Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer
Spiritual practice has become an important part of my life. And I want to encourage you to make the connection in your own.
Whether you pray, meditate, practice yoga, do rituals, walk in nature, chant, sweat out your prayers via dance, or just sit and breathe, it all helps you feel connected to the Divine.
But can it make you a better Artist or more creative?
I say YES!
Read on and see what resonates for you:
Top 10 reasons why Spiritual Practice makes you a better Artist.
1. Spiritual practice keeps you CONNECTED to the Divine
Connection to the Divine is one of the top reasons why you a daily spiritual practice can be crucial to being creative.
When you pray, what do you feel? How about when you dance? Or sing? Or Meditate? Each time you tap into the power inside of you, a connection is made to the divinity inside of you.
Even if it feels like a faint whisper of spirit, it is there. Breathe. Listen. And know it is there for you always. The Divine is waiting for you to tap. Once you tap into the connection inside of you, the ideas for your artistic practice just flow out. It is a channel that you open each day with your breath. And that channel gets clearer the more you open it.
2. You are more AWARE
The "devil" is not in the details - God is! By slowing down, you see details you miss when you rushing.
Do you know the softness of your cat's fur? How about the texture of rose hips? The sound of a hummingbird's flutter? The smell of eucalyptus bark? The curve of your beloved's hips? The color of your mother's dress in a faded photograph? These details can translate into inspiration or textural details in your art. Even if your art work is abstract, it will be influenced by the details you observe. These details ARE the magic of life.
3. You are more IN YOUR BODY
The spiritual practices of dance and yoga move you more fiercely into your body that you may even expect. And healing emotional blocks makes you want to STAY in your body more. When you are in your body, you can move and create with more freedom.
Some people say that it takes your whole body to draw. If you are fully in your body you can create with a freedom that you never knew.
4. Time EXPANDS
Have you ever gotten so lost in the moment that time slowed down to accommodate it? That is the magic of "Shamanic Time."
This happens frequently for me during Shamanic Journey. Shamanic Journey uses a monotonous drum to get the brain and body into a trance state so you can can do deep healing and talk to your spiritual guides. In a typical 15 minute journey, you can have an entire movie; a revelation; or just a great healing nap.
By getting yourself into a trance state, you can also expand time while making art or creating. Crocheting naturally invokes this trance state to me, but so can drawing or anything else that is repetitive. Get lost in time. See what happens.
5. Your IMAGINATION SOARS
Shamanic Journey can create a state that is similar to daydreaming or lucid dreaming. You know that you are in a dreamlike state but you have full control over the situation. However when you surrender to the magic of the experience, you see things that you never would have thought of on your own.
Maybe it is a raccoon where a top hat and smoking a cigar. Or a tulip that protects your safe space. How about a star being with a penchant for rubies, and talks in a British accent? Whatever it is that comes to you in journey space can spark an idea for a drawing, painting, sculpture or creative writing. You can't make this stuff up. It is too bizarre somethings.
Other forms of spiritual practice such as meditation, or dance may invoke images that you would have never been open to before. Once you connect your third eye of intuition, it will give you amazing insights and be fodder for your creative expression.
This fodder is a wave of new information, but not like the images we digest each day from the Internet. It is new, fresh and uniquely you! This imagination is what MAKES YOU AN ARTIST.
6. You TRUST YOURSELF more
Do you trust yourself? Because it takes a lot of trust to walk a spiritual path or an artistic path.
Both require a dedication to growth that is almost supernatural. Stagnation is the antithesis of growing. Which do you want to do?
By connecting with a spiritual path, you begin to trust the messages given to you in daily life. Messages can be more than just a fortune cookie phrase. They can be seen in the animals that cross your path, or the repetition of a number, or many other signs that resonate for you.
When you trust your own intuition, that trust flows into trusting the colors in a painting or any other creative endeavor that you can imagine.
Decisions made from your own gut about life and art are the most powerful. If you trust yourself, you can do these things no matter if the people around you think you have lost your marbles.
7. You feel more SUPPORTED
Spirituality thrives in COMMUNITY! Sure, you can do any of these practices alone, but why not gather a few like-minded people together? My Apache teacher talked about the power of prayer in a group, and how the energy was measurably raised when 3 people connected hands to pray.
There are also things like rituals which are so much fun to have more than one person join in. It becomes a community event. A connection that is made with not only you connecting to the Divine, but connecting to your sisters or brothers and feeling THEIR connection. The connections I feel after doing something magical with other people is so profound.
Feeling supported as an artist is so important. We artists tend to work alone, in our studios, without a lot of collaboration with others. It can be lonely but it is also where the work gets done. So by building a community of like-minded people, you have a place to feel completely loved even if your art isn't moving the direction you want it to. Building a community as an artist is a different subject, but it has its roots in gathering 3 or more people together to support you in all your awesomeness.
8. You take BIGGER RISKS
Now you are all juiced up with support! What does that do to your self-confidence? Right! It goes shooting through the roof. And that makes you bolder.
It takes courage to have a spiritual practice. To come everyday to a meditation and look deeply into yourself. To feel when your breath just won't loosen up. To see the days when it doesn't work. To BE in the space of NOT getting it right. Of struggling. Of not knowing when it will get better. The fear that all of the good shit has already happened in your life. The wanting of something better. To completely SURRENDER to divine will to take care of you anyways. To give up all trying and TRUST it will happen because you are protected and loved. That is a space of great courage.
That same courage is what you will need to sustain a creative practice too. It is about showing up. And showing up with a curious and experimental nature that cannot be satisfied. It takes courage to be an artist. To show your creations to the world. To try new ways of making and know that they are leading you to path you cannot even imagine. Take a breath. And LEAP.
9. You know it is a PRACTICE
Practice. Practice. Practice. Just show up. That is all you have to do in life. In spiritual work. In art. It is all the same. "You must be present to win."
10. You KNOW that Creativity is ENDLESS
Yes, you know this. Think about how many ideas you have when you are sitting quietly? Probably more than you want to admit! Creativity can only slip in if there is space to go into. You cannot pour more into a full cup.
As you tap into Divine inspiration each day, you know that that source is endless. You can feel it with each breath. Now breathe into your creative ideas? Same breath of inspiration. Inspire = to breath into.
And know as one idea floats away or is not feasible at the moment, don't worry. Just breathe. Another idea is on its way, along with a hundred of its friends when you are ready to make space in your body to receive them.
BREATHE TO RECEIVE!
Any bells go off from this list? I would love to hear about it. Share in the comments below.
Breathing my way to a more creative me ~ Jaime Lyerly