The gift of being a maker, of practicing any kind of heartfelt artful activity is that it teaches us how to create. It teaches us how to be a creator.
This is kind of a mind-flip for those of us who grew up being taught more about having by "getting" than we did about creating.
Imagine if we were taught, and if we taught our own children, how to create the things they want rather than how to get them.
This having by "getting" starts early and can stay with us -
we try to get people to like us, get straight A's, get a good job, get lucky, get someone to do something, get married, get more money, get customers, get our acts together ... the getting goes on and on.
A focus on "getting" makes us grab at life. It sends our sticky little tentacles out into the world. It takes us out of the present moment.
(the moment where the only true success is ever possible- the moment of creation)
It gives our creative power (maybe the only power we truly have) over to someone else - what if we don't get the job, the guy, the house ... the "getting" makes us manipulate life as we try to control the situation. It blocks the flow.
maybe this is why so many incredibly creative people have so many problems - maybe our addictions and despairs stem partly from this block - this mindset blocking our true creativity. Maybe this is why so many people (myself included) can begin to heal all kinds of messes and vices through creative processes and practices.
As makers, we are charged with flipping this "getting" mindset. It is our gift; our obligation to the world, really truly.
It is the difference between "getting" a job and creating a business or a career, "getting" married and creating a family, "getting" a life and creating a life.
It is why makers know that success is in the moment of creation. It is why you cannot not be a successful maker/artist if you get to experience that moment, if you really love what you do and put your heart in it. The reaction of other people to what you do will matter less and less.
Now if this thing you are making is something that it is your intention to create money with and you are somewhat successful with this and it becomes your intention to recreate this experience again and again - another mind -flip is needed because the repetition of creating something again and again changes the something you are creating.
(I have always liked to make something one time then I would get bored and move on. I was crafty and creative, but never stayed with anything long enough to develop any real skill with it.
When I realized that the intense moment of inspiraton, part of the creative process -the "high" part, but not the only part can turn into an equally creative and inspiring physical act of creating - even when, and maybe only when, this act is repeated again and again if it is our intention to create something amazing, I had another mind-flip.
You may be knitting your 100th sweater, but that sweater
Creativity works with the subconscious brain and so it can’t be forced
(it can be cultivated and allowed - more on this in Part II)
and before you go thinking dammit I need to be creative right now.
I need to create something amazing in the 2 hours I have while little Sami or little Joshua is napping!
(and if your child takes a 2 hour nap, I bow to your skills as a master creator of time for yourself)
be assured this is actually good news, amazingly excellent news actually because our subconscious "limbic" brains have access to vastly greater amounts of information than our conscious "thinking" brains do. Gazillion times more, in fact.
(brain researchers have discovered that an average person's conscious brain has access to about 2 feet of information while the average unconscious brain has access to 11 acres of information! or over 450,000 feet - if my math is correct - maybe someone should double-check me on this)
Scientists believe that every experience, every lesson, every mistake, every triumph is all stored away in there and your brain has the capacity to access that information, even though you're not conscious of it.
I mean, how cool is that?
This is where gut feelings and decisions come from - and why we need to trust them.
Because the feeling part of our brain is digging deep into our past to help guide our decisions. This is the reason experiences matter. The more experiences you have, the more information your unconscious brain has access to, which will help generate ideas and solve problems creatively.
It's why sometimes the answer will come to you in the shower, or when you go for a long walk or when you just stop thinking about it.
Now, we need to make these experiences the right kind of experiences or our gut reactions to most things may be fear - and even this is ok, too, for awhile - because this is just one more thing we will work through and be stronger for.
Next week in Part II we will talk about some practices to allow more creativity into your life. This week we set our intention to be more creative - next week we take action!
(creator necklace by CupofSea)