How to Tap Into Your Creativity

Creativity is commonly thought of as a personality trait that resides within an individual. We count on creative people to produce the songs, movies, and books we love to read; to invent the new gadgets that can change our lives; and to discover the new scientific theories and philosophies that can change the way we view the world. Over the past several years, however, social psychologists have discovered that creativity is not only a characteristic of the individual, but may also change depending on the situation and context.

 

This article is written especially for all you writers, artists, business owners and anyone else looking for some new ways to get their creativity flowing. Feeling burnt out or lacking creative ideas? Feeling bogged down by all of the mundane tasks and To-Do lists? Do you procrastinate doing your work or your creative projects? Do you resist completing your work or marketing your work? Do you have trouble deciding which creative project to tackle? Do you find completing work hard? Are you looking for inspiration? Are you accessing your creativity less often than you would like? Are you avoiding your creative work altogether? Anxiety may be one of the main culprits. Anxiety can be everywhere in the creative process.  I have found that anxiety is the number one problem that creative people face–and yet few are aware that their behaviors are anxiety related. Anxiety and overwhelm oftentimes stops creative people in their tracks and makes their experience of creating more painful than pleasurable. It has the capacity to stop would-be creative people entirely, preventing them from realizing their dreams.

“When we feel safe, our creativity unfolds like a beautiful flower.”

When we feel safe, our creativity unfolds like a beautiful flower. To understand how fear blocks creativity, take a moment to imagine yourself telling a story. First, imagine telling the story to someone you love dearly and who loves you dearly. You probably feel a welcoming warmth energy as you fill in the details of your story to your friend’s delight. Now, imagine telling the same story to someone who, for whatever reason, makes you feel uncomfortable. The wonderful twists and turns, the fine points and colorful images that unfolded in your mind for your friend probably won’t present themselves the same way when you feel uncomfortable. Instead of the warmth, welcoming energy, and creativity, you will probably feel opposite sensations and a desire to want to close down. When we feel unsafe, whether we fear being judged, disliked, or misunderstood, our creative flow stops. Alternately, when we feel safe, our creativity unfolds like a beautiful flower, without conscious effort.

 

Knowing this, we can maximize our creative potential by creating the conditions that inspire our creativity. In order to really be in the flow, we need to feel safe and unrestricted. However, achieving this is not as simple as avoiding people who make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we can be alone in a room and still feel totally blocked. When this happens, we know we have come up against elements in our own psyches that are making us feel fearful. Perhaps we are afraid that in expressing ourselves we will discover something we don’t want to know, or perhaps unleash emotions or ideas that we don’t want to be responsible for. Or maybe we’re afraid we’ll fail to produce something worthy. Or what if we are afraid to successfully create something that grows like wildfire.

 

Inspiration and Intuition are the language of love and light where one can inter-communicate with God. Spending time alone with your thoughts is a good way to let that inner voice within you speak to you in such a way that it can offer you guidance and help inspire creativity. Close yourself up in your creative space or go out in the woods where you can be alone.  When you are alone the Universe talks to you in flashes of inspiration.

 

When you are up against fear, internal or external, try some of these techniques to shift your experience:

 

Create A Circle of Energy

All types of ritual can be a powerful and a creative antidote. Before you sit down to be creative, try creating a circle of energetic protection and creativity around you. Visualize yourself inside a ring of light. Imagine that this protective energy emanates unconditional love for you and wants to hear, see, and feel everything you have to express. Take a moment to bathe in the warmth of this feeling and then fearlessly surrender yourself to the powerful information that flows through you.

 

Jot Down Your Ideas Down

Get into the habit of writing your ideas down as soon as you have them. This way you train your brain to keep coming up with ideas, and as soon as you get them you write them down. When they are written down you don’t have to worry about remembering them and this allows more room for new ideas to form in your mind.

 

Be Spontaneous – Let Your Freak Flag Fly

If you feel like dancing, dance, if you feel like singing, sing. If you feel like drawing and coloring, draw and color. If you feel like shouting, find a place to shout. And if you hesitate, ask yourself why you are hesitating.

