When I hear someone deny they are creative, I can relate to the sadness they’re expressing. And I cringe at how inaccurate this statement is! Artistic and Creative are terms often confused. They do not mean the same thing! Many of us were told, usually early in life, we weren't the "creative one" in the family. That role belonged to the one who was good at creating art through drawing, painting, dancing, singing, cooking, building stuff, photography, sewing, music, performing, acting, etc.
The reason I cringe is that I know without a doubt that each one of us is Creative. Observe any toddler for an hour and you will realize that to be human is to be creative. Being creative does not depend on whether you have an atom of artistic ability. Conversely, observe any artist and you will realize they have mastered the creative process.
Each one of us is capable of being the creator of our own life. Creating is simply an orientation. It takes practice like anything else. No artistry involved! I love reading a SoulCollage® workshop invitation containing these words: “No artistic skill necessary! Just a willingness to trust the (creative) process.”
Thirty-six years of trusting the creative "process" has shown me that one's innate creative capacity and intuition will organically reveal the Surprise, Synchronicity and the Sacred of one's own deep wisdom.
Summer 1982, Lincoln Park/Chicago, Illinois, home of Instructor Bae Emilson
It’s a sweltering August evening, the first session of the, DMA course (created by Robert Fritz and later known as Technologies for Creating.) In Bae’s living room, I’m surrounded by prosperous looking people in business attire who look cool, alert, and completely at ease. I’m sweating in my thrift shop-best, praying the big deposit I’ve just paid won’t bounce before this self-improvement course does its magic and delivers on its promise to help hapless me “Become the Creative Force in My Own Life.” Little did I know this evening would indeed be THE Major Turning Point of My Whole Life.
The first workbook exercise instructs me to list things I have in my life I do not like having. I fill the page without hesitation! Easy peasy. I’m going to ace this DMA course, fer sure, dude.
Turning the page, the next exercise asks me to list what I want to have in my life that I do not have. All around me, my classmates’ Montblanc fountain pens scratch away at their lists. I sit paralyzed, Bic pen in hand, eyes brimming with tears, that familiar inner voice screaming, “Don't even bother with this ridiculous exercise. You know you can't have what you want. And you know all the reasons why you will never be able to have what you want!” Drying my palms on my polyester pants, I take a deep breath and write down my secret heart’s desire: “A happy marriage like my parents had.”
And, heeding my soul’s clarion call, off I went on the Shero’s Journey that would indeed transform my sad and passive life into a life of creating powerful dreams that actually came true and the beauty and fulfillment of teaching others how to do the same.
The ORIENTATION OF REACTING/RESPONDING OR THE ORIENTATION OF CREATING
It was in the DMA course that I began learning the simple mechanics of Creating:
First, begin by putting your attention on two things
o Your Vision for what you want and Your Current Reality.
- Next set up structural tension between these.
- Then follow the path of least resistance.
- Continue to create and adjust as you go along.
Over time as I practiced the DMA guidelines, I learned that my Orientation in life was one of Reacting and Responding to the circumstances of my current reality. I realized I’d been living in a kind of hazy maze, emotionally reacting to what was happening in the moment. Lo and behold, I was getting MORE of what I did not want! Because I was putting all my attention on precisely what I did not want! I learned just how comfortable I was in this pattern of helplessness. I learned how much I enjoyed the emotional payoffs, the sympathetic attention poor Marti received when she was in this hazy maze.
I learned that the Orientation of Creating would mean letting go of that kind of unhealthy attention. It would mean shifting my focus to the sheer joy of creating for its own sake. Creating does not involve questions of self-worth. Creating does not involve shoulds, obligations, a need to impress or gain the approval of others. Creating is simply about the thrill of creating for the love of creating—whether it is a pot of spaghetti sauce or a SoulCollage® card or a basket of folded clean laundry or a lesson plan for Walking the Beauty Way retreat.
The love of the creation enlivens the creator and all who witness or participate in the creation. An absence of Joy in creating indicates something is off. Pay Attention! What is motivating you? Have you lost your love for the creation? Get back on track. There is no question that hard work, diligence, patience, courage, self-discipline are often required when creating. The Joy of the creative vision makes them worthwhile.
PRINCIPLES OF CREATING
The First Principle of Creating is to focus on the WHAT before the HOW. Always begin with answering, “What do I want?” Creative people will tell you they make up what they want to create! They know that creating is not problem solving.
Problem solving is about the HOW. It is valuable and it is often what gets us mired in an orientation of reacting and responding. Certainly there is a place for problem solving and it is not what leads the creative process.
