Episode 26: Intuition + Creativity = Flow

Join me this week as I explore intuition and creativity (they are interconnected, if not two sides of the same coin), and the magic that they generate when used in coordination (FLOW).

You’ll learn:

  • How taking exquisite care of yourself is part of the equation
  • A new way of looking at why you should share your art
  • What a lack of consistency in your creative practice actually means about you (it’s not what you think)

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Let’s become a generation of creative women who are examples for the people in our lives of what it looks like to prioritize our work (AND recognize our impact).

x, Jen

Full episode transcript below:

Welcome to today's episode intuition + creativity = flow. 

I am super excited about today's episode. Let me outline today's journey for you. We're going to begin by looking at intuition and creativity, to me, they're interconnected. If not two sides of the same coin. And the magic that they generate when used in coordination. Which I believe results in flow. 

We're also going to look at what blocks access to your intuition, and how to strengthen your connection to your intuition so that you feel like creative powerhouse, and know how to reliably create more flow in your life.   

One of my core beliefs is that we are all connected to the source that generates  our inner wisdom, AKA our intuition. It's like a tap and our job is to take great care of ourselves, the better care that we take, the more open our tap is, and the more attuned we are. 

I often ask myself, and others, what would it look like to take exquisite care of yourself? When we feel really well cared for physically, mentally, and spiritually, then we feel an intrinsic desire to produce our ideas, to mess around and see what happens. And we can actually hear the brilliant ideas that are brewing within our awareness. 

 To me, this is the goal. It's not to make art because you said you would, or because it means you're legitimate, or  whatever other meaning you assign to it. 

 By the way it's a really good idea to figure out why you want to have a reliable practice or why you want to have the creative goals that you're currently envisioning for yourself.  Whatever your reasons are, it's really good to know, because right now, you're currently putting those on your ability to have a regular creative practice. And then you're relating to it in opposition to not having that. And you, then you assign a lot of meaning. 

So, just know that you having a regular art practice will not make you feel legitimate or successful or whatever, meaning you're assigning to it.  That comes from your self definition, not from something outside of you. 

So to me, the goal is to take such great care of yourself that making art is an inevitability. And the art that you make, is in everything that you do. It's in how you live your life, how you prepare a meal, how you bake a loaf of bread, the way that you care for your plants, how you talk to yourself about sitting down to make creative work, the inner narrative fuel you're offering yourself as you paint or draw or make pottery. 

All of that, in addition to the actual physical artwork that you make, is making art.  

I believe that we can all, and actually all want to, live life as a creative act.  We can live our lives as though they're a work of art, and that's what I mean here. Everything we do, and the way we relate to ourselves, and the way that we do our daily mundane tasks, can all be an expression of our art.  

One of my clients shared this observation with me and I think she nailed it. She said, quote, "Everybody is creative in different ways. Now that I've opened up, I feel like I can tune into my intuition more. Because the other stuff, the old stuff I believed about myself and my work, isn't blocking me anymore.  Now I'm thinking about learning new things about what my creative process could look like. And listening to my intuition to take action from there". 

 Go back 15 seconds to relisten to that, if you need to. 

Can you hear the energy she was sharing from?  It was from a truly connected place within her.  She came to me, as many people do, including myself when I started this work, with lots of rules about what a creative practice should look like. Now she knows that it actually lives inside her and she can tap in whenever she wants to. 

I always say this, you can't unsee this once you really know it. She will always have this awareness available to her. And now you will too. 

I love this definition of creativity, " creativity is any act, idea, or product that has the ability to transform an existing domain or a situation". And I'm going to butcher this name, Mihaly  C S I K S Z E N T M I H A L Y I. He's done studies on flow so if you Google his name and flow you can learn more about him. He is amazing. 

And there's another quote that I really love by Rick Rubin. He says that, "the ability to look deeply is the root of creativity. To see past the ordinary and mundane and get to what might otherwise be invisible." 

 To me, these two quotes capture the ethos of creativity- intuition- and flow.  I'm using these words, I have dashes between them, cause to me,  it's kind of cyclical. They feed each other and they also are like  across the triangle from each other. So you can go around them and you can go between them. They are all interrelated.   

