Tips for Creative Living from Elizabeth Gilbert and me ~
Three key concepts intrigued me when reading this book and in the context of helping my consulting and coaching clients. The first was understanding the process of inspiration. How do ideas come to us? In the shower, walking in nature, maybe meditation. One thing I know ~ when I try to be creative, my mind finds all the ways to say ~ that won’t work.
Ms. Gilbert believes “creativity is a force of enchantment. Magical.” Wow – there’s a concept. It’s like the idea or inspiration has a life of its own. It will come knocking on your door and ask to be let in. If you are too busy, too tired, too confused ~ it drifts away. It may come back and it may not. At least take a moment to write it down.
I like this concept of ideas having form. It makes it easier to partner with and create. Let me tell you about Uncle Tanji….
For my business inspirations, I work with my imagined muse called Uncle Tanji. He came to me in a meditation. An older South Asian fellow who speaks very deliberately. We have worked together, just like real colleagues, in the creation of my programs and workshops. When I am stuck on a decision, I ask him about it. The imaginary mind is powerful force and you can use it for any of your creative endeavors in the arts, gardening, cooking, strategic thinking etc. Try it.
The second key concept was not letting your perfectionism get in the way. You have the idea, you build it out and over analyze it until it no longer feels viable. I love how Ms. Gilbert describes perfectionism as “just a high end, haute couture version of fear…. underneath the shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, ‘I am not good enough and I will never be good enough’”. That may sound familiar.
I say ~ put your creation out there. It is truly the process of creating that keeps the juices flowing. Some will work and some won’t. Why do you think Picasso created over 50,000 works of art. He knew that it was the process not just the destination that was valuable.
The last key concept is about making the declaration of all your creative selves. It’s saying…
I am …. a writer
I am …. a problem solver
I am ….?????
This declaration can be just for you but I highly encourage you to share this with others. For me, I stood up at our luncheon and declared ~ I am a Gardner. I have had that idea knocking at my door for years and this year I answered. The joy and peace it is bringing me, even with a beginner’s mind, is amazing. There is so much to learn yet I feel confident that my garden muse, the fairy, will be there all the way….
Here is the start of my garden with some flowers…now on to the vegetables!