Okay. Take a deep breath. And then sigh in relief. We have made it through some of the most difficult territory on this journey. And I am glad to see you are still here! (You are, right?) As we move forward, I hope you’ll find that any testing you have felt along the way, has made you stronger, more aware, and more clear about the amazing creative soul you really are.
One dividend from spending so much time expanding our awareness of abundance these past weeks has been to give us a head start for this next section. Today, we begin Chapter Seven, Recovering a Sense of Connection. In this chapter, we’ll be strengthening our connection to our authentic creative dreams and talents.
To do that, our first task is to cultivate our ability to listen. All throughout the previous chapter, we were actually learning to listen: listening to our heart’s desires; listening to and sometimes challenging our old scripts and beliefs; and listening to guidance as we discover the abundance and support that is given to us in these endeavors.
As Julia points out, “The ability to listen is a skill we are honing with both our morning pages and our artist dates. The pages train us to hear past our Censor. The artist dates help us to pick up the voice of inspiration. While both of these activities are apparently unconnected to the actual act of making art, they are critical to the creative process.
“Art,” she explains, “is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite – getting something down.”
I love what author Neil Gaiman says about making art and finding creative ideas. “Every published writer has had it – the people who come up to you and tell you that they’ve Got An Idea. And boy, is it a Doozy. It’s such a Doozy that they want to Cut You In On It. The proposal is always the same – they’ll tell you the Idea (the hard bit), you write it down and turn it into a novel (the easy bit), then the two of you can split the money fifty-fifty.
“I’m reasonably gracious with these people. I tell them, truly, that I have far too many ideas for things as it is, and far too little time. And I wish them the best of luck.
“The Ideas aren’t the hard bit,” he continues. “They’re a small component of the whole. Creating believable people who do more or less what you tell them to is much harder. And hardest by far is the process of simply sitting down and putting one word after another to construct whatever it is you’re trying to build: making it interesting, making it new.”
This seems to me just like the work we just finished in Chapter Six — becoming unblocked, opening our ears to Mystery, and learning to discern the Voice of the Generous Creator, who is constantly offering us all we need. If, as Neil has discovered, it seems to some people that the ideas are the hard bit, I would suggest that it’s because they have not learned to listen.
So this is the first step in our next section. I’m looking forward to moving forward with you!