3.25.2010

Opening Up, Catching Fly Balls & Creativity


I have be consciously re-imagining my approach to creativity for the last several years. It's not a new belief that I dreamt up but rather a very intentional process of re-programming based around the concept of creative thinking.

Reformulating how I see my creativity is a two-fold concept:

1. A creative idea or action never begins with me nor am I solely responsible for it's outcome. Rather I open myself up so as to be an instrument of collaboration with universal consciousness.

2. In every moment, each human being is becoming the most perfect expression of their creative goodness. Without question. No matter the circumstance.

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Like a flower that opens in response to the sun, our willingness to let go and be used by a greater force is all we need to access divine creative energy.

Simple, no? It feels like I get to be a passive participant in the process, waiting for creative magic to happen. Woohoo!! NOT!

The first step is opening up and making myself available. However, the second step, I've come to believe is the willingness to do what it takes to catch a fly ball.

I was never very good at baseball, and was seriously misplaced in the outfield. I would see a ball flying towards me and tense up. A moment of truth -- will I catch it or will I disappoint everyone and let it fall to the ground. I think most of the time I was too afraid to find out so the easiest solution was to miss them altogether. I self selected myself out of the game.

It was definitely an issue of trusting in my self-worth, and I've come to see catching fly balls as the perfect metaphor for taking responsibility for the creativity that comes to me. It's not enough just to be in the game waiting for a creative idea to fly towards me in the outfield, I need to be honing my skills, looking alert, and taking the necessary steps to develop trust in myself as an active participant in the process.

By affirming over and over again that in each moment I am the most perfect expression of creativity -- from burning the toast to brushing my teeth -- I remember to show up, learn to stick out my glove, and trust that this divine energy was meant for me.



I've been thinking about my process of re-programming because just the other day a friend shared this video of Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer of Eat, Pray, Love, speaking about the nature creativity. I was blown away by Elizabeth Gilbert's ability to see creativity as a force outside the body so as to reconcile it with our daily humdrum lives.

How does an Olympic ice skater go from landing a triple toe loop that everyone saw was lit with a divine energy to understanding who they are the next week when they fall on flat on their face? It's not just a question for artists and performers. It's a question for all humanity. By changing the way we think about creativity, we change our perception of ourselves and others.

Liberating ourselves from being the originator and honoring that in every moment we are showing up to be the most perfect expression of our creativity is a healing for our century.

P.S. Be sure to watch Elizabeth Gilbert's talk all the way through because some of the best parts come near the end :)

7 comments:

  1. You always move me when I come to visit. That is the best sort of friend to have. I imagine that if we were to share a cup of coffee on a bright spring day (in central WI - you know where I am!) that we would exchange this lively conversation about creativity. I love your analogy of the fly ball. And especially how it is more than just being on the team, and getting in the outfield. You need to welcome that flyball with open arms, or at least an open mitt. And once you catch it you need to have a clear indication of what to do with it and be able to make the decisions necessary to be a winner at it. It takes discipline and hard work and a lot of hours of practice and sacrifice. But the rewards are great. I am just happy to be on the team at this point... but I am going to practice catching flyballs of creative energy and passion so that when it is lobbed up to me I will be ready.
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Beth, I've posted the link on my blog too. I haven't read Gilbert's book yet, but it looks like I will have to go out and grab it very soon. You are right, some of the very best stuff is at the end!

    Emanda

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  3. Sending you some fly balls Erin! Thanks so much for enjoying this post and the opportunity to muse about creativity :)

    Glad you enjoyed this video Emanda and are sharing it with others! I haven't read this book yet but have been enticed once or twice to buy it at the book store. Maybe this summer. You'll have to tell me what you think if you read it :)

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  4. Wow, just what I needed to hear. Thank you for posting this Beth and writing your thoughtful post. ~Laura
    ps....i am going to post it as well.

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  5. this video is absolutely wonderful, liberating and affirming... in short, it was exactly what i needed this morning... when i saw this post, i was to come back to the video and watch it later... life being what it is, i never did... then laura flavin posted about it this morning... i took the time to watch it... and am so very glad that i did... such an interesting dialogue, such a brilliant and reachable woman... i am deeply, deeply moved... two of my biggest concentrations lately have been to 1 - get out of my own way, to stop backing away when i feel anxiety and fear and instead to let it go through me and move away 2 - practice positive thinking, creating a reality with the power of thought (and the attending actions)... this was wonderful...

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  6. Laura and Mary Jane, so glad this one was rejuvenating! It's still resonnating with me.

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