Have you ever thought about the process of becoming successful in life and feeling truly fulfilled? Succeeding and being happy both rely on our understanding of who we are which are most discovered through spiritual and creative activities.
Together, let’s become creative!
You become more creative by putting the practice of spirituality and creativity into your daily routine. The more you can access who you really are, the more you can bring your essence into everything you do in your life. The problem is that while creativity and spirituality should be a fundamental part of our daily activities, they are often separated as being only for religious or talented people.
Becoming creative; self-discovery and self-expression are linked
Spirituality and creativity are inextricably linked because self discovery and self expression are the inward and outward aspects of who we are.
The world of a creative person is about discovering who you are and then expressing yourself out in the world. For a person with a spiritual practice and a spiritual life, self examination leads to the way you go about living day to day life. While we get to make art when we are in elementary school, as we get older it’s only considered a worthy activity if it’s going to be your profession. Early in life we receive religious training but it is never focused on discovering our spiritual nature. The focus is on believing not experiencing.
Becoming a creative isn’t always the acceptable way
Culturally, artists and mystics are considered separate because being a unique individual is not the accepted way to belong. We think of spiritual people as renunciates who aren’t part of society and often put them up on pedestals for living without, and seemingly transcending problems of ‘normal’ people.
We associate creativity to ‘special’ people who are more talented than we are. Since the age of television, film and recorded music, it is the stars who make the creativity that we consume. Gone is the family sitting around a piano singing together, everyone participating, everyone equal.
Living creatively isn’t about business and money
Even though the business of self-help has mushroomed since the turn of the century, we still narrow spiritual work to activities done in workshops, therapeutic environments and sitting in front of an altar by yourself lighting a candle doing practices.
Spirituality is not part of the mainstream marketplace, and creativity has been narrowed to performance and entertainment driven by the need for profit. Even when a piece of music, a movie, a book,or a painting can change your mind and your heart.
Learn creative skills to lead you to self-expression
We separate creative and spiritual people from each other; one cannot be the other. In many ways, both are using creativity and spirituality for the same thing; a path to self understanding.
Our society lives in a lot of despair because we are taught that outer things like money, a partner, or validation will be enough to feel that your life is a success. So, if you have not attained these things or if you do and still remain without inner peace, despair follows.
Creativity and spirituality are internal practices. It is the opposite of goal-seeking where you reach out to the world. These two processes lead to a deeper, more meaningful understanding of yourself. When you begin to understand how you are designed, you can turn your day-to-day activities more towards becoming a better person and less about the outer goal.
You become creative by working internally
To learn how to cook Italian food, remodel a bathroom, play the piano or paint, first requires knowledge of the mechanics of how something works. After you become proficient in the mechanics, only then can you begin to express yourself in how you want your bathroom to look, your food to taste, or your music to sound. Skill leads to self expression. When you take on a spiritual practice like breathwork, meditation, yoga or Taiji, there are also mechanics. The learning leads to a proficiency that allows you to infuse your spirit into the practice. Spirit is always longing to express itself through you but you have to learn how to create space for it.
At the beginning there will be no organized self expression or innovation until you understand your activity mechanically. Michelangelo didn’t begin by painting the Sistine chapel. He learned science, math and physics. To get out of the mechanical world of the mind, you must master it first. This is why practice, whether it’s the piano or meditation can take a long time before you can really enjoy it. First you have to put in the grunt work of training yourself mechanically to know and do the action you are learning.
When you practice, what you are really learning is how you learn, how open you are, how much you breathe, how your brain works and what happened to you in the past that affects the present. These internal processes play a key role in your ability to gain skill. Mindlessly doing something over and over again may lead to some robotic-like skill, however without a self investigation as to how you are doing it, you will get better at the mechanical elements, but it will not lead to finding your unique expression.
Consider that a hobby or something you want to learn might be your spirit looking for an outlet to express itself and consider also, that your spiritual practice might be a practical activity that helps you with your mundane, day-to-day life.