In Part 4, you learned that your innate creativity informs many aspects of your life, and that the way we see and how we do things makes each one of us unique. You also learned specific things you can do to encourage and strengthen creativity in your child. In the final part of this series, we’ll look at the most important role that creativity plays, and that is our ability to create our life.
Yes, we really do create our life; it is not something that is done to us. Based on what we think or how we perceive things, we make hundreds of choices every day, both large and small. We choose what we’re going to eat, who we want to be with, what work we like, who we’re going to marry, and a million other things that paint the picture of our life journey. Knowing you can create your life and how to go about that process is the most important skill we can cultivate. We all know what it’s like to feel stuck and trapped. Knowing how to shift things so that we can feel creative again and get our life to work is something we continue to practice and learn. That’s why it’s important that we help our kids understand the creative process.
Remember that the present moment is a mosaic, consisting of many things. Every part of it is real in that moment. Reality is what’s happening in the present moment, so that’s why it’s important to show up like a blank canvas, paying attention to what is really there, taking in what we see, hear and feel in that moment. In that aware moment we can experience the essences that we already have that we like, and we can feel the pain of what’s missing, or the essences that we desire that are not manifested yet. We can set our intention and our trajectory for the essences that we want. We can even see how we can bring them into our lives in small ways, right away.
The present moment is the experience of what has already been manifested or created. Since it’s already so, it’s pretty useless to throw our energy into resisting the parts of it that we don’t like. That’s like resisting the universe. Resistance is a very human thing to do, so beware! Our resistance springs up all over the place. Everything we resist is like a weight we carry on our backs. It consumes our attention and energy and yet produces nothing constructive. Resistance is a useless use of our precious time and energy – we want to consciously get on with the business of creating, not resisting! Noticing when we are resisting and switching to acceptance is one empowering shift we can always make. The present moment has two sides to it: what is already manifest and is real in that moment, and what is as yet un-manifested and exists in that moment as pure potential. When we look at the present moment in this way, we can see how resistance to what has already been created is the wrong place to put our energy and attention, when the other side of the present moment – the pure creative energy/potential of that moment – awaits us.
That’s where the juice is; that’s where we want to be putting our attention. Change occurs not by resisting what is, but by putting our attention on how and in what way we want to create or shape the un-manifested energy that is available all the time, in every moment, so that we can create a life that is fulfilling to us.
Coming to the present moment with a blank canvas doesn’t necessarily mean that in the next moment you’re going to start filling it up. Being present begins with listening, observing, being still, paying attention, being in the question. Sometimes it takes time before we are clear about what to do – or not do. Until clarity comes, it’s best to keep watching, listening, waiting, and cultivating patience. We also want to respect and honor all the limitations that are present. We tend to see limits as something bad. This is not accurate. Limits provide structure. Limits are part of reality, so don’t resist them! There are always limits to creating, and all limits are useful. When we create, we are giving form or structure to unlimited energy that is formless. We take what is formless and bring form or structure to it, and that very structure or form is itself a limit to the energy. The structure itself is a limit to the un-manifested, formless energy – so, learn to love the limits!
Before I end, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the human propensity to judge. Be careful! You’ll need to consciously work to be open to how your child answers your questions, as well as the results your child achieves in her or his actual artistic endeavors. They may delight you; they may horrify you; they may confuse you; they may disappoint you, so let go of any expectations. At the very least, you’ll find your child is different from you! Keep an open mind. Try not to judge. Kids are constantly changing. Allow them this point on their journey. The last thing we want to do is save them from their mistakes, because then they’ll never learn, and their mistakes will get bigger. To quote Einstein again, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” What is a mistake, anyway? Take away the judgment and you’ll find a jewel for growth. Everyone’s path is painful and challenging, so forget trying to protect your child from pain and challenge. It’s just the nature of the journey. Relax and accept it by opening up your own mental, emotional and physical space.
Give yourself the freedom you need so that you can accept uncertainty and come to the present moment undecided. Set your intention to find your own unique and creative ways to respond and participate in your child’s inevitably bumpy and remarkable ride.
My 5-part series on creativity has come to an end. I hope it has given you new understanding, new ideas, new ways of looking at things, and inspired you to consciously create the space for creativity to blossom in your home. Remember, creativity is our natural state.