We start off our week long guest blog series, The Power of Practice, with the lovely Tara Bliss. Tara is an awesome spirit-centered writer, speaker, and mentor. She’s also full of awesome tips and stories for adding yoga and amazing raw and healthy foods into your life. Here Tare shares her thoughts on how spiritual practice can lead to finding amazing creative energy and flow.
Guest Post by Tara Bliss
I want to open up a conversation about the slippery and unpredictable topic of creativity.
Where does it come from? How do we mine more of it? What holds us back from accessing it?
I’d be lying if I said I knew the answers to these rather lofty contemplations, but as I draw close to the end of what’s been the most prolific year of my life (having written and launched two online programs and three books), I’ve definitely learnt a thing or two about how and when creativity shows up.
A lot of it boils down to recognizing patterns, honouring cycles and refusing to resist when the call to create beckons. It’s not rocket science, but certainly involves a level of awareness, and much of what I’m about to share is far from profound, but hey, sometimes it’s the simplicity of the thing that we need to be reminded of.
Give yourself to a spiritual practice
One of the traps of the ego is its attempt at teaching us that to be doing more, we need to be doing more.
To take action from an inspired and authentic place, I believe we need to do less, and in the beautiful container of stillness – when we’re simply sitting there, paying attention – it’s in those moments that the likes of grace and insight unfold.
This isn’t something I can possibly articulate or label or explain, but when we commit to sinking into the seat of the observer, and being truly present with what’s unraveling in the moment, we’re better able to pay attention Out Here in the world of form. Surrendering to practice allows us to hear the little knocks on the side of our heads that dance around with a seductive invitation to write that, or cook that or play that piece of music, or get your paints out.
So, find your meditation.
For me, meditation means lighting a candle, sitting on my yoga block in front of my alter, and remaining still. My husband’s meditation is surfing. For you, meditation may entail slow, mindful, barefoot walks, cloud watching, or simply sitting on a park bench and watching the world pass you by, a la Eckhart Tolle. When you devote yourself to spiritual practice, you devote yourself to the place that serves your capacity to create.
Move your body
This can feel really counterintuitive. The ego in me tells me that if I want to make my mark on the world as a writer, then I need to be sitting my ass down and writing all day. This is nothing but yet another trap, laid out by that limiting presence within me. It’s convincing, but ultimately delusional.
One of my mentors recently told me that creativity comes from our bodies, not our minds, and if this is true (it gets two big thumbs up from me), we’d do well to avoid allowing the energy within our bodies to be stagnant; we don’t want to be collecting and pooling energy, which blocks our flow and holds back our creative capacity to be fluid and transient.
We want vital force to move through us; in and out of us; from us.
I love and honour the concept of exercising not simply for fitness and feel-good-feelings (though I’m sure we can all agree that that’s reason enough to sweat anyway), but also as a means to serve our creativity. To shake up the stagnation. To feed our books/ projects/ works of art with oxygenated blood cells. The way I see it, that very intention strengthens a spiritual practice.
Spiritual Practice. Creativity. Self-care. Self-love. It’s all the same story, wearing different masks.
My beautiful friend Rach from In Spaces Between says: Creativity is directly proportional to self care.
I say boom! to that.
An out-loud invocation. Your favourite pen. 10 deep, slow breaths. That soundtrack playing in the background. A Do Not Disturb sign hanging protectively on your office door. A three card oracle spread. A mug of dandelion tea. A holler out to Saraswati. A daily word count goal. 60 minutes of carefully carved out time, devoted to your craft. A white light meditation.
You make the rules; this is YOUR church. Set the scene, and allow that muse of yours to come on in and accompany you. Momentum creates momentum.
And after all’s said and done, release the need to white knuckle the outcome.
Last year, I took a trip to Byron Bay to dive into the second draft of my book, but something totally unexpected – and at first, incredibly inconvenient – happened: I realized I was really, really tired.
Like, the thought of editing my book made me feel a little seasick.
That’s worth taking note of, because remember, creativity comes from our bodies, and this body of mine needed rest, and meditation, and beautiful food, and lots of giggles. It’s been a big year.
Choosing to ease back on the ‘pushing’ and instead slide into what feels right in our bodies (no matter how ‘lazy’ that ego within us suggests we are), is an integral part of the creative process. When we feel strong, we create. To feel strong, we must rest.
So… this post isn’t an invitation to try and be more creative. It’s about removing what’s blocking us from harnessing what’s already lying dormant in our very cells. And I hope with every cell of mine that these words have inspired you to be both gentle and intentional with the way you approach creativity.
Tara Bliss is a spirit-stoked writer, mentor, yogini and inspirational speaker. She’s helped Party Girls find peace, been a lighthouse for Spirited seekers finding their way home to themselves, and even teamed up with her chef hubby to share radical, real food recipes with the world.
Her mission? To kick-start an avalanche of gutsy, fear-busting confidence and love (all with a side serve of swagger)! Think of her as your crystal-toting, skateboard-riding, raw-dessert-loving lumière, unveiling the path to peace and freedom, using Fierce and curious vulnerability as her compass. It’s time to embrace self-love. Seize adventure. Revel in unconventionality.