Sunday, February 28, 2010

Creativity and Dreams

Some days it's really hard to write here because I have so many things swirling around in my mind I find it difficult to pin them down into one cohesive thought. Oh, they're all related, but if I were to simply send a stream of consciousness your way, you might feel it necessary to send the white coats after me.

I've been talking to friends and thinking about creativity, forward motion, resistance to change, independence, leaping out of the box ... all of these ideas a lot lately. It's actually quite exciting to me.

I know that some of you probably just smile and nod because Diane is off doing her thing and one of these days she'll settle down again. Or maybe you see me doing things in my life to fulfill my dreams but don't believe that is where you want to be right now, so you pat me on the head and send me on my way with good wishes. Then you settle back in your arm chair, pull a blanket up around you and turn the television on and lose yourself in someone else's fantasy.

This afternoon, I recommended the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron to a friend and figured I probably out to pull it back out and look through it again. Barely 15 pages in and I found myself stunned by the power of the thoughts and ideas I had.

One of those thoughts came from a quote, "It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God." (Mary Daly)

Think about that for a moment. We are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26) Right at the point that God is filling the universe with His creativity, He makes man in His image. That doesn't mean that we necessarily look like Him or even act like Him. There are so many different facets of God that He put inside of man and one of those is the desire to create. Every one of us is born to be creative.

Julia Cameron's first principle in the book is: "Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy; pure, creative energy."

The thing is - creativity doesn't have to be about writing a book, painting on a canvas, taking beautiful photographs or sitting down to write a song. It definitely is those things, but it is also about creating a meal for your family, planning a vacation, designing a pinewood derby car, coordinating a birthday party for your kids, laying out a landscape design ... the list is infinite and is only limited by what you can allow yourself to dream.

It's too easy to shut off our creativity by busy-ness or even boredom. We don't make time in our lives to allow our minds to drift and wander or think about things outside our normal days. That just doesn't seem productive somehow. Yet, what if Brahms had never taken the time to let the music flow through him. He said, "Straightaway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God." What if all he had ever done was play someone else's music, practicing it until it was perfect, filling his days with teaching and playing - never allowing himself time to just listen for the music. We would have missed an incredible gift.

Maybe the first thing you need to do is just allow yourself the freedom to dream. In your dreams you aren't limited by lack of education, lack of money or even procrastination or resistance. They're just that - dreams. But those dreams can open up your mind to what it is that you most desire to do and to be. When you start recognizing your dreams as something you are comfortable with, maybe you'll be able to make them come true!

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