onsdag 2 mars 2011

The Path of Creativity: Writing tips

from Keys to the Open Gate by Kimberley Snow

"Art is crucial in changing society. It is important to realize that life itself is art. The problem is that we compartmentalize everything. The artist is not a special kind of person but everyone is or ought to be a special kind of artist. We are whole and we live our lives with art and out of that there may come some specific creation that we call art, but everything about being human is an art." -Mother Tessa Bielecki
Artists of all kinds--painters, sculptors, musicians--find and express spirituality in and through creativity, and many practitioners find their way to the heart of a spiritual tradition through its emotional and aesthetic expression in art or music rather than through theology..."
Creativity--whether through writing, painting, or creative imagination--releases us into a timeless world where all things are possible. In this magical realm we can reclaim past events, retrieve former selves, live out what almost was, what could have been. Through creating, we are able to fill out the hollows and blank spaces in our lives, to make sense of and give reality to our experience. In this private arena where conscious and unconscious meet and interact, we are granted a unique opportunity to negotiate peace settlements between inner and outer, between self and other, between sacred and profane.

Writing as Meditation

To think and to write about spiritual life is to engage actively in the process of integrating and shaping it. Writing, like breathing, is a way of connecting the mind and the body, the conscious and the unconscious. Through writing, we can slip the moorings of our own personality to look at the world through another's eyes, to walk in their shoes. By imagining into their situation, we develop understanding and compassion, explore new ideas, new modes of being. Through writing and/or visualizing, we can overcome our fear of death by "experiencing" our own, thus leading us to live more lightly in the time we have left. .."

"...A good method for beginning a writing meditation is to set the clock for twenty minutes, and not let the pen stop moving until that time has elapsed. Don't worry about spelling, grammar, style--just write. If you find that you are stuck, simply write the same sentence or word over again until the pen "takes off" on its own.

"..To visualize or use what the Jungians call "active imagination" (see Robert Johnson's Inner Work), simply relax the body, relax the mind, open the inner eye to whatever images present themselves. Watch for a while and participate when your inner voice tells you to do so. Even through you may not be able to visualize clearly at first, by making the effort, you create the means of a new way of perceiving..."

Blessings Journal

Blessings--expressions of gratitude--are part of many religious traditions. Christians commonly give thanks before a meal, but in Judaism, blessings play a much larger role in daily life. Blessings, with their formulaic opening "blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe," function as powerful tools with which to express spirituality and to forge a community. Many have come to rely on them in their daily lives to mark both extraordinary and ordinary occasions. However, the Jewish tradition, while it has great numbers of blessings--for seeing a rainbow, on meeting a wise person--has no blessings for the onset of menstruation or menopause or even for childbirth. Nor does it have a feminine variation for the formulaic opening.
A Blessings Journal is not necessarily Jewish nor does it always need a formulaic opening. A Blessings Journal is an ongoing record of whatever makes you feel blessed. Write in it when you experience a spontaneous surge of gratitude--for a hummingbird that comes to your window, the way the light filters though a slatted blind, the smile of a passing child. Read it when you feel depressed. 

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