The Practice of Creativity

Posts Tagged ‘The Artist’s Way

Between late December and most of January, there is often a lot of buzz about creating one’s vision and the visioning process. I think creating a vision can be a powerful and life affirming process.

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

But…developing a vision isn’t like choosing a new pair of socks.

What do I mean?

A vision is something that should sustain you, wow you and feed you all year. You should feel an inner sizzle throughout your body every time you think about your vision.

I find that people try working on their New Year’s vision (through creating affirmations, a treasure map, resolutions, a vision board, writing goals, a vision statement, etc.), in the midst of the holiday frenzy or right after. We’re often still pretty tired well into the first two weeks of January. Aren’t you?

Preparatory work needed prior to vision creating often gets tossed aside in the rush to ‘get something down on paper’. This means you can wind up with a vision that doesn’t really serve you and is abandoned by spring.

Here are some things that you might consider doing before you set aside time to work on your vision.

Have you begun to declutter? Now is a perfect time to do so as you prepare to envision 2014. Let go, release, and get curious about what will fill the empty space.

What’s the one thing you’d like to work on shifting (or releasing, changing, etc.), in order to live your highest vision? Identifying one concrete thing to focus on for personal transformation is much more promising than trying to tackle a laundry list of concerns. Good questions to follow: What support do I need to make this shift a reality? And, am I willing to ask for that support, or pay for it?

Consider working in a group to develop, support and amplify your vision. When focused friendly people come together to support each other, they can produce incredible results.  Many different structures exist for creating groups: including The Artist’s Way, MasterMind and Your Heart’s Desire. All are free to start and are based on collaborative and mutually beneficial principles. You could, of course, start your own group and call it whatever you want– ‘Idea Party’, ‘Dream Tea Talks’, ‘Manifesting Circle’, etc. There’s strength in numbers!

There’s still plenty of time to envision what you want for 2014–don’t rush the process. Is there something you do to prepare for the visioning process? I’d love to hear!

My wonderful guest bloggers have done an excellent job of providing tips and inspiration for how to turn on, electrify and ‘jump-start your June’. I end the series with the theme of creativity. There are so many ways to understand the role and meaning of creativity in human culture. The idea of creativity as an expression of and connected to spirituality is an idea that Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way) as well as many others have championed. In my own coaching practice, I draw on the two wisdom traditions of science and spirituality to explore creativity. Below, inspiring teacher and guide Joan M. Newcomb explores creativity as part of our reason for being and how it connects us to the universe at large.


Creativity & Spirituality

Your creativity is your spiritual language. Whether it is dance, music, painting, acting, needlework, or cooking, it is the greater aspect of yourself, the Divine You, expressing yourself into the world. It is a language beyond words (unless your creativity *is* words).

Your Essence needs to communicate. Static energy held within for two years will manifest as a physical ailment. Years ago, I developed a softball sized fibroid on my uterus. It  was my body’s not-so-subtle way of telling me my creative energy was blocked. I avoided a hysterectomy through natural solutions. Part of my healing without surgery was to start writing again.

Our creativity gets stifled externally and internally. Parents will dissuade their college student from majoring in art and encourage business or economics. We don’t dance for fear of being teased. We don’t think of ourselves as creative.  How do we awaken our spiritual voice?

1.  Do it imperfectly. You don’t have to make a living as an artist, you don’t even have to show your work.

2.  Be childlike and playful. Don’t know what your expression is?  Think what made you gleeful as a child – we are born creative.

3.  Do it alone, or with a group.  You may find it encouraging to join others who ‘speak’ the same language in community theater, local choir, knitting circle, or creative writing class. Or you may want to nurture your creativity by yourself, away from competition or criticism (real or imagined).

4.  You may be ‘multi-lingual’.  You might enjoy playing around with several different artistic pastimes.

Whatever you do, your vibration flows out and joins the Symphony of Consciousness. Energy is unseen and transcends physical boundaries. You enhance the collective energy on the planet, simply by expressing yourself. You’ll be happier, you’ll be healing yourself, and you’ll be contributing to the healing of us all.

Joan M. Newcomb is the owner of Life Transformations Unlimited. It’s her passion to encourage others to be their Essential Selves in all aspects of their lives.  Her blog is ‘Mystic Musings’

I’m delighted to welcome writer and She Writes friend Nadine Feldman in the ‘Love Your Creative Self’ series to share her wisdom. I’ve included a prompt question based on her reflection.


There is nothing like a trusted friend. We all want someone to share our secrets with, someone who will celebrate our triumphs and console us in our moments of failure.

My best friend is my writing practice. Each morning, before I get out of bed, I write three pages in a journal, a trick I learned from Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way. In these private pages, I describe my dreams, my fears, and my pettiness. Nothing is off limits, because the page doesn’t mind. When I tell my troubles to the page, it doesn’t try to fix or change me. It just listens. The muddied waters of my brain start to clear, and then the conversation changes. I could do this… What if…? I could solve my problem by…

Once I have bared my soul, I am free to work on my “real” writing, just as we often feel freer after sorting things out with friends. The conversation changes. We’re having tea and gossiping about imaginary people. We speculate about their motives, cry when they are sad, or laugh when they say something fun or interesting. Sometimes they surprise us and take the story in an unexpected direction.

Ever have one of those days when you’re on the outs with a friend, or you just don’t know how to say what you mean? Friends sometimes abandon us, and some days the page wants to stay blank and unresponsive. If we write enough of I don’t know what to write, though, something comes. Yes, we may get the silent treatment for a while, but it passes. We forgive, we are forgiven, and the words return.

Life intervenes. Financial or health pressures mount, someone we love dies, or a family member disappoints. Overwhelmed at time with these dramas, we may say, “How can I possibly write today?”  Yet how can we not? If we see our writing as our best friend, we will turn toward it, again and again, in good times and bad  – and it will sustain us. We gather our computer, curl up with a hot cup of tea, and begin.

Nadine Galinsky Feldman is the author of The Foreign Language of Friends (a novel) and When a Grandchild Dies: What to Do, What to Say, How to Cope. She also edited the award-winning Patchwork & Ornament: A Woman’s Journey of Life, Love, and Art by Jeanette Feldman. She loves gardening, hiking, travel, and yoga.  She can be found on her blog at

Prompt: What are the ways we can befriend our creative work, so that as Nadine says “we will turn toward it, again and again” even when our lives feel busy and out of sorts?

For some of us it might be as direct as reminding ourselves daily that our creative work matters and then acting accordingly. For others it might mean claiming a home space to paint, quilt or write. For others it might mean learning more effective ways to calm the critical voices in our head that act as saboteurs.

What’s one new way you can befriend your creative work this week?

Photo Credit: Suzanna Leigh


Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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