We are adventurers at heart. Our souls love to splash around in newness, to explore and discover the wondrous worlds that lie beyond the safe shores of home.
Yes, we have fundamental needs for security, home, belonging. Without the foundation of safety and protection that these give us, we never feel fully free. But our needs for discovery, play, and creative exploration are just as essential, if we are to live joyfully and flourish.
You can meet these needs most easily when you create containers — sandboxes, art studios, writing corners, red-clay riverbanks — that hold and nurture your creative energy.
Habits have an undeserved reputation as unconscious, rigid patterns that stifle creative flow. But, consciously cultivated, habits can be the protective riverbanks that guide the effortless flow of your creative energy.
By cultivating habits that support your creative process, you align your power with your soul’s deep desire for exploration, discovery, and ongoing evolution.
Consciously cultivated habits are the engine of momentum. With the right habits to support you, you won’t have to make a new choice each day to overcome inertia and play freely, creatively. You’ll add color, richness, texture and depth to your life. And you’ll have great fun doing it.
My own creative habits are eclectic, chosen as much for their capacity to delight as for their ability to hold my creative process. And, they change and evolve. Crafting them is fun, a lighthearted response to the call of my soul, which dances gleefully over shifting terrain.
Variety keeps the structures of habit fresh and interesting.
Mostly, my creative practices arise spontaneously from a life-long spirit of curiosity, play, adventure and exploration, anchored in a container of time and space, energy, presence and attention.
Some of these practices are as constant as breath — I’ve practiced them all my life; they are the mainstay of my world. Others are inspired by an image, a feeling, a word or phrase that brushes fleetingly against the skin of my attention. Or by a deep communion with Nature that leaves its fingerprint on my heart.
These creative explorations are internal, but they are rooted in my relationship with the world around me. They have their own rules of engagement: They command my presence, my love and willingness to explore with an open heart, to learn what they have to show me.
Most of all, they call me to be changed by my encounter with Otherness — to discover who I become, as a result of my relationship with the people, places and energies I meet along the way, and to embrace whatever emerges from our play together.
The container of habit itself is simple enough.
Mornings are my most creative time, so I keep them free for adventuring. Sometimes, I stay in my pajamas — a signal to my whole being to remain as softly receptive as when I first wake from sleep. Others, I shower, dress, light a stick of incense and a candle, and attune to the Deva of Love, or the spirit of Blessing, or whatever soul quality I want to embody, explore and play with that day.
Some mornings, I stretch out in my favorite chair, drift into the vista across the bay to the blue mountains at the horizon’s rim, sip a cup of herbal tea, and day-dream.
Day-dreaming is a vastly underrated activity. Most of us are really good at it, as kids, until it’s shamed out of us, or we succumb to the metronome of busyness that doles out time like assembly-line aspirin.
Me, I choose to play in ways that slow me back to heart time, pulse time. I read poems whose rhythms are heartbeats. I write longhand in an unlined 5 x 7 spiral-bound sketchbook. The thick-textured paper, the open white-space of the page, feels expansive, generous — as spacious as free play.
It’s a bowl of habits designed to invoke and hold the rich broth of feelings in which my creative energy feels most at home.
What happens next depends partly on serendipity, and partly on the particular practice I’ve crafted to explore something I’m curious about.
For the past several months, for example, my daily practice has been to let myself have all of what I truly want. To notice when I hedge, hold back, make-do, or otherwise shrink from my desire. And to observe who I become and what I create when I say a full and wholehearted Yes to everything my heart desires.
The results have been both interesting and delightful. My days hold more spaciousness, more fun and play, more connection with my world, more travel, more engagement. More of what I want now — very little of anything that doesn’t feel right for me in this moment.
More trust in my creative capacity. Trust in the gifts of Grace, in Divine Timing. A rich flow of abundance to support it all.
This experiment has also yielded a deep vein of wisdom in daily writing, a new collection of poems, and two other projects that will serve you and my world in ways that make my heart very happy.
If this sounds good to you, take a daily swim in the river of your own radiant, powerfully creative life. Shape habits that suit you, ones that work well with your own natural rhythms and temperament.
The habit of creativity serves you and your world — it helps you craft a life and business you love, and contributes to a world that supports the perfect unfolding of all forms of life.
What habits and practices do you already have in place, that nourish your creativity, day to day? Celebrate these. Refine them. Bring them up to date.
If you’re feeling creatively stagnant, begin by shaping a container in which your creative energy loves to play. Set up a space and time that’s just for you — one where your allegiance is to your creative self alone; where you can play undisturbed. Buy or borrow tools that feel perfectly balanced in your hand, and keep them close. Use them with love and delight.
Ask yourself — where does your energy and attention naturally want to flow? What awaits you, just beyond the harbor of routine and familiar thoughts, feelings, ideas, grooves of attention?
What structures and habits can you create, to hold this play time, this exploration of freedom?
Get support, to get started. Check out resources close to home — friends to play with, classes or workshops in your community. Dance, sing, draw, paint. Make music. Write or sculpt or cook. Make love. Make waves. Make your art.
Trust your heart’s deepest, most compelling desires — especially the ones that seem whimsical or frivolous, frothy beyond all reason. See where they lead you. Discover who you become, when you say Yes to them.
You are an incarnate soul. Creativity is in your DNA. Nurture it, and you nurture Wholeness.
Your creative exploration is part of the Divine Play of the universe itself.
And, you’ll have the time of your life!
Here we go…!