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Creative Courage

How Creativity is Like a Good Massage

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Many, many moons ago, while working at an art museum as an Arts Educator, I decided to study massage therapy.  When I told the museum director, he looked at me baffled.  He told me he thought the idea of a creative professional also doing massage felt like two disconnected ideas.  It seemed to me to make perfect sense, so I took a moment to explain to him how creativity is like a good massage.

Massage

I have been thinking of this recently as I find my creativity cramping up, as it often does for Creatives.  When a massage therapist works on a muscle, she loosens it up, then often will apply a bit of pressure to the sweet spot (also known as a pressure point).  The pressure point is much like a magical button that will release the whole of the muscle after just a little work.

She looks for it with her hands, and when she finds it, she applies pressure.  She will notice the muscle squirming, quivering, and resisting. She can back off a bit or even apply a bit more pressure.  If she pushes too hard, the muscle won’t relax.  If she doesn’t give enough, she may miss getting all she can release. But if she finds a balance, she will notice the muscle melting like chocolate under the warmth of her hand.

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Creativity that is all kinked up can be released in this same way.  It requires a bit of pressure to get it to give in and get moving again.  Not enough pressure, and we can stay stuck for some time.

What does getting unstuck creatively look like?

We can get stuck in our creativity in a number of ways.  We get in a rut, doing the same thing and hoping for different results.  We always paint with the same colors.  We always sit at our favorite desk.  We look to the same things for inspiration.  Or, we expect the same results out of a process we are bored with.  We have been drawing trees for years.  They are beautiful.  Maybe people even know us for our trees, so the fact that we are thinking about dance or poetry feels like a risk so big we are shut down.The sun shines between the shade of dark branches...like gratitude in our lives

What do I mean by pressure?

Applying pressure can look like a few different things.  I think sitting and looking at the block is a great place to start.  Who wants to sit with that?  We want to get beyond the creative block, not look at it.  But getting quiet and saying… What is this block about? … can give a voice to the block that will give us insight or inspiration.

Applying pressure can also be about throwing another element into the arena.  (In massage, it is the finger or hand.)  But for creativity it may be exploring the same subject but with different color or adding collage to your painting process.  It may be changing the beat in music or starting your cooking session with prayer.  Adding a new element forces the same old thing to take a new shape…..gives us a new perspective.

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My favorite way to add a bit of pressure is to invite someone else into the picture.  Yes…we can always massage ourselves.  But…when we have someone else, it is way better!

When we are creating, we can add a person by co-working.  I love painting with others or collaborating.  Sometimes we can work on the same project or even just working side by side is energizing in a way that we don’t get alone.  (Note: always make sure the person you create with is emotionally safe for you.  Take care of your Inner Creative.)

Scheduling a show can be great pressure because it adds an audience.  You can decide to take place in a group art show, an open mic, or even just a show-and-tell at your home.  It creates a sense of urgency that nearly always gets creativity dancing under your finger until it melts into sweet chocolatey flow!

Partnering with a Life Coach who understands the creative process can also be a great way to add a person into the process.  As a Life Coach and Sacred Creativity Guide, I am able to honor where you are while helping you move out of that space and into the next phase of your journey.

I would love to hear some of your tricks and tips for getting your creativity flowing by using gentle pressure.  And if that has been counter productive, I would love to hear that too.  It is great to learn from each other.  The Creativity Tribe is listening!

Rachel Payne with Creativity Tribe. Life Coach, Expressive Arts Facilitator, artist, spirituality, creativity

 

Encouraging Creativity

encouraging creativity

 

This is an invitation.  A calling to deepen your connection with a part of yourself that wants access to more of your life.  When we quiet the chatter in our heads enough that our hearts can be heard, we often detect the voice that quietly demands expression.  It wants to take you on a ride that you will never forget.  But fear has squelched it so often that it is threatening to go away.

Where will it take us?  What will others think?  Are we doing it right?  What sacrifices will we have to make?  What will slip out once we open up?

