Being creatures of habit, we all like our own routines. We all have our favorite indulgences which help to relieve stress in our lives. Whether it’s watching movies or just plain relaxing, the fact that we don’t have to perform or make an effort allows us to reflect on what we’d like to do rather than what we have to do. No harm there.
To be truly creative, however, requires a paradoxical combination of both work and play; the work of production and the play of design. The producer of a movie or publisher of a novel will often alter the original design to suit a commercial formula which may lose the intended message in the process.
Creating is to ’cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes’. So it is making something that is new and original. How do we do this? From where do we obtain our inspiration? Is there a certain state of mind or place we go to inside ourselves to find this hidden treasure?
In the same way that a potter creates a piece of work by wearing away on a block of clay, to arrive at that place where we feel truly inspired often requires a wearing away of preconceived ideas and notions. A vessel needs to be empty in order to hold water. We, too, need to open up that space within ourselves to hold and harbour fresh ideas.
A singer/songwriter explained that when he’s short of ideas, he tunes into his bottled-up emotions and the song will express that feeling even though it may be an unrelated circumstance in the lyrics. Other times it just comes to him, words and music together. He then records it on his smartphone.
The ‘Gift of Expression’ is exactly that. A gift. Rather than us being the doers, we are actually the receivers to act as a medium for the message. Seen in this way, we can allow what wants to come through us to be able to do so.
Inspiration comes to us through the ether, as it were, so if we allow this energy to manifest and circulate, then fresh ideas will sprout of their own accord. There is a natural cycle of renewal within Nature, paradoxically portrayed by the Phoenix, the bird that rises from the ashes of it’s predecessor.
Most of us are familiar with the Riddle of the Sphinx, however a lesser known but even more esoteric second riddle says it beautifully. “There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?” The answer is “day and night”.
So we are part of the cycle of renewal regardless of whether or not we avail ourselves of this energy. Similarly, as we spend a third of our lives asleep, the fertile times aren’t there 24/7 either, so in between we run on empty.
But rather spend 90 years that way than 60 years without any sleep. (Yawn…)