If you spend all of your time just getting things done and do not allow time for your everyday creativity, you will not feel alive and content within. The old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” applies to all of us. We feel dull inside when we don’t allow time for play, for creativity, for kindness to ourselves and others. Creativity is a wonderful form of play.
Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul here with the Inner Bonding Podcast. Today I’m taking about something that’s very important to me, which is creativity.
I’ve always been an artist – drawing and painting, and in college I learned to be a master potter and also a welder – to do steel sculpture. But even with all my art experience, I struggled with my creativity until I started to practice Inner Bonding. That changed everything for me and since then I’ve so enjoyed the flow of my creativity.
Do you tell yourself that you are not a creative person because you can’t draw or play an instrument or write poetry? I often hear many of my clients bemoan, “I’m not creative!”
This isn’t true! We all have the ability to be creative. It’s a God-given gift, but you might not be noticing or enjoying your particular form of creativity. It’s important that you become aware of which forms of creativity are fun and fulfilling for you, because expressing your creativity is a powerful way of feeling filled up and joyful within.
Creativity naturally pours out of young children who are given the opportunity to express it. When my grandson, Everest, was three years old and I was spending time with him, he was playing with a children’s microscope that has little slides with various bugs and other little creatures that he could slide in. He slid in a little shrimp and then started running around the room saying, “Grandma, the shrimp is in the heater! Get it out!” Once I coaxed out the little shrimp, it now magically appeared under the table, or in the lamp, or back in the heater! He delighted in running around pretending this little shrimp was everywhere and engaging me in his magical game, laughing as he thought up new places for the shrimp to hide! I could see the pure joy he experienced in expressing his creativity.
You might want to think about how you can express your creativity in everyday ways.
Perhaps you really love scrapbooking or making photo albums, creating ways of enjoying memories. Do you enjoy setting a beautiful table, or creating a lovely flower arrangement from flowers that you grow, or pressing flowers? Do you love creating a wonderful garden? How about creating a bulletin board in your home or office for others to enjoy? Perhaps you just enjoy putting on music and allowing your body to dance around the room. Do you love being in your workshop, making things out of wood for yourself and others? One man I know decided to express his creativity by carving a totem pole, even though it was something he had never done and had no idea how to do it!
Maybe picking out fabrics and making clothing or blankets is fun for you, or knitting or crocheting for yourself, family, and friends. Do you have fun making cards with stamps? Maybe you enjoy making collages with pictures from magazines.
You might be a person who expresses your creativity through your kindness or through your humor. Perhaps volunteering is a form of creativity for you. Perhaps you have learned to express your creativity in saying something kind to each person with whom you are in contact throughout a day.
All of us have many ways in which we can express our creativity, and expressing it is vital to our wellbeing. If you spend all of your time just getting things done and do not allow time for your everyday creativity, you will not feel alive and content within. The old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” applies to all of us. We feel dull inside when we don’t allow time for play, for creativity, for kindness to ourselves and others. Creativity is a wonderful form of play.
Creative expression will occur naturally when you open your heart to yourself and others, allowing the gift of creativity to flow through you from the spiritual source that is always available to you. New ideas are always waiting to be expressed through you – you just need to open to them and allow the time for them. When you do, you will feel the joy and fulfillment that comes from your creativity.
We are all creative, yet some people seem to just flow with their creativity while others feel blocked. What blocks your creativity and what allows it to flow?
Simply put, it’s your wounded self’s programmed mind that blocks your creativity. The mind of the wounded self is filled with fears and limiting beliefs that cause us to freeze up, such as thinking thoughts like:
- I’m not creative and I have no imagination.
- This time I will not be able to come up with anything.
- I had better not fail.
- I don’t want to make a fool of myself.
- I don’t want to look stupid.
The moment the mind starts in with its limiting fears and beliefs, we get blocked. Nothing comes as we stare at our blank computer screen or at a blank sheet of paper, or a blank canvas or a lump of clay. We end up confirming the fears and beliefs of our programmed mind when we stay locked into our wounded self.
Our wounded self is arrogant enough to believe that it is the source of creativity, but creativity does not come from the mind. Our creativity comes THROUGH us rather than FROM US.
