What Really Are the Rules?: How to Inspire Creativity
After going to a musical the other night, I was reminded of the transformational opening I felt from going to a dance concert a few months ago. A dance company by one of my past dance teachers was performing in San Francisco. I had respected this instructor so much that I did not feel it was necessary to do any research on what I was getting into when I bought a ticket for this show.
Living the quiet meditative village life in the hills of the Sierra Nevadas in California, just a trip to San Francisco felt like a blur of energy swarming around me. As I walked into the lobby of the dance theater I was asked, "Do you want to dance?" My answer was enthusiastically, "Of course!" They were teaching people a version of an electric slide in funk style.
The announcer came out at the beginning of the performance and proclaimed that all audience members were required to shout during the presentation. The first dancer entered the stage with huge platform shoes, bright colored clothes, and a huge afro. Much of the performance was like watching a funk dance party. At the end of the show, the audience was invited to join their party on stage to do the funk electric slide. This was quite a shift in energy from my quiet village life.
It was late when I returned to my hotel room, which looked more like the corner of a room. I set up my travel altar and sat on the lime green bed to meditate. As soon as I began to meditate, a fountain the size of Niagara Falls of spiritual writing ideas started exploding out of me. The force of energy was so strong I had no choice but to grab my iPad and write for the next three hours. For most of my life I have wanted to open up that channel of writing. I had a very strong desire to start a blog for about a year, but had not brought that into fruition.
I was quite bewildered afterwards how something that felt spiritual could transpire from an event with a very different energy than calm silence. In meditation we try to focus our energy up our spine to the point between the eyebrows, the seat of highest consciousness. From there we tend to get our highest form of knowledge, inspiration, and intuition. On the contrary, a show like the funk one could be said to portray energy going outwards in all directions. This led me to the question, what really are the rules of where our inspiration comes from?
Irregardless of how the energy presented in the program is described, it took this talented and creative dance troupe an immense amount of ability to execute their challenging dance moves as seamlessly as they did. They really stepped out of what is considered the normal bounds in what they put together and communicated through their acting. It is often recommended to inhabit environments that exhibit the qualities or skills you would like to possess. This performance inspired the magnetism of aspiring towards a high level of talent and creative excellence.
I am recalling a story of Asha Praver's, Director of Ananda Palo Alto, in which she counseled a friend at a dead-end to ride her bike everyday as a solution. Miraculously, after two weeks her friend was a whole different person; much happier and able to come up with solutions to her problems. Just as Asha's frend enjoyed bicycling, this dance performance was very fun and energetic for me. Sometimes a distraction from your regular routine and tensions is all you need to clear space for new ideas to reveal themselves. Being around or participating in activities of high energy helps move and shift energy. Often when we create a shift in one area it affects all other areas of our life.
What I found most inspiring from these dancers was their absolute freedom of movement. Every single cell of their bodies was engaged in cooperating and supporting the activity at hand. There was no fear masking what they were trying to accomplish. Their magnetism of freedom may have been what opened up the creative writing channel within me.
Thus when you feel inspired to move in a certain direction and nothing is transpiring, surround yourself with the abilities of other talented people, with the creativity of others, with something different, something fun, something energetic and someone completely secure in what they do.