Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom Magazine is also one of the country's largest free holistic publications with 150,000 copies printed bi-monthly in three regional print editions. Wisdom is dedicated to opening people's hearts and minds to the philosophies, products and services of the new millennium.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings  Holistic Resource Directory
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Yoga Teacher Training
 Article Archives  What's New in Books, CD's & DVD's  Wisdom Marketplace
 Where to Find Wisdom Near You  Subscriptions  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information  Contact Us
Denali Institute of Northern Traditions
Miriam Smith
Margaret Ann Lembo
Maureen St Germain
Spirit Hollow
Laura Norman Reflexology
Vibes Up
Light Healing
Sacred Journeys Retreats
Alternatives For Healing

Creativity for Life

by Eric Maisel, PhD


The phrase “creativity for life” means at least three different things. The first meaning is that creativity can permeate a life: that a person can be creative in the way that she handles her job, solves problems around the house, plans menus for dinner parties, or takes in a sunset. She manifests the qualities of a creative person, like imagination, resourcefulness, self-direction, and so on, and shines them like a beacon on whatever she thinks about or tackles. One shorthand moniker for this is that she is “everyday creative” or that she is engaged in “artful living.”

The second meaning of the phrase “creativity for life” is that people who love things like art, music, literature, science, and, more broadly, smart things, gorgeous things, and evocative things, want them in their life. They do not want a life devoid of foreign movies, intellectual puzzles, or natural beauty. They love it that bookstores, museums, and concert halls exist and they love it that they can fill their living space and their spare time with art. Our shorthand for this is “an art-filled life” or “art-filled living.” In this sense, “creativity for life” means filling all the days of your life with art and the joy that art brings.

You probably want these two things: to be “everyday creative” and to have an “art-filled life.” You may also be someone who falls into a third category. A third meaning of the phrase “creativity for life” is that a person spends a lifetime creating in a particular domain, a domain to which she decides to devote herself. She can be creative as a violinist and devote herself to music. She can be creative as a writer and devote herself to writing novels. She can be creative as a research biologist and devote herself to scientific inquiry. Our shorthand for this is “an art-committed life” or “identifying as an artist.” Millions of people make this choice, with all of the joys and challenges that come with it.

An artful life, an art-filled life, and an art-committed life are not mutually exclusive ideas or mutually exclusive ways of being. But they do present different challenges. As soon as you decide to be creative in a domain and decide that you mean to live your life as a novelist, biochemist, actor, or sculptor, you introduce a set of profound challenges that would not have confronted you if you had “settled” for artful living and an art-filled life. It is one thing to decorate your apartment with found objects that tickle your fancy. It is another thing to decide to live your life as a “found object” artist and to pay the bills from your art proceeds. When you decide to devote yourself to creativity in a domain, you raise the stakes tremendously, you organize your life around that dream, and your emotions rise and fall with your successes and failures.

Whether your goal is artful living, an art-filled life, or an art-committed life, two keys to success are careful attention and regular practice. We tend to do a pretty poor job of paying attention to our realities; we seem programmed to repeat our days without improving our circumstances or deepening our awareness. Nor do we tend to want to commit to the patient apprenticeship that is required of someone who wants to translate her love of an art form into mastery. As general rules, we pay too little attention and we practice too little. Whether you are looking to live more artfully or produce more art, you will feel more positive, motivated, and on track if you commit to a daily practice that involves you in activities that encourage your native creativity and that bring more art into your life.

These daily activies might include such simple things as listening to music that moves you or getting fresh flowers for the living room. They might include carving out islands of mindfulness, five minutes here and five minutes there, where you pay quiet atteention to your life and consider how your might live more joyfully, wisely, and artfully. If you are intending to live an art-committed life, they would include the regular practice of your instrument, daily writing on your novel, or taking care of the busisness of art by networking and marketing. None of these tasks sound outlandisly difficult and yet, because we keep ourselves busy and resistant, we tend to avoid them—and by avoiding them miss our chance for artful living, an art-filled life, and, if it is one of our dreams, an art-committed life.

You maintain lifelong creativity by maintaing daily creativity. Even on the busiest days, when the commute to work, a stressful job, and the commute home take up most of your waking hours, you can still have an art-committed first hour of the day, as you work on your novel, an art-filled evening, with music and the scent of flowers, and an artful day throughout as you mindfully bring your talents and your passion to the ordinary tasks of living. Artful living, an art-filled life, and an art-committed life are each available to you if you build up the habits of daily awareness and daily practice.

# # #

Based on the book Creativity for Life © 2007 by Eric Maisel. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com <http://www.newworldlibrary.com/> or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.

Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is America’s foremost creativity coach and is widely known as the creativity expert. He is a columnist for Art Calendar Magazine, the number one business on-line and print magazine for visual artists, coaches individuals and trains creativity coaches, and offers workshops and keynotes nationally and internationally.


Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by Eric Maisel, PhD
Joshua Bloom
Empowered Light Expo
Light Healing
Miriam Smith
Kiros Book
Alternatives For Healing
Spirit Hollow
Laura Norman Reflexology
Denali Institute
Margaret Ann Lembo

Call Us Toll Free: 888-577-8091 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2016 Wisdom Magazine