So, what allows creativity to flow? Opening to our Source.
Imagine that each of us is surrounded by spiritual beings or energies just waiting for us to open so they can pour ideas into us. Imagine that we each have our own special guardian angel that is here to bring us our own special form of creativity.
Even if you don’t believe that these beings are here, it won’t hurt you to try opening, imagining them, opening to them, and seeing what happens. For me, this experience has been profound. I used to struggle to write an article every three months, and now I easily write books. When I sit down to write, I open to my spiritual guidance and say, “Okay, I’ve shown up here. Now it is up to you.” I let go, moving out of my mind and into surrender. The words always come. Most of the time, I’m not even aware of what I’m writing until I go back and read it. It’s a very fun way to write!
Years ago, when I needed to be creative for grades in the art department at U.C.L.A., it was always so hard. When I HAD to do well, I would often get blocked and frustrated. Now, I do the same thing with my painting and potting as when I write – I let go. I surrender my mind to my higher self – my wise self, my imaginative creative self. As the ideas flow through me and manifest in paint or clay, I feel great joy. Instead of my mind worrying about how it will turn out, my mind now joins me and says, “This is what I call fun!”
If you have never done anything creative, I want to encourage you to try and see what happens when you relax and open to your creative self.
Not only is it great fun, it’s also fulfilling and rejuvenating. When you allow your creativity to flow, you will find that you are clearer in other areas of your life. It centers you, moving you out of the ruminations of your wounded self and into the clarity and truth of spirit.
Does your morning routine support your creativity?
Annie Murphy Paul in an article entitled “Why Morning Routines Are Creativity Killers,” (http://ideas.time.com/2012/02/01/why-morning-routines-are-creativity-killers/) wrote “Everything about the way we start our day runs counter to the best conditions for thinking creatively.” She goes on to write:
“Brrriiinnng. The alarm clock buzzes in another hectic weekday morning. You leap out of bed, rush into the shower, into your clothes and out the door with barely a moment to think. A stressful commute gets your blood pressure climbing. Once at the office, you glance through the newspaper, its array of stories ranging from discouraging to depressing to tragic. With a sigh, you pour yourself a cup of coffee and get down to work, ready to do some creative, original problem solving.”
Right. Do you believe that this routine supports creative thinking? Not according to recent studies that the writer sites in the same article:
“In a study published in the journal Thinking and Reasoning last year, researchers Mareike Wieth and Rose Zacks reported that imaginative insights are most likely to come to us when we’re groggy and unfocused.”
I never thought about this before, but it just happens that I’ve always given myself time in the morning to lay in bed, groggy and unfocused, and remember my dreams. During this half-asleep half-awake time, many creative thoughts pop into my mind. I continue my creative thinking as I take my dog for a walk, doing my Inner Bonding work to connect with my feelings and my spiritual guidance. It’s often during this time that ideas for articles or art projects or other creative ideas pop into my mind. And I haven’t listened to or watched the news for years because it’s too upsetting and depressing.
While you might have to get up a half–hour or 45 minutes earlier to do all this, I would guess that the rest of your day would be much more satisfying. It makes it so much easier for me to stay tuned in to myself throughout the day when I start the day off with this routine.
Is it loving to yourself to NOT give yourself this time? I would bet that if you decided to support yourself in this way, you could find a way to go to sleep 30 or 45 minutes earlier and not lose any sleep.
Why is all this important?
Creativity feeds the soul. Your natural soul self is intrinsically creative, and when you don’t give yourself creative time, you might feel deadened, numb, or depressed inside.
Have you ever watched young children playing freely? They are naturally extremely creative in making up games and stories. I remember the wonderful creative play that my children used to do after school every day. They had a big basket full of little stuffed animals and they made up delightful stories using these little animals. This kind of creative, imaginative play supported both their intellectual and relational learning.
Wouldn’t it be loving to yourself to begin to value your own creativity, and do whatever you can to inspire yourself to open to the natural creativity that is in all of us? How about starting with getting up a bit earlier and giving yourself groggy, unfocused creative time?
Take a moment to think about your priorities regarding how you spend your time. Is creative time even on your list of priorities?
