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How to Live a Creative Life

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."
Leo Burnett
When my 86 year old father belts out an old big band classic tune like Tommy Dorsey's, "I'll Be Seeing You," his vocal instrument still sends a chill down the spine. And when my son pulls from his back pack a well worn sketch pad, casually showing me his latest pencil and ink drawing a similar feeling arises. I am in awe of their talent and artistry. Often, I've wondered why I did not receive that particular creative gene.

How to Live a Creative Life

Too, I am blessed with students and clients that paint museum quality masterpieces, write life changing books, make profound documentary films, and dance like angels. Creativity such as the like is both tangible and inspiring.

But what if we don't possess that seemingly substantial "thing"? What if the best we can do is draw a stick figure and appreciate a great piece of music? Does that reduce us to non-creative beings?
Does that mean we have nothing to offer in the way of art? Should we ignore the impulse of the heart and pretend that this inarticulate, elusive longing begging to burst wide open is unworthy of creation?
Much like all art forms creativity expresses itself in a myriad of ways, and she never walks alone. Flanked on either side, creativity walks hand in hand with courage and vulnerability. To live a creative life we must first have the courage to look deeply into the cavern of our hearts, or we will never know what treasures lie hidden within.

When we do shine the light of awareness into the dark place, and expose the uncut diamond we often feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. So, for many, thinking ourselves non-creative is easier than doing the solitary work of unearthing and polishing the gem.

Creativity may not always be expressed by a strong powerful baritone, but perhaps through a strong inner voice that powerfully advocates for the well-being of the soul. And though we may never pick up an artist's sable brush to apply paint to canvas, perhaps we may paint ourselves a bold and beautiful life.

One valuable and innate gift of every human being is creativity. Yet, if the impulse of creativity is to break through its barriers, and chance a life of wonder, we must cultivate an abiding curiosity of what lies within our inner landscape by sitting within the Silence.

As a singer must daily practice the scales, we too must daily practice being open to receiving the calling of the heart. So sit, sit within the Silence, that we may invite our heart's song to surface.

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