 

Get Moving – Time To Exercise

The effects of exercise and physical movement on the mind and creativity have been studied for centuries. There is no doubt that you feel much better after exercise. This is because after you exercise, endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released into your bloodstream.

 

Be Gentle With Yourself

Stop criticizing yourself and stop being so harsh on yourself. Accept yourself the way you are and do things to the best of your ability.

You are enough and you are creative. Don’t let self-limiting beliefs block out your creativity! Remove the barriers and the ideas will begin to flow.

There are many forms of Transformation

Transformation is a hot topic for discussion these days. And it comes in many forms. For example, the human body transforms every 7 years. In a 7 year cycle, all of our cells are renewed and replenished. It is believed by many that this cellular renewal cycle involves spiritual transformation as well. This type of transformation happens for everyone. It is a natural and organic part of life, but it is usually the spiritual transformation that provides the most impact.

Before transformation can occur things must break down or appear to crumble in some way. Some part of us must die away in order to be transformed or rebirthed. Yes, this process can sometimes be painful, but it can also be one of the most magical and enlightening experiences we can have.

Think of the humble caterpillar. At a certain stage of its life, the caterpillar goes into the darkness of the cocoon, known as the chrysalis stage, in order to be transformed. Do you think the caterpillar knows what is happening when it goes into the cocoon? Do you think it can “see” past the darkness of the cocoon? As far as we know, the caterpillar has no idea what it is to become. Perhaps on some level, it can intuit what it is going to become, but throughout the process, the caterpillar is basically alone and faced with nothing except the memory of what it once knew to be true.

The animal kingdom can provide us clues as to the process of transformation and in many ways, help us to understand our own. Not only does the caterpillar morph into a beautiful butterfly, but snakes also shed their skin and let’s not forget the mythical phoenix that rises from the ashes.

Each of us are given just what we need to assist with our transformation. It is up to us to open ourselves to the infinite possibilities that are available to us. It begins with a willingness to explore new ideas and ways of being. 

Affirmation: 
Today, I look at life from a balanced perspective. Rather than resisting the forces of nature and its ever changing cycles, I choose flexibility and being open to new ideas and ways of being. I release rigid thinking and actions and gracefully embrace the new possibilities that this flexible balance brings. I must remember that nothing is missing, things are simply changing form. My life is forever transforming to an even greater expression of pure perfect  love.
~ And so it is!

Access to Courage, Strength, and Power

For nearly all of us on the spiritual path, higher states of consciousness seem to come and go. What do I mean by that? We encounter moments of great understanding, aliveness, growth, and possibility. And then, just as mysteriously as these shifts emerged, they seem to somehow fade from our view. Of course, we can’t “un-know” what we know, so we can never really go backward consciously but sometimes it feels as though we aren’t moving forward either. In other words, we aren’t courageously and consistently standing in our strength and personal power, and speaking our truth in ways that can effectively create change from the status quo!

What does it mean to be a powerful woman or a powerful man? Although we’ve seen many changes since the feminist movement of the early 70s, people continue to debate what it means for a woman or a man to identify, use, and enjoy their personal power.

“As a spiritual teacher, one of the big questions I’m constantly leaning into is: How can I better support people in their continual growth, assist them with remembering their truth, and then support them as they move towards a more effective communication style, from a place of power?”

The three “key ingredients” that help me answer this question and support my clients more fully are what I refer to as “Awareness,” “Willingness,” and “Immersion or Inspired Action.”

“Awareness” is when we move from the unknown to the known! There’s a saying, “I know what I know. I know what I don’t know. And I don’t know what I don’t know.” Awareness takes us from that place of being asleep to the beginning stages of waking up to a new possibility.

“Willingness” is what happens when someone has consciously awakened to an insight, received clarity, been made aware of a way of being that is no longer serving and then shift into a willingness to transform from the heart, in such a way that they are able to shift their perspective and shift future expressions simultaneously.

