Creating from the spirit: living each day as a creative act
"Every day is a creation--not only for us but by us . . . a moment-by-moment miracle." Dan Wakefield recounted his own pilgrimage through the heady peaks and grim gulches of a creative life in Returning: A Spiritual Journey, which Bill Moyers called "one of the most important memoirs of the spirit I've ever read." Now, in Creating from the Spirit, this award-winning journalist and novelist reveals how writers, artists, musicians, and creative people of all kinds can unleash the principle of creativity within, so that it can infuse every aspect of our lives. Wakefield explodes the many myths often associated with the mysterious creative process: that creativity is only for the artistic elite, that women's work is less creative than men's, and that to be creative means one must be tormented, alienated, neurotic, irresponsible, and a failure at relationships. The truth is that many of us are blocked by low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations, stultifying routine, or the double demons of money and artistic standing--we compartmentalize our lives into the "creative" and the "commonplace." Drawing on examples from religion, philosophy, and literature, and exercises such as journaling and right-brain drawing, Creating from the Spirit teaches us that the key to creation is clarity of body, mind, and spirit. This book challenges the "dangerous nirvanas" of drug and alcohol as false agents of inspiration, examines the stereotype of tortured artists like Dylan Thomas, Scott Fitzgerald, Jackson Pollock, and Kurt Cobain, and contrasts them with portraits of fulfilled and healthy creators, such as Toni Morrison, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Michael Jordan, and Hildegarde of Bingen. Creating from the Spirit guides us into the art of "emptying" ourselves of the incessant chatter that deadens both senses and soul. It teaches us the wisdom of "filling up" by accessing our natural perceptions and hidden creative resources. This cycle is brilliantly expressed in the lives and words of twenty "creators of the spirit"--from artists and writers to scientists and athletes, to CEOs and chefs--who have learned to embrace each moment as a creative act. For those who create in solitude or in community, out of personal pain or irrepressible joy, Creating from the Spirit testifies to a luminous truth: "To access your creative powers. . . you need only be in awe of the mystery of the universe, the life force and its power, and be willing to be open to it."
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Myths of Creativity
Booze and the Muse
The Illusion of Drugs
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Creating from the Spirit: A Path to Creative Power in Art and Life
Limited preview - 2010
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