Scientists and spiritual teachers around the world are currently pointing towards a powerful phenomenon that is gathering pace as we head towards 21 December 2012. Individually and collectively we are waking up and remembering the truth of who we are – spiritual beings having a human experience.
As we become increasingly conscious (self-realisation), we open to deeper levels of creativity (self-expression), and ultimately our role as conscious co-creators emerges.
From the earliest times, sages and mystics have shared an abundance of secrets and systems for attaining a conscious state of being.
Even the simplest approach of paying attention to the flow of the breath in and out of our body is a powerful way to still the chatter of the everyday mind and open the way for deeper levels of awareness to arise.
As we increasingly open to there being more to life than meets the eye, we discover a naturally occurring creative impulse that seeks conscious expression in the world.
Making space for conscious creativity is to do with honouring that impulse for the highest good of all and reaping the immense rewards of conscious and creative living.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at the core of what creativity is. Wikipedia defines creativity as a phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, solution, work of art) that has some kind of value. Of course the definitions of ‘new’ and ‘value’ vary dramatically from person to person.
Essentially, creativity is about bringing something into being that didn’t exist before or reshaping something that already exists into a new form.
The word ‘paper’, for example, is derived from the word ‘papyrus’ which was a plant found in Egypt along the lower Nile River. About 5,000 years ago, Egyptians harvested, peeled and sliced ‘sheets’ of papyrus into strips which were then layered and smoothed, providing them with a flat surface on which to write.
Three thousand years later, the creation of a more refined grade of paper came out of China. Ts’ai Lun took the fibres of bamboo and the inner bark of a mulberry tree, mixed them with water and pounded them with a wooden tool. After pouring the mixture through a woven cloth and allowing it to dry, the fibers created a quality writing surface. The knowledge of this new creation from existing materials quickly spread throughout China and led to paper becoming one of the most significant creative inventions in history.
Creativity is about expression of all kinds – writing, painting, music, cooking, gardening, decorating the house or choosing what clothes to wear. It also includes how we resolve relationship issues, engage in our work or campaign for a cause we believe in.
At its highest level, creativity is the process of shaping essenceinto form. Take the relationship between water and ice. When the temperature of water drops below freezing, it turns into ice. Yet, its essence is still water as you quickly discover when you re-heat it.
Above all, creativity is a state of being. With a creative mindset, anything can become a creative act.
What is conscious creativity?
Conscious creativity is a combination of self-realisation and self-expression. It is about aligning ourselves consciously with the creative flow of the universe and honouring the impulse we all have for authentic self-expression.
Whatever forms we choose to express ourselves in the world, conscious creativity works through the vehicle of our individual interests and talents. If we have an inclination towards writing, for example, our natural tendencies determine what kind of writing we do (non-fiction, fiction, memoir, poetry, screen writing) as well as the ideas we express, the words we choose and the way we write. Conscious creativity works at every level.
Conscious creativity enables us to reach a deep level of inner truth that lies beneath all of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what we are – or are not – capable of. This is how we discover our core talents and derive the greatest sense of joy, purpose and freedom that comes from expressing ourselves authentically and making the contribution that only we can make.
How do we make space for conscious creativity?
We all have a multitude of commitments and it may seem like there isn’t another minute of the day when something else can be squeezed into our busy schedule. However, conscious choice about genuine priorities is the difference that makes the difference when it comes to finding time and space for what is most important to us.
Interestingly, the more we open to the energy of conscious creativity, the more time and space we seem to have as we are fully present in each moment. This is important because, one of the fundamental requirements for conscious creativity to flourish is space – in our schedule, in our environment, and most important of all, in our mind.
Despite the best of intentions, many people struggle to find enough time and space in their everyday lives to express themselves as creatively as they would like. Sometimes the solution is as simple as reviewing what we consider to be creative and expanding that to encompass a broader definition of what creativity actually is.
Space in our environment can simply mean a clear desk on which to write or a clear corner in which to paint. It can also mean exploring the vast landscapes of the natural world with a notebook and pen or a sketchpad and pencil.
The highest priority of all, however, is creating space by emptying the mind to hear the guiding voice of our inner truth and to access the richest levels of our conscious and creative potential.
The Zen Master and the Tea Cup
There is a well-known story of a Zen master who taught this lesson to a learned man who came to him seeking enlightenment.
The man had studied for many years and knew a great deal from all of the books he had read. He asked the Zen master to teach him the remaining lessons he had to learn in order to understand Zen and reach enlightenment.
The Zen master suggested they should have their discussion over tea and straight away began preparing it. When the tea was ready to serve, he began pouring it into a cup he had laid out for his visitor.
He poured more and more tea into the cup until finally it spilled over the edge of the cup, onto the table and over the edge of the table onto the learned man’s robes. Finally he cried, “Stop! The cup is already full and the tea is spilling everywhere!”
The Zen master stopped and gently smiled at the learned man. “You are like this cup of tea. Your mind is already full and there is no room for anything more to be added. First you need to empty your mind. Then you will know all you need to know.”
There are many versions of this story but the essence remains unchanged: space is required to know the truth, and conscious creativity is an expression of truth in the world of form.
Whatever your current relationship with creativity may be, and whatever form(s) of conscious and creative expression you choose, creating space in your schedule, your environment and especially in your mind will enable you to reap the deepest levels of personal reward and make the maximum contribution to others.
Q4U: What is your experience of writing when you have no space at all compared to when you have some space – both inner and outer? Share your comments below.
© Julia McCutchen 2012. All Rights Reserved.
If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:
Julia McCutchen is an author, conscious creativity coach, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual and personal development, Julia teaches conscious creativity, conscious writing and a holistic approach to writing for publication that combines the inner journey of creative self-discovery with the practical steps required for writing and publishing books. She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. For more information and a FREE Special Report on Discovering Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world, visit www.iaccw.com.