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Give Your Spirit a Creative Workout

Written by Pat Sullivan

Imagine!Being imaginative comes as naturally to children as breathing. Here are some helpful hints for turning your hidden creativity into a integral part of your spiritual life.

Creativity, my father said, is both a gift and a call from God. It lets us plunge into the mysterious unknown and bring forth new ideas, art and new ways for meeting old problems.

Dad's attitude was rare when I was growing up. Then creativity was considered a threat to values of obedience and rationality. Today, people everywhere are more creative. We joyfully adapt the insights of other traditions, and we're much more open to the inspiration of nature. We've reclaimed old traditions like vision quests and given them new twists, and we're forever creating new ways to live spiritually.

 
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Being creative can be an integral part of your spiritual journey whenever you pray or while you engage in a creative act.
If you've forgotten what it's like to be creative, write about your life. Did you give up some of your creativity to protect yourself from harsh judgments, unrealistic expectations and unkind comparisons with others?
Become more creative by acting as if you were more creative. Temporarily suspend judgment, premature practicality and other habits that kill risk taking.
Imitate the mockingbird, whose song is constantly changing. Pay attention to what others are doing and copy shamelessly. Mix, match and alter as you wish. 
 

Many now see creativity as an integral part of our spiritual journey. Matthew Fox, author of many popular books on spirituality, says that art as meditation is one of the best ways for adults to pray today.

Watch this video of Mathew Fox.

Fox recommends playing with a piece of clay in the dark. In the dark,it's impossible to judge whether your work is "good" or not. There's only you, the clay and the opportunity to allow spirit to shape the clay, which is good practice for allowing spirit to shape your life.

Being creative is as natural as breathing, and most 5-year-olds are highly creative. But it's not easy to stay creative, and very few adults are habitually creative. It could be fear of the unknown or the lure of the status quo that pulls us away from our creativity. 

Fortunately, there's plenty of support now to reclaim your lost creativity and enjoy it. Many religious groups and recreation centers offer classes on writing poetry or working with Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way.

There are writing groups, art classes, experiential theater and woodworking groups everywhere. Or you can just start doing something more creative alone.

The important thing is to start acting as if you are more creative right now. As you do so, you'll naturally exercise your imagination. Wherever your imagination is allowed to come alive, the rest of your creativity is sure to follow.

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