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Creativity Isn't Just About Having Good Ideas : Page 3 of 3

Creativity Isn't Just About Having Good Ideas

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The process now called "Writing from the Deeper Self" did not evolve from writing techniques, but from my healing journey. Indeed, most of the doors into writing that have meant something to me and my clients initially came from nonverbal domains: breath awareness; inner sound; inner imagery; what makes itself known through movement and body wisdom; the soul's arc throughout a life, dipping in and out of visibility. At a time in my life when I felt most despairing over my seeming inability to create ~ a "writing block" that lasted eight years, long ago ~ no writing techniques were able to touch the aliveness hiding under the despair. But there were healing ways (present in many religions and cultures because they are universal), which brought what was in me closer to the surface.

Then I could write about what was in me ~ or use it to fuel writing about what was also outside me ~ because it was right there, intimately close. When your breath, for example, is a vehicle for bringing you close to what your soul has to tell you, you can trust it to create the you-that-creates. When your heart's pulse is a vehicle for telling you what wants to be brought forth, you can trust its presence to guide you, simply by listening to it. You never have to go out of yourself to come up with a list of clever proofs of creating. Creating is what happens when you pay attention to who lives inside.

The skills accompanying creating of course are consequential. If you want to play the piano, it does help to know the names and sounds of the keys, and to develop a sense of chords and intervals, and the emotional qualities that go with certain modes. But skills can always be developed, at any age, if the desire is there. Over the years, I have taught myself to read music ~ once seemingly impossible, and now such a comfort that I can't imagine how I lived without it. Being able to read music allows me to become, literally, an instrument for playing Bach, or Mozart, or old-favorite songwriters like Judy Collins, James Taylor. It enables me to write songs of my own ~ musical interludes that feel inspired in the moment ~ and write them down in case I turn out to still love them later on. I would never underplay the role of skill and technique in any art.

Yet desire, I believe, precedes everything. And if you use your own inner being as the source of finding that desire ~ and see how it shows itself to you (does it speak in paragraphs? In stories? In small, intimate details, the dappled shade on the ground from a tree overhead in the sun? In some not-yet-heard inner music that feels only like unformed desire, desire seeking some form for its expression?) ~ what is in you will ultimately lead you home.

To be creative is to be alive, is to be in touch with the subtle dimensions of your own being. The devotional path asks us to become clear, emptiable instruments ~ so that the empty space within the clarinet can carry the blown-in sound, so that the hollows of the cello can contain and let the rich bowed-sound out. To be a creative human being is both an extraordinary opportunity/gift, and the most natural thing in the world: to be the one seeking to express, and also the unformed presence seeking to be expressed ~ creator and created, in one.

Many years ago, I used to think that writing a book was a task, a challenge, an impossibility, a shallow victory at best. I think, now, that writing a book from the deeper Self is a way to know yourself as creator and creation; a process of listening so intimate and true that you rewrite your life and being, as the book gets written. Whatever creative modality you are drawn to ~ visual art, music, writing, and so on ~ creating asks of us that we meet ourselves without disguises; and gives to us that we meet ourselves in much deeper beauty, resonance, and glory than we ever could have hoped for.

Maybe using chalk to represent chalk has its place, too. The point is, we can love our creativity into being. We don't have to scare it into being. All the seeds are already there.

Just add water. •

Copyright © 2011 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

Naomi RoseNaomi Rose, Book Developer and Writing Coach, has successfully used her "Writing from the Deeper Self" approach to help people with an inner-directed focus write the books of their hearts. More »