Who Do You Create For?

Ever listen to people talk about their dream jobs? Were you surprised to hear people say that they would do what they’re doing even if they weren’t being paid? I assume these individuals are talking about passion. It’s the need, desire, and connection to expressing oneself through one’s actions. The amazing thing is that many of the creative people I know do just that; create because it’s a release, an expression of their soul, and brings their body, mind, and spirit in alignment.

When you paint, sing, sculpt, write, or create in some other medium whom are you creating for? Are you creating with the intent of sharing it with the world?   Is it important that the world see your creation? Is it the process of creating that’s most important? As you can see I have plenty of questions and want to explore the importance of creating for healing.

Cyril Connolly stated, “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” When I first read this quote it struck a chord. The journal process is popular because it gives each of us an outlet for our thoughts and creativity. It provides a safe space to tell a story, your story.

If you’ve ever done Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way she talks about writing “morning pages”. These pages are a way to clear your consciousness for the day leaving you open to what presents itself. Her recommendation is not to read what you’ve written. It is a clearing exercise, not a creativity exercise.

Our creativity provides our spirit with a voice. It allows us to sort out our conflicts, soothe our anxieties, and clear a path for opportunity to present itself. Our creativity expands our soul’s ability to expand. It’s like taking a huge breath filling your lungs with clean air; you feel invigorated.

Don’t sacrifice your “self”. Create even if no one ever sees it because the only person who needs to see it and experience it is you!!

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Who Teaches You to Dream?

We all have role models from an early age. Finding those who dream gives us a road map to what’s possible. Unfortunately, many of us lose our ability to dream because of our own negative self-talk or the disparaging remarks made by people of influence in our lives. It doesn’t matter what interests you have/had, we all have people whose opinion we trust and their opinion carries a lot of weight, sometimes too much weight.

People like Julia Cameron who wrote ¨The Artist’s Way” gives creatives an opportunity to break free from the dream killers. She provides a roadmap to release the negative self-talk and establish your rightful place in the creativity arena.

I think a lot about how our dreams and voices get stifled and what it takes to invigorate and breathe life into a new creative spirit. Looking back I reflect on an experience in high school with an English teacher I had both sophomore and senior years. She wasn’t necessarily inspiring, but during my time in her class I was obviously struggling to find my voice through the written word.

During those years in her class I was the king of the fragmented sentence. It definitely impeded my success in her class. By the time I got to senior year I was determined to get a good grade on a paper I wrote in her class. I thought I was so careful in crafting the paper. When I got the paper back I had received less than the grade I felt I deserved. It was the first time that I went to discuss my grade with a teacher. Our exchange was civil and I remember feeling hurt deep in my heart by her comments. I left her classroom and went out to the fields behind the school to sit and ponder the experience.

It wasn’t until years later that I did Cameron’s 12 week “Artist’s Way”. The biggest benefit was releasing the demons that held me back. It gave me the freedom to write just for the love of writing. It provided me with the encouragement to write as a means of inspiring others to share their stories and make their voices heard. I found it so powerful, I did the 12 week cycle three times.

I’ve always felt the urge to live creatively. I spent many years in the music arena both singing and playing instruments. I thought I would become a music therapist, but kept music as an avocation, not a vocation. It wouldn’t be until years later that my true artist self would emerge in the visual arts.

My ability to dream expanded by seeing art created by amazing textile artists. I attended classes and joined an art quilt guild. The energy and enthusiasm was contagious (refer to my earlier post “The Greatest Contagion of All…Creativity) providing a safe arena to explore my own creative voice. These artists infused my soul with the power to dream. There weren’t any roadblocks to creating. In fact, that’s when I created a studio in my home, a sacred space to create and dream.

Who in your life gives you the encouragement and space to create and dream? What does dreaming about a life lived creatively mean to you and what will you do to achieve that goal/dream? How does living creatively heal physical, emotional, and/or spiritual parts of your life?

For education, support, and inspiration when facing a chronic or life-threatening illness visit www.survivingstrong.com