Creative expression used to be a frustrating experience for me. Then, I discovered that it was linked to spirituality. To me, creativity gives voice to our souls and all that is. It doesn’t matter what we create, when we open ourselves to imagination and attempt to manifest that in physical form, we are acts of creation. When I was in my first years of college, I took a variety of art classes. It was a mixed experience for me. I appreciated learning about different mediums, but I never felt “successful” or comfortable with the process of birthing a creation, let alone following it through to completion. Many years later, I struggled to connect with some form of creative expression. Initially, I found that if I had something to start with – like fiber for weaving – that it was easier for me to create. However, I still struggled to really connect and feel the flow of energy that felt like I was giving birth to my authentic voice. As I continued on and expanded my spiritual awareness, I began to open more fully. I started to grant myself the freedom to express my unique voice. It started with my home. I explored with color and personal touches that represented more of my genuine self. Creating sacred spaces allowed me to push forward and take a risk with other forms of expression of my spirit, personality, and soul. I found mosaic, and for the first time, I didn’t struggle to complete a project. I didn’t feel the usual void of emptiness due to an absence of any idea to pursue. I finally got out of my own way enough to allow myself to find my creative voice.
Creativity requires risk taking. Not in the mundane sense like hoping the money we spent on supplies will pay off. The real risk is in granting ourselves permission to try something new. It can be overwhelming to allow ourselves to open and embrace the unknown. Especially, in the beginning when we are learning and haven’t honed our skills. The risk then becomes whether we are willing to try for the sake of the experience. Are we willing to focus on the process of creation and what that involves free of attachment to the outcome? In other words, are we willing to let go of the judgment and expectation of failure or success? What I have found is that when I do not place expectations on myself to produce something that will be successful artistically, esthetically, or functionally, I am free to just do. I may still get frustrated and feel stuck, but that does not mean that I am not enjoying stretching myself outside of my comfort zone. For example, a couple of years ago, I started taking painting classes just to stretch myself in spite of knowing that it was something that would be really difficult for me. Trying to paint was facing a personal fear for me. Honestly, I will never be an accomplished painter. But, one thing I came to know: Creativity feeds creativity, and the more we experiment and give voice to our souls, the more we grow and expand creatively. Pushing myself to work at something that I am not good at encourages me to expand and grow in other ways. Painting influences my mosaic, and being with a group of people each week who are also trying to find their creative voice encourages me to spend more time and effort on other creative endeavors like my writing.
I encourage you to try something creative. Anything you try regardless of shape and form will nurture your authentic self if you allow for the unknown. Take a risk. Drop the expectations and just do. Remember, we don’t learn to walk and fly in one easy step, so give yourself the gift of patience along the way and go easy on yourself with criticism. We have to learn, gather resources, and develop in order to grow. Finding our creative voice is no different. The pay off can be fun or not; it doesn’t really matter. As with all things, the spectrum of emotions will present themselves. Creative expression allows us to discover hidden resources, abilities, and vulnerabilities. Creativity allows us to find our unique voice while supporting our connectedness to all things. Take a risk and share yourself with your own self and with another. When we create, we express our humanity and divinity. Let yourself go and find your creative voice.