To be an artist is to believe in life.
— Henry Moore
These words of wisdom from sculptor Henry Moore made my night. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between creativity and health. About all the ways we creative types have to express ourselves in modern life. All the freedom we have to do so.
Though I’m not saying it’s easy. If so, would it, as Kurt Vonnegut said about practicing any art, make our souls grow?
In fact, part of the deliciousness of creative expression may be in meeting those challenges. Inner and outer. Short term and long term.
And doesn’t that sound a lot like just designing and living a vibrant life? In truth, the point is really to be fully ourselves. And to act on whatever truly makes our hearts sing. Yes! Deep breath.
That means putting the parts and pieces of our lifestyle together with all that in mind. Honoring our creative lives. Placing them front and center.
And, as Henry Moore said, the creative project of our lives is no doubt aided by believinginlife. In the midst of the yin and yang of all things. Be that person. Take that stand.
Design your life from there. Beautiful, yes?
And what tends to get in the way? That’s oh, so human, right? Let me know. I’m here, in your creative corner.
You may be thinking, what’s one got to do with the other? The truth is, a lot.
Because we’re all born creative. We just express our creativity in different ways. Through the Arts, yes, but also in our own unique approach to whatever we enjoy doing.
That means anything and everything. Livelihood. Cooking. Parenting. Fashion!
Are you a video game designer? An EMT? A teacher? Creativity shows itself in every profession.
When we’re creatively engaged in life, we’re happily engaged. We’re satisfied. 100% in it, whatever it is. In the zone. Busy being ourselves.
And guess what? This is what work in the 21st century will be about, according to thinkers like Daniel Pink in his bestseller, Drive.
Pink makes the case that, as outsourcing and technology continue to replace us in many work arenas, our creative capabilities will become the surest routes to our livelihoods. Rings true to me. How about you?
OK, so where’s the wellness?
Aw we all know, there are all kinds of adages these days about loving what you do and doing what you love. And for good reason. It makes sense to us that living and working in ways that matter to us will affect the course of our lives.
When that’s the case, our energy, our life force, flows, rather than clogging from chronic frustration, bleeding out from too many forced yesses, or just flat-lining from freaking boredom. Yikes.
Creative life, meet the chakras
So to shed more light on creativity and health, we’ll spend some time here on the chakra system. We’ll go deep into the happy dance between creativity and wellness.
And if the chakras are new to you, there’s a nice piece on the main ones here at mindbodygreen.com. But stay with me ’til I’ve made my creative case. :)
It starts here. In my words:
As we express ourselves in the world, our chakras—the fields of energy spinning in several areas around and through our bodies—are helped in their healthy flow.
So let’s start at the top and move down to the ground of our body/minds.
7th Chakra Health
Through contact with our personal creative fire, we tap into collective creative consciousness. Into universal intelligence. Whoa! Right?
And no worries at all if this is foreign to you. We don’t have to be 100% into this level of awareness to reap its benefits, as long as we aren’t actively, adamantly closed in our thinking.
So just stay open, deliciously, to the mysteries and benefits of living your creative life fully. Just trust that it’s good for you. And stay with me.
6th Chakra Health
Because when your particular creative urges have an honored place in your imagination, you’re fully “at play” in visioning your life. As you dream in sync with your deepest creative needs and visions, your third eye, the deep wisdom source in all of us, is active, open, and vibrating.
In short, as you dare to dream creatively, your body/mind responds in kind. Inspiration is clean fuel, my dears. Now let’s pull it downward toward grounding our lives.
5th Chakra Health
Toward creativity and health, the next step is for our creative inspirations to take their place in our outer lives, rather than just in the privacy of our imaginations. This takes our acts of will. Our clear intentions and committed follow-through.
This satisfying way of living takes speakingourtruth in life. About who we are. About what we want to contribute.
We don’t have to be the best at it, or famous for it. We just have to riskbeing ourselves. To act on that. To passionately, actively be, in the world, who we really are.
And not just once a year on summer vacation, but as part of the daily round of our days and nights. Beautiful. And good for us!
4th Chakra Health
Further, we can say that healthy creative expression is love in action. Because the heart chakra opens when we act in the world as who we really are.
