Investing in Your Creativity with Community
Fostering Creativity with Connection and Support
Although our creative work may often be a solitary experience, we are meant to create in community. We now have more options for how we work and create. More of us are building the careers of our dreams, and it often involves working from home or life as a solopreneur. In many ways, this is freeing as we have more flexibility. We also have a need to create systems of support that address our inherent need for connection and reciprocity. In my work with others as a Creative Guidance Coach, I have found that there are some foundational elements that we need to fortify our creative process to make sure we are connected and supported in ways that help us create from a deeper sense of self.
Let’s shift our concept of community from obligation to an ecosystem we are in partnership with.
Community is different things to different people. To some, it is those who are close to us via proximity. To others, it is shared interests or history. We can have many different experiences in community, and be engaged in several communities at once.
I would like to introduce the idea of community as a way of interacting in the world- to see ourselves as connected, and in relationship to our environments, people, resources, and opportunities. Community as ecosystem.
As a hobbyist beekeeper, I am invested in the notion that nature has many of the answers we seek for co-creation and collaboration. I find constant inspiration in observing and supporting a creative collective of honeybees. One of the most profound realizations I had was the notion that not one worker bee looks at their hive and wonders how they are going to build the honey stores on their own. They have their roles and understand that they are part of a group collaborating for the survival and betterment of the hive.
It can be challenging to see ourselves as part of a collective when we live in an individualistic culture, especially when we are working as entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. If we are fortunate, we find ourselves in communities of like-minded folks like Being Boss where we can be inspired by and find support across disciplines and around the world. And yet, we may still feel lonely in our endeavors.
It’s time for a new mindset
In order to get there we need to understand the creative process, how we embody said creative process and find clarity and ownership in how we show up in the world to find greater ease and connection in the ways we create.
Let’s begin with the creative process. What are the universal experiences of being a creative person in this world?
Inspiration + Insight
The lightbulb moment is a classic experience of this, but inspiration can often be an ongoing or unfolding experience. Flashes of insight, infusions of new thought based on something we saw on Instagram or on a recent trip. Inspiration can come from within, or from an external source. Either way, it is something we receive, we respond to.
Planning + Ideation
When we start connecting the dots and charting how our insights fit in with a bigger picture or something specific we would like to create, things take on new life.
Iteration + Execution
This is what many people think of when they think of “being creative”. The act of creativity. Yet it is the result of having things lined up, the correct resources in place, or in some cases, being in the right place at the right time.
Rest + Reflection
Time to digest everything that happened and was created. Are we super proud of ourselves? Is there anything we would do differently? We need to take this time, though we often skip over it as we jump to the next thing or zone out on our phones. With true rest, we give our systems a chance to reset and get ready for the next round of inspiration and insight.
Ok, I have simplified this a bit. I glossed over the messy parts. It is so easy to feel alone and stuck or numb in our process, especially when we are in a space of new creation. There is anxiety in the new, even if we are energized. Fear of the unknown holds us back.
We need to know that we are not alone in this.
When we recognize our inherent connection, we may feel the distinct sense of being part of something bigger, such as a murmuration of birds, or a school of fish.
To take a moment to sit with this, recall how Covid lockdowns were isolating, but also slowed us down as a collective. Did you notice how the group mind and the collective shifted? We were all having our own version of the experience, but for the first time in modern history, we had slowed down to collectively ride the same wave. Clearly, some of us were more jostled than others. There were times when we collectively felt underwater. Hardly anyone I knew felt creative, despite working in a creative field and being part of several creative communities. We were all in a form of survival mode.
As we each work to re-engage with our creative selves, we find that our priorities may have shifted. We want new things from our lives, and our businesses. We may still be in a mode of reflection, knowing we need something new but are unsure of how to proceed.
Creativity, Community, And The Chakras
We can learn how to listen to our bodies for the messages. When we see our chakra system as integrated with our creative process, we are able to understand where we are stuck or idling. Let’s follow the steps of the creative process through the energy centers of our body, from Inspiration to Reflection.
The Crown Chakra
If we begin with the crown chakra, we find ourselves back at inspiration and insight. This is our connection to collective consciousness, the group mind blended with a universe of possibilities. There are many ideas waiting to come into the world, and many of us may receive the same inspiration but will do different things with it.
The Third Eye Chakra
Part of this is due to our unique vision, which is expressed through our third eye chakra. When the idea moves to this chakra, we start to see what is possible based on our way of seeing the world and what is possible. More insights stream through. Are there friends or collaborators that enter your vision? Make note as they may become future resources or partners for this idea.
The Throat Chakra
Once we are ready to communicate our vision, the concept visits our throat chakra. The conversations we have will have a profound impact on what this idea becomes and who may get involved with bringing it to life. We are in the beginning of the planning and ideation stage. Be aware of who you share your vision with at this time. It should be folks who will help you expand or ground your idea. The “helpful critics” can come later.
The Heart Chakra
When we are supported in our communication and the idea starts to show some potential, our passion and emotions are ignited and we fill our heart chakra with excitement and potential. This is beautiful fuel for our ideas, and our emotion ignites inspiration in others.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
When we arrive at the solar plexus, this is where many ideas hit a snag if they weren’t already dashed by someone’s careless comment or lack of response. This is where ideas start to become a reality and we bridge between planning and iteration. We adjust and refine, and yes, there will be times where we decide that the idea should not move forward. This is a great time to bring in a fellow creative. We are not supposed to be alone in this. Get a trusted advisor on any challenge that comes up that you can not figure out on your own. Workshop your ideas. You are not alone.
The Sacral Chakra
By the time our creative idea reaches our sacral chakra, it has been through a lot and it needs you to not think about it too much at this point, but simply show up to be in flow. This is where you need to be present in allowing the work of creativity to be born. Support your senses at this time- listen to beautiful or inspiring music, surround yourself in a supportive environment, make a nourishing meal, and do your part in being present for things to come forth. If you are tired or burned out, rest and take care. Without proper nourishment, you may not have the sacral energy to execute your ideas. If you feel blank or have no clue what you want, that is a sign that you need to take care. If you can have a meal and share stories with a friend or loved one, it feeds this need doubly.
The Root Chakra
Finally, the root chakra. Our survival and basic needs. Groundedness. This was cut off for so many of us collectively at the height of the pandemic. No one knew what was next or how things would play out. We now have more movement and support here, but fears of a looming recession have many of us stuck here once again. The most important thing to invest in here is a supportive network of folks looking out for each other. Knowing that someone has your back can help alleviate fears, even if that someone is the tree in your backyard that helps you feel grounded and centered.
Deepening Your Understanding of Self
Through this deepening of our relationships to our creative process and those who show up as our support, or perhaps even let us down, we deepen our sense of where we have impact on the collective and how we would like to be impacted. When we finally carve out time for rest and reflection, we renew our energy and commitment to how we show up and how we can expect others to show up for us.
When we deepen our understanding of the creative process and how we embody that process, we begin to understand more of what makes us unique, as we each embody our process differently. This allows us to see our gifts as important, and deepens our appreciation of the gifts and contributions of others. We find ourselves in greater flow with reciprocity because we are not concerned about being everything to everyone.