Last fall I read Conscious Creativity by the indomitable Philippa Stanton. It was a game changer. Seriously. Never before has a book so fully opened my senses and inspired me to more fully embrace my creativity. In a world that values realism over fantasy, function over imagination, Conscious Creativity gave me permission to nurture my inner creative world that has so long been stifled.
When you pick up a book like The Untethered Soul (by Michael Singer) or A New Earth (by Eckart Tolle), you kinda expect to have a mind-altering experience that opens up your heart and mind. These are, after all, books that would likely be found in the New Age or Spiritual section of your local book store, so it’s not a big surprise to find yourself inspired to live a better life. The difference with Conscious Creativity, other than the fact that it masquerades as a book about creativity, is that it not only opens your mind, it opens all of your senses and encourages you—no, challenges you—to embrace your creativity. More than that, it actually includes a roadmap for teasing the creativity out of you, unveiling it like sheet-covered furniture in an empty, abandoned home.
I was, to put it mildly, enthralled. I didn’t just read this book, I binged it. It didn’t hurt that I had left my day-to-day existence for a 10-day solo wilderness experiment/modern living detox. From looking to documenting to learning to really use my senses again, I dedicated myself fully to the lessons the book had to offer, In return I could feel my creativity coming alive. I felt like a child again, viewing everything with wonder. Phillipa had given me permission to nurture my creativity and, in doing so, had also awakened a new sense of spirituality. Turns out, when you nurture your creativity, you also nurture your connection to spirituality. Who knew? (I bet Phillipa did.)
Opening up my creativity took me to places I was often unable to access via yoga and even meditation. Going on a walk was no longer just a walk or time in nature, it was an opportunity to be present in new and exciting ways. Hell, sitting in traffic, waiting in the doctor’s office, standing in line anywhere—all presented opportunities to access a new dimension. Formerly a person who was pathological in their desire to figure out which checkout lane would be fastest (you know you do it, too!) I no longer wasted a minute of my time considering the length of the lines, instead going directly into creative mode. It is fascinating how many different senses you can access in this “wasted” time; how many new ways you can look at an inanimate object, seeing different shapes and colors. Close your eyes some time and count all the different scents or sounds you’re able to identify. It’s actually pretty overwhelming.
So this year, my intention is to revisit the concepts introduced in Conscious Creativity to see if I can learn to access my creativity on a more consistent basis. Or, as they say in yoga and meditation, take my practice off the mat. This time, rather than gobbling up the concepts up like a plate of warm cookies, I plan to focus on a different concept each week and really let them soak in to my consciousness. If you care to follow along, I’ll be sharing my experiences here and on social media. And if you’re inspired to get the book, you can check it out here or watch a video about it here.
I hope you'll join me on the journey. Happy creating!