“Immersion or Inspired Action” is what we experience when we spend an extended period of time bringing ourselves back to this new awareness and immerse ourselves in the direct recognition of our own expansive nature. It’s something that is typically only possible when we choose to leave behind all stories of lack, comparison, not-enoughness, and other untruths and become willing to make a commitment to take inspired action and immerse ourselves in a new way of being, and anchor an awakened mindset so deeply that every impulse to move away from it gradually melts away.

Although most of us know deep down that we need a lot more than these three dimensions. Since in our busy lives, many of us are lacking a commitment and structure for accessing these elements on a regular enough basis to genuinely and consistently stabilize our powerful expression. But most of us also know from decades of experience that to truly step into a greater expression of sustained personal power, all of us need regular, sometimes frequent opportunities for in-depth Awareness, Willingness, Immersion and Inspired Action. We must become willing to re-activate this awakened consciousness again and again, until it becomes so familiar to us that we no longer get deceived by the ego’s attempts to imitate it.

I’ve found that the first major step to shifting consciousness and appreciating my own personal power, and unique talents is to identify them, value them, take ownership of them, and have the courage to use them well and often. To help you in this process, I have created a series of affirmations (series soon to be released) that will hereby empower people as they move through the various rites of passage and embark on a journey or task where their personal power is needed.

Here’s an example of these affirmations:

Today I open myself to life’s surprises and I give myself permission to be happy in each moment of the now. I know that my life is exactly how I “think” it is, so if there’s something about it that isn’t bringing me happiness, I change my thoughts about my situation. It’s all about my perception. I have the power, courage, strength, and freedom to enjoy my life fully. I find value and joy in new, unexpected opportunities.

~ And so it is!

LIVE LOVE 

Remember Your Truth

“At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?” ~Jack Kornfield

We have all grown up with some healthy stories about love, as well as some unhealthy ones. Many of us have gone through life – consciously or unconsciously – selling ourselves short, withholding love or excessively giving of our time, money and resources because of our childhood beliefs and conditioning about love. For most of my life, I have functioned as a “codependent caregiver” and I had NO IDEA what it meant to fully love myself. Rather than trying to blame anyone for my lifestyle choices, I have decided to create my own beautiful ideas about love. It is my mission on this planet to LIVE LOVE – that is to love myself and others unconditionally and then assist others on their journey so that they can LIVE LOVE too!

I’d like to share some of those healthy ideas that I’ve put into place for loving the people in my life but before I go any further it’s important to say that the biggest lesson I’ve learned about love is that it starts with loving oneself. All of the lessons, behaviors, and conditioning that I reference below are guidelines for loving another, but until we love ourselves unconditionally, these guidelines are just that… guidelines – words on a piece of paper!

I use these as guidelines to express how I want to relate to the people around me. I’m finding that I am in vibrational alignment with ideas like these: Loving people means seeing their wholeness and believing 100% in their potential; Loving unconditionally truly means to love WITHOUT CONDITION and this takes practice. We have been conditioned to judge rather than observe; Love means treating people with kindness, compassion, and gentleness; Loving the people in your life means celebrating their successes and supporting them energetically, especially when they “believe” that they have failed in some way. Loving in this way does not include codependent behaviors like thinking that we must “carry the weight of the world for another.” It’s about choosing to give our loved ones a helping hand when it’s appropriate and preferably when they’ve ASKED for support. Rescue energy does not serve anyone! This principle falls into the category of Assisting verses Helping! (Whew, that one has been a biggee for me!) 

You see, I grew up with some stories about love that are not my Truth. They came from good intentions and they’ve definitely served a purpose, up until now. On more than one occasion, I’ve allowed those ideas about love to create disharmony and breed resentments in many of my relationships. Some of those stories about love sound like: Loving someone means ALWAYS being available to them, regardless of your own schedule or current situation; Loving someone means ALWAYS having space for what they want to talk to you about, whether they are sharing with a venomous tone or not; and If you wanna be loved, you’ve gotta GIVE love to BE loved. In other words, you’ve gotta work for it! Another myth about love is: If you love someone, you do what they are asking you to do, out of love, even if it feels difficult or out of alignment with your Truth. (I can tell you, that doesn’t work so well either.)

