More thoughts on creativity

Creativity

Creativity (Photo credit: Mediocre2010)

Creativity of Egypt and Israel

Egypt was rich, there was plenty of gold and silver. I have never seen the pyramids but in the national museum in London you can see beautiful artefacts from Egypt. They had skilled craftsmen and perhaps woman (I am not up to date with equal gender rights in Egypt).  So what is the difference between the creativity of God’s free people as seen in Exodus and the Egyptians?

Egypt in the bible is a picture of the world.  All people are made in Gods image wherever they live, whatever they believe – creative and skilful. There is some fantastic art filling the four corners of the earth. If, however, we believe that being full of the Spirit of God adds a new dimension we need to ask the question how? and what does it look like? (cf Exodus 31:2-5)

I am aware that I will be making massive generalisations about art and creativity but please give me that licence to work my thoughts through. Creativity in the world is often measured, assessed, pondered written about, judged and criticized. Many make art for a commission, end product or money. Even at college or University the students are expected to be creative for a finished assessed product to attain a pass. This probably affects the way the artist progresses further on in their life. For many artists the appreciation by others of the finished product is their main motivation.

Could it be that creativity for God is not about the end product but of being. Could it  be as an overflow of the mix of our spirit with God’s Spirit? Could creativeness be an expression of freedom with no purpose but just because I am. Is it for our own exploration and for God to enjoy? There is no right or wrong way.

If we are being the creative masterpiece how do we live our life? Predictable, staid, controlled,? If your life is a canvass what colours are you using? Are you constantly learning new skills, developing new thoughts?

Creativity is….

  • A process not a product
  • Treasure inside coming out not made to make treasure
  • Made from enjoyment not for enjoyment
  • Made for heaven not made for earth
  • Has heavens fingerprints mixed with human fingerprints all over it

Creativity in the wilderness reminds me of 2loaves and 5fishesm- the little boy who brought what he had. I mean they had to build a tabernacle with what they had escaped with the land of Egypt with. They didn’t have sophisticated workshops and skilled equipment. They didn’t have furnaces for smelting metals or the right tools. The people used what they had. All their skills and knowledge, and a heart connection with the creator.

What helps creativity?

  • Confidence not self-consciousness,
  • Acceptance not rejection of ideas
  • Flowing of our spirit. God is spirit and we are spirit –we are made to flow together. We can be moving, active, filling spaces, bringing life
  • Reaching into heaven and expressing it on earth -seeing new colours, new shapes, hear new sounds, experience new relationships
  • Taking away the boundaries and boxes – no longer holding tight or controlling but uncontainable, free, open, powerful,
  • Learning new skills
  • Making space and time
  • Drawing the best out of each other

Creativity Explosion

Paint_by_ChibitI would like to discuss further thoughts on the topic of creativity. The process of exercising dormant creativity within has been assisted by several things in me. I am finding that the process of learning that brings change in and around me is a deliberate one. These are not times for continuing the same old life patterns but searching and adjusting my life.

Changes in me that are helping creativity to be developed:

1. Being thankful for small things – I wrote in my blog on May 7th about my thankful journal.  “I am challenged over the number of blessings that fall around me that I miss. That sunset laid out in the sky for me, the bird outside my window singing for me, the smile from a friend made for me, the warmth of my socks, the crunch of gravel on the path, the embrace of a daughter, the lift in a piece of music, the droplet of rain hanging off a leaf, the smell of bacon in a pan. These are all an extravagant love gift from my Father that were given me fresh this morning” .By consciously thanking God for small blessings of beauty every day we open ourselves up to an emotional response to our Father. We appreciate his soft touches, are open to his gentle touches and our hearts learn to feel afresh

2. Watching less tv – I have found that an automatic reaction to my heart being tired, upset or bored is to amuse myself with the TV. This takes off the responsibility that I have to deal with my life and the hours ahead. TV is often a bad choice for me because if I am tired I know there are better ways of relaxing, if I am upset I  really know I need to deal with it, if it is boredom I know that there are better ways to spend my time and if it is avoidance of things I should be doing I know it will only lead to guilt.  TV just doesn’t bring out the best in me.

3. Time resting in God’s presence – I have found that there is such value just being me with God. Not praying, not reading, not singing, not doing anything really just being with Him. He has a way of finding hidden secrets inside and working these through with me and bringing to light depths of riches that he has planted there. It causes me to dream, hope, come alive and wake up.

4. Tuning in with emotions – we cannot become so used to hiding our emotions that we deny who we really are. It hurts to let our emotions go, it may meet ridicule to express who we really are – but being genuine and free is worth the cost

4. Giving my heart space to leak – in order to leak creative God thoughts there first has to be stuff in there to leak. Time and space drinking in God and his truths is vital to be filled. Then let the leaking begin – it may be a poem, a dance, a  story or a painting.  Your creative spirit will need a medium to leak with expression into. Just as water and air carry vibrations and noise so you need something to carry your heart. We couldn’t hear anything in a vacuum, so our hearts cannot have creative voice in a vacuum of nothingness. Your medium of expression will differ from others – we have a fantastic young man who says his medium of creativity is algebra, another who says it is cooking, another who takes photos and yet another who builds furniture with wood – it is time to experiment with different things.

