Today I watched a fat fuzzy caterpillar cross the road. Instead of wondering,"Why? Why did the caterpillar cross the road?", I stared in amazement at the speed of the little critter. It was bookin'! About the time I had that thought, my mind began to happily wander. I contemplated that humble caterpillar. A lowly start to life as a furry worm that can be both cute and yet somewhat repugnant, as any of us who have had a caterpillar fall on them from an overhanging branch can attest to! (Though there are some caterpillars that are surprisingly GORGEOUS!) In due course, caterpillars instinctively cocoon themselves for a time. When the cocoon period comes to its end, the chrysalis opens to unveil a caterpillar transformed- a beautiful butterfly. The Hotel Chrysalis is clearly the ultimate spa experience!
There are times in a person's life that tend to resemble the caterpillar. Maybe we feel a little on the roly-poly side, a little too fuzzy for comfort. We may even occasionally cause others to react to our presence with horror. 'Tis unfortunate, but at times like that, a person may instinctively choose to cocoon himself, to seek a place of safety, until it all blows over and things get set right once again. Recently I felt the need for just such a cocoon. I had a few very negative experiences, as we all do at times. I could feel the stress from these experiences eating away at my humanity, sapping me of my creativity and peace of mind. I lost my joy in making art. I figuratively enclosed myself in a chrysalis for a time in order to recover my creativity, to get a sense of balance once again. And gradually I did. As time passed, I took the opportunity to pore over a number of books on creativity and how to stimulate it. I gleaned some wonderful points that were most helpful to me. One suggestion that truly resonated with me was to make ordinary activities extraordinary. For example, when preparing a meal, don't just plop it on a plate unceremoniously and chow down. Make it a thing of beauty, flavor it well, serve it in a beautiful setting on a lovely dish. Light a candle. Make it a special event. Another example: if you are the type who periodically sends a handwritten letter or card, take a little time to personally illustrate the envelope with a colorful drawing (here's one I just decorated pictured with this post. Isn't it purty?). Imagine how the letter's recipient will feel when they open their mailbox! So many good suggestions that truly renewed my creativity and imagination and got me out of my shell.
So what tactics do you use to restore a blocked creative flow? How do you dislodge obstructions to your artistic abilities? And once the flow is restored, how do you keep your imagination consistently moving?
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiam."- Earl Nightingale
"To be creative means to be in love with life."- Osho