Creativity: Lighting Fires and the Healing Journey

by Matt on March 19, 2014

Are you feeling creative? For me, it’s hard to contain my creativity here in central Texas where the blossoms and blooms, and greening and growth are everywhere! New songs are streaming through and new ideas are coming fast, I am moved to start acting again, to make a video, to teach a weekend long healing class, to set a date for an upcoming musical performance.

I wasn’t always as creatively productive as I am now. I once hid my creative light behind the habits of television, drinking, anti-depressants, blaming others, and more. Life seemed dull and even scary, and it was just easier to partake of the conveniences of the status quo. But what I found was that creativity, using my own god-given creativity, sped up the process of healing and breaking habits, making life more curious, more exciting, more… fun!

On my own healing journey and in those I am witnessing with my clients, I notice that the healing path is rarely, if ever, a straight arrow. Maybe it can be, but what I see is a 2-steps forward and 1-step back dance(good thing I’m in Texas, we have the 2-step!). You keep going forward, and with greater confidence and assurance, but it takes work and it takes being willing to be vulnerable, to fail sometimes, to succeed at the next step.

On new years day this year I walked a fire-walk for the second time at David Elliott’s New Years Retreat in New Mexico. Our friend and fellow Fred is charged with lighting the fire using the “bow drill” method. It’s a technique of lighting using only wood, twine, and friction. Yep, friction. Creating that friction takes elbow grease and focus. In short, it takes work.

I saw everything about the healing and creative journey in his struggle to get that fire lit. He was tasked with a problem… the fire was not lit… and so he needed to light it. He got out his tools and set up the environment to make fire. Then, he cranked that little bow back and forth, with a balanced and measured ferocity to get enough friction. First, nothing. Then, smoke. Then he would make one wrong move and the whole thing would have to be redone. Start over. UUggh.

Everyone watching gasped, then exhaled with disappointment. And then… and then Fred would start again, wildly pumping away on the bow with his arms and back straining and heaving, then smoke, then embers…. then Fire! He moved swiftly to hold those embers to the straw kindling, and “poof.” FIRE. Then a bigger fire.

With fire, there is much change. Fire contains with in it a very strong ability to change things, transform things.

Creative “spark” is no different. Healing is also no different. We are given a problem to solve which sounds like this: “Oh my god, my doctor says I… have cancer… need to lose 30 pounds… stop smoking… etc” or “I keep having this idea about a short film, a song, an article that I am supposed to write, etc…”

That’s the spark.

Our response to these happenings or impulses is our choice. We can do what the doctor says, or not. We can act on that creative idea, or not. We can address the illness, the feeling, the idea, in the way we are moved to do it intuitively, or not. But, once that fire is sparked, get ready for change. We can’t stop the creative force, it just is. What we can do is take the little steps every day to be aligned with what that creative spark is ushering into our lives. It may be a major change, it may be a minor change. It is rarely what we think it is, and you will learn about the mystery of life and “invisible energy” if you engage it.

And, it can be scary at first, but generally will be fun to the power of x if we allow it. (x = the amount of exchange we allow ourselves to have with the creative force). Acting in creative flow takes us into the present moment, where miracles happen. If we stay focused on the dreaded outcome of our illness or our depression, or if we stay focused on the end result of our creative idea, rather than on the step that’s right in front of us, then we are not in the present moment where all action and change actually happen.

The main point is, success in creativity and healing are very similar: 1. they take action, work. 2. They take focusing on the next step and not the end result. 3. They take getting back up and dusting yourself off after a fall, and going back to number 2: Doing the next step.

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be exploring creativity in Breathe Deep workshops in Fredericksburg, College Station, and San Antonio. Come out and bring your flavor, your scent and add to the bouquet of this season of creativity. I bet we’ll be able to get your creative juices flowing as we explore creativity, move, and breathe.

With gratitude and creativity,
Matt

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