As I said, creativity is a form of play, and when we don’t take the time for it, we not only become dull, we can become stressed, sad, and burnt out.
Creative time allows us to move out of the chatter of our left brain and into the peace and serenity of our right brain. It gives us relief from trying to “figure things out”. It opens the doorway to the flow of our higher knowing, allowing information to come through to us that gets blocked when we stay locked into our minds.
I do not believe that it is coincidence that test scores in our schools have been going down since public schools cut out most of the creative time. In our fast-forward “doing” culture, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of “being.” We all need balance in life between doing and being, between thinking and feeling, between work and play. Creative time moves us out of doing and into being, out of thinking and into feeling, out of work and into play, out of our left brain and into our right brain.
For me, creative time is essential to my wellbeing. I am a fast-paced person who gets a lot done in a day. I still work more than full time. I work with clients, administer our website, create this podcast, create two articles a week for our website, answer my own email, and exercise every day. I do my bi-monthly Inner Bonding Masterclass and offer 5-day virtual intensive Inner Bonding workshops. I know from personal experience that when I do not consistently take creative time, I burn out. So I spend time each week in my pottery and painting studio, allowing my creativity to flow.
Creative time is just as important as healthy food when it comes to recharging. While healthy food recharges our bodies, creative time recharges our soul. You do not have to be an artist to enjoy your creative time. At the pottery studio I used to attend when I lived in Santa Fe, classes were offered for beginners. I often saw people building pots for the first time with a look of total joy and delight on their faces. I saw them moving from feeling physically and emotionally depleted to feeling filled up within the few hours that they were playing with clay. They were often amazed at what they were creating, having believed they had no creative ability.
Next time you feel stressed, think about taking some creative time. What would be fun for you? It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it takes you out of your thinking mind and into your being. Cooking, sewing, drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, writing poetry, writing fiction, writing music, playing music, dancing, woodworking, carving, gardening, making jewelry, acting, singing, inventing – all will replenish your soul and lighten your heart.
However, I have one caution for you. If your intention is to accomplish something, or do something well or have something look good, then you will not receive much benefit from your creative time. These fun activities can actually add to your stress if you have any judgment regarding the result. Creative time is about the process rather than the outcome. If you are attached to the outcome rather than being fully present in the moment, you will not receive the regenerative benefits of creative time.
Creative time needs to be pure play – allowing spirit to express through you. Put your judgmental self on a shelf. Let go of the result and be present to the process. Let go of any attachment to the outcome and let yourself be completely present in the moment, like a child playing with blocks.
Remember when you were a child and were able to be fully present with creative play? Don’t forget that child within you who would love to have some creative time!
I no longer believe that creative time is a luxury. It is a necessity – a time to de-escalate from the stress of life. A time to get filled within. A time to have fun. A time to center and be in peace.
And creative time has the power to connect with you your guidance.
Our left-brained society often downplays the power of creativity. In schools, the curriculum is often focused on math, science, reading and language skills. While these are important skills, they don’t have the same power to open our heart and connect us with our spiritual guidance as our creativity does.
As I said, I have always been an artist. As a child, drawing and crafts were a major way I soothed myself in a very stressful household. When I would lose myself in a creative project, I would feel the calmness that comes from being in oneness with my spiritual guidance. As a child, I didn’t know that I was using creativity to open to my guidance – I just knew that it felt safe and soothing.
As an adult, the first time I had actual contact with my personal spiritual guidance was when I was doing a painting. While I was in a very open and creative state, the image of a beautiful, joyful, loving, and powerful silver-haired woman came into my mind’s eye. As I placed her into my painting, I felt that I had always known her. I didn’t know who she was at that time, but I was filled with a deep feeling of recognition.
Later, my best friend and co-creator of the Inner Bonding process, Dr. Erika Chopich, who was born with an ability to see our higher guidance, also saw this wonderful being. Erika told me that this incredible lady was my higher guidance and that she had always been with me. No wonder it felt like I knew her! I wanted to have more contact with her, to be guided by her, to know that she is always with me.
Our arrogant mind wants to think that we make up the things we create, but this is not the case at all.
