A truly inspired work of art comes straight from the soul of the artist. It’s a pure vision and soulful expression, with fully committed emotions and a statement that is clear. It’s a breathtaking masterpiece, whatever form the artwork takes. – Doreen Virtue
Creatives! This one’s for you.
Of course, creativity does not solely apply to creating a work of art. It has practical applications in all endeavors of daily life. But in the book, the main focus is how we can do what we love and make a living from it.
The title is just perfect. For one, creativity requires vulnerability. Any creative work is an outlet for expression of feelings. It requires opening of the heart. Second, taking the creative career path is faced with uncertainties and risks.
How can’t it be otherwise? There is no carved path on how to be a ‘successful’ artist. You have to carve your own.
And that’s where this book comes into the picture. Doreen shares with us her personal experiences, including her own creative process, so we too can have a successful and fulfilling lifelong creative career.
She combines her spiritual gift as an angel messenger, which she is most known for, and backs it up with solid scientific research. With a mixed background in music, design, fashion, and jewelry, which she had in the early parts of her life, she shares her method of doing the creative work.
It has been particularly helpful for me, going through career transition myself as a full-time writer, as Doreen offers an inside look at the creative industry – the business aspect – dealing with the professionals like literary and talent agents, managers, publicists, etc.
Ready to take off? Let’s do this!
The definition of creativity is to make something that is new. The opposite of that is conformity. Therefore, the courage to be creative means the courage to not conform.
Everyone is born creative, made in the image and likeness of God. But we were raised in the image and likeness of man. You should be like this. You should act like that.
We learn to adapt to the way things have always been. We lost our connection with God and with ourselves. We forgot who we really are.
Creativity is an expression of who you are. Your definition of yourself is not how other people define who you should be based on the standards of society.
It means nonconformity, which is to say a star (that’s you) cannot be boxed in. “Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence,” as Osho wisely puts it. With creativity, you have to think outside the box. Better yet, to think like there is no box.
Each of us is unique. And this uniqueness is the originality we bring into creativity. But most people have been led to believe that being different means there’s something wrong with them. So instead, people try to fit in.
Doreen encourages us that these painful experiences from feeling different, out-of-place, or even teased as weird are the perfect foundations for creativity. They are starting points for masterpiece creations.
Get your freak on!
It’s about getting to know yourself at the deepest level. This is how you form a loving, trusting bond with yourself. This is how you trust and have confidence in yourself. It’s all about having the courage to be yourself.
Pratfall, or “Blemishing” Effect – Based on psychological studies, we are more likeable when we reveal our human flaws, when we reveal our true selves.
In being so, people feel connected to you. They can relate to your human flaws. It makes them feel OK just being themselves because that’s how you are being to them.
It’s the happiest place, writes Doreen, to realize our oneness and connectedness with others. But to get to that happy place, we have to go through frightening shadows within ourselves.
Tied to creativity, it takes courage to be yourself. It requires looking deep within us, which can be scary. It brings us face to face with the feelings we don’t want to feel. It makes us look at the parts we don’t want to see.
When we have the courage to do that, not only does creativity become a channel for expression of our true selves, it also becomes a channel for healing others.
Start in the Middle
I find that the best way to deal with perfectionism is to start a project in the middle. There’s something daunting about beginning a new project that’s slightly terrifying. You’re looking at a blank canvas, an empty page, uncut fabric, loose beads, or other components of your creativity. And it just seems too overwhelming, so you procrastinate until that magically elusive moment when everything’s perfect and you feel prepared, qualified, and ready. That moment doesn’t come around very often, and if you wait for it, your creative projects will be ignored.
For any creative project, don’t spend so much time trying to figure out how to start. Just start with the idea that comes into your mind, then let your passion carry you the rest of the way.
When the spark ignites in you, the idea is being conceived and wants to be birthed through you. Once born, meaning you acted on the idea, your project will start having a life on its own. Then you follow through with consistent action so that it grows.
Doreen lays it out this way:
- First you create, then you feel ready
- First you create, and then you know what you’re doing
- First you create, and then you realize how the project will turn out
The most important thing here is you just get started. That’s how you set everything into motion.
Let It Flow
Forcing and creativity are diametrically opposed. Forcing comes from a fear of lack (of ideas, abundance, success, and so forth), while creativity comes from trusting the flow.
There’s a line from a poem I wrote: “Nothing in nature is created by force, but by grace.”
