Is Creativity Spiritual?
I was in college when I first read The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron. I had just gotten back from a semester abroad, spent all my money, took on three jobs for the summer, and found out I had Mono just before starting my senior year of school. Then I ran into my theater teacher from high school.
“Have you ever read The Artist Way?” And made me promise I would pick up the book and read it. I must not have looked convincing, because he didn’t let it go.
“I will, I just don’t know that I could do it right now,” with studying, earning money and extra sleeping to do…
“No, it has to be now. Promise me you’ll do it. You have to get out of your way — people need to see you on stage, and writing — promise me.”
“I will, I promise.” Yeah, that didn’t do it, and he had me follow him back to his barn where he searched for his copy of the book, and when he couldn’t find it, that’s when I made the promise complete with the urgency he gave to it. I bought the book that day. I read and completed the book that Fall. It changed my life. I got back into acting and back into writing in ways I hadn’t noticed I had turned away from. And the very first word in the book that stood out to me was God.
She connected creativity to spirituality in a way I had never considered — that self expression was honoring who I was in the world, and my heart opened. Giving from love, receiving from love too — and maybe honoring an unconditional love was spiritual. If it came from who I am and who I craved to be — not who I felt told to be— than a rush of feeling came through me that felt very spiritual too. And there was this — I was created, in love, and I can create, in love… something spiritual stands out for me there too.
So I am creative because I love it, and because it connects me to a very powerful, large love — that makes it even better.