I ask these questions because lately I’m encountering folks who feel a yearning for creative expression, yet don’t seem to know how to start (or where to start). I hear statements like, “I wish I were more creative” and “I feel inside like I am a creative person, but I don’t know what to do with that energy stirring inside me.”
A few weeks ago, I was giving Reiki to a friend who was curious about her second (sacral) chakra. This chakra was drawing in a lot of energy. I asked my friend about her creative life, knowing that, on the symbolic level, the second chakra is about creation in the broadest sense of the word (it could have to do with procreation, creativity, or some aspect of manifesting or “giving birth” to something in the world). My friend noticed a desire to manifest creativity, but felt stifled by her feeling that she “isn’t an artist.” She expressed an interest in the arts, in creativity, but felt a block with the idea of personal manifestation. “Nothing comes out the way I envision it,” she said.
Her words made me curious about how we each view creativity. I suggested that it might be interesting to feel art creation in terms of its process, not its product. What if no one saw your writing/art/music/dance/sculpture, and instead you focused on the feeling of creation? What if, for now, there is no other witness besides yourself and no critic? What if you allowed your creative self to move through the world with the intention of feeling the essence of your artfulness? What if you made a mess? What if you made something really ugly? Do it. I dare you. No one is watching.
I also wondered what would happen if daily creative acts didn’t need to be art with a capital A, but rather something called artful living. Living artfully could mean that you take some time to see the world in terms of its shapes and colors and textures. It could mean that when you walk past that rusty fire hydrant on your way to the bus stop each morning, you re-name it or imagine that it is an entirely different object. Perhaps you decide to purchase flowers every week for a month to see how you feel with these bursts of color in your environment. What if you finger-painted with the condensation on the glass door during your morning shower? What if you wore mismatched socks or dyed your hair bright purple to match your shoes? How can you make your breakfast a creative endeavor?
And what do you already do that embraces artful living? Please, oh please, share what it is that you do!