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Emotions and Thoughts in the Creative Process : Page 2 of 2

Emotions and Thoughts in the Creative Process

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As We Work

"Several artists spoke about surrendering to the unknown, acknowledging their spirituality (higher power, higher self) and being in flow — being part of a larger cycle of creation, re-birth, and evolution over time." (The Creativity Interviews, page 5)

Sometimes our desired mental landscape can be attained only by rising above everything we bring with us into the creative realm. When we reach this higher state of existence — a connection with spirit, with the universal creative flow, with all the art that's been created before us and all of the art that will be created in all of time — our real-life concerns fall away.

This amazing experience is often cited as the reason we just can't stay away, we just can't give up our creative dreams even though we struggle with them.

"Many of the artists described highly creative times when they are responding to strong emotions and want to express them through their art — transduce them from one form of energy to another. These emotions are sometimes brought on by other pieces of art they are witnessing — the depth of their experience as a listener or observer inspires creative expression from them — a desire to participate in the creation." (The Creativity Interviews, page 7)

Sometimes I hear people say that they'll get to their creative project, their creative dream, as soon as things "calm down" in their life. And yet it's the creative process itself that's usually the most effective at bringing about the calmness of mind and emotional stillness that we crave.

And we need this calm and stillness in order to respect the stages of the creative process. The "incubation" period, for instance, when ideas are forming, percolating, developing or cocooning.

"Watch me. I'm making a cocoon. It looks like I'm hiding, I know, but a cocoon is no escape. It's an in between house where the change takes place. It's a big step since you can never return to caterpillar life. During the change, it will seem to you, or to anyone who might peek, that nothing is happening — but the butterfly is already becoming. It just takes time." — From Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus

If we're not calm and centered, connected to that universal creative flow, we get impatient with this phase of creation and want to rush it along.

And when we can surrender to the moment, give ourselves over to unknown results and lose ourselves to the present moment, we're achieving life skills that other people spend years to develop through meditation and other spiritual and bodywork practices.

While my view of self-care certainly advocates a serene and peaceful life as an ideal, it's not about shooing away the more tumultuous emotions and harmful thoughts, but processing them, giving them a voice and then letting them go.

And practicing our art is a GREAT way to do this.

It provides a mirror, both in the moment and later, of how we were feeling and what our thought processes were in the moment of creation.

Our Gifts to the World

That leads us to the last piece of this topic — the thoughts and feelings that our work may evoke in others, when we choose to share it with the world.

Our expression can help those out there who have neither the words NOR the creative outlet to express their own feelings. I've experienced this myself, when I find that a songwriter has hit on my own feelings or experience and all of a sudden I have a way to explain how I've been feeling. And not just explain, but express it by singing along.

When we feel, we begin to be alive. When we express a feeling, we share with the rest of the world that we are alive. When we express a feeling through music, we invite the rest of the world to share in our experience of the feeling, and to be alive with us. — Source Unknown

Imagine the impact of something you created while in the state of flow — do you think someone who's listening to, looking at, wearing or handling that creation can experience even a tiny bit of what you were experiencing? We HAVE to believe that they can.

In my work as a music therapist, I infuse every note that I play and sing with my intention to bring joy, life and healing to my clients. And I see the evidence every day that my intention meets its mark.

So meet your emotions and thoughts in the creative realm. See what colours they are, what they want to say and become and what forms they want to take. And then let them out to play with others. •

© Copyright Linda Dessau, 2005. All rights reserved.

Linda DessauLinda Dessau helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. More »

9/8/05 OA