Creative Ebb and Flow
BlackLion and I have been listening to an audio book in the car, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It’s fantastic. His main point is that it’s our minds that cause us suffering, and if you can quiet the mind and really be present in the moment, you will become enlightened. The book is laid out in a question and answer format, and one of the questions was about using the mind as a tool for creativity. Tolle’s answer was that creativity comes from one’s inner source. He said that when doing creative work, there is a certain flow, where you alternate between actively using your mind to create, and going back into a meditative state of being present in the moment.
Every so often, BlackLion and I have a Feline Dreamers brainstorming session, where we come up with topic ideas for our various offerings: blog posts, the PawedCats Podcast, newsletter articles, and so forth. It’s a fun and creative process, and we usually come away with a few pages of ideas to inspire our work. Towards the end of our most recent meeting, when I was the scribe who was writing down the ideas, I noticed myself gazing off in the distance, then returning my focus to the page and discovering another idea to write there. I realized I was doing just what Tolle had described.
This creative ebb and flow seemed to arise naturally, but it felt familiar, as if I’d been doing it all along and just hadn’t recognized what was actually happening. If you’re an artist (and I mean this in the broadest sense, whether your art is writing, painting, quilting, cooking, woodwork, or computer programming), take a few moments to observe yourself during your creative process. Notice whether you feel connected to your divine source, how you use your mind, where your attention goes as you work, and any feelings you have in your body as you create.
Just as athletes speak of being in “the zone” when they are deeply involved in their sport, creators of any type have a time when they allow inspiration to flow through them from someplace within, or beyond, their normal consciousness. What is your process? How do you support yourself in your sacred work? What can you do to nurture your connection and its expression in your art? In what ways might your life be a work of art? Meditate on these questions, and notice your personal version of the creative ebb and flow.