Over time I learned that opening to the creative state is a profound pathway toward connecting with my spiritual guidance. The imagination is a doorway into the Divine, and when I learned to trust what I imagined, I came to realize that I am not making it up at all.
When we open to our creativity and our imagination, we are opening to the wisdom of spirit, and what comes is coming THROUGH us, not FROM us.
Staying locked into our own mind is like being cut off from accessing the Internet. Our mind is like our personal computer – programmed only with what we have put into it. Yet, just as we can use our computer to access the vast information available on the Internet, we can use our mind to open to the infinite love, peace, joy, information, and creativity that is available to us from spirit. We can use our mind to set our intention to be open to learning. When we are open to learning, we are in a creative state, open to the gifts that spirit has for us.
We choose creativity by choosing our intention.
When our intention is to have control over getting love and avoiding pain, we close down and cannot access the gifts of spirit. The intention to control is the opposite of the intention to learn. When our intention is to learn about love and truth, our energy opens and creativity flows. Opening to learning involves a surrender of our illusion of control. Our choice to learn rather than to control, and to move into and trust our imagination, opens us to the flow of creativity, as well as to the love, peace, joy, and wisdom of spirit.
Your imagination can take you where knowledge cannot go. Knowledge is about the learned information we have acquired over the years of being on the planet. It is the information that is stored in our left brain, the facts that we may need at any time, as well as the false beliefs that are stored in our amygdala in our lower left brain, the home of our wounded self.
The wisdom we can access when we open to our right brain – the seat of our imagination – is vaster, broader, and far more profound that any knowledge we acquire though our left brain. When we open to learning and go into our imagination, which is where we access our higher guidance, we open ourselves to the vast wisdom of the universe.
Our imagination is a great gift, a powerful doorway into the wisdom of spirit. When we open to our imagination, we are inviting in the infinite intelligence that is the “stuff” of the universe. When you open to learning and enter into an imaginative state, you create the pathway through which your spiritual guidance can communicate with you.
Let’s say, for example, that you want to do a drawing, but you have no idea what to draw. You will not find the blueprint for the drawing in your left brain. You might find stored images there, but nothing very exciting or creative. But if you open to your imagination, letting go of preconceived ideas, your higher guidance will bring you the images that are just waiting to come through you.
I find it an incredibly joyful experience to have no idea what I want to create when I’m ready to do a piece of art, and to allow my higher self to create through me.
The same is true in your Inner Bonding process. When you imagine your guidance and you ask about the truth about a belief, or about the loving action toward yourself, and then patiently wait with a deep intent to learn, the information will come through your mind – through the golden-white shimmering pathway created by your imagination – at least that’s how I see it in my imagination!
Our imagination opens the door to our creativity, and it allows us to have direct knowing rather than just learned knowledge. Someone once gave me an interesting image regarding the learning that occurs in school as opposed to direct learning. Imagine that there is a triangle on top of your head, with the flat part on your head and the point toward the sky. The broad flat part has dotted lines and represents the information coming in from others and from books and media, and as it goes up, it gets smaller and smaller and then stops. Now picture that triangle turned upside down, with the point at your head, only now the point is open like a funnel, and the dotted flat part is open to spirit. This is what happens when we open to our creativity and move into our imaginations – the dotted line flat part is receiving creative ideas and information and funneling it into our open mind.
There is nothing wrong with gaining information through media, books, and others. But why limit yourself to this? Why not go into your imagination, open to learning with spirit, open to your creativity and receive the incredible information and flow of ideas that is yours to receive? You CAN do this!
We all have the gift of creativity. When you let go of the illusion of control and open to learning, your unique gifts of creativity will flow through you. Creativity opens you to spirit, and spirit brings you the gift of creativity – a beautiful circle of joy!
I invite you to learn to connect with your creativity and your spiritual guidance with my 30-Day video home-study course, Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom.
And you can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:
- And, How to Become Strong Enough to Love: Creating Loving Relationships Through the Six-Step Pathway of Inner Bonding
And we have so much to offer you at our website at https://www.innerbonding.com.
And, if you enjoyed this podcast, I would really appreciate it if you tell your friends about it, and if you give it a review wherever you heard it.
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.