I can certainly say that the career path I have chosen and the way I show up in service to humanity provides me with the perfect opportunity to see the wholeness, the perfection in each person I come in contact with. Many people were raised with beliefs and stories about love, similar to the ones I mentioned above. We have gone through life, by choice – consciously or subconsciously – selling ourselves short or withholding love because of these beliefs. Today, I completely understand that it’s important to tell your loved ones how much you love them. Tell them about their brilliance. They likely can’t see it the same way you do and they don’t know its immensity, but you can see it and you can illuminate it for them. 

Be real, be authentic. Yes, it’s perfectly natural to give of yourself, but never sacrifice or compromise yourself! It’s important to STOP if you feel resentment building and regroup. By regrouping and reevaluating the situation, you are allowing the energy to flow without the obstruction of resentment! Don’t do the martyr thing! That serves no one and no-thing. 

Give others the gift of the real you and a real relationship with you. Ask very sincere questions and powerfully support the other person as they respond. Share your truest beliefs. Speak your Truth with kindness and compassion, without filtering your response. Talk about your BIG dreams and utmost desires and encourage others to do the same with you. It’s all about being in community, making genuine friendships and living life on Purpose. Go for it! 

What you love, you empower. What you hate, you empower.  What you empower, you attract!

A Journey of Transformation!

A Journey of Transformation!

When we learn how to truly be present with our own joy and our own sorrow, with our longing and our desires, layer upon layer of ourselves can be powerfully unraveled and revealed. We cannot possibly know in advance what this revelation may look like, how it may unfold or what actions it could inspire or compel within us. Over the years I have watched clients and participants in individual sessions, retreats, and workshops, sit in those moments of vulnerability – intimate moments within their own desires, pain, suffering, and doubts. They observe a possibility of “change” in the air and they either turn towards it and lean into it, or they turn away, shut down, and quickly lean out. Perhaps the very thing that they came seeking was a deeper connection with Self and Spirit, yet their fears of the unknown caused many to want to run away from the experience. During my 10 Day Vipassana course, I too experienced moments of wanting to run away. It was a classic case of an old “fight or flight” coping mechanism. I’m so very grateful that I had the wherewithal to sit still and BE with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions, rather than act on them and flee.

 

I’ve grown to understand that if we have based large parts of our lives on untruths, we have the capacity to self-sabotage when Truth is presented or stirred within us. You see, when we become aware of those experiences that are no longer in alignment with the truth of who we are, it doesn’t matter how well intended the messenger may be, or how unconscious the participant may be at the moment. The potential transformation that this intimacy invokes can look and feel very frightening to some people. I recall the moments leading up to my move to Atlanta. I had spent 5 years in South Alabama and found it to be a very special place. Now, all of the sudden, I had decided to leave everything and everyone I had grown to know and love and allow a vision and inner nudge to pull me to Georgia. At the time I had no way of knowing what would transpire for me but I could feel something unfolding that was “necessary and required” for my path. I truly do not recognize the person I am today. I landed in a place that has supported me greatly and I continue to magnetize people into my life that help me tune into myself in order to answer those mystical, magical, and sometimes confusing questions, including the ones I haven’t been consciously aware of having.

 

People often ask me questions like, “Can you give me a roadmap for transformation?” or “Can you give me steps 1-6 so that there are no surprises along the way?” or “Can you just tell me what to do and I’ll do it?” When one embarks on the intentional path of transformation, there’s no way for me (or anyone else) to tell them in advance which aspects of their carefully constructed sense of self, if any, will survive. They may choose the path of resistance and begin to view things from a state of polarity, labeling experiences or insights as good news or bad news, positive or negative, heavy or liberating. What I can say is if you choose to take the awakening journey with your whole heart, your open heart, from a beginner’s mindset, real change is not only possible, it is inevitable. It’s from this vantage point that all things are completely unpredictable and at the same time filled with infinite possibility.