Living as our real selves is a way of giving to life. Then we’re fed in return by humbly creating livelihoods around our passions. By contributing ourselves to life.
And that’s inspiring. Right?
If it seems daunting, consider that it may mean living simply. And of course our materialistic culture doesn’t exactly encourage that. But so what? Be counter-cultural. Imagine your open-hearted, creative life. Then scale down as needed.
This is healthy for the 4th chakra. Healthy for our hearts, that powerful engine of our bodies with its own deep intelligence. How can we keep our 4th chakra spinning happily by living in ways that contribute lovingly to life?
3rd Chakra Health
Next, as we go deeper, closer to the ground of our lives, the truth is that living our unique contribution to life takes personal power. It takes consistent output. And it takes regular self-renewal, my dears. We can’t fake this combo, or we end up outa gas.
On the other hand, if we’re living and working in satisfying, healthy, balanced ways, we’re coming from core, as they say in yoga class. This makes everything we want possible.
In short, we have to own both our personal power and our responsibility to take extraordinary care of ourselves. That’s a 3rd chakra gig, my dears. Creativity and health, indeed.
2nd Chakra Health
Now, as we live our inner creative fire, allowing it to design our outer lives, we access healthy 2nd chakra energy. It’s a sense of well-being, abundance, and gratitude. Pleasure. Sensuality.
This is gut energy. Cojones and ovarios energy. Intuition, attraction, satisfaction, and self-expression fully at play in our lives.
And yes, living this way definitely affects our love lives. A nagging sense that something is missing in our relationships could be right on the money, with that something being… well… us! Because our creative satisfaction brings fire to any relationship dance we’re doing.
Speaking of money, it’s a 2nd chakra issue, too. “If you build it they will come” and “do what you love and the money will follow” are both 2nd chakra mantras. Time, faith, and committed, balanced, relaxed action are a healthy 2nd chakra combo.
1st Chakra Health
1st chakra health grounds our body/minds in life.
When we design our lives to support our creative self-expression, including how we live, pay our bills, and nourish ourselves, literally and figuratively, we can truly walk our talk in the world. We’re in healthy relationship to life.
The grounded path we deserve to walk wants to be satisfying, rather than a 4-alarm fire. Rather than constant, adrenaline-fueled crisis mode. Try not hurrying. Try trusting your process. Just calmly note and calmly follow the flow of your energy.
Where is your life force headed this season if you trust it? Think and feel your way. And get yourself some expert support if confusion or fear are zapping your energy.
So keep on keepin’ on in your creative life
In the midst of it all, keep those creative juices flowing, my dears, including right on out into the real world. Don’t save it for someday.
Express yo’self in healthy, satisfying ways today, tomorrow, next week. As central to your beautiful life. Because I say you being the real you is your contribution. And since that’s good for you and for all of us, it’s definitely win-win.
My explorer friends Ricardo Accorsi and Linda Parker introduced me to the wild work of Gregg Braden. I took these notes at the end of 2014. I was reflecting on my year while listening to the last chapter of his audiobook, The Spontaneous Healing of Belief.
Gregg Braden’s work excites me because he integrates cutting-edge science with ancient wisdom traditions. He writes about all that beautifully. And he’s a powerful narrator.
So I say the resulting coaching can help us shift beliefs and patterns to create what we want most in our precious lives. As you read, imagine applying these “15 Keys of Conscious Creation” to your life and goals.
And FYI, this is rich brew. Sip it. Take your time. Take a break!
Then come back. It’ll be here.
An In-depth Summary
So first, and very importantly, Gregg Braden says that our beliefs become the software that programs our reality. That’s a strong statement, right? I get instantly curious, like a gong has sounded deep in my heart and mind.
Our beliefs become the software that programs our reality. — Gregg Braden
Of course Gregg isn’t the first person to say something like this. Though his use of software as an image works unusually well for me. But what’s most impressive to me in his work is his thoughtful synthesis of decades of scientific research with the teachings and practices of ancient wisdom traditions.
And keep the book title in mind as you read further. The Spontaneous Healing of Belief is all about getting conscious of what we believe, what those beliefs may be creating or blocking, and consciously working at the level of belief to tip the scales toward whatever our hearts desire most.
