The Liberated Life Guide: Creativity as a Practice [guest post]
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware,
joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
Have you ever considered why you do what you do?
Why you meditate (or don’t)? Why you keep going to that job? Why you chose that shirt to wear today? Why you ate cereal for breakfast?
Have you ever really sat with the why?
Have you continued to ask why beyond “I need to make money” or “It was the only thing I had”?
Our spirituality is our why.
Our creativity is how we choose to explore that why.
We are all creative. Many of us stop believing we are because we stop asking why. We start assuming we know the way the world works. We believe things just ‘are the way they are’. We go to our job because we have to. We choose Cheerios for breakfast because that’s just what we eat.
I’ve recently been asking “why” a lot. The “whys” are mostly arising from a mindfulness project I am currently running (and in which I am participating) called The Wild Elephant Project, based on the book How To Train A Wild Elephant and Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays.
Each week, over 70 participants and I attempt a simple practice in mindfulness that invites us to examine our habitual patterns. It offers us a way to creatively attempt our mundane tasks. In so doing, we often gain a new perspective…a peek into the mystery of “why.”
For example, we started out practice by using our non-dominant hand for everyday tasks. This certainly created a lot of insight and forced many of us to slow down our usually-hurried tasks!
This project is the match that lit a fire under years of
gathered and stagnant attempts at living mindfully.
It lit an awareness that not only do I want to ask why and to creatively explore my life, but that I also want to invite and remind others to do the same. Why? Because I believe this:
It is vital that we realize our mundane lives are the moments
we have to know a deeper and richer way of living.
Our lives are too precious to not know this way of living.
The laundry, the grocery line, and the overdue bill are our invitations to awareness. The meditation cushion is a perfect place to practice and explore why, but the screaming child allows us an opportunity to creatively experience and embody that practice.
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
In this spirit, I am creating an inventory of art – pieces that are awareness reminders. I offer these to others as visual reminders to practice mindful awareness.
(You can view more at http://www.lifeunity.com/art )
ONE BREATH, 7” x 3”, Encaustic on panel
This is my practice. You don’t have to make painted pieces or knit or sing to express your own “whys” creatively. There are no rights nor wrongs in exploring our own lives and in living through our own questions. I hope that you spend some of your valuable time in the next few hours considering what your practice might look like.
Whether you finish these words on your tablet screen while preparing for the client call or scroll through them while you child discovers new ways of leaving a cereal trail to his room, I wish you awareness.
I invite you back to your creativity, knowing that you have a choice – and indeed, a responsibility – to explore this experience with which you’ve been gifted.
I invite you to the magical unknowing of a life lived in an exploration instead of assumption and expectation.
Why are you going to do what you are about to do….
Lisa Renee Wilson
is an “Awareness Artist”
you can connect with her at
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