(photo courtesy of Jade Beall Photography)
Creative energy is sexual energy. Great artists know they are engaged in love play. When describing their passion for their art, they use the language of lovers. For example, Russian painter Ilya Repin said, “I love art more than virtue, more than people, more than family, more than friends, more than any happiness or joy in life. I love it secretly, jealously as an old drunkard.”
A creative revolution is taking shape. We are beginning to reject the view of creativity as an intellectual capacity like thinking and problem-solving. That view has led to the false narrative that you have to be some kind of high-IQ genius to come up with creative breakthroughs or artistic masterpieces. You do not!
Did you know that the correlation between creativity and intelligence is pretty weak? Or that some dementia patients show an increase in creative ability as they lose brain function? There’s a reason that Albert Einstein, one of the most admired intellects in human history, said, “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.” He understood the creative process to be passionate and playful. Einstein came up with his theory of relativity not by doing calculations but by taking an imaginary ride on a beam of light!
In over three decades as a creativity researcher, I have interviewed and studied thousands of artists and other individuals immersed in creative pursuits. For the vast majority of them, creative expression is not an intellectual pursuit but a form of love play akin to sexual union, childbirth, or breastfeeding. There is a flow of essence between the artist and the art much like the exchange that happens between lover and beloved.
When two lovers come together in the moment of conception, they share with each other the very essence of life—their last great hope for the future of their family lineages. Essence can take myriad forms: the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. All that is essential to our existence at this moment, including whatever makes life worth living, can be considered essence.
Creative expression makes essence flow in the form of images, words, movements, sounds, brush strokes, gestures, shapes and curves, scents and tastes, sensations and emotions. And you know what drives that expression: love, joy, desire, bliss, ecstasy, and delight. Such passion energizes the creative process as it does any form of love play.
In recent posts, I have been sharing my thoughts about the playful practice of Inspiring. This practice elevates your creative expression to the heights of wholeness and holiness. At its heart, Inspiring involves the movement of creative energy, which is sexual energy.
To get that energy flowing, try the following:
To help with your visualization, look at the following animation. See yourself at the center of this energy field, acting as a fountain of essence and creative energy. After doing this practice a few times (give it at least a week), please drop me a line and share your experiences and impressions. Enjoy!
Inspiring is an art. This art draws you into the powerful, transformative experience of creative inspiration, where you can create as nature creates, from a place of wholeness where anything is possible.
Like any other art, inspiring has no hard-and-fast rules. There are a few guidelines that you can try for yourself, though. These are based on the wisdom and experience of those who have come before you.
In 34 years of exploring creative inspiration, I have seen what works for artists, inventors, writers, athletes, poets and others familiar with the experience of inspiration. Here is the closest thing I have seen to a solid rule for the art of Inspiring:
Sounds simple enough, right? Yet it turns out to be surprisingly hard. If you tune into the news, your mind may be filled with worry. You know what I mean: pandemics, war, natural disasters, political turmoil, and so much more.
At the same time, you may be dealing with physical and psycho-emotional pain on a daily basis. How can you enjoy life under such traumatic conditions? That is an extremely valid question. Letting go of suffering can seem like a monumental task. Yet, you can take a break from suffering at least for a short while. That is a good place to start.
Some of the most eminent creators in history had unhappy lives. Vincent Van Gogh had paralyzing anxiety and depression that led him to take his own life. Sylvia Plath killed herself by putting her head in an oven. Dylan Thomas drank himself to death. None of them lived to see 40.
Yet, each of them had their moments of astonishing, earth-shattering inspiration. The art of Inspiring has many levels. Start with a single profound experience of inspiration and build from there.
Find something that brings you intense joy. That is how it all begins. Every moment holds the opportunity for play. Immersing yourself in that play with all of your focus and energy leads to inspiration. If your play is a form of creative expression, then you are on your way to creating inspired art. Whatever form of play you choose, concern yourself only with what you are doing and experiencing right now, at this moment. Forget about goals and results. They NEVER matter to the individual absorbed in inspiration. If you are evaluating what and how you are doing, you are no longer Inspiring.
Take a moment to enjoy life, giving yourself fully to the feelings and sensations that are yours to be had, here and now. In next week’s blog, I’ll show you how to turn that experience into Nature’s love play. That is where it gets super juicy and wonderful. Stay tuned!
I am thrilled to announce that my life's work has taken me in an exciting new direction! The playful creative practice to which I have devoted myself for over three decades now has a new name: Inspiring. That will also be the name of a newsletter that launches in November, as well as a series of videos and podcast episodes.
Creative inspiration is an experience of wholeness as powerful as any other peak experience (mystical union, trance, being high, orgasm, etc). What makes inspiration unique is that it is conducive to creative expression, to the flow of ideas, movements, sensations, and energy. This flow is the essence of life! Here is where passion, sensuality, and transcendence meet.
Finding out how to live in this flow has been my lifelong focus and obsession. I went straight to the source, interviewing the people who knew the most about inspiration, as well as digging through historical archives, reading voraciously, and testing hypotheses in the lab. Most importantly, I delved into different practices, disciplines, and techniques first-hand. That is how I ended up apprenticing with a Mexican shaman, as described in The Chanter's Guide; traveling to India to unravel The Way of Play; developing and testing the simple and potent practice of Repose; and laying out the ten basic tenets of Deep Creativity.
Now, it's time to get very practical. I am ready to share the playful art and artful play of Inspiring with those who are ready to embark on this wonderful, gratifying adventure with me. If you want to take your creativity to new heights, that is a good reason to explore this practice. And if you want to experience wholeness on a daily basis, tapping into the flow of essence from which all creative expression emerges, that is the best reason I can think of to master the art of Inspiring.
Living in a results-oriented society, we tend to focus on creative products as opposed to creative experiences. When you immerse yourself in the playful art of Inspiring, you will discover, as I have, that you just have to focus on the experience--on the here and now--and the outcomes will take care of themselves. This is a fundamental principle of creative inspiration. As the great art teacher Robert Henri would tell his students, "The object isn't to make art. It's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."
Here is what you can do right now to get started. Join my Inspiring mailing list! I will be putting out a monthly online newsletter with some of my favorite tips and play activities. And stay tuned to this blog for some big announcements in the weeks ahead!
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.