It's actual alchemy. Your brain plus your inner wisdom is taking something and transforming it by taking the raw parts a level deeper and making the invisible visible. By taking what only you can see and making it explicit. To me, that is the crux of creativity. 

You are taking an idea and you're building on it or you are making something visible. That's only visible to you. It's currently invisible. Where you're making something that is implicit to you, that comes naturally to you, explicit for other people.  

 In a book by Rick Rubin, he talks about, when we share our art, we're putting it back into the collective. And that other people then have the ability to respond to it, and to build on it. And that they will have a reaction to it, or they will engage with it differently than you might, and then create something as a result of that.   I loved that meditation on the collective art that we all make, and I think it's a really beautiful way of thinking about- 

 There's this saying that I'm sure you've heard, which is , no idea is truly original. And then there's other people that say that all art is copying. 

And to me that feels kind of scarce and reductive, but I love his idea of: we are all just taking things in and then building on them, putting our special touch on them. And then putting them back out into the world and then other people are engaging with them and that is triggering ideas within them, which then they get to express their brilliance. 

 And they may or may not have had that, had they not seen what you put out into the world. So I just think that's such a beautiful way of looking at it. 

 If you agree with me so far, which I hope you do since you're listening to this,  then you can also see why your energy is so critical to this process. Your energy is literally one of the raw parts that goes into this transformational creative process. Therefore it is imperative that you care for your energy. And that you nurture it for the invaluable resource that it is.  

 Your ability to nurture your energy is the very first puzzle piece to accessing your intuition, to hearing your creative callings. And what that results in, which is putting those two together-  intuition plus creativity creates, or results in, flow. 

It is arguably a very simple process though I would say it requires great care and we cannot force it.  It's kind of the ultimate teacher. 

It's something that we all want more of in our lives. And in order to facilitate our intuition, our inner creativity, and experience flow, we need to nurture it and we need to feed it and take care of it like we would any precious resource in our lives. 

Okay. So I want to bring this all together. 

Here is how most people think about creative work. In regards to creativity, there's the way so-and-so does their work in the world, which is their trade or their expression of their creativity. And then many believe that there's this "mystical muse", I put that in quotes, that never seems to reliably visit. And in-between is you, this nebulous space of part inspiration and part effort, but it doesn't really feel reliable and you really want it to be. 

 Creativity only needs be fluffy and fun and seamless and muse driven if you believe the opposite is true: that it's actually hard, and it has to, or it's better to, do it someone else's way. 

If you drop this outward focus and find YOUR way, then it doesn't need to be totally effortful, and it also doesn't need to be effortless. 

 It becomes a dance between you, the inputs in your world, the inner pulling that you feel, experimenting, and messing around to see what comes out and continuing to build the relationship through regular nurturance. 

Rather than seeing it as a one-way street, that you just make demands from,  which I want to point out here that no relationship would survive that form of engagement, and creativity is no different. 

If you treated a cherished friend or partner the way they I'm guessing sometimes you may treat creativity,  which is making a lot of demands on it, having a lot of rules for it, expecting a lot, but not investing a lot and not nurturing a lot. That relationship wouldn't last, right?  We all understand that with people, and I want to offer here that creativity is no different. 

One last offering I want to make is that your lack of consistency is a result of, or evidence of, the disconnection you feel from yourself. I'm gonna repeat that. Your lack of consistency,  I'm thinking here in your creative practice, but I'm sure we could  apply that in other areas- your lack of consistency in your creative practice is a result of, or evidence of, the disconnection you feel from yourself. 

It is not because you're lazy or a procrastinator or you don't care enough. I actually know that's not true. I know you care a lot. 

Instead I offer that it's evidence that you have traveled far away from yourself, your vision, your beliefs, your desires. And instead of trying to solve for this, which never works and it doesn't feel good, you can choose to see it as a sign that you've strayed from yourself and it's time to return. 

The very first step to returning is discovering what it means to take exquisite care of yourself. And doing that. 

That's what I have for you today. I'm so glad that you were here and that we get to walk our paths together.  See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye for now.   


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