5. Allowing myself room to make mistakes  – perfection and keeping it all together is a characteristic of the old persona. God chose to make humans with weaknesses and faults. We need to embrace these. Let your experiments be developmental, expect to go wrong, to go beyond normal, to push the boundaries and be prepared to make a mess.

6. Being creative just because – I am finding that I need to be creative because I am creative. It isn’t for a finished product, for the affirmation of people, for an end result but just because.

Once a month we have a worship session with the youth where we just leak creativity. I wrote down just a small sample of things they can do. It gives a starting point for someone to think differently. Today give one of them a go!!!!

rapping, dancing, singing, song writing, movement, mime, drama, poetry, story writing, journal writing, cooking, art, drawing, photos, writing a letter, writing a letter to God, graffiti, cartoons, sculpture, pottery, sewing, knitting, collage, nail art, power points, graphic design, posters, videos, hair design, caption strips, journals, …………

Allowing the ‘real me’ into the sunlight

English: Parrot painting Ελληνικά:

English: Parrot painting Ελληνικά: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something is happening to my friends on this adventure right now that excites me. I am seeing a release that is causing new songs, new dreams, new drawings, new rapping, new paintings, new life changes, creative time management and much more. Something is stirring deep in my heart too. Let me explain what I see:

In order to appear spiritual and successful we have been encouraged to pretend to be someone we are not. This person is not us, it is who we would like to be. We hide our weaknesses and faults thinking that the ‘real me’ is not acceptable. We put a different persona forward – this persona is all sparkling, slick, organised and confident. We may be encouraged to hide ‘real me’ even deeper inside if we try to express our fears, weaknesses and doubts that ‘real me’ is feeling and we get rejected or are misunderstood. Perhaps we get told to pull ourselves together, we get told to confess the truth and stop crying, we get told to have faith and think of others in worse situations than ourselves.

We subsequently become ashamed of who we really are. Our weaknesses and faults make us feel like failures. People seem to love our new persona and not be so impressed with the ‘real me’.

The only trouble is that we start to hide not only our hurts, bed memories, mistakes and pain we also hide the good things we are. We hide our sensitivity, responses, choices, passions, opinions, things we care about. These things at the core of the ‘real me’ get hidden away. We feel they are not suitable for public show, they are embarrassing and not up to standard.

By hiding our core we start to become numb. We lose our wow factor- our wonder in the small things that make us look and say “wow”.  Appreciation of beauty needs our emotions and a very personal response -but we no longer trust these things.  In loosing our sensitivity and delight we loose touch with all that is creative inside us

The journey I am on has meant that all the cupboards of my life where I have stored the unacceptable memories, the painful words, the shame of mistakes and the ‘real me’ have been overflowing. I have had them all packed up nicely along with my sensitivity and ability to feel. I have made a choice to unpack these and face what is inside. This means facing loss, grief, misplaced trust etc. but what I didn’t expect to find is that as I have deliberately started to deal with the negative things I have started to find myself.

The ‘real me’ has started to find its way through the rubble of the healing process and out into the open. I can start to make choices, feel, respond and not be ashamed. I can show my weaknesses and mistakes and it is ok. I can not have it all together but still be loved. I have started to draw, paint, write songs and think again. It is exciting to feel a fresh expression of things inside.

Freedom brings creativity.

Freedom and Creativity

English: old craft

English: old craft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,  to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts Exodus 31:2-5

This is first time that we see someone as being described as being filled with the Holy Spirit in the bible.  He was filled with all wisdom, ability and expertise in all kinds of crafts in the Holy Spirit. When was this expressed? After freedom had come. Freedom looked like an individual overflowing with decisions and choices, these choices created something from heaven – a spiritual beauty on earth.

There is something about freedom that causes people to find their core identity from which they can express themselves fully. We were made in the creator’s image and when we express our true selves it is full of creativity. We were beautifully and wonderfully made so what we create in the spirit reflects this like a mirror.

Bezalel was filled with the Holy Spirit for practical skills, gifts and knowledge. It wasn’t for experience but for expression. We find the same explosion of expression and release when we speak in tongues. It wasn’t for abstract intensity but for a supernatural reality. It was for ….

  1. Creating beauty out of the ordinary
  2. Skilled engraving –making a mark, writing lasting words, impacting lives with permanence
  3. Mounting gemstones –taking a rock from the dirt, seeing potential, honing it patiently, bringing out its beauty and then put in the best place to show its glory
  4. Working with gold, silver and bronze -adapting to different metal  resistance and properties and bringing the best out of each material
  5. Carving wood  -working with that which people think as base and plain and make out of it something of beauty

First we need to find our core identity. Until we know what this we cannot express who we really are. Who are you and what are you all about?

Today: Start a discovery to the core of your being. Become filled with wonder as you find out who you really are.