We know deeply inside of ourselves that there is more to this – there is more juice to our lives, there is that flow that we may have had glimpses of, there is that artist’s flare, there is that vibrancy that we have vague memories of. It is that creative force in each one of us that was suppressed at some point in our lives, whether by our own “rational” thinking, by the influence our parents had on us, by the pressure from our peers or wider society.
The very fact that this suppression happened means that we allowed it, we sacrificed a powerful force in order to fit in, to be loved, to be accepted and to be “normal”. This sacrifice cost us our vibrancy – the life force – our inner fire – the kundalini or shakti in yogic tradition. Many of us started dying inside. It may sound dramatic, and it is if you look at the long-term consequences. Great analogy to this is a fable about boiling frog. If we put a frog in a boiling water, it will jump out immediately. However, if we put a frog into cold water and heat it up to boiling slowly, the frog won’t perceive the danger (it would rather feel like in a jacuzzi!) and will be boiled to death. This is exactly what is happening to us right now. We are slowly and consistently pouring water over that inner fire without realising the danger.
We got into a habit of quieting the calling of that powerful force by overeating, extensively shopping, consuming alcohol and/or drugs, binge-watching television, scrolling up and down on our little screens, even exercising to the point of obsession.
I, too, disconnected from my creative force for a long period of time. It was only when I hit what I thought was the bottom of overdrinking, binge-watching and oversocialising with people who were depleting my inner resources, that I started listening to that calling deep within asking for nourishment.
If we do not hold respect for our inner creativity sanctuary, for our ability bring into being incredible things, whether that is by painting, writing, sculpting, playing music, singing, cooking, doing business, building houses, etc., we can’t expect others to respect it either. It is what we present to the world that gets reflected back to us. If people around us don’t believe in our ability to create, asking ourselves “do I believe in it?” is always a good place to start. And if we were pouring water on that inner fire long enough, we probably don’t believe in it at all.
In her book “Women Who Run with The Wolves” Clarissa Pinkola Estes says that “Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only”. Art here means anything that is born from that life force, anything that is brought into being by us. Using the story called “La Llorona”, author tells us to take back our river of creativity, and she lists several steps we need to make in order to do so. I revisited this chapter in the book recently, and I was reminded how important it is to attend to the life force in us. This is where everything we bring into being sparks from – this is where we begin our journey if we want to live a juicy life.
- Receive nurturance. Don’t deflect sincere compliments about your creative life. Practice to simply say “thank you” rather than “oh, this is nothing…”
- Respond. Respond to everything what is going on around you, choose from vast possibilities of different thoughts, feelings and actions available to you. Use them to invoke curiosity, to inspire, to respond with a unique message. Stop supressing or censoring your feelings – stop saying to yourself “I shouldn’t be feeling this way”.
- Be wild. Don’t put yourself in a box, loosen the constrictions of your inner life, don’t be afraid to look stupid and don’t take yourself too seriously. “To create one must be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth”.
- Begin. Doesn’t matter how afraid you are to fail, just begin. Begin reclaiming that creative force. There is no other way to do it other than getting your hands on that project you were dreaming of, taking a paint brush and start painting, completing that book you have been writing on and off for years…
- Protect your time. Dedicate time for your creative work – for that idea, that message, that beauty you want to bring into life, and be vigilant about it. Don’t let distractions get in your way. Treat this time like the most important meeting, because that’s what it is.
- Stay with it. Stay through the blocks, through the moments of wanting to give up, through self-doubt, through failure. Do it over and over again until you achieve the mastery.
- Protect your creative life. Don’t allow anything or anybody (including yourself) to diminish the importance and the sacredness of your creative work.
- Craft your real work. Give your all to it. In that dedicated time and space give your full presence, love and energy to your creative work.
- Lay out the nourishment for the creative life. The author lists four key food groups for nourishing your creative life: time (dedicate and allow time), belonging (feel and reaffirm the affinity with what you do), passion (be passionate about your craft), and sovereignty (use the power and authority you hold over this process to bring your creation into life/into being).
I invite you to awaken your creativity and start living a juicy life.