Good questions, all.  I don’t have the answers.  The only way you will find out is by daring to breathe into those spaces that are starving for life.  No other person but you can give you the gift of fully having shared yourself. Tend to your DEAR CREATIVE SPIRIT by encouraging creativity…today.

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Rachel Payne life creativity coach

What If This is Life’s Biggest Lesson?!

Step into the Light

Earlier this week I shared with you about how some of the difficulties in my life are transforming into wellsprings of beautiful lessons.  As often happens, I have heard from friends and colleagues that they too are having significant growth from discovering the gifts that challenging times offer.  I just love when the folks around me are “getting” it at the same time I am.

For that very reason, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I am helping that process along.  I think we often feel like those parts of our lives have control over us and that we are out of control when they happen, but I am starting to believe that those hard times just might be the most blessing rich times of our lives….if we choose for them to be.

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My Tips for Finding the Gifts in Difficulty

  1. Feel the Feelings:  There is nothing worse than being in pain, emotional or physical, and never getting to fully have what your are feeling recognized and witnessed.  As a Life Coach, this is some of the most important work that I do.  However, I have learned over the years that I don’t have to have another person witness my pain, although that is certainly invaluable.  When I don’t have that luxury, I give myself permission to express what I am feeling through art, writing, movement, or just by talking to the walls.  It may sound crazy, but it helps.  I am able to move the energy of those feelings out to make room for a more enlightened perspective.  This allows me to grow a deeper understanding of what I am feeling, where it comes from, and what it could possibly transform into that I might never get to if I am unwilling to look at it.  In fact, not feeling our feelings can lead to even more discomfort and difficulty.
  2. Softening:  At some point in the process of feeling the feelings, I become aware that I have gotten to some of the meat of the issue.  For me, I sometimes feel myself pull back from the “feeling session” a bit, there is a lull or a break where I can see from the point of view of the Inner Witness.  Instead of pushing out the emotions with strong intent, I will shift into a more receptive stance.  For me, this is often the place where transformation can take place. I may find myself at a crossroads where I have a choice to make.  Should I stay with the difficulty or encourage myself to move beyond it.  Sometimes I have to stay with it a bit longer.  That is definitely okay.  But, often, I will choose to soften myself, soften my anger or fear and invite something new to come in.
  3. Looking for the Gifts:  I learned early on in my life that I could….that we could….. ask to see the gifts of a situation.  The more difficult situations can take more willingness to open up to, but those often come with the most meaningful blessings.  I have encouraged myself to continue to revisit the potential gifts from the uncomfortable places in my life time and again, and as deep as something can hurt, that is as deep as the gifts go.  If a situation has layers of grief, anger, fear, or pain, I discover a morsel of love and goodness with each peeling back.  Sometimes the hurt of a situation is so deep that I can go back again and again for decades with new gifts showing themselves.
  4. Claim the Gifts:  It isn’t just enough to get a sense of something being good or positive from a difficulty.  Just as we find deeper understanding from fully expressing the feeling of hurt, so do we more fully glean the gifts when we name them, when we talk about them, write or draw about them….when we make them real and fleshed out.  Claiming our gifts can also be a gift that we give to others because we are modeling a way of living to others that is based on love of self and love of life.
  5. Expressing Gratitude:  This is definitely the bonus tip.  When we gather a gift from a difficulty, there is an additional grace (or gift) that comes from affirming that the gift would not have been ours had the difficulty not come.  Moving into a space of gratitude for the painful situation can inspire even further treasure.

I would love to hear how you have found gifts in your own difficulty or if this list has inspired any ah-ha’s for you.  Creativity takes many forms, but this kind of work is the creativity of better living and it is one of my faves.

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Keep creating!

Rachel_Payne

My Silent Passengers

alone but not lonely

Today marks my 22nd day on the road.  I am 5 hours from home by car, but sticking around Houston to offer a Sacred Cacao Ceremony to a gathering of creatives.  The closer I get to home, the more homesick I grow, and yet…. I am still deeply engaged in the adventure.