Creativity is the Creator (God) creating through you. Grace is the state of allowing that. It happens when we are aligned and connected with God.
To be in that place of allowing means to be open, to relax. Force, on the other hand, is coming from a place of disconnection. You feel like you’re doing it all by yourself. You struggle. We cannot force things to happen, we can only allow them.
This is particularly true with creativity. Creative ideas and solutions come to a relaxed mind.
Observe someone you know who’s really good at playing guitar or any musical instrument and notice how relaxed they are when playing.
Play. Enjoy the creative process. Let it flow.
The Angels of Creativity
Each archangel has a different specialty, which relates to the help they give us with creativity. The archangels assist us with anything that increases peace among people and on Earth. They know that creative projects are beneficial for promoting inner peace. So it’s the archangels’ sacred honor to lend you a hand with any creative project that will bring blessings to the planet.
As we mentioned, creativity happens by allowing the Divine to work through us. That means Divine assistance is also available to us.
Of course, we cannot talk about Doreen Virtue and not talk about angels. She shares about the archangels we can call upon for assisting us with our creative endeavors.
- Archangel Michael – “He who is like God.” Michael’s specialties include releasing us from our egos and grips of fear. We can call upon Michael whenever we feel insecure about our creative abilities. He also boosts our courage to market and sell our creative products and services.
- Archangel Gabriel – “The messenger angel.” Gabriel helps creative messengers (writers, teachers, singers, actors, screenwriters, songwriters, musicians, and those working with any other uplifting art form). He guides and motivates us until our project is completed. He also acts as a manager or agent to get our works published and seen by the public.
And the messages that Doreen learned from the angels about creativity are:
- Break any project down into little increments. Focus on what you can do right now and then do it. “Write a page a day, and in a year you’ll have a book.”
- Have faith that there’s a purpose for your creativity. Whether or not what you’re working on will be commercially viable or not, have faith. Beyond profits, your creative project may be providing you new skills or help you gain more self-confidence, and so on.
- Know that it’s okay to express your vulnerability publicly. You help people recognize that they are not alone. You get that connection in your creative work.
- Think only thoughts of love and success, and that’s what you’ll attract.
- Use fragrance, sound, and lighting to lift up your energy. Essential oils or flowers, uplifting sounds and lighting lift up the energetic vibration of your work, which benefits both you and your audience.
When people ask me for help in learning how to hear divine guidance from God and the angels, it’s really a request for them to learn how to be receptive.
Creativity is identical. It’s the courage to listen. It’s the courage to feel, hear, think, and see truths that may trigger temporarily unpleasant emotions and realizations. It’s the courage to look at yourself and receive inspiration.
As we allow the flow, open up ourselves to our connection with our Higher-Self (aka “Inner Awesomeness”), which is a fragment of God, we’re now ready to receive inspiration for creative ideas.
But then why would we need courage to do that? Because a part of us is afraid to do so – our ego. The ego works with fear (and its offshoots of doubt, worry and anxiety), knowing that if we go straight to the Source of inspiration, it will no longer be in charge. Remember, force vs. allowing?
Fear won’t be in charge anymore; love will. You begin to be receptive to love instead of fear. The ego is losing its power over you. You’re learning about your authentic power. You are no longer serving the ego, you are becoming its master. That’s what self-mastery is.
Doreen strongly advises us the practice of meditation. She cites a study (Ding et al. 2014), which found that meditating for 30 minutes a day increases creativity, especially emotion-based creativity. The researchers concluded that creativity isn’t something inherent in a selected few individuals, but is a skill that can be developed through healthy habits such as meditating.
So meditate. Allow. Receive. Then, create. And as with any habit: practice, practice, practice.
If you have a full-time job to pay the bills, how are you supposed to have enough time for creativity? The answer is through multitasking. This means that you work on your creative project while also fulfilling your other responsibilities and self-care routines.
If you have a 9-5 job, it’s not really about not having time for your creative project. You’re not losing time, you’re losing energy. You feel the job is draining your energy that you no longer have reserves for other things.
So first off, you have to find a way to enjoy your job. Change your perspective about it. Look for its positive aspects. It pays the bills. You get to see your office crush or whatever. The point is to uplift your vibes. Regardless of time, it’s your energy that allows you to do more.
Now, when we speak of multitasking, we’re not talking about doing many things simultaneously. We can really do one thing at a time.
