Creativity requires you to stay present and connected with all that you are - your talents, skills, and vision, as well as your feelings, thoughts, and inspiration. Your most private experiences and aspects of your internal life all come together and, one creative moment at a time, they become your art.
As an artist, you know what it’s like when you merge with your art. You and your art flow together and become one. It almost feels like magic. You enter into a state of creative bliss and experience a true connection both to your powers of creativity and to all that you are.
Of course, in the midst of these moments of creative bliss, there are moments of the creative mess. You feel like you don’t know what to do or how to do it. Everything feels like an experiment and you keep making mistakes and repeatedly trying something new.
When you have the strength and courage to navigate the messy creative moments, you can eventually find your way back to creative bliss. It takes a lot to move through the creative challenges and into creative flow, however.
To get through the challenging moments that are part of any artistic career, you need to know how to stay present and connected throughout the whole process of making art or preparing for a performance. You need to be present in the face of all the wonderful creative experiences and you need to stay connected even in moments of frustration and confusion.
This process of staying connected to your art in both the good times and the bad times - and everything in between - is called developing creative intimacy™.
Creative intimacy™ is vital as it allows you to make powerful art that is authentic and uniquely you.
As important as creativity intimacy™ is, it’s not easy to maintain such a state. It requires you to stay present and connected throughout your creative process - including your own limitations, your fears and doubts, and your relationship to the unknown.
As paradoxical as it sounds, you need to become more comfortable with what challenges you.
Let’s be honest, facing your limitations is not easy. Recognizing your limitations can make you feel inadequate. When you are aware of what you can’t do, it can undermine your trust in what you are capable of. To dwell too much on your own limitations can disconnect you from your true talents, skills, and abilities.
The problem is, every time you try to deny or escape your awareness of your own limitations, they actually become more powerful. They’re like monsters that grow in the darkness, hiding in your unconscious and slowly taking control of your creative life.
Limitations need to be faced, not denied. When you can see your limitations, you begin to have choices. You can either work with them and integrate them with the skills you do have or you can transform your limitations into something that enhances your art.
Creative intimacy™ relies on allowing your limitations to coexist and dance alongside your strengths.
It’s hard to be with your fears and self-doubts. There is a natural tendency to ignore or avoid them, which causes them to remain dormant in your mind, ready to be triggered at the worst possible moment. You may not be aware they’re there, but they can end up dictating your creative life. Old, unacknowledged fears and doubts have a way of producing your old, unhealthy actions and responses. When they emerge, you may end up feeling out of control, paralyzed, or lost.
When you understand the presence and the potency of your fears and doubts you can begin to take back your power. It requires some deep emotional work, but it really is possible to rewrite the story of your insecurities.
Creative intimacy™ deepens when you develop self-knowledge and are no longer afraid to see all of your fears and self-doubts.
You might think that the mysterious unknown has little to do with your internal world, but there is a good chance that you project your unconscious hopes, dreams, fantasies, and fears into the unknown future. In this way, the unknown future becomes a reflection of your internal unknown world.
You can get access to your inner world - your motivations, drives, longings, and conflicts - by paying attention to what you project into the unknown future. In other words, you begin to understand more about yourself when you examine your own beliefs about what might come next.
When you start to understand your relationship with the more hidden aspects of your own mind, your unknown internal territory can become a creative asset. Having access to your inner world of motivations, drives, longings, and conflicts you can explore a vaster array of emotions and ideas.
Though there is much to be gained by exploring the unknown aspects of your psyche, there are many reasons that you may try to avoid it. It’s not easy to remember how you felt rejected, unseen, invalidated, or judged. At the same time making art form disowned memories can continue to perpetuate these old stories.
Rather than perceiving the unknown like some mysterious void that you should stay away from, you can actively work with those hidden areas of the mind in order to enhance your art.
Creative intimacy™ depends on developing a relationship with all aspects of the self - including your inner world which might seem inaccessible and unknowable until you start to look more closely.
When you can find your comfort with your imperfections, fears and doubts, and the unknown, you can stay intimately connected and present with all that you are to create your art. Ultimately, developing this kind of creative intimacy™ will make you feel more whole and fulfilled and will enable you to take the right kind of creative risks to produce art that is genuine and meaningful.
I’m a psychotherapist working with creatives and performers in Los Angeles. I’m here to share a story to help and inspire creatives.
Copyright Mihaela Ivan Holtz 2020
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