By Dr. Bev Snyder
Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods and interpretations. Let’s face it, that doesn’t readily happen in the confines of a mind conditioned by “shoulds”; “musts”; and “have to’s”. When it comes to creativity there are no rules or regulations. There is no right or wrong. The only limits that exist are the ones in your mind. The best part about creativity is the chaos that comes along with it. But, let’s get real, chaos freaks most of us out! What
if, instead, your creativity is a portal, a doorway, through which you can strengthen your connection with your Spirit? Let’s look at all the reasons being creative can help spark your spirituality (i.e. the act of tapping into your Spirit) – which connects your Body and Soul.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Just as God was the original, quintessential creator that we read about in the first lines of the Bible, we, too have marvelous, untapped sources of creativity within us. After creating Adam and Eve, God charged us in Genesis I: 28 “…Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” My understanding of this is that God gives us dominion over all living and breathing things accompanied by the power to make the best use of the resources we have been given. Since everyone has a spirit, so everyone has the ability to be creative.
Creativity is not a gift that is only given to a select few people. Instead, everyone has the ability to be creative. The universe is filled with diversity and creativity abounds in many different facets and is expressed in many different ways. A few important points follow….
1. Creativity is spirituality
Expressing authentic, creative passion is a spiritual experience. It is so easy to get delightfully lost during the creative process, because there’s always the possibility of discovering something new within yourself. A fresh, untapped resource can result in unbelievable breakthroughs, whether in your work or your higher consciousness. Expressing your own unique creativity is allowing God’s Spirit to express freely – an energizing and uplifting experience. The natural release of feel-good hormones is amazing! Expressing your
creative abilities will enhance your quality of life, while strengthening your connection with your inner self.
2. Creativity requires patience and practice
When you explore your creative self, it requires you to look within your heart and allow that hidden part of you to shine brightly. Creativity requires practice, patience and consistency. When you practice being non- judgmental and allow your creativity to blossom, it can feel like magic. When you incorporate creativity into your everyday life, your life begins to feel inspired and magical. The more time you dedicate to your creative pursuits, the more your spirit will shine through. But just like a muscle, when we don’t use our creativity it will fade.
Take art, for example. What can we communicate through art that we can’t say as eloquently in any other way? The deeper explanation is that it’s a God-connection. We all have a divinely inspired impulse to create and express ourselves, whether or not we are a recognized artist like a painter, musician, dancer, or poet. As children of a Creator God, we seem hardwired to practice our own unique versions of the creative process. For example, gardeners describe their most sacred moments of connection to God as those when they plant and cultivate, engaging in the holy process of growth. Other people find it when painting, singing, writing, knitting, and shaping pottery.
As Faith Nolton, artist and author of Gardens of the Soul (Divine Arts, 2014), says, “The sacred art record of humanity—whether inscribed in cave and temple, tattoo and dance mask, or painted on drum, bark silk and canvas, or crafted in stained glass and mosaic—records and celebrates our human trails on Earth. It shows that art made with clear soul intention can bring healing and blessing for people, places, and situations.”
In a recent interview, Carlos Santana, the guitarist, describes his creativity in music as “grace, being in the place to receive the inner reality that we choose … to play music and to live for principles that can elevate and inspire people to be better humans.” He goes on to say the spiritual resource that has stood out the most for him is “gratitude and acknowledging the power of grace in everything inside you and around you, and knowing that we are made in the same likeness as God.” Santana closes by saying “we (he and his wife) believe with clarity
of spirit and clarity of mind that we are ready to create miracles and blessings.” And that is what creativity can do for you!
3. Creativity is an aspect of love
When we are being creative, we need to let go of every shred of self-doubt, because fear will destroy our creativity. Remember that there are only two emotions in the world: “One is love and the other is the absence of love which is fear” (Gerald Jampolsky). Don’t let the fear of “doing it right” shut you down. Don’t let the misconception of perfection separate you from your birthright of creativity. Work to replace any threatening negativity with unconditional love and confidence. Being truly creative takes courage… So, be courageously creative, oh courageous one!
