“The moment in between what you once were and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.
This quote from Barbara de Angelis describes the edge between our ordinary identities and perceptions, and the places inside ourselves where we step into something yet to be.
Yet, we don’t teach our children how to find this spot from which we may participate in creating. In fact, as a culture we don’t even have a way to mentor artists, musicians, playwrights, poets or dancers to access their creativity. Instead, we leave it up to chance, trial and error and, sometimes, intoxicants or dangerously extreme behavior. Then, when the creative among us angst or suffer, we write it off to the choice to be a “struggling” artist.
But creativity is an attitude as much as a destiny, skill set or in-born talent. We all have the ability to shift our attitudes and take a creative approach to life tasks, whether they be parenting, folding clothes, raking leaves, grocery shopping or even cleaning a desk drawer or closet. In fact, it is often in the smallest ways that creativity reveals itself. Learning to follow the creative process inside yourself requires listening to tiny intuitions and voices in ourselves, taking small risks, having an ability to suspend judgement and allowing for unpredictable outcomes.
Are you ready to take a chance on the unknown?
Shunryu Suzuki, monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, suggested not knowing as an approach to the arts. “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are possibilities, in the expert’s mind, there are few. That is the real secret of the arts, always be a beginner.”
More about following the creative process inside yourself.