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How To Make Something

'Gotta love the creative process--mix energy, ingredients, and your inimitable cachet and voila! You've got food/art/beauty/relationships/life.

I woke up this morning and realized I need to: 1) create a new dance piece, 2) bake a sparkling mountain of cookies, 3) write a shiny new blog post, and 4) feed some personal relationships.

After mulling things over, I suddenly notice it's the same recipe for all four!  And for so many other creative endeavors--like making a life.  Here's what I've learned to help me get moving on today's canvas:

1.  Show up. At the studio, the kitchen, the party, the writing area/computer.  Or, if we can't get where we need to be to create immediately, we can set an intention to make that luminous thing that our uniqueness alone can make.  Once we commit to the intention, the universe starts to line up behind it and we can hightail it to the studio/kitchen/life as soon as possible to follow up.

So,  the inspiration came today only after I slathered some INtention and ATtention on my projects.  It  all may seem obvious.  Yet, too often we don't arrive for or stay in the process because we're discouraged or empty or scared.  But in this realm, if we don't play, we can't win :).

2. Use good ingredients.  Not necessarily the most expensive, showy and prestigious.  Rather, good here means components with intrinsic value for us, our inspiration and what we're crafting.

3.  Be open, creative and playful. We need to see, really SEE, our ingredients and gauge what they're capable of as we're also open to a sense of possibility.

Right, I've got two dancers with known strengths, vast potential and some evocative music.  I put that in the cauldron, stir, and simmer while I engage my conscious mind in another creative activity (baking), and voila--new dance idea.  I don't know about you, but my experience dovetails with experts' observations that creativity can keep spinning its magic  when I set it on a back burner for a bit after I've set things in motion.

4.  Feed inspiration.  I believe it was creativity guru Julia Cameron ("The Artist's Way") who wrote about the importance of "filling the well." I.e., when we're feeling drained of inspiration, or better yet BEFORE we're feeling empty, we need to replenish those creative juices.  For making art.... and lives.

Whatever ignites our imagination, we need to go for that and inhale, inhale, inhale!   Experiencing beauty, whatever that means to us, can fire us up.  Creativity also seems to spawn further creativity.  I think that may be why I'm having inspiration in a few arenas lately--one creative engagement seems to spark others.

Taking excellent dance classes, savoring something luscious that someone else has made, and going for walks so often spur my creativity.  Same for laughing, watching lovely movies, seeing beauty in galleries and store windows, listening to inspiring new music (and old faves), reading.

Later today, I'm going to check out the venue for an upcoming gig.  Visiting the space ALWAYS triggers something. What about you?

5.  Surround ourselves with "yes" people.  Meaning people who see the possibility in us and what we have to offer and encourage that.  Meaning also people who say "YES" to their own imaginations and lives. Like everyone involved with the inventive, refreshing Elm City Dance Collective :).

NOT meaning people who have a negative vibe.  Really.  (I'm talking to myself....)  As poet David Whyte counseled, "...anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you."

6. Dive in! Take a risk!  Just do it.  And, as Julia Child urged, any creative endeavor including cooking "... is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all."

7.  Give something away.  Being generous is great for the universe and swell for the more specific beneficiaries.  But, it also seems to ricochet right back at us with inspiration--maybe linked to the feeling of aliveness that we have knowing we've been bounteously kind.

8.  Enjoy.  Let's remember that enjoyment is what helps us grow our "selves" (See earlier post, "1. Loosen up, 2. Keep moving, and 3. ENJOY!").

Plus, it makes the ride more fun.  And as we know, "...These things are fun, And fun is good."--Dr. Seuss

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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