15 Keys to Conscious Creation
The 15 keys that follow are about change. Gregg declares that as we humans come to understand and practice these keys, we experience transformation. This also changes the world around us.
He says to reflect on each key, taking the time to really think them through and make them your own. Don’t be deceived by the fact that they seem simple.
1. The universe is an intelligent field of energy.
Gregg first trained and worked as a geologist, then as a senior computer technologist in the defense industry at the close of the cold war. He has since studied and interviewed many of the great masters of science and spirit, traveled extensively to cultures with deep wisdom traditions, and come to the conclusion above.
He knows he’s in good company with many of the world’s leading physicists and biologists working at the forefront of the evolutionary sciences for the past forty years. In The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, Gregg summarizes what he calls “paradigm shattering” findings, including decades-old research that didn’t fit the scientific mindset of its time and was disregarded. And he tells these stories well.
2. Everything is connected to everything else in the field, and the implications of that are vast.
Gregg shares the results of mind-bending research, like a photon that was split in two, with the halves separated for observation in labs fourteen miles apart. One half was then changed in ways that instantly—note that “instantly” is key—affected the other. No waiting due to so-called realities like time and distance.
Consider what this means. Or at least try to.
3. Unleashing the power of the universe takes first experiencing ourselves within it, as fully connected and part of that intelligent field, rather than alone and outside of it.
How many of us feel, deep down, alone in the world? Yet a profound shift is underway in scientific interpretations of the world and our place in it. This new “quantum knowledge” hasn’t even made it into textbooks yet. There’s no universal name for it yet.
Gregg uses “the divine matrix.” Other scientists call it “the field”, or “universal intelligence.” Take time to think about this key. Adopting it consciously really does change everything.
4. Once something is joined together, it will always be connected.
What comes to mind as you read this, from your own history? Play with it. Pray with it.
Because in this mindset your prayers connect with their mark instantly. And not just as sweet thoughts and wishes, but as usable energy.
I was frankly uninterested in considering anything like this key for years. Now, as I re-edit this piece in 2019, I’m inspired by its potential power and humbled by my own recent life experience.
5. The act of observation is an act of creation. Consciousness is a creative act.
Imagine this. Again, it changes everything. Our attention to the largest and smallest details of our lives is a creative act. An act of power. And I do mean the good kind.
Gregg has organized proof of this key and explains it in ways that energize me and entice me forward. I get a sense of creating minus the over-the-top, often exhausting “efforting” than many of us bring to our most closely held goals.
6. We each have all the power we need to create the change we choose in the world.
Consider this. Imagine it. Meanwhile, truth be told, despite Gregg saying these keys make sense sequentially, one building on the other, I need the ones that come next to really get this one.
Because when it comes to language anything like “creating our own reality”, I still tend to get annoyed. But the strong context Gregg creates helps me. So I’m movin’ on to the juicy stuff ahead.
7. The focus of our feelings becomes the reality of our world. We’re creating from our hearts, not our minds.
I’ll repeat the first part of that so you don’t breeze by it.
The focus of our feelings becomes the reality of our world. — Gregg Braden
Topics like hearts-not-minds and the conscious use of feeling are huge in Gregg’s work. As he tells it, more and more data proves that “who we are” is not, in fact, contained in the brain. And that the heart regularly sends far more info to the brain than vice versa. These days I find this utterly fascinating.
8. Simply saying what we believe isn’t enough. We have to follow through in all the ways that allow us to embody our beliefs in the ways we live.
Again, I feel like these keys are interdependent. The next one informs this one, and the two before it, in ways that make a difference to me.
Meanwhile, as a couple of examples, we can’t stump for world peace in any meaningful way while hating the guy in the next cubicle. We can’t tape affirmations to the bathroom mirror and expect them to change our lives while continuing self-sabotaging habits. Actually embodying our beliefs is another matter entirely.
Beliefs that we consciously choose must inform our habits and feelings. It’s sacred work. A joyful discipline.
9. The feeling that comes from what we believe is a language in itself, a language that the field of consciousness recognizes.
Stop, rewind, repeat. Reflect.
