Here I briefly explain why creativity needs to be reframed as a form of yoga, and I discuss the consequences of doing so:
5-Minute Chant: I am love I am
5-Minute Chant is a virtual chant circle that happens every Wednesday at 6 pm MST. Please watch the video below and chant along with the following words at that time:
I am love I am Om (3x)
I am love I am
Dancing in the sky, melting in a stream (2x)
If you can't make it for any reason, then please chant along at your convenience.
Here and Now, Baby!
the best feeling in the world
Today, I have a big announcement to make:
I have discovered the best feeling in the world!
Would you like to know what it is? By the end of this blog, you will. But first, I want to answer a few questions you might have about it:
Q: How did you come across this feeling?
A: I have been looking for it my whole life. As a boy (yes, that's me in the pic), I may not have known much, but I knew how to feel things fully, and I also knew what felt good to me. I have always remained true to that part of myself. Today, I look in the mirror and see the same boy, only wrapped in older skin. Five decades of life experience have taught me how much there is to feel in this life. And in recent years, I struck a vein of gold by discovering an experience that can only be described as “the best feeling in the world.”
Q How can you be sure that this is the best feeling in the world?
A: Inclusivity. I know this is the best feeling in the world because the entire universe is sharing it with me. This feeling takes me, in the words of Buzz Lightyear, “to infinity—and beyond!”
Q: Isn’t it presumptuous to claim that you have found the best feeling in the world?
A: Not really. I trust my intuition. And I am not claiming that you will agree with me. If you want, I can attach some disclaimers, such as: “I’m speaking only for myself” or “This may not be true for everyone.” But in my heart of hearts, I know that no disclaimers are needed.
Q: Is there scientific proof of your claim?
A: I know this is the best feeling in the world through my own personal experience. And the only way to validate my claim is through your own experience. There can never be scientific because it is 100% subjective. Once you know the best feeling in the world first-hand, proof is not an issue because it hardly matters to you if anyone else agrees.
Q: Is this a physical experience?
A: Yes. As long as I am living in a human body, all of my experiences are physical. The feeling I am going to describe for you involves a total body experience. After all, how can something be the best feeling in the world if you cannot feel it head-to-toe?
A: Is this a spiritual experience?
Q: Yes. I consider it spiritual because it meets the following criteria:
In ecstasy, the one explodes into the many,
And in bliss, the many melt into the one.
I am the one, the many, the exploding and the melting.
I am the one going into the many, and the many going into the one.
If you know what this feels like, I would love to hear from you! And if not, no worries; I will flesh out the experience more in my upcoming blogs. Next week, I will share some practical things you can do in order to experience the best feeling in the world. In the meantime, you can read more about it in Deep Creativity.
creativity with heart
In creativity, as in much of life, the body often leads the mind. Some of the most famous moments of creative inspiration began with an intense bodily experience, such as illness, pain, fever, running a marathon, frenzied movement, and even constipation. That is why the back cover of Deep Creativity says, “Creativity is not just thinking outside the box, but living outside it.” Creative inspiration has always been a full-body experience that extends far beyond the limits of the human mind.
In the past decade, a phenomenon called interoception has been linked to creativity and intuition. This is the ability to sense what is happening inside the body—specifically in internal organs like the heart, stomach, and lungs. So, language that you may have thought was merely colorful, like “gut feeling” or “knowing your heart,” has a scientific basis.
If you want to be more creative, one of the best things you can do is start tuning in more to what is happening inside your body. Today I’m going to share a simple exercise that I have been using successfully for years. It is a mindfulness technique that focuses on your heartbeat, which is why I call it, “heartfulness.”
Here is how it works:
This practice will enhance your creative awareness. You may wonder how that could be possible. But the great artists have always known that creativity is a full-body experience. Composer Peter Tchaikovsky told an interviewer, “It would be vain to try to put into words the immeasurable sense of bliss which comes over me directly when a new idea awakens in me and begins to assume a definite form. I forget everything and behave like a madman: everything within me starts pulsing and quivering.”
By developing your inner sensitivity, starting with this heartfulness exercise, you will be able to refine your ability to read intuitive signals that lead to creative breakthroughs. You just have to know your heart and listen to your gut.
2019: year of inspiration
New Year's Blessings! I am happy to declare 2019 to be the Year of Inspiration. According to the Chinese horoscope, this year will bring love, joy, and abundance your way. All of these blessings are predicated on your inspiration.
What does that mean? For your whole life, you have been sharing a body with a powerful entity. While you sleep, work, and play, this entity is busy regulating all kinds of physiological processes, including breathing, circulation, and metabolism. The birth and death of cells through your body falls under its influence. Your co-tenant is also looking out for your, offering guidance in the form of intuition.
In Hindu tradition, this entity is called Ishwara, which can be defined as "embodied spirit." Inspiration happens when you allow this embodied spirit to take its rightful place as the primary creative agent in your life. You can always create with your mind if you so choose, but Ishwara can access knowledge that your mind never will. Whereas your mind is good at connecting the dots through logical inference and other reasoning processes, Ishwara can envision new realities through the power of imagination.
Your mind can be resistant to the force of Ishwara. Einstein was referring to this dynamic when he observed that "great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." The great spirit and mediocre mind are both living inside of us at this very moment. We become inspired when the battle between them ceases. This requires the mind to surrender control, at least for a few moments.
This year, I will show you how you can tap into greater levels of creative inspiration by helping your mind get out of the way. Once that happens, you create an opening so that Ishwara can do what it does best: allow fresh ideas, images, and insights to flow in ways that can lead you in productive new directions.
I will be offering a wide range of materials this year to help you in your journey of inspiration. On January 19, I will be giving a presentation, entitled "The Art of Inspiration," at the TEDxTucson "[r]evolution" conference. This talk will be available on video, and I will be expanding upon the same topics in a series of blog posts you can find here, as well as a workbook that will provide practical exercises to elaborate on the ideas I shared with you in Deep Creativity.
One of my New Year's resolutions is to help you master the art of inspiration, so that you can truly make this the Year of Inspiration in your life. Happy New Year!
I want to hear from you! Please share your questions and comments. And sign up for my newsletter, where I will pass along the insights, ideas, and inspiration that come my way.