Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Remember the three P’s of writing: Passion, Patience, and Persistence? I’ve lived by these P’s for thirty years, but last night I thought of five more, which, like the famous writing P’s, not only apply to all creative expression, but to life itself, the most creative venture of all!
Permission: Saying “Yes” to your creative urges is foundational. I tell my students and clients the need to say “Yes” to their creative expression is like the need to bathe—it has to be done on a regular basis or else one stinks. At least I feel this way. When I’m not creating I’m cranky because I’m denying deep instincts, which are informed by my Soul, my essence. If you’re feeling the urge to express your creativity, don’t question it. Don’t suppress it. Don’t limit or fool yourself by thinking you don’t have enough time, money, or talent. You have no idea how vast and rich you are—how much is possible. Allowing and honoring what needs to come forward is the only way to glimpse your genius. I keep the words “PERMISSION GRANTED” prominently displayed in my office. Don’t wait for somebody else to grant you permission—give it to yourself!
Play: Creative expression is fun. Have at it! Splash paint on canvas. Dance in your backyard. Grab a musical instrument and improvise. Scribble words that make no sense. Toss rules out the window. If you’ve forgotten what play feels like, ask your inner child to remind you, or relax and hang out with your kids or somebody else’s kids. Laugh, slow down, and be silly. It may also help to make a list of fun activities you enjoy and post it where you’ll see it. Do at least one fun thing a day. This will lighten your mood and generate playful energy. But the most important thing is not to ask anything of your creative play. Forget outcomes and end results. Suspend judgment. Just play! If it’s not fun, you’re not playing.
Process: Everybody’s creative approach is unique. Find what works for you. Go inside. Trust your instincts. What works today may be useless tomorrow. Your process is a living thing, allow it to grow and change. Let it be who it is. Listen to others describe their creative process, but don’t assume what works for them will work for you. Honor impulses and inner urgings. There is no wrong way to create. Accept accidents and serendipitous situations. What you perceive as intrusions or distractions may be brilliant ideas dressed in beggar’s rags. Take everything in. Your whole life is grist for your creative mill.
Perspective: My mantra, which hails from the University of Santa Monica, is: There’s no such thing as failure—only opportunities for growth. I love thinking of my life as a great, big classroom filled with lessons. Recently I received an email with a signature message saying the email had been sent from a mobile device, so “please don’t take brevity or typos personally.” Then the message went on to say, “—for that matter, don’t take anything personally—unless you want to suffer.” This is easier said than done, but it’s an attitude worth cultivating. Freeing ourselves from the words, actions, and opinions of others liberates creativity.
Pros: For the past seven months I’ve been working with a life coach and a writing coach, and my life has moved forward by leaps and bounds. Never before have I felt so held and supported, so eager, happy, and free to follow my bliss. I cannot overstate the value professional mentorship, guidance, accountability, and support provide. Knowing another pro is in my corner, advising me, cheering me on, and wiping my brow, gives me the gumption, not to fight, but to embrace whatever opponents or obstacles come my way, and see them for what they really are: opportunities to become stronger and wiser.
Most coaches have coaches. Experience is the best teacher. In addition to my own writing and teaching, I offer transformational life and writing coaching. I work with non-writers as well as writers of all genres, including film and TV. If you’d like help moving forward on your creative path, contact me.