"Spontaneous creativity is an affirmation of our deepest nature." ~ Richard Moss
If you are feeling stuck in inertia, depression and dullness, it is helpful to cultivate a spontaneous creativity practice every day for your self-expression to come alive and find its own living, eloquent language.
People sometimes say to me, "I do not think I have much to express. I do not know if I have an authentic self. I do not think I have much inside of me." I always say, "Begin expressing yourself regularly. Intend to express yourself spontaneously. See what comes out. Your creativity will show something new about your deeper self."
Even 30 days of committed creativity will always tell you something new and often startlingly fresh about yourself.
We can often feel frustrated, resistant and confused when something new wants to come into our life. So, we can practice wearing a creative question in our body. Ask yourself, "What am I trying to express right now?"
You might live this question through a dedicated journal. In this way, you might take 15 minutes a day to draw a mandala. Or, you might focus inward and write intuitively. Over time larger themes of healing and insights emerge. Through a regular creative practice, your vague subconscious rumblings become a clearer, living language.
"Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are." ~ John Mclaughlin
Your Body Knows the Next Step in your Life
Answers are always inherent in our questions. And, everyday there is a new growth edge - that we are often barely aware of - that we can access. When we sense into the "edge" of our inner experiences through spontaneous creativity, new information is revealed.
With determined questioning the answers will come spontaneously. Synchronistic signs, symbols and words will arise within or without. Life events might offer a clue. Creative imagery will form into an honest, original living language.
Life both inside and outside of you will come forward and speak to you because you have asked it to - because you have intended to express yourself, and because you have made the effort to sense beyond your regular, everyday habits.
Following Signs, Symbols and Inklings
Years ago when I was contemplating moving to Vancouver from the rural mountain town where I lived, I was ruminating about how much the people in my classes found it difficult to be spontaneous in their creativity. It is difficult to feel creatively free. The social mask that defends our emotional pain does not want us to be spontaneous.
I was teaching spontaneous painting at the time, and I was aware of how most people simply could not face a blank sheet of paper and express spontaneously from their depths unless they had cultivated a lot of psychological, emotional and spiritual willingness. Usually resistance to our creativity reigns supreme.
It is challenging to surrender control and allow the repressed parts of ourselves to speak and be heard. As I was driving down the highway I got the inner message, "Teach collage!" Since the insight came out of the blue, I felt surprised enough to follow the directive. I had never tried making a spontaneous collage. Collage had not interested me prior. So, I took the insight seriously and began to explore.
When I tried spontaneous collage, I absolutely loved it. My collages flowed together with ease. As the multiplicity of imagery poured out of me, I began see all aspects of my unconscious mind in visual form, and I began to emotionally heal.
Over the next many years I made hundreds of collages that helped me to know and accept myself more profoundly. Because of our varied, negative and positive experiences, we all have many parts of our personality that would love to be properly seen, heard and integrated. Collage is a perfect medium to express these neglected parts of self.
Our accepted personality aspects are always out front and clearly visible as part of our social presentation (mask), and the less accepted parts of ourselves hide in the shadows. Spontaneous creativity bypasses our social guard. Yet, our hidden or rejected aspects of self will show themselves through spontaneous words and imagery.
As I explored the deeper meaning of imagery through my collage practices, I have come to understand that my life is a living collage. When imagery becomes our "second language," we can learn how to the "read the meaning" behind the "collage" of our life events.
Because imagery is the living language of the soul, it is much more encompassing in its depth of communication than verbal language. Collage is also similar to dreams. Dreams are the expression of the different aspects of our psyche. Our night-time dreams collage together a drama that reflects how the many parts of ourselves are interacting within our psyche.
Whether we "read" the collage of our day or our night, the journey to emotional healing, authenticity and wholeness is simply to love and accept all parts of ourselves. When we do, our inner conflicts diminish, we feel less judgment towards other people, and the areas of life that have felt stuck and blocked begin moving forward again.
"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."
Whenever you bring something new into creation it will likely be accompanied by doubt and dark misgivings.
We are conditioned to fit in for our survival, and our spontaneity can sometimes feel dangerous to the guarded parts ourselves that try to keep us acceptable to others.
We often resist spontaneous creativity. It sometimes feels safer to stay small and constricted than it does to be open and free.
Creating spontaneously involves inviting something new and possibly not yet accepted into our every day life, so that it can become loved and whole.
Spontaneous creative practices take a small amount of time each day, and being consistent with our daily practice opens up new portals to deeper, self-loving states of being.
Our spontaneous creativity can also inform our life's guiding principles beyond who we think we "should" be. Creating involves a forming a gentle relationship to our resistance. We all have aspects of our personality that would rather stay small, hurting and hidden for fear of not belonging.
And, in opposition, there are many parts within that are begging to be seen, accepted and welcomed into loving wholeness. This conflict between acceptance and non-acceptance can be resolved through a daily expressive practice.
"Imagine a time when we meet ourselves, with elation at the door, and invite ourselves in to become reacquainted with this 'stranger' who has loved you all your life.” ~ Derek Walcott - Poet
Expressive Arts Foundations - A Guide for Daily Creative Practice
I have created a course package that will gently guide you through a daily expressive arts practice to support full self-acceptance HERE. I recommend that you do the courses in the following order:
1. Dive Deep Art Journal Webinar: (3 Days) Learn how expressive journals can look. Decide what you want to emotionally heal. Dedicate a journal & art materials to your practice. Devote yourself to a 30 day expressive art or writing practice.
2. 50 Expressive Art Journal Ideas: (30 Days) If you are wondering what art journal "theme" to dedicate to your emotional healing, I offer 50 great ideas for dedicated healing journals as well as ten examples of themes I have explored for emotional healing. Choose one theme to commit to for 30 days.
3. Narrative Therapy: (30 Days) Write your own life story - freshly and spontaneously. Daily narrative therapy prompts build emotional awareness of how you presently see your life and shows a way out of the way you see problems. Each prompt takes about 15 minutes per day to complete.
4. Expressive Poetry: (10 Days) This poetry course uses magazine imagery of your choice to spark emotional poems that help you to express deeper aspects of self that you may not have met yet.
5. Intuitive Collage: (30 Days) The hidden language of our deeper emotions can more easily reveal themselves through imagery and visual symbols before they shape into words. Gain insight into your emotions with a daily ten minute collage.
6. Symbolic Journeys: (45 Days) This 45 day course will support you to better understand the deeper signs and symbols that spontaneously arise in your expressive drawing, painting, writing and collage.
7. Healing Difficult Emotions: (15 Days) Simple expressive art exercises such as painting, drawing and collage support you to begin exploring, and honestly examining emotional struggles such as worry, fear, frustration, fear, conflict, negativity, heartbreak and addiction.
If you follow all the prompts and suggestions in the order I recommend, you will complete 160 consecutive days of expressive arts practice!
Expressive art is spontaneous art. Using the principle of synchronicity, spontaneous creation tells you exactly what you need to know for your growth in this moment.
Creation without pre-planning clears out unconscious psychological patterns we are unaware of and opens us to creative possibilities outside of our ordinary mind.
Spontaneous imagery is often "wider" than words and it can invite our deeper, more intuitive wisdom to pour forth into our practical, everyday world.
My e-courses serve as a portal to explore spontaneous creative practices, especially as they support the expression and healing of emotional pain. View my courses HERE.