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The highest kind of writing – which must not be confused with the most ambitious kind – belongs to the realm of grace. Talent is a part of it, certainly; a thorough understanding of the secret laws, absolutely. But finding the subject and theme which is in perfect harmony with your deepest nature, your forgotten selves, your hidden dreams, and the full unresonated essence of your life – now that cannot be reached through searching, nor can it be stumbled upon through ambition. That sort of serendipity comes upon you on a lucky day. It may emerge even out of misfortune or defeat. You may happen upon it without realising that this is the work through which your whole life will sing. We should always be ready. We should always be humble. Creativity should always be a form of prayer.”
– Newton’s Child, A Way of Being Free by Ben Okri – Pg. 26, 27
If you have not yet read the above quote, I suggest you read it out loud before you read the rest of this post. Go on.
Read it out loud.
You will feel the tone and cadence of the words. It begins simply enough, like an opening sentence of a speech even, but then you get to the third sentence and it is a breathless journey until that sentence ends. In that breathless moment, you feel the hidden dilemma and the hidden joy of being a creative. You understand the truth of what that sentence says, hope that you would be the lucky one who would find the subject and theme that are in perfect harmony with who you are. You also feel the disappointment that ambition alone is not enough. Drive, hard work, complete dedication – none of it is enough by itself. Because creativity is not just about you. It’s about what you take from the universe.
I’m not talking about fluffy new-age concept here. Because you should know by now that we don’t do fluffy here on Kaizen Journaling.
I am talking about the creative essence – ideas, thoughts, inspirations – whatever you want to call them – that somehow come into your brain, and your transform them into some kind of work, whether it’s a painting, or a pot, or a story, or a piece of clothing, or an app, or whatever.
Everything around you contributes to your creativity. Those with the most tuned antenna are more at ease with receiving the inspiration from all sources, internal and external. Those whose antennas are slightly rusty, need to work a little hard to listen, to see, to understand and to absorb.
As people often pray, or wish good-luck, or say something positive before beginning a good deed, perhaps we can entice the universe to turn its head towards us by saying a creativity prayer before we begin our creative task.
What is a creativity prayer?
I think it could be something as simple or as complicated as you want, as long as it reflects your beliefs, your creative tasks, and your relationships with the universe.
You may choose to say simply:
Dear Universe, I’m ready and listening, to all the messages you want to send along your way
Or you may create a prayer that is more like poetry. It is entirely up to you.
What you do with it is more important.
Prayer, no matter what religion or sect it belongs to, is an act of faith. A prayer for creativity requires the same thing. It must be said with complete faith. You must believe in it, for the universe, and for your muse to believe you.
For this exercise, write your own creativity prayer, and if you wish, share it with us in the comments below.