The Zen of Creativity

creatividad

Every few months, my creative compass as a blogger goes a little awry and begins pointing towards approval seeking. My writing leans towards the show-offy shortcuts and borrowed genius. My effort becomes to craft that cleverly-written post that will get the maximum likes.

The symptoms are familiar: I begin to be driven by a compulsion of proving. I become a little hurried and irritable. I contract when given criticism. I wait anxiously for responses as a measurement of my worth. In essence, I become a victim of the blog.

At such times, I get a reminder from my mentor GD of the real reasons that we write. I had shared it in a post many moons ago in the form of five questions to ask before you blog. But it can be applied to any form of creativity. I am reposting here for so many new fellow-bloggers and readers who have joined since then. It’s a goldmine of wisdom that helps me get back on track.

A reminder that, as GD says: “Writing is just your excuse to connect with the Source. It is a means for your evolution – your device for meditation. A blog is just an excuse to be in that space. It’s finally not even about honing your skill as a writer – it’s about finding your integrity. Are you becoming a puppet and dancing for others? Or are you finding your truth and acting from there?”

The original post reproduced below: 

The Awake Blogger

(Originally Posted November 2012)

A few months ago, when I was just beginning my blogging journey, I had asked my mentor GD for some tips on blogging as a path of reflection and self-learning.

The insights he shared in the form of questions to ask myself while creating a new blog could well be insights one could use while creating anything new. Just replacing the word ‘blog’ with cartoon/artwork/book/poem/screenplay could make the same questions a blueprint for any creative person seeking to tune into a higher and wider inspiration.

Some of the questions overlapped, but each was worthy of being asked again and again every time I sat down to create a new blog.

1. “What tiny contribution can I make to the planet today?”
Beginning with an attitude of being available for service silently opens the doorways of intuition and inspiration.

2. “Who am I being when I am creating this blog?”
GD’s one constant reminder to those around him is to develop sensitivity to who they are being rather than focusing only on what they are doing. Everything we create, he says, carries an invisible energetic signature of our state while we were doing it. The most brilliantly written post about love can have the energy of arrogance, fearful desperation or pushiness. Regardless of whether people consciously pick it up or not, they respond to the energy. So the underlying energy is as critical as the content and the awake blogger must gradually become sensitive to his energy while he is creating a blog post.

3. “Is this blog coming from a state of Flow or is it coming from a should, a must, a need-to?”
Sometimes, the starting point for a blog can come from a mind compulsion – a panic that too many days have passed, a fear that one is going to lose one’s readers, a desire to get validation, a need to project oneself as more evolved. Forget about enlightening others, GD told me once, blog for your own evolution.

4. “Do I have a desire for a specific outcome?”
If there is, GD said, you will manipulate the flow into a fixed direction. You will not be true to the natural impulse in the moment. Sometimes, just like the expensive car and house – blogging can also become another vehicle for self-gratification. Instead, consider approaching it as being an expression of me being fully, simply, me.  So the question to ask is: am I being honest to myself and my deepest integrity? Is there any form of deception creeping in? Is there any subtle greed and fear operating?

5. “Is there any part of me which wants to convert/coerce others into changing their point of view?”
The analogy GD gave to explain this was that of a handsome gulmohur tree. Seeing the tree may inspire us. But the tree is not trying to make us like it. It is just standing in his own truth. As we get into the Flow, blogging becomes as natural, effortless and spontaneous as the bird singing its own song or the flower sharing its fragrance: a spontaneous happening with no thought for the result. Along the way, GD cautioned, don’t become too attached to your point of view. ‘Don’t hard-sell,’ he said. ‘The harder you sell, the more resistance you will face. Don’t take your own wisdom too seriously!’

Finally, GD reminded me: Don’t judge your old writings – your old blogs. That was the best you knew then. Appreciate yourself for going out there and saying your piece. And thank the blog and the readers for giving you an excuse to Flow. Everything in life is a means to return to your true self. Let the blog also become another reason to dive deeper into you!

I Love You!

I Love You

One of the purest & most powerful lines of love I have come across.
I created this image for all of you who read this blog.
And who muster the courage to put out your creativity every week.
You awe me. I love you…

*

Epifunny #5: The Sound of One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping

Epifunny #4: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Cartoon

Epifunny #3: 2012 – The Winds of Change

Maybe letting go is the only way out…

The Awake Blogger

A few months ago, when I was just beginning my blogging journey, I had asked my mentor GD for some tips on blogging as a path of reflection and self-learning.

The insights he shared in the form of questions to ask myself while creating a new blog could well be insights one could use while creating anything new. Just replacing the word ‘blog’ with cartoon/artwork/book/poem/screenplay could make the same questions a blueprint for any creative person seeking to tune into a higher and wider inspiration.

Some of the questions overlapped, but each was worthy of being asked again and again every time I sat down to create a new blog.

1. “What tiny contribution can I make to the planet today?”
Beginning with an attitude of being available for service silently opens the doorways of intuition and inspiration.

2. “Who am I being when I am creating this blog?”
GD’s one constant reminder to those around him is to develop sensitivity to who they are being rather than focusing only on what they are doing. Everything we create, he says, carries an invisible energetic signature of our state while we were doing it. The most brilliantly written post about love can have the energy of arrogance, fearful desperation or pushiness. Regardless of whether people consciously pick it up or not, they respond to the energy. So the underlying energy is as critical as the content and the awake blogger must gradually become sensitive to his energy while he is creating a blog post.

3. “Is this blog coming from a state of Flow or is it coming from a should, a must, a need-to?”
Sometimes, the starting point for a blog can come from a mind compulsion – a panic that too many days have passed, a fear that one is going to lose one’s readers, a desire to get validation, a need to project oneself as more evolved. Forget about enlightening others, GD told me once, blog for your own evolution.

4. “Do I have a desire for a specific outcome?”
If there is, GD said, you will manipulate the flow into a fixed direction. You will not be true to the natural impulse in the moment. Sometimes, just like the expensive car and house – blogging can also become another vehicle for self-gratification. Instead, consider approaching it as being an expression of me being fully, simply, me.  So the question to ask is: am I being honest to myself and my deepest integrity? Is there any form of deception creeping in? Is there any subtle greed and fear operating?

5. “Is there any part of me which wants to convert/coerce others into changing their point of view?”
The analogy GD gave to explain this was that of a handsome gulmohur tree. Seeing the tree may inspire us. But the tree is not trying to make us like it. It is just standing in his own truth. As we get into the Flow, blogging becomes as natural, effortless and spontaneous as the bird singing its own song or the flower sharing its fragrance: a spontaneous happening with no thought for the result. Along the way, GD cautioned, don’t become too attached to your point of view. ‘Don’t hard-sell,’ he said. ‘The harder you sell, the more resistance you will face. Don’t take your own wisdom too seriously!’

Finally, GD reminded me: Don’t judge your old writings – your old blogs. That was the best you knew then. Appreciate yourself for going out there and saying your piece. And thank the blog and the readers for giving you an excuse to Flow. Everything in life is a means to return to your true self. Let the blog also become another reason to dive deeper into you!

Image © Aalif Surti 2012

Epifunny #1: “Master, I finally got it!”

Trying to get back to cartooning with some inspiration from my very unserious mentor GD! I like the simplicity and immediacy of cartoons. Exploring the possibilities of commenting on spirituality using the seeker and master characters. Here’s a preliminary attempt… I quite enjoyed doing it, I hope you enjoy seeing it!

© Aalif Surti 2012