I have been a writer for thirty years now and count it as one of the major blessings of my life. Having direct access to the creative process has given me so many gifts and so much grace. Creativity is something that is available to everyone all the time. You just have to know how to open up to it.
In our high-powered, fast-paced society, we are many times in such a rush to get from point A to point B that we miss out on everything in between. The creative part of us, the right-brained free part, doesn’t care about the destination, it is happy with the journey—smelling all the roses along the way, watching the clouds change forms in the sky, listening to the geese call as they head south for the winter.
To function, we need a balance, obviously, but the problem for many people is that they have programmed out their creative, fun and free side and have lost any access to it. They know how to get from A to B. They don’t know how to stop and enjoy the trip.
So they may think—“I’m not creative”. I love to have these people in my creative writing classes because they are the most astounded at what is right there, waiting to be rediscovered, listened to, welcomed back.
Poet and writer John O’Donohue says: “In us, the depths keep watch.” I believe they do. Our creative energy waits in our depths. One of the simplest ways to begin to tap into it is to remember what you loved to do as a child. Just sit back, relax, take a deep breath and remember a time when you were really happy as a child.
I can remember hours on the beach making drippy sand castles with my sister Sharon. Or sitting in the dirt under the huge mulberry tree making little villages out of sticks and mud and leaves and bark. Or dressing up in funny long dresses pretending we were princesses. We even have some blurry black and white photos taken with a brownie box camera, where you can see our shorts under our dress up clothes. We tried to strike dramatic poses like some elegant fashion model. Mostly we laughed and giggled a lot.
And there is a clue—laughing. What makes you laugh? When was the last time you did it? There’s creativity in that.
It is as if we all have a huge gold mine within us that wants to be found and used. There’s an ease to creative energy, a freshness and vitality that wants to flow out of us as easily as a wave breaks on the shore.
One of my favorite quotations is by Martha Graham who invented modern dance. I like to think about her and her courage. In her day, there was ballet, where everything was very structured and rigid. Then Martha came along and said: “Hey, why can’t we throw our bodies around freely and use dance as a form of self expression?” It must have been a scandal for a while before it was an accepted art form.
Here is the Martha Graham quote:
" There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly and to keep the channel open."
So have courage. ‘Coeur’ means ‘heart’ in French. Have heart and courage to scratch below the surface to see what wants to come up from your depths. It will be your soul talking to you and it will be like discovering a very old friend, someone who knows you and loves you and welcomes you home.
Diane Covington is a writer and life coach. You can visit her website at https://www.facebook.com/DianeCovingtonCarter/
Diane Covington © 2006