With regard to creativity, multitasking means doing more than one creative project. Doreen usually writes 4 books and 3 card decks at a given time. Now, I do blogging primarily. But I also write poems, and at times I’m also making digital art minimalist posters.
Another study (Gruber and Davis 1988) concluded that the projects cross-fertilize each other, with ideas sparked from one helping the others. Studies show that successful creative people tend to multitask and work on several creative projects.
Ok, but again don’t force things to happen just because. When you keep practicing the alignment with the Source, it will become your first nature (connectedness is really our natural state), and then creativity becomes your second.
You will feel this limitless flow of energy that you can channel in everything you do. You will then keep on creating.
You are that unstoppable!
Intrinsic rewards are the most satisfying and lasting of paths to happiness. It’s pure bliss to take time from your busy schedule and responsibilities and devote it to an artistic endeavor. There’s a high that comes from having faith that you’re guided in each moment of the project.
If we’re only doing it for the money, then, by all means, let’s do it! ;D
Money is good. But money alone will never satisfy the spiritual cravings of our soul. Money can only fill our pockets, but it cannot provide us true and lasting fulfillment. It’s an extrinsic reward.
Studies show that when people expect to be rewarded for their creativity (extrinsic rewards), their creativity decreases (Sawyer 2012). This happens when we shift our focus from with-in to with-out.
Intrinsic reward, as Doreen defines it, means that you get the joy and pleasure from the creative process. You feel ecstatic from the joy of being in whatever you’re doing. And you get to express these feelings creatively.
Let’s keep our eyes on the money!…
I mean, on our topic – creativity. Now, where are we?
Take Risks, Not Criticisms
You’ve got to take risks with your creative projects, pushing the envelope of what’s been presented before. Even so, this intention can’t be forced or faked in an attempt to shock audiences into noticing your work. Your creativity still must reflect your genuine emotions and thoughts, which means you’re going to put your vulnerable, naked, and real feelings on display. All creativity is an autobiographical representative of the artist.
Show more skin!!!
Ooops, just got carried away there.
What you do has nothing to do with them, but everything to do with you.
What they say has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with them.
Doreen says that there’s a big difference between having your work criticized and having your personal self criticized. If someone doesn’t like your creative work, it’s not a rejection or disapproval of you. It just means they’re not resonating with your project for a reason that’s out of your control. So just let go and move on to people who resonate with your work.
We cannot please everyone. In the first place, we’re not trying to please anyone. But it’s pleasing to God when we fully express ourselves with abandon. Because that’s what God wants us to become, to realize our fullest potential, to become the best we can be, to become the embodiment of our soul, to be a creator ourselves, in the image and likeness of the Creator.
Show more soul!!!
For the Sake of Creating
What your heart really desires is a connection to Source, to your own Creator, to God. Creativity is a path of becoming aware of this connection.
When we create, we become aware of the pipeline of pure energy connecting God to us. We realize that we have no “between” space separating us from God. There is complete communion and connection.
In each moment of pure creation, you are the recipient of divine inspiration. As soon as you receive it, though, it’s time to let it go and give yourself over to the process of your creative project. Inspiration in, inspiration poured out.
Inspiration is the divine inhale, and expressing that inspiration and showing it to others are the divine exhale.
Create for the sake of creating. The essential purpose of creativity is to bring us back the awareness of our connection with God. Creativity is the reward itself.
Being creatives, we become an instrument, a mediator for others so they can find their connection too. Our creative works become a reflection of God’s work, which works always in all ways, if we are willing to allow it in our lives.
Knowing this, Doreen advises us to treat our work impersonally (being non-attachment with doing), because the work is done through us, not by us. She clarifies that the creative project is not you; it’s an extension of you.
What happens when we can detach ourselves from the work is that it becomes easier to show our work to the world. We also lessen our resistance to financial abundance, because we realize we are not selling our soul. We’re only selling what our soul does – the creative work.
So create. Create everything soulfully. Then, let go. Don’t take anything personally.
Create, for the sake of creating.
Create, for you were born to create.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DOREEN VIRTUE holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in counseling psychology and is a lifelong clairvoyant and Christian mystic. A former psychotherapist, Doreen now gives online workshops on topics related to her books and oracle cards. She’s the author of Assertiveness for Earth Angels, Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle, and The Miracles of Archangel Michael, among many other works. She has appeared on Oprah, CNN, the BBC, The View, and Good Morning America and has been featured in newspapers and magazines worldwide. For information on Doreen’s work, please visit her at AngelTherapy.com