Thriving as a Creative

The true creative is bound to be the outsider – diving deep for the hidden pearls unavailable to most people. Thriving as a creative involves living beyond the expectations and perceptions of the dominant culture.

In the dominant Western culture, success is associated with goals, achievements, and rewards. However, other cultures and traditions have held in high esteem those whose lives are not driven by financial gain or social status. When a Westerner surrenders to life as a process and becomes committed to presence, it can feel like dying. The teachings of other cultures can be great reminders that our culture’s values are not universal.

When we clear away the Western standards by which we orient ourselves in the world, it can be helpful to have other possibilities to replace the old map. It can be helpful to read the life stories of great artists, inventors and philosophers who document what it is to be compelled to creative expression and the uncomfortable edge where evolution occurs.

When we think about a river, a flower or a sunset, we never consider whether they are successful. In their mere existence, they are always the essence of themselves. Many people yearn to find the self-trust that enables them to feel this at-oneness with themselves. Despair, depression and disillusionment mark the road back to this simple presence.

For most of my clients, there comes a time when they have had to leave behind an entire world that they knew. There was no bridge to the new world. It is similar to the experience of immigrants who leave behind their homeland, setting sail for what they can only imagine. They risk everything, not for what they know, but for what is possible. I consider this the way of life of a true creative, a place they will come to over and over again.

Below is a list of some of the most common conditions that inhibit evolution. These habits tend to cultivate doubt and to increase one’s vulnerability to culturally dominant thought patterns and ways of perceiving:

  • Over stimulating yourself – too much talk, too much noise …
  • Forgetting that nature’s timing and rhythm is not that of the ego
  • Looking for external validation
  • Believing grief or pain are signs that something is wrong
  • Being unconscious of the media input you are absorbing
  • Neglecting self-care (sleep, diet, energetic hygiene)
  • Being without a network of authentic support
  • Trusting someone else more than yourself
  • Explaining yourself
  • Believing that even if something feels wrong, it must be right
  • Looking out at culture rather than in to your center
  • Surrendering your knowing to an outer authority out of fear, haste or expediency
  • Forgetting to carry an image of organic unfolding.

In a world that is suffering the death throes of an old consciousness, the majority of what people teach, talk about and write is from an old paradigm. It can be challenging to find imagery, stories, words, sounds and concepts that reflect your experiences or offer metaphors for your nonverbal knowing.

  • Find ways to validate your imagination’s expression. What is being born has never been before—it lives beyond what we already know.
  • Surround yourself with people or silence, ideas or activities that encourage your nonverbal knowing.
  • Choose people, places and activities that are about inquiry and possibility.
  • Recognize that every word you read, every sound you hear, every electromagnetic field you are in, is part of your diet. Choose your diet wisely.
  • Imagine yourself and the human consciousness as if a newborn.
  • As a prophet of that which is being born, you do not expect to belong to past traditions of thought or habit.
  • You radiate what is full within you without expectation of being met.
  • Looking in takes you deeper; looking out causes confusion.
  • Stillness and absence of stimuli can bring more clarity than any book, activity or purchase.
  • Your understanding of what you need is all you need.
  • You choose where to reveal yourself wisely.
  • You are your own authority—no one knows more of your essence than you.
  • The more you surrender your historic belief about who you are or who you should be, the more you appear.
  • You are merely a vessel of divinity – you may never know the why for what you are or what you create.
  • This is a time of opening to the new, to that which has not yet appeared. This time is about preparing yourself, not looking for proof.
  • What is new has no form, no words; often we must simply surrender.
  • Often as you evolve, if your choice or action does not make sense, you are on track.
  • If you can explain your action or choice, your explanation may be from your old mind.
  • Fear is contagious.
  • Everything is fragile potential, driven by an absolute wisdom beyond our knowing.

Your commitment to being awake, to unflinching presence as a sensitive, creative person in an age of mass medication, in a society that anesthetizes itself in a number of ways, is a great achievement.