 

I cannot, nor will I promise myself or anyone else our journey will always be easy.  It’s impossible to promise such as that. But what I do know is that when we open ourselves to living intimately and vulnerably, choosing to connect with the places of misery or confusion within ourselves or others, we can cultivate the ability to be completely present and experience tremendous peace, joy, and bliss along the way!

Affirmation:

Today, I choose to be fearless and free. Self-realization is the key to my freedom. It’s not about becoming a new person, but about being the person I was meant to be, and already am. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to be that person and that’s ok too! Any inner battle that I may be going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance – my mind! When I can connect with the silence within me, that is when I can make sense of the disturbance going on around me, I am then free to determine the course of my life. I let go of any influence or patterning that tries to limit my freedom. I am who I am; no more, no less. I allow others to be free, just as I am free.
~ And so it is!

 

I Challenge you!

I’m really looking forward to participating in a 10 Day Silent Vipassana Meditation Training Course August 8th-20th! We will be completely off the grid, practicing meditation each day from 4 am – 9 pm. I’d like to send out a great big thank you to the previous students at Vipassana Dhamma Association for accepting me into this 10-day course.

Vipassana, a term which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a remedy for all universal ills, known as an Art Of Living. This non-sectarian meditation technique aims for total eradication of mental impurities and also aims for the highest level of happiness and liberation.

All students attending the course observe “noble silence” — that is, the silence of body, speech, and mind. We each make an agreement to refrain from communicating with our co-meditators. The entire practice is actually a form of mental training. Just as we use physical exercise to improve our bodily health, Vipassana can be used to develop a healthy mind.

I CHALLENGE YOU!  #rytchallenge

We live in a noisy world. Life can get very busy and sometimes quite stressful. There are many stressors that could be impacting us. Our job/career, relationships, children, health, or fear of the unknown that may be weighing us down. Many of us have forgotten to practice the art of silence in our lives. During the month of August, explore the many ways that you too can slow things down a bit, “insert a pause,” and find space for stillness and silence throughout your day.

S – SLOW DOWN and Create Space for stillness. Take a few moments for prayerful gratitude and reflection before you go to bed, or when you wake up; Pause for a moment before pulling out of the garage or before walking into the house after a long day at work; or take an extra minute in the bathroom stall before going back out into the public.

I –  Make “I Am ….” statements. “I am peaceful, I am joyful, I am grounded, I am loved,” etc. Practice self-love by taking quiet moments to repeat your statement (silently) in an attempt to show yourself that you appreciate and value your body, mind, and spirit.

L – Listen and Trust your Intuition. Your inner guidance system is speaking to you in every moment. It wants nothing more than for you to trust your gut instinct.

E – Expand your horizons. Step out of the house, office, or hospital and go for a quiet walk out in nature. Be sure not to play digital sounds that could distract you from the natural sounds that surround you.

N – Nurture yourself. Create moments of “pause” throughout each day.  Take 3 deep, cleansing, nurturing breaths to reset your energy. Fill your own cup!

T – Tune into your own heartbeat. When was the last time you took a moment to get still enough to hear the sound of your own rhythm?

The silence is right here within us. The purpose of meditation and also the challenge of meditation is to create space to become still enough to allow this interior silence to emerge. All we must do is tune in and enter into it… to become silent and access the depth of silence available to us. Silence is the language of the Spirit! 

Let me know how you are adding some space for silence in your life by adding the #rytchallenge to your social media posts. I’d love to hear from you!

ABOUT THE VIPASSANA COURSE

“Vipassana focuses on the deep interconnection between mind, body, and spirit, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the many physical sensations that surface that in essence from the life of the body. These sensations continuously interconnect and condition the life of our mind. It is in this form of observation-based, self-exploratory meditation journey, that allows us to get to the common root of mind chatter and our bodily discomforts, and assists us with dissolving mental impurities, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.” 

