I want to talk about creative leaps, specifically the shifts and quantum jumps that happen when we show up, when we're committed and when we're willing to be vulnerable enough to take put our work out there, risking rejection, ridicule or indifference. Being an artist, writer, musician, actor...and so on, is not for wimps. It takes high doses of courage to show up and bring the invisible ideas that are tugging at your heart into form. Why do you think so many creative folks live and die so tragically? They can't say no to the call to create, and yet it is a HUGE responsibility to hold and sustain their gifts. Lots of crash and burn happens in the arts, mostly because people have trouble keeping one foot in the messy, chaotic realm of the unknown and another foot in the day-to-day mostly left-brain-driven world. The two often don't mesh well, and artists sometimes cannot build a solid bridge between the two.
Back to creative leaps...
The biggest leap in my creative life was when I discovered my Muse. This discovery changed everything. My entire way of relating to my writing was transformed from seeing myself doing the work to showing up and having the work happen through me. I'm not referring to automatic writing or channeling here. I'm not letting an invisible entity slip into the driver's seat and tell me what to write. I'm speaking about connecting with my Higher Self, the part of me that knows I am more than this body, mind and emotions, the part of me that has access to the eternal, infinite realm of life and the part of me that is open to the collective where all ideas emerge.
Working with my Muse, I discovered I no longer had to struggle with the blank page, because I was now working beyond the limitations of the small ego self and allowing the greater Consciousness to express Itself through me. My writing no longer belonged to just me; I was simply the instrument. This freed me up tremendously. I no longer had to "try" to write. Instead, I only had to be willing to write and allow the writing to happen without interfering.
Of course, as with anything else, if you don't use it, you lose it. That's why showing up is so important. Otherwise you're left working on your own. Not fun at all.
Of course, I still have dry stretches, here and there, sometimes for several weeks at a time. Each time, I convince myself that my Muse has packed up and left. My creative life flatlines. I get discouraged. The negative gremlins attack me from all corners doing their best to convince me I’m wasting my time. My work is mediocre. No one cares. What I have to say had been said. Why bother? The works.
Those dry spells can be grueling and lonely. Thankfully, they pass. My Muse, God bless her, returns, and I do my very best not to take her for granted. This includes become mindful about how certain aspects of my life pull me away from my creative time, draining and distracting me, how I need more honesty and better boundaries. My Muse is also MUCH happier when I bring more stillness into my life through meditation. This makes a HUGE difference!
Creative leaps may also be in the form of discovering a new way of working or a new medium altogether. It may also happen through a powerful connection with a creative partner or collaborator. What was impossible alone suddenly becomes possible with the help of another. Whatever form they take, these leaps bring generous amounts of energy and inspiration with them. Mountains begin to move that prior to the leap seemed insurmountable. We fall in love again with our creative process. The world looks more benign. We belong again.
Can one bring about a creative leap? Perhaps. I would say that we can certainly do our best to stir things up. Take risks. Try new approaches. Find a partner. Change something. Travel to exotic lands. Anything, as long as it shakes us out of our routines and stale habits.
If something seems too much of a stretch, stop. Get quiet and listen. The Muse likes to whisper so she may tiptoe into your sacred space one day and whisper in your ear. Listen to what she has to say. Open your heart. Tell her your secrets. Then when you're ready...open your arms and receive.