Cultivating the Creative Way of Life
by Katherine Robertson-Pilling
Greetings, Movellians! I’m delighted, with this post, to begin a semi-monthly series for Movellas on creativity.
“Life As a Creative Process” will explore the many aspects of creativity in life, from what you feel inside you to how it expresses itself in the world. As one of the thousands of Movellians daring to express yourselves on these pages, you know what I’m talking about. That wild, unbridled creative energy you feel inside demands that you give it form as words, pictures, movies, song or…. This is what we call the creative process. What exactly does that mean?
Less than a week ago, a new name made the news. The name is Malala, and this post is dedicated to her. Malala Yousafzai was born in 1998 in northwest Pakistan. She was just 11 when she published her first work in response to closure of her school and a ban against girls’ education. “Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl” appeared anonymously in a 2009 blog for BBC Urdu.
When Malala’s identity was revealed, she won two peace prizes for her work. She was also threatened for speaking out, and on 9 October she was attacked by a Taliban gunman. She has fought courageously for education and women’s rights in Pakistan, and today she is fighting for her life.
Five Stones on the Creative Path
Creativity is much more than a talent or a skill. It’s the way you live your life, within which your gifts to the world get expressed. Orson Welles is quoted as saying, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” The creative force requires you to learn to work with it so that it can work for you. How can you fan the creative flame within you? How can you cultivate a creative way of life?
Pay attention to your life. What’s going on around you? Right there in the seat next to you? Your life never stops giving you raw material. The more present you are with your life in all its beautiful detail, the more material you’ll have to work with. Take time to notice.
Listen to your responses. After you’ve noticed what’s out there, take a moment to notice what’s inside you. What do you feel? Positive or negative? How much energy is it causing in your body? Breathe. This is your voice and your passion. Welcome it. Own it.
Stand for something. Don’t think, just because your age starts with a 1 or 2, that you can’t make a difference in the world. Finding a feeling, discovering your response to something out there, is the first step. See how that connects you with the world? This is you in this moment, in your place in the world. Take it. Live it.
Focus your energy. Just like the weather, you can’t always control your reactions to things. Your emotional weather patterns may come and go of their own accord. But you can harness that energy, channel it and create something with it. That’s what art and writing are all about. But don’t forget that creative energy reaches far beyond the edges of the page or screen. Look into the corners of your life and see what needs to be created there.
Trust your process. If you want to study the force of creativity, just look at a plant. It creates spontaneously, continuously—roots, branches, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit—because it is its nature to do so. And the world is so much richer for the tremendous variety of plants in it. Same with humans. Whatever your place in life, that which you’re here to do begins with your next step. Trust the process of life blossoming through you and do the best you can. Simple as that!
Most of us will never be confronted with the circumstances Malala is facing now. But she is a modern-day heroine of the creative process at work in life when a single person responds to what she sees creatively.
Life is a creative adventure. So get out there today and… Live CREATIVE!
Katherine Robertson-Pilling is a creativity coach and mentor and author of The Wheel of Creativity: Taking Your Place in the Adventure of Life. Her 12-stage Wheel helps people find their place in the creative process and navigate their way through life. A professional writer for close to 30 years, she writes about creativity wherever she sees it, in ordinary and unexpected places. And she helps people of all ages in all walks of life create lives they love from the lives they have today. Visit The Wheel of Creativity website to learn more about Katherine and the Wheel. LIKE the Wheel of Creativity Facebook page to join our creative community.