I actually love this key. It’s what got me excited about Gregg’s work. I get it. I forget it. Then I get it back again. It feels new, like a missing piece nobody was teaching when I was a young trainee in “how life works.”
The feeling that comes from what we believe is… powerful! So to make change in the world, intend, imagine, feel, and believe in what you want most.
Engage your heart. Feel the feeling of accomplishing what you want. Feel the wonder of that. Gratitude for it. And live in those feelings, now. No waiting!
Work, play, and create from there for maximum impact. I find this very, very freeing. Brilliant, really.
And don’t skip your nuts-and-bolts to-do list in the process. Just tackle it enjoyably. To me, this is a life-changing shift from using will power and a mindset like forging ahead despite all obstacles. It hits me like a great big wave of energy.
10. Not just any feeling or quality of consciousness will do; creative consciousness comes from a non-ordinary state.
Gregg describes this non-ordinary state as without ego concerns. Without attachment to outcome. Without judgments about what it will all mean if what we want isn’t in fact realized.
So as we take on the feeling of what we want, without judgment or attachment, our belief and the quality of our energy and feeling begin to create the changes we seek. There’s paradox here, right? Intention without attachment. I like it.
11. We must become in our lives what we choose to experience in our world.
These days I experience this key as a challenge to live my life as the contribution I intend to make. This includes keeping my own energy high. Imagine consistently living within the power of our imaginations, through our intentions. And through our hearts.
Through feeling, intent to make a difference, gratitude, and wonder. To me, this is about the continuing evolution of our species.
12. We are not bound by the limits of traditional physics and biology as we know them today.
As you can imagine, this key has immense implications for how our lives could unfold. Indeed, I sense freedom here.
Freedom from a determinism that has been bleeding into modern life more and more. Freedom from the 21st century version of a mechanistic framework for everything.
I find this key is so intriguing. And I haven’t mentioned genetics yet and the emerging science of epigenetics.
Gregg’s focus on the work of biologists like Dr. Bruce Lipton is paradigm-shattering. It’s a relief to step back from the abyss of genetic determinism to Gregg’s life-giving synthesis of old and new knowledge.
13. We are holographic beings, and we create holographically.
So the quality of our consciousness creates the universe. The quality of our inner world affects our outer world. Our households, families, neighborhoods and workplaces. Our communities and beyond.
As we do our work, healing, growing, and becoming more and more conscious of our impact on everyone and everything around us, we co-create the world. Beautiful.
14. The instant we create our prayers and good wishes for our loved ones, they’re already at their destination.
This is the power of living in a holographic universe. Imagine, then, the power of our thoughts. Of our emotions. Of our prayers. This mindset allows us to generate more power than ever before. With much less helplessness, fear, and frustration.
Consider that we’re responsible for becoming conscious of beliefs that darken our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Imagine the creativity of living within this powerful belief. Then get busy exploring it!
15. The world around us is nothing more and nothing less than a mirror of what we become from within.
The “field” that makes up our universe, or the divine matrix, in Gregg’s words, is a container for our experience, and a bridge to what we want to realize. It’s also a mirror of our inner lives.
If we have the curiosity, the wisdom, and the courage to explore what that mirror is showing us, we have the power to learn very quickly. We can adopt beliefs and live in emotions that will help us create what we want and deserve.
And note that this isn’t the panacea of “positive thinking”, like sweet icing we try to spread over everything. We all have real work to do here.
But imagine this approach becoming doable as we open ourselves, through doing our own individual, joyful work, to what will make the difference. As we truly take that on.
In Gregg’s words, individually each of these keys is fascinating. Together they tell an important story, and they build a powerful internal technology. It’s the power to create through our imaginations. Through allowing what we imagine to become real in the world around us.
Gregg says that consciousness is a measurable force. With it, we have everything we need to create what we wants in our lives beyond the realms of reason and logic.
With the power of consciousness, we can transcend the limits of our own past beliefs. Remember, we are the art as well as the artists. It all begins with healing our beliefs. — Gregg Braden
So I’ll end the way I began: this is wild work. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little introductory summary. Let me know how it lands in your heart. How it moves you to move forward.