One of the ways I am doing that is by processing the trip…especially the parts I just didn’t foresee. You see, even though I spent over two weeks of the trip driving by myself, I felt as if I had Silent Passengers.  I never felt that I was alone.

Sometimes the Silent Passenger was my husband, even though he was at our home in South Texas when I up roaming in the Northern parts of the U.S.  I found myself talking to him in my mind, pointing out landmarks, crazy cars, interesting signs, and public art.

Whistle Stop

 

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Sometimes the Silent Passengers were my parents.  My mom was the one I pointed out the prolific wildflowers to, who was beside me when I screamed with delight upon crossing the Mighty Mississippi for the first time since I was traveling to Kentucky with her at age five, and who I sang to while diving through the Ozarks by moonlight.

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My dad traveled with me through Memphis.  He visited the Sun Studio where Elvis changed music history, made the trek not far from there where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his last speech and to where he took his last breath.

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memphis sun studio

 

Most of the time, my Silent Passenger was YOU, dear tribe.  I took you with me in my pocket, making wishes for your own life changing journeys, for moments where everything gets brighter than you have remembered it being in a long time, where you dare to take on the adventure that rises up out of the seat of your heart.

In My Pocket Art Card

 

That is the best part of the journey of life, when we choose to live our loveliest lives, it blesses the masses.  Every time we choose courage, it encourages another to think….perhaps I could.  I wonder what my journey might inspire in you.  Take me with you and let me be your Silent Passenger.  I am ready!

Rachel_Payne

Standing in the Threshold

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At the Threshold of a Journey

Anytime we poise ourselves at the beginning of a journey, either in the outer physical world or from within, we begin with an idea in mind of how we might approach our movement from where we are to where we wish to go.  There are the imagined obstacles we anticipate, various options for the course traveled, milestones we hope to reach, and some desired destination that just might be worth risking disappointment for the joy it could bring.  All of this is the beauty and danger of the In-between.

Should I stay or should I go, now? (You know the song!)

As I prepare for my cross country trip to Wisconsin, I am becoming evermore aware of the bounds within myself that this trek will challenge.  Fears rise up.  Doubts sit in my stomach.  Hurdles appear in my mind.  My spirited imagination can be both the life and death of my dreams.  I suppose the question becomes, then, what will navigate the vehicle my imagination fuels.  Will fear take me into the pitfalls and stall my voyage?  Or will I move through the vulnerability, however clumsily, for the sake of the movement itself. The inclination to abandon ship is sometimes strong.  Such a long journey, so many unanswered questions, so many uncertainties…. and yet! What is life without the occasional odyssey?!

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“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974

I am determined to make vulnerability my friend these next three weeks.  I am learning that it is the life partner of courage. I have lots more to say about that, but I am keeping it close to my heart for now as it blooms into a deeper understanding of who I am, what I desire, what stands in my way, and what degree of uncertainty I am willing to withstand for the possibility of reaching the fulfillment I shoot for.

I know some of you have decided to take the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be with me.  I have been so delighted to have other Creatives declare their interest in playing along.  We really are a small but growing band of seekers!  I use the word play here because I feel there is a sense of make-believe we are engaging in when we explore the archetypes that make up the IWB’s, but at the same time, I know that something monumental can come from that examination.  Play has amazing curative properties. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself face to face with opportunities to bring real change to your life as you explore this make-believe aspect of self.  It may live initially in the imagination, but somewhere along the way you may find room for aspects of  it in your real life.  It is this dynamic that makes me call this kind of exploration Creative Sacred Play.

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Are you taking the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be’s?

We are several days into the Journey but still definitely in our preparation phase. I leave this Sunday for my trip.  If you wish to go on the journey and explore your personal Inner Wanna Be’s, here is a quick list of steps to catch you up.

