Creativity as a spiritual practice

I believe that we are all creative beings, and I believe that women especially are constantly called upon to create, or...

I believe that we are all creative beings, and I believe that women especially are constantly called upon to create, or to birth, so to speak. It’s in our DNA, it’s part of our nature, it’s one of those things that makes us human: our imagination and what we do with it.

I also believe that we are spiritual beings, and I believe that we are all in search of purpose, and want to be part of something greater than ourselves. You know, the search for the meaning in life.

In my own quest for meaning and purpose, and in the discovery of my own creativity and my imagination, I have come to realize that being creative is, or at least definitely can serve as, a spiritual practice. I believe that creativity is a powerful force that is greater than us, moves through us, and creates with us. Creativity takes us beyond our own limits and beyond ourselves in a way that can be called spiritual.

The creative process seems to emerge inside of us, from a place of knowing that is difficult to grasp, and yet connects with life and the human experience in incredible ways. As such, listening to the creative call, and allowing it to express itself through you, requires you to slow down and listen. And in the world we live in, that’s a hard thing to do.

To me, this type of contemplative awareness is what a spiritual practice is all about. It’s a search for greater meaning in your life, it’s a pause that asks you to think about the mystery of life, and it’s a way to create space for stillness and for a different kind of human experience.

But what makes creativity a spiritual practice? Or better yet, how can you use creativity as a spiritual practice?

I believe it begins with breaking out of the limits that our world forces onto us. Limits about ourselves and who we are, limits about what is possible in the world, limits about who we believe we can be and what we believe we can achieve. And to break out of those limits, you have to allow yourself to think differently. And to do that, I believe you need to trust your imagination and allow it to go to many different places.

Cultivating such a wandering mind, where possibility is the word of the day, requires you to unleash the power of your imagination. Again, a very hard thing to do in a media-driven world that doesn’t ask you to really think at all, but rather loves to serve you its preferred version of everything instead.

Creativity as a spiritual practice

So, it’s hard to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And it is something that can be achieved through the creative process.

1. Don’t be afraid to create. Imagination is unleashed through the creative process, not through the final product. It’s about expressing yourself in new and different ways, and learning new creative languages. In a way, a spiritual practice is the same. It’s the journey that matters, for there is no destination.

2. Use the creative process to learn about yourself. What comes easy to you, and what is hard? These are pathways to discovery about who you are and what you stand for. In a spiritual practice, the same happens. You might find it really hard to meditate, or to not feel frustrated with something or someone. These events tell you new things about yourself (and not about others, as we often believe!), so use them to dig deeper and find out more about who you truly are.

3. Use your creative practice to connect with the divine. One of my spiritual mentors taught me the benefits of discipline, and how having a consistent spiritual practice and doing the work can forge a relationship between me and that which is greater than myself. I believe the same is true of a creative practice. By surrendering over and over again to creative impulses that ask to be unleashed, it becomes easier to connect with the divine, the life force, the mystery that makes everything possible. And this is precisely what a spiritual practice aims to do, as well.

Finally, besides being a spiritual practice, creativity is also a way to live a richer and more colorful life – a life of exploration and discovery, a life of change and growth.

So, don’t miss out, and especially not by thinking you’re not an artist or that you’re not the creative type. Creativity and imagination run through all of us. Just like the divine mysteries of life. All it takes is for you to pay attention.

In the comments below, tell me… what are you called to create?

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