Friday, July 9, 2021

Trust the Process

This summer I'm leading an online workshop series called Live Your Creative Life: A Yoga Workshop to Help Your Creativity Blossom and Grow. Our class meets once a month in June, July, and August to explore yoga practices and fun exercises geared toward re-igniting and nurturing the flame of creativity that lives inside us all. 

Between monthly classes, we'll use this blog to stay connected and motivated. On a weekly basis, I'll share ideas, quotes, tips, and anything else that I come across or experience that might help keep that flame lit, especially as the journey proceeds and inevitable obstacles emerge. 

Of course, anyone who happens to stop by here is welcome to make use of what is shared too!



This week, I offer an excerpt called Crafting Your Life, from No Time Like the Present by Jack Kornfield:

"You may think, I'm not an artist or even a creative person. But you are, and the canvas is your life.

Your life is a creation, whether wild or small, whether limited to a chair in the corner of a room or to a hostpial bed, whether traveling to Timbuku, having a fabulous family, or six generations of family dysfunction....

Every life is a visionary journey, a creative palette. Wherever you are, step back and reflect. What is the most beautiful vision you have for your life's canvas, starting just where you are?"

As you consider these words, which might present a different view of creativity from how you've thought about it in the past, reflect on these questions Kornfield offers:

  • What is the vision of your life?
  • What limits your imagination?
  • What is your style?
  • What kind of "art" do you want to make?
Perhaps choose just one question, sit with paper and pen, and freely write down anything that comes to mind. Try not to think too much, just let words flow onto paper. You may be surprised at what reveals itself!

My own AHA Moment from this past week:

My creativity goal this week was to start sketching scenes to illustrate some children's poems I've written. I envision the result as being a picture book of read-aloud poems for young children. There are four poems, each quite different from the others.


Got my coffee. Got my colored pencils. Got my blank sketch book. Got my candle.

I played around with scenes for the first poem, and couldn't believe how gleeful - almost giddy - I felt as I remembered how much fun it is to draw! I gave myself permission to scribble and play and let it all be messy and amateurish. To just let the ideas come through the pencils and not worry if the drawings were "good."



Scribbles and sketches

But my Big AHA Moment actually had nothing to do with the drawings themselves! 

The drawings for the first poem use a girl and boy as characters. As I re-read the other poems and began thinking about the images that might accompany them, I realized that, for kids, it would probably be most enjoyable to have the same two characters be the "stars" of all four poems. 


An idea emerges...

It's one of those situations where, once the AHA comes, it seems so obvious that you wonder why you didn't think of it before! For me, it's a great reminder of how the creative process works - by simply engaging in it, the door opens for new ideas to present themselves - or ideas that have been there all along and just needed to be invited to speak up! 

I suddenly feel like this little book idea has a direction, a cohesion, that wasn't there before, and which makes me much more excited about it!

So my own tip for you this week is: Trust the Process! Trust that if you do even just a little something toward your goal, there will be a shift and something new will be revealed!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you. I have long considered myself an appreciator rather than a creator. Some thoughts to ponder...

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    1. Yes - creativity doesn't have to be BIG. It's really about how we live and letting our uniqueness come through.

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  2. So yes, about the need to stay engaged!
    From Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird:"
    "What people somehow (inadvertently I'm sure) forget to mention was that we need to make messes [that is, be engaged] in order to find out what we're supposed to be writing about."


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    1. Love Anne Lamott! I always come back to her advice to let yourself write the sh*tty first draft!

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