  1. Make a list of your Inner Wanna Be’s.  Follow the link for a full description of this Creative Activity.
  2. Invite your friends and family to do the same.  This is optional but loads of fun.  The video is a great jumping off point for getting a sense of the event.
  3. Choose one IWB from the list you created that you are going to explore for the rest of April.  Place it lovingly in the comments below.
  4. Begin “dreaming on” or contemplating the IWB you chose as the weekend goes on.  Don’t force it, just let it share itself with you.

Now, dive into the vulnerable and list your IWB in the comments. I can’t wait to for you to join us!

Rachel_Payne

Reflection Moon & Creativity Boosters

Body Wisdom Project

Body Wisdom Project

Each New Moon for this year, I join with my friend (and sometimes workshop partner) Jessica to explore our relationship with the body by choosing a focal word for lunar cycle.  We have been focusing on February’s Believing Moon, exploring what it means to believe in the wisdom of the body.  As is often the way with intuitive journeys like the one we are creating together, each level can unfold with a certain balance of mystery and synchronicity.

The mystery comes out of traversing the unknown.  This is especially true when you give yourself up to the guidance of a collaborative experience.  Having Jessica’s input makes my experience more rich, but it also takes me to places I would never have gone on my own.  There is a degree of fear that accompanies a shared journey, but I find that the results feel almost divinely inspired.  Is that the wisdom of the body leading us to a richer more meaningful experience?  Is it the spirit of friendship that is crafting a course of healing for us both individually and as a unit?  Or perhaps it is just the nature of creativity….that something bigger than the parts will find its way into existence. 

Whatever it is, the Believing Moon has reminded me that something guides my path and that when I listen to my body and what it has to offer, I am made more whole.

Reflection Moon

March’s Moon….

After a bit of discussion, Jessica and I are delighted to name the focus for the next lunar cycle…Reflection Moon.  We have both signed up for Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Days of Mediation Challenge (would love for you to join us!…starts today!) and will be stretching that out to fill the entire Moonth.

Reflection Moon

The Reflection Moon will be about

  • looking into the self,
  • sitting and reflecting on what it,
  • encouraging the self not to strive for more but to simply be willing to admire what is reflected of the self,
  • falling in love with the wonder and authenticity of what IS before reaching for something more.

Join Jessica and I as we explore the relationship with body. We will update our blogs on the New and Full Moons and will post to our Facebook pages as inspiration strikes.

Creativity Tribe’s Facebook and  Jessica’s Facebook

Events

Creativity Tribe Event: Tomorrow (3/12/13)

5 pm Pacific/ 6 pm Mountain/ 7 pm Central/ 8 pm Eastern

***must subscribe to attend this FREE event***

Did you know the Creativity Tribe has a Party Line?

Once a month I host a free call that explore some aspect of living life with a  touch of creativity. I share a few tips, answer questions, and then open the call for a bit of micro-coaching. The call last about an hour, and if you happen to miss it you can catch the replay.

March’s Party Line….

  • Do you battle the old tapes about owning your truth?
  • Do you doubt yourself so much so that you sometimes can’t share what wants to be expressed?
  • Do you wish you could just relax into your creativity?

Join the Creativity Tribe as we explore

Building your Creative Confidence…Courageously Moving from Fear to Phenomenal

Creativity Tribe Event: Tomorrow (3/12/13)

5 pm Pacific/ 6 pm Mountain/ 7 pm Central/ 8 pm Eastern

***must subscribe to attend this FREE event***

 To join the Party Line and get each month’s call details, subscribe by clicking the button below.

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To subscribe to the Party Line Calls simply click the button below.

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I hope you can make it….just wouldn’t be the same without you!

Rachel_Payne

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Welcome to CT

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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There is a beauty that comes out of sharing a journey with another person....a dream for yourself, a direction for a project, a way out of the muck that holds your Creative Spirit back. Let's talk about working together. creativitytribe@gmail.com