Seena B. Frost, Creator of SoulCollage®, teaches that the three “I’s” of SoulCollage® are like three Doorways. She suggests an Image is the Doorway to Imagination which opens the Doorway to Intuition. When playing with my images, I agree to “trust the SoulCollage® process.” Each time I surrender to the creative process, the images ignite my imagination and activate an in-depth dialogue with my intuition. The result is new wisdom and a positive more whole sense of my inner and outer worlds
Once you have clarified your vision and committed to it, the Second Principle of Creating is to trust that the HOW will emerge as the creative vision crystallizes. Creating is a dynamic of continually “creating and adjusting." The creator takes steps towards the vision and then adjusts, making mid-course corrections as they go along. The creator trusts that the necessary steps of HOW (or the process steps) will emerge and will guide progress toward the vision.
COMMITMENT--W. H. Murray
Until one is committed,
there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas
and splendid plans.
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves, too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
Raising in one’s favour all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance
which no man could have dreamt
would have come his way.
JOURNAL PROMPTS: CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT
Take out pen and journal. In answering the following questions, observe how your body feels; observe what thoughts or emotions rise in the mind.
1) What do you have in your life that you do not want?
2) What do you want to have in your life that you do not have right now?
a) Describe this vision as vividly as you can. Make it so compelling that you begin to have dreams about this life.
b) Consider creating a gorgeous visual representation of this vision. Some call this a Treasure Map or a Vision Board. Use words and images. Make it spectacular, displaying it where you can focus on it each day. After a while, you will need to make a new Treasure Map since you have created the dreams on your old one!
3) Over the next month, begin to observe (without judging!) what is your Orientation.
a) Take notes about your observations in your journal.
b) Observe which orientation is more often your response to challenging circumstances:
i) Reacting and responding immediately and often emotionally?
ii) Pausing and visualizing what you want to create in the moment?
iii) Consider which orientation best serves you as a creative person.
iv) What would be a few small steps you might take to more regularly shift into the Creating Orientation?
v) What support do you need to sustain this Creating Orientation?
August 11, 2018 Naperville, Illinois
Thirty six years of practicing the principles of DMA and fifteen years of meditating have given me the skillful means to solve most problems that comes my way. Twenty years after encountering DMA, while studying the ancient mystical practice of Kriya Yoga meditation, I learned the words, Aham Brahmasmi. It’s a Sanskrit term that means “I am the creative principle.” Truly, there is “Nothing new under the Sun!”
Above all, I know that Creating is my lifeline. When I am discouraged or cranky, I know it’s a sign that I need to vivify my Creating practice. I meditate, visualize a creation I would love to bring forth and swiftly am moved back into the flow of life. As my 70’s approach, I have vowed to be fiercely resourceful about staying in the stream of Creating. I know this will keep me healthy, happy and contributing to the Greater Good.
I am deeply grateful to my teacher Bae Emilson who's become a very special friend and mentor. I am grateful to Robert Fritz for creating the DMA course and contributing his unique body of creative work to the world. (For more information, check out this link to the book based on the course, The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life. Be sure to read some of the customer reviews.)
P.S. My Happiest Creation: Six years after applying the lessons of the DMA course, I met my beloved soulmate Harry. We’ve been happily married (like my folks) since 1989, parents of a blended family of five, grandparents of seven, and great-grandparents of one. We regularly apply the principles and practices of the DMA Creative Process: Creating a compelling vision; setting up structural tension between our current reality and that vision; trusting that the means to achieve the vision will emerge; and then diligently creating and adjusting along the way.
May you find great joy in creating the life you want for yourself, dear friends! Please consider me a support in that endeavor. Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I am trying to expand my readership, so I appreciate your being willing to share it with others. Please ask them to subscribe here.
May you walk in Beauty today and all the days of your life,
We Are Transmitters by D. H. Lawrence
As we live, we are transmitters of life.
And when we fail to transmit life,
life fails to flow through us.
That is part of the mystery of sex,
It is a flow onwards.
Sexless people transmit nothing.
And if, as we work, we can transmit life into our work,
life, still more life, rushes into us
to compensate, to be ready,
and we ripple with life throughout the days.
Even if it is a woman making an apple dumpling,
or a man a stool,
if life goes into the pudding, good is the pudding,
good is the stool,
content is the woman with fresh life rippling into her,
content is the man.
Give and it shall be given unto you
is still the truth about life.
But giving life is not so easy.
It doesn’t mean handing it out to some mean fool
or letting the living dead eat you up.
It means kindling the life-quality where it was not.
Even if it is only in the whiteness
of a washed pocket handkerchief.