Vipassana Dhamma Association Website: https://www.dhamma.org/en/about/vipassana

I am so very excited to experience this magical opportunity to be in silence. Stay tuned for updates!

Are You Making Conscious Choices

Scientists say that we have 60, 000 – 80, 000 thoughts each day. Within the multitude of thoughts, we are each making thousands of big and small choices, but how many are intentional? How many are conscious? In other words, what conscious choices are you making each day that will have an impact on your now moment, your day, your week, month, year or 10 years from now? Webster dictionary says that consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, being aware of something within oneself. In other words, choosing a conscious way of living and living aligned with a greater Truth.

We’ve always had the ability to make conscious choices. What is unfortunate is that many of us were conditioned to operate at a habitual, mostly unconscious level. For much of my life, I lived in a state of questioning my choices, wondering what was true and what was false, often unclear about past choices and completely unclear about my next steps. I made decisions from that place of confusion and oftentimes had many undesirable repercussions. I remember a specific day back in 2002 when I allowed something within me to wake up just long enough to see that my family cared for me deeply. That was the day that I made a conscious effort to move towards a path of sobriety, and away from alcohol and drugs. It was a choice that led me down a path of awakening, one that I will always look back on and wonder what was so different about that moment that made me pay attention and what would my life have been like, had I not chosen a sober path. Not questioning from a place of regret but more from a place of curiosity.

There’s no end to the choices one makes in a day, whether realized or not, we choose to be enthusiastically optimistic or hopelessly forlorn, to capitalize on opportunities or let them pass us by, to have a healthy self-esteem or continually look at life through a dark lens, speak up for ourselves or remain silent, take charge of our life or let circumstances dictate our outcomes, take deliberate, decisive actions or procrastinate and make a thousand excuses, take time to think things through or be rash and act impulsively, and determine whether to move forward into the unknown or to stay behind in the familiar and seemingly safe compartments we have created for ourselves.

A truly conscious and aware person is very grounded in the reality of life. They are
not choosing to operate from a place of delusion, thinking that all of life is status quo or one set way. They are remembering that everything in life has a positive and negative vibrational charge. There are ups and downs, ebbs and flows, harmony and disharmony, calm and conflict, order and chaos, clarity and confusion. They are trusting and remembering that there’s a higher order to everything, that peace can be found in the midst of the chaos, the peace that is already within us. They are remembering how important it is to go with the flow, rather than resist what is and to Accept what is.

What I define as living a life that involves a “conscious choice” is when you are making choices with the full understanding of reality, from a place of inner freedom, rather than making choices from a place of delusion/ignorance or fear- based motivations.

Affirmations for Conscious Choices here…..

Unconditional Love

The term unconditional love, affection without limitations and love without conditions, is a really interesting concept when you think of it. I think of how I grew up. Yes, I know that I was loved very much yet there appeared to be so many conditions and limitations; get good grades, be polite, no talking during church, behave this way or that way and if you don’t, there will be a price to pay. Now some would say that this is basic parenting rules and guidelines and that there’s consequences when we go against those rules, while some would say that these were conditions. As a young child, I took the repercussions very seriously because it often felt like the treatment received after misbehaving were sometimes much more extreme than they needed to be. Perhaps because of my very sensitive empathic nature.

As an adult, I’ve outgrown the dreamy expectations of adolescence and many of those painful trials and tribulations of young adulthood, and now I finally feel like I have an understanding of what unconditional love is really all about. Years of going within and working on untruths have revealed many wonderful truths. I recently began to lean into the possibility of not only loving Self unconditionally and those that I serve but also meeting a life partner and loving him unconditionally too.

Welcome

Welcome to the brand new Remember Your Truth blog where we focus on all things expansive and creative. This blog offers original content on how to live a magical lifestyle, featuring everything from meditation techniques, strengthening your relationships, building a more effective communication style, to creating daily spiritual practices that work.