the shadows, just a tease of an idea, a flash of white tail and what I want to do.
In the almost 40 years that I have been pursuing my creativity, I am still learning how this all works. There's no equation for it all.
Perhaps I should take my metaphor father, though. Perhaps instead of chasing after inspiration, I need to do more sitting quietly, hidden in the camouflage of my life, and wait for it to come to me.
Yes, I know I do. Sigh. Moms with little kids don't get to do much sitting quietly.
Yesterday I had so many ideas and so many intentions they were all crowding for attention. I made lists and ran around from one idea to the next, running around also taking care of my daughter and getting ready for work. Honestly, I almost forgot I had to go to work, so wrapped up was I. Then I went to work with the same amount of nervous energy, and was unable to do anything practical with it. I tried to stay away from more coffee, let's just say that.
Perhaps also what I'm chasing is not something outside of me. Perhaps it is inside of me, that creativity, that center of calm or that energetic intention. Perhaps I need to be gentle with myself through this process. Perhaps we all do. Perhaps we need to cultivate our selves, our creativity and our souls with a measure of gentleness, care, and feeding. Provide for our creative selves, offer safety, calm and sustenance, and instead of having to hunt down inspiration, it will come to us.
With that in mind, what are some ways that we can cultivate our creativity.
1. Provide time where we can be silent with our thoughts, dreams, visions, experiences, etc. In other words, stare out the window time, futz with our supplies time, do nothing and just exist time.
2. Provide space where creating is encouraged. A desk. A basement study. A corner in the bedroom set up for writing. A dining room turned into an art studio. Tell your creativity that this is the space reserved for it, and it is welcome to come.
3. Provide food for creativity. Read great books, fiction and non fiction. Watch films that engage you. Play music that fills you with energy. Look at art that makes you want to pick up a paintbrush.
4. Husband your physical well being. Eat well. Sleep enough. Get out and exercise. Organize your physical space. Declutter.
5. Provide the supplies that you need to create. Gather them so that they are available to you when you need them.
6. Set up regular time to be creative. Yes, inspiration is fleeting, but give it a comforting routine, a safety in the knowledge that it is welcome and will be fed, and it will come.
These are ways to cultivate our creativity in gentleness and positivity. And then we actually have to sit down and do. DO. Write. Paint. Compose. Cook. Whatever your creativity demands. Don't forget the do. It is good to be gentle with ourselves in order to reach our goals, but we can't get there without taking action.
What are some ways that you have for cultivating your own creativity, luring it to come to you?