(photo by Arterium)
November 20 (written August 2), 2021
This week’s post is a reflection of a week back in August tied in with what I’ve learned along this intentional creative journey.
“What keeps you creatively inspired?”
Our friend Kushi asked this question on a hot, sluggish and contemplative afternoon. My mind went off to search for what keeps my creative wheels turning. Our friend Chris shared one perspective, then I offered another: patience with the process and acceptance of what is are what keep me creatively inspired. This comes out of time to reflect on the lessons I've experienced. I’ve recorded two EP’s in the past ten years but never released them. They were mixed, mastered, and printed, and turned out to be expensive demos that never reached the audience. As I look back, I can see that my heart was not fully connected to the project, and I tried to rush through the process. I wanted to release music for the world to hear even though I couldn’t handle listening back to the recordings myself. I also wasn’t accepting and loving of where I was, especially my proficiency as a singer, and spent a lot of energy climbing over my self-doubt in order to perform. As I write now, I get to observe my progress with regards to patience and acceptance in my creative process.
To me, creation is entwined with freedom.
They are both born and reside within our human carrier vessels, and we either switch onto it as we ready ourselves to receive, or we forget it’s there. So, maybe, by being aware of our creativity in daily life, we are aware of our innate freedom, and that freedom feeds the inspiration to go any place we want, inside or out.
It’s a theory.
Creativity is all around and within…
Whenever I get going on the topic of creativity, it’s amazing to think of the ways we can be creative. I was thinking of how to start this paragraph then remembered a conversation exchanged on this topic where someone suggested that creativity comes out in even the way we dress, walk, and present ourselves to the world. How cool to think that a seemingly insignificant choice we each make to wear this or that is a form of our creative expression. And we all tap into it, to varying degrees, as with anything else, every single day. To me, this is an area of practicing acceptance, that even on the most sluggish of days, creativity is being acknowledged by making choices.
Let’s not forget the main ingredient… Unconditional Love
“Whatever we do, do it with love”, are the words shared by the kind soul from my first post (of 2021), referencing the dishwashing and housecleaning work I was doing. Riffing off this advice, what if a main ingredient in effective creation of work, of play, of style, of speech, and state of mind is unconditional love? Reside in pure, unconditional love with the task in the moment, not concerned with who will receive it, how it will be received, or what will be given in return. And I can see how acceptance ties in with unconditional love. One area of struggle I observe in myself and some of those around me is feeling guilty, or even “lazy”, for taking time to rest. A quick dictionary look up will suggest meanings of both "lazy" and "resting". In either case, the acceptance of stillness and mindfulness can be opportunities for inspiration to be noticed and acted upon. For any of us needing that reminder or confirmation that we’re not always being lazy, we’re, in fact, loving ourselves up with extra resting and curating time. As our friend Yao mentioned in The Belly Road, the drying period is as much a part of the creative process.
Waves of Creativity.
Inspiration definitely comes in waves for me. I experimented with drawing the waveform of the week-in-mention and will describe that drawing. It started with a low vibrational, melancholic Monday morning wake up, with the questions like “what am I doing now?”, “where am I going to go next?”, but luckily turned up with wondering how I could love and support myself more. This moved into an unexpected and much needed day-trip retreat for respite. Wave went up. Found my favourite cookies, finally. Wave up even higher. Met a kindred soul in a 77-year-old, Alison. High vibration. Then a dip down to a more balanced, homeostasis version of Mondays blues but with more intentional love, acceptance, and patience for my current state, and a noticeable shift in the air. Change is inevitable. Thursday greeted me with explosions of sunlight, love, simplicity, a new inspiring tune, “Windy Days” by SIX60, gratitude for knowing and celebrating the life and upcoming journey of soul sister Tamwah, and a flood of inspiration to focus on project ideas, including this blog and more that will slowly surface. Friday, I wrote “’She’s awake’…I awake with joy, love, gratitude, motivation, inspiration, and so much appreciation for everything.” This is after experiencing an evening of taking intentional steps in trust. I met a musician on the street, we played, joked about opportunities being one step away, took a few steps, found more musicians, played with them, people walking by showed their appreciation, then Jenny slipped support into my chest pocket. Jenny, just before extending her generosity, asked how I sustained myself, I said by the grace of God, and with acceptance and patience. This motivated me to finance an amp and get to playing more music. It comes right back to my inner sense: my creativity is anchored in rhythm and melody.
Being in my awareness of the creative process, which includes acceptance and patience, I find I can appreciate each stepping stone, gentle smile, and subtle cue that keeps me in my lane, going along my path. I also don’t want to forget how important it is to be active and proactive in creation. I haven’t been able to finish some of the new tunes, so I covered two new tunes this week. I’ve written and released two posts, and am setting up the platforms to help fulfill the other projects and aspirations. The waveforms will continue to move up and down, or in a spiral motion, and with it I will continue to move, too.
What keeps you creatively inspired? Curious to know the variations of what keeps us inspired.
Thanks to all who have provided examples to my questions:
Wishing peace upon you