All Posts Tagged With: "creative"

Thankful Thursday: What Are We Here For?

watercolor by: Julie
Today’s Thankful Thursday is a tribute to the Creative Force. We are all here to create a better world, first for ourselves, then for everyone else. Growth and change underpin every experience we have.

This force is the main driver of everything in our world. It is undeniable, irresistible, and ever-present. You may know it by one or more of these names: the Creative Force, Nature, Life, Love, Spirit, God, Goddess.

Each of us is a channel for the Creative Force. Our job in this life is to be creative. That’s it. Humans are designed for this: we are fundamentally a miraculously versatile, multi-talented, feeling, intelligent structure through which the Creative Force expresses itself.

It gets better. Since every single person has a unique body, mind, and abilities, the Creative Force expresses itself uniquely through each of us. As a child, were you taught to conform, to be like everyone else, or to meet an unrealistic standard of perfection? Were you made wrong in subtle – and not so subtle – ways for standing out? Even worse, were you told, “You’re just not very creative?”

This is a violation of what the Creative Force wants for us. We are here for one reason: to allow Creation to come through us beautifully and uniquely. This also means that it is pointless and destructive to make comparisons.

Far better to become more and more conscious of what is creating through you each day, what you most deeply desire to do, to be, or to have. Take time to practice allowing and expecting your desires to manifest. When I stop to notice how creative inspirations come to me, it’s really entertaining!

An oft-overlooked aspect of all of this unfolding, growth, and change is this: It’s not happening “out there.” This rich world of power, possibility, and promise is within us. That’s right. Your mind is the creative cause of all that you experience.

Think about it. We never make a move of any kind without first forming an image of it in our mind. Call it daydreaming, imagination, planning, getting an idea – it all originates in your mind. Ideas have the power to direct tremendous energy.

So that means that life proceeds THROUGH us. It doesn’t happen TO us. As an architect, I did this unconsciously all the time. I followed a process of imagining something in my mind, drawing it, and enlisting the help of others to build it. Creation = imagination + materials + effort.

The cool thing is that this works in every instance, all day long, throughout our lives. It’s not just a technique of someone in a creative profession. We are ALL creative – that’s how humans were designed!

This principle is found in all the world’s wisdom traditions. In Proverbs, it says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Since you’ve read this far, I’m going to reward you with a few of my favorite quotes:

From the Sufi mystic Rumi: “In fact, God does not regard your outward form and wealth, but does regard your heart and good deeds.”

“My heart holds within it every form,
it contains a pasture for gazelles,
a monastery for Christian monks.
There is a temple for idol-worshippers,
A holy shrine for pilgrims;
There is the table of the Torah,
and the book of the Koran.
I follow the religion of Love
and go whichever way His camel leads me.
This is the true faith;
This is the true religion.
It is a very long way to go.”
-Ibn al-Arabi

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is transferred through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly.” – Martha Graham

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart…. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Jung, Letters Vol I

“It seems to me a powerful message, worth repeating and repeating, that people want peace, simplicity, beauty, nature, respect, the ability to contribute and create. These things are much cheaper and easier to achieve than war, luxury, ugliness, waste, hate, oppression, manipulation. Some day, when everyone understands that nearly all of us truly want the same kind of world, it will take surprisingly little time or effort to have it.”
Donella Meadows

Napoleon Hill: “If you can conceive and believe it, you will receive it.”

“How we live our days is how we live our lives.” Annie Dillard

I would love to hear from you if any of these thoughts strike a chord.

The Other Side, Revealed!

 photo by: Julie

You know how, when you are stuck on a problem, you find yourself thinking, what I wouldn’t give to be able to see this from a different angle? I experienced just how easy this can actually be, while on a walk with my camera one recent morning. [Tip of the camera to Sheila Finkelstein, a wonderful, creative teacher with whom I recently took a photography class . She introduced me to the lovely concept of "taking a walk with your camera."]

I began admiring the way the sun was illuminating flowers in such a strong way. Yet, when I took a picture, it just looked flat, and – honestly – a bit trite. Too literal. Flowers in sunlight: big deal.

I noticed how blue the sky was. What would those flowers look like against that too-blue sky? Somehow, following an impulse, I began taking the pictures upside-down. Aiming the camera up from below, with that incredibly deep-blue sky as the background, rather than the green foliage. I didn’t fuss over the set-up, I just took a bunch of photos and had fun. (That’s the beauty of digital – you do get instant feedback!)

Back at my computer, looking at the results, I was very pleased. It’s truly a new perspective, a new way to appreciate the beauty that I don’t even notice half the time.

This experience was exactly like a good brainstorming session. Simply by following a tiny impulse to look at it another way – upside down! – I was richly rewarded with something new. The key is that I didn’t tell myself, oh that’s stupid, or get overly analytical about it. I just went with the impulse.

I intend to use this technique the next time I am fixated on something that’s not working.