Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.
I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.
My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.
''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
WOW ! My life has completely turned around in the last week. Sometimes we reach a nexus point in our lives where we are given an opportunity to step onto a new path or pick up one we might have dropped before.
The question is – what will we do?
We can usually recognize these points because they are often accompanied by big changes in our lives. I had one of these last week.
You know what fascinates me about life is how so often, and maybe always, the very thing in life that we are drawn to do is the thing where our creative gifts are to be found and it is also the very thing where some of our greatest challenges lie. This of course offers us the greatest opportunity for growth.
I feel as if my life has turned full circle this week and I find myself back on the path I am really meant to be on but have been resisting for many years. But that is another discussion. Lets just say that creative blocks and I have been very intimately connected. I was stuck in a creative desert for many years – a journey all about the denial of my own creative gifts. Does that sound familiar to any one out there?
Anyway – this week I have let go of an illusory safety net I’ve been clinging to quite tightly for the last two years and taken a huge step into the rapids of life’s uncertainty. I think I probably stepped in right over my head and came up sputtering! This step has me now firmly embracing my own creativity and taking on something big which I will share with you in a moment. But this brings me back to the nexus point and the other thing about these moments, which is that they often contain an opportunity. We are seldom ready for this opportunity and it is something that is often exhilarating, scary or even downright terrifying, all at the same time.
So what should drift into my inbox this week but an invitation to join a competition to find the ‘Next Top Spiritual Author’. My first reaction to that of course was NO WAY!! However I must say that I actually toyed with the idea of writing a book last year but certainly not as a spiritual author. However as I began to think about it – for some reason the thought kept popping into my head, I saw a connection between, creativity and spiritual growth or self development. I believe that creativity involves the expression of the essence of who we are. Through creativity we get to connect to our unique creative genius and offer something very special to the world. So often when I’m teaching art I see people struggling with far more than the picture they are trying to paint, they come up against all kinds of other things as well but that’s also a discussion for another day.
So what I am now seeing is an opportunity to combine my two greatest passions, creativity and spiritual growth or self development – WOW! DOUBLE WOW!!
So look out – Here Comes The Next Top Spiritual Author !!
I decided it was time to stock up on some more Creative Inspiration this week and went for an Artist Date. I came across this idea of an Artist Date in one of Julia Cameron’s books called ‘The Artists Way’. This book is a fantastic resource for creative people and her idea of Artists Dates is something I wholly embrace and highly recommend. I will talk about the concept more in another post but if you want to know more – go here now.
I choose to do this on a monthly basis – spending a whole day and often travelling to Sydney. I find a lot more inspiration in the City, there are so many different things to go and explore. Rather than spending a couple of hours a week where I live, I find this works better for me. That’s not to say of course that I won’t sometimes pop into a local gallery or something that catches my interest.
I live an hour and a half on the train,
from Sydney – a really pretty train ride actually. For part of the trip the train wends its way beside and over inland waterways,and through tunnels and bushland.
Last week I went to the Powerhouse Museum – a fascinating place full of great foto opportunities. I gathered lots of rich detail for photoshop texture brushes and
painting and digital reference material.
Floor of Steam Engine
Well worth the visit if you live close enough to go.
I recently touched on the idea of an Inner Critic. This nasty little alter ego that we all have drives some of us mercilessly. Not only does it judge us by our own harsh standards but also by the judgements we think everyone else is going to be heaping on us as well.
Unless of course we are children and invincible!
It matters not whether you are an artist, a plumber , a lawyer, a bee keeper, or even out of work. It is there – hovering over your shoulder ready to stick in it’s 2 cents worth if you give it half a chance. So what to do?
Here are some ideas on how to control this pesky fellow…..
Firstly acknowledge that he/she exists as an entity separate from you
To help with this – draw, paint, sculpt, what he/she looks like – does he/she have a name?
Secondly you need to determine that you are actually in control – that YOU get to say whether or not you choose to allow him/her to have any say at all.
Thirdly you might ask – but how can I stop him/her – he/she just turns up in my head and lets fly. Heres a couple of tricks –
a. Imagine you have a big dial you can turn up or down that controls the volume of your critic speaking to you. Then turn down the volume to zero and refuse to listen.
b. Imagine yourself tying a gag on him/her.
c. Imagine a rubbish bin – you could paint it all different colors if you like – and when Mr or Mrs Critic pops up – well just put it in the bin and put the lid on very firmly and walk away. You could even erect a sound barrier around the bin if you felt like it.
I joined the local camera club recently – thought it might be useful to find out a bit more about photography. I went on my first outing with the club this Sunday, up to Norah Head Light House. Got up at quarter to five – what a shock to the system that was! Here are some of the highlights, I would like to share with you.
I’m fascinated by the glowing light and all the reflections as
it revolves slowly in the silent night.
Light The Way
I love that deep blue of the clouds just before dawn.
This shot reminds me of something out of Riven – if you
ever played that computer game.
It is amazing what wind, water, salt and sun can achieve.
This one is my favourite I think – it inspires me to do a painting
A gentle way to practice becoming comfortable with change is to choose at least one thing each day and do it differently.
As I said before – we are creatures of habit. Take me for instance. Every Sunday I go for a walk along the beach – a ten minute drive from home.
I have my walk and then go to a great little café right on the beach, where I have breakfast – usually banana bread. In fact that’s where I am right now – writing my blog posts for the week. And as I sit here with my Latte and banana bread, and begin writing this post about habits I am flashing that I also always slice my bread up the same way. Hmm……..
Break The Habit
So what the………. Today I decided to cut it up differently!!! I ended up with a star on my plate instead of a bunch of rectangles. Did it feel different? Actually it did, awkward even – but that’s the whole point.
By consciously choosing to change the things we do habitually, we get to safely experience the feeling – no matter how small – of what happens internally when we choose to do something differently.
The long term value is that when it comes to a bigger thing, we have developed a higher change/pain threshold. We feel much more comfortable with change and have therefore less resistance to it. The process is no longer unfamiliar, or seems to present so many obstacles.
Ultimately we might even get to the point where it becomes a habit to ask ourselves how we might do each thing differently – what if I did this instead? How can I create a better experience?
So yes – stepping out can be pretty darn scary. Why is it so risky for us on the creative path? One of the main reasons is that creating clearly requires self honesty. When we put something out there for the world to look at we are exposing part of our soul, our true self for others to see. That’s pretty vulnerable and often quite uncomfortable. After all what glimpses of yourself do you want to show others? How honest is your vision – and this applies whether you are in’ business’ or an ‘artist’? Although as I’ve said before – art is a business just like any other. Are you seeking approval and compromising your vision and what ultimately is the cost of that likely to be?
Creativity is a risky business because there are no guarantees and “failure” is par for the course. Not only that, we live in a society that frowns on failure – not understanding that it is a stepping stone on the path to success. In fact it takes immense courage to live the truly creative path as unlike a war where there are clearly defined battles, the creative process continually presents us with challenges on a daily basis, asking us to step up and out of our comfort zones.
Below is a great Photo (Thanks Pink Chocolate) which really says it all – so just in case you missed it – You can’t leap across a gap like that without being fully committed. But once you commit – well its scary and exhilarating all at the same time.