4. Creativity and spirituality
The spiritual life, like any of the expressive arts, is largely about process rather than product. Spirituality is a journey that evokes constant movement and progression, always unfolding and discovering. It involves integration—bringing all of ourselves and our experiences to the crafting of meaning. Engaging in the arts as a spiritual practice means honoring this process of meaning—making, or cultivating, a relationship to mystery. Paolo Knill, one of the founders of expressive arts therapy, says, “The practice of the arts, as disciplined rituals of play in painting, sculpting, acting, dancing, making music, writing, and storytelling, is and always was a safe container—a secure vessel to meet existential themes, pathos, and mystery.”
Both spirituality and creativity are beyond the everyday experience of self, where one is transcending the ordinary and expected sense of self. There’s a sense of mystery at the heart of both creativity and spirituality. We are tuned in to our senses, which is where the transformation takes place. We don’t necessarily change, but rather become more of who we already are.
5. Seven ways to improve your spiritual health through creativity
A. Explore your spiritual core. By doing this, you are simply asking yourself questions about the person you are and your purpose in the world. You can get at the core of your belief system which really speaks to the essence of your spiritual nature. It requires deep digging. What DO you believe in enough so that it informs your actions and behaviors? What is your moral self like? How can you express who you are at your center in a creative way?
B. Look for deeper meanings in all that happens to you and around you. Did stopping at a red light when you were in a hurry somehow protect you from an accident waiting to happen? Did stopping to fill your car up with gas prepare you to be ready to handle a medical emergency at home? Look deeply at all that fills your days. Become more aware of synchronicities and how God is speaking to you in all the little things.
C. Get it out. Express your feelings. Learn to communicate more effectively, especially with those whom you love. Try expressing your feelings on paper, perhaps by doodling or coloring what your feelings look like, in abstract form. Put these things you become aware of down on paper, either in art or even in writing. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, suggests writing “morning pages” to begin your day with a narrative that allows you to focus on the day ahead with creativity.
D. Try the practice of yoga! It is amazing how getting your body more flexible has a huge impact on also making your mind more flexible, awakening creative impulses that lie just beneath the surface. You won’t know how this happens unless you try it!
E. Travel, explore, go somewhere you haven’t been before. Even a trip to a Florida city you haven’t visited in years will increase awareness of all that’s new in that part of the world. New buildings and picturesque windows of art galleries and gift shops may well spark a creative urge that has been lying dormant for too long. Visiting a new place with an open mind allows possibilities for that vital creative force to emerge, frequently resulting in creative expression.
F. Think positively. Believe that you will see something that will trigger that creative spark and get the juices flowing so much that you can’t wait to get back home to yield to the expression of all you have seen and experienced. Prepare yourself to C R E A T E!
G. Take time to meditate. This elevates your God awareness so you can begin to feel less connected to all the external influences that demand your attention and instead, focus on internal processes that spark your creativity. Meditation allows you to deepen your w-holiness so you find yourself opening up to creative urges. It may be that you create more Chinese recipes for dinner, or write impulsive lines of poetry, or rearrange your living room or clean the closet, making way for newness to enter. And don’t forget that creativity, imagination and innovation usually find us during moments of play. We are all clay in the hands of God, who is constantly molding and shaping us into beautiful masterpieces. This isn’t a God who waves a magic wand from behind a protected and uncontaminated heavenly chamber while creation puts on a show outside. God got dirty first and invites us to push up our sleeves as well.
Join us in our mental health Zoom meeting if you would like to have support for your journey to greater creativity. Send me an email to Bsnyder008@gmail.com and I will connect you to our free and confidential meetings that will support your growth as one of God’s wonderful creations! And remember my favorite verse found in Matthew 9:29: “If you have faith and do not doubt… it will be done.”
Counselor and Coach