“Don’t be afraid of your passions. Allow them to fill you up and inspire you” HeatherAsh Amara, Warrior Goddess Training
Within ourselves we contain seeds of great creativity ready to explode into fabulous manifestations of the divine but we are often unaware of the amount of power hidden in this creativity. We are usually afraid of our own powers so we like to distract ourselves with hundreds of little mundane things rather than look in the mirror and see our real selves. Modern society encourages us to get lost in the world of social media where others are praised for their creativity and we hide in their shadows, secretly envying their accomplishments or success.
At a young age we learn that we must conform and obey and follow the herd. These messages are subtle but can be found embedded in many social circles, from high school fraternities to fashion trends to various jobs and religions. If we stand out, it’s scary and not comfortable so we prefer to dim our inner creative fires and swallow our passions. Sometimes alone in our rooms or far away from watching eyes we allow ourselves to break open the creative energies struggling to get out and we become whole and happy again, painting or dancing or singing or playing an instrument. We are careful not to make too much noise just in case the neighbors might hear us.
After years of being conditioned to be like everyone else and not make too much noise or wind around us, how do we rekindle our creative fires? How do we learn to look in the mirror and smile back at the beautiful woman looking back at us who needs more than an ordinary life? Here are a few simple tips.
- Listen to Your Heart’s Calling
Perhaps you have been ignoring your heart’s calling for so long you don’t know how to listen to it anymore. Listening to your heart means taking the time to be silent for a while as you ask yourself questions. What makes me happy? What kind of activities do I really want to be doing? Are the classes which I am taking truly satisfying? Have I neglected to follow a certain artistic path? The heart is not a vindictive organ and normally returns answers quickly in the form of good feelings or bad feelings. Be attentive to its vibrations and tune into what it is telling you. Consider your heart like a small child that can make a lot of movements but cannot yet speak; handle it with love, tenderness, compassion, and patience. It will need you to decipher its non-verbal language and give it time to reply.
- Share Your Passions with Friends
Once you have some clear answers about what your heart wants to do, tell your friends about your revelations. They will be able to support you and encourage you on this new creative path whether that is taking dance lessons or singing courses or music lessons. A few years ago I suddenly had an urge to take violin lessons after watching a beautiful film The Red Violin (1998) by Quebec filmmaker François Girard. I told my friends about this urge and they all encouraged me to try a few lessons before buying my violin. After one class I fell in love with the instrument, found myself extremely joyful during the class, and bought myself my first violin. Practicing violin allowed me to release pent-up frustrations that I was living in my relationship at the time and gave my spirit another voice.
Other friends of mine were inspired by my new passion and two of them took up new instruments shortly after I did. Sharing my passion opened up the room for my friends to also tap into hidden desires and follow their passions. By the end of the first year, we formed a small trio and practiced in my house, all the while allowing ourselves to make musical mistakes and laughing about them. We never made it to the big stage but we sure did a lot of therapy and created happy memories together.
- Dive Into the Unknown
Creativity is like an underground cavern. When you begin to walk into this cavern, you will discover wonders you never thought were possible but it can be a scary feeling at first. As you walk in this dimly-lit cavern, it might happen that you slip and fall along the way but that is the fun of diving into the unknown. Sometimes one tunnel leads to a whole other cavern and you could find yourself taking a tap-dancing class rather than a hip-hop class. That happened to me once. I wanted to take pop singing courses and ended up taking opera classes. At first I never thought I could be good at it and by the end, I found myself singing everywhere I could sing without making too much of a scene. Opera allowed me to enter parts of myself I never had come into contact with before, such as my need for freedom and travel in order to be happy.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves (1996) says it so well when she says, “To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down”. Being creative means to unleash mysterious forces inside of us that will unblock our connection with the divine. Creativity is messy not clean. It demands that we be willing to get dirty and banged up and tired but it rewards us with great power and energy that can be found nowhere else. When we are no longer afraid of what others think about us, when we are able to listen to our hearts, when we can inspire others, when we can dive into the unknown courageously, that is when true power emerges and feeds us. At that moment we are tapping into life’s greatest force, our inner creative fires, wild and free.
(As published in the October 2015 issue of Happiness & Wellbeing)