9 Spiritual Principles to Boost Your Creativity
So many people tell me, ‘I’d love to write, but I’m just not creative.’ They speak as if creativity is an innate IQ or EQ or an extra nipple some people are born with which precludes the possibility of acquiring it.
I think of creativity as a way of seeing, a curiosity about ourselves and our world. We all have it.
Our ideas of creativity sometimes hold us back, so here are some spiritual principles I hope will help you tap into your own deep creative potential.
1. Ego only takes us so far.
If our art is only about ourselves, we’re in danger of becoming narcissistic and precious, the kind of artists who are a pain in the ass to work with. What if we think of our creativity as a device, in service to something much larger than ourselves? What goodness or change in the world can we devote our creativity to?
2. Your creativity is your voice – who (besides you) needs it?
As artists, we have to find our unique voice and to express what we see, share our vision and speak the truth about human experience. We don’t live separate from our world – we’re immersed in it, and ours is a planet beset with problems and suffering. We can use our art to bring awareness to the pain and perils around us. We can use our voice as a prayer.
3. Make time (watch less TV)
You’d love to write/paint/compose/dance but you don’t have time? We all have the same number of hours in a day – some of us choose to watch Game of Thrones rather than spend an hour writing. Use your time as if it were running out (it is).
4. Use your creativity to unleash only positive energy
Support other artists. Pay for music. Don’t download music, movies or books illegally. Don’t read negative reviews and don’t write negative reviews. Don’t compare yourself to people on Facebook. Help promote your fellow authors (you’re not in competition with them). Don’t write anything hateful or hurtful on Twitter or social media. Use your creativity to help people reach the light.
Author, writing mentor, retreat leader. I’m an internationally bestselling author of nine books, inspirational speaker and writing mentor. I’ve had books published in just about every genre- fiction, non-fiction, self-help, memoir – by some of the top publishing houses in the world. My books have sold over 650 000 copies and have been translated in a range of languages. Two of my books have been #1 Amazon bestsellers, and at one point the German edition of Secret Mothers’ Business outsold Harry Potter- crazy, right?
5. Be clear about what you want.
The universe can’t respond to vague intentions. When we own our dreams, we invite mysterious forces in to support us. If you want to become an author, a screenwriter, an opera singer, an actor, have conviction. Trust your vision for your life.
6. Honour what is sacred, and that includes your longing to write or create.
A ritualized life helps us create meaning in a challenging world where it’s hard to be brave. Even just blessing food, or dedicating our yoga practice to someone who is ill, or silently thanking the universe for its benevolence brings us into alignment with a deep dignity in our lives about what it means to be human. Think of your creativity as something sacred.
7. Talk less, listen more.
To create, we have to become better listeners – to the world around us, and to ourselves. Deep listening breeds compassion and self-compassion. To listen, we need first to be silent. Listening asks us to be open, receptive, and free of judgements. These practices nourish our creativity.
8. Share your knowledge and teach others who need to know what you already know.
Don’t live from a place of constriction. Share with abundance. Give away your best information, spread it like love.
9. Keep learning your craft.
Never imagine you’ve “made it” or you have nothing new to figure out. Deepen your creative practice. Become more curious about it and your relationship with your voice. Humility helps us begin again and again, each time with wider eyes, deeper ears and a more compassionate touch.