It’s Spring, a season of creative disturbance. Once out of the cocoon of Winter, everything starts to move and change. There’s a mix of cold and sun, and everything’s in flux; it can seem like one step forward and two steps back, yet it’s all moving forward.
Spring is an ideal time to let your own creativity flow. We’re part of nature and the stirring of new life happens in us as well. There’s no such thing as an ‘uncreative person’, although we may have been taught that the world is divided into people who are artistic and can produce beautiful things, and others are more down to earth, rational or scientific. This belief can really block your life force, whichever side of the division you’re on.
Pretty much everyone who has a body can move it, can make noises, can make marks on paper — words — that express something that can’t be said any other way. The common characteristic of these kind of ‘creative things’ is that there’s an element in them that just comes to you. You don’t think them up on purpose, make a plan and then execute it. You might decide to write on a certain subject in a certain form, or paint a picture of something in particular, but you never know exactly what will come, and if it’s good, it will surprise you.
The creative force isn’t something you need to go out and find: everything grows and changes, from flowers and animals to us human beings. You can however block it, pretend it’s only for other people, be scared that it might disrupt your plans; you can feel inadequate or that you aren’t good enough in the area that attracts you, or be scared of other people rejecting what they see, be ashamed or indeed terrified of being spontaneous; you can feel unworthy of what comes when you do let go of the plan and make something for the sheer joy of it, for the sheer impulse, or say something you sense is there but don’t have a simple way of explaining.
We all have the desire to move, make noise, make colours, make words, and when we do, we discover more about what we really feel and want and think and value. Then we can engage more fully in our lives and do more in the time we have. You get pleasure and you get power from doing these things. They might tire out your brain or your fingers, but they don’t sap at your life force the way a daily grind in a job or a relationship that feels stuck does.
By its very nature, creativity is free. You can’t tell it what to do.
Although it appears to have no practical purpose in itself, it is also a major source of energy, which can be used for practical purposes. I’d go as far as to say that it should be used for the purpose of changing the way we live and the systems that exploit people, animals and the planet we’re lucky enough to live on. So there’s nothing spurious or wishy washy about creating something; it isn’t necessarily a distraction from ‘reality’. Of course it can be used that way — as everything can be mis-used. But there’s something I’ve also noticed in my therapy practice: once people get in touch with their own life force, and are no longer blocked by traumas, anxieties, or depression, they almost invariably unblock creative talents, or discover them if they believed they didn’t have any. They also almost invariably want to do something to help others, be it in a creative way or an extremely practical one. This seems like a direction of growth.
I’m sitting at the moment at the Terrealuma retreat-centre-in-the-making, which I’m helping create, to facilitate this process. While chain saws buzz around me, and volunteers get to work, I’m writing into my shadow on the laptop screen. The sun is bright all around me. I’m drinking birch sap as I write. We’ve tapped a couple of trees and the clear sap flows out every day into jars; it’s like water but with a subtle note of sweetness. It’s what the tree will be using, very soon, to make bright green leaves.
I’m also sitting here amongst the birch trees in the bright sun and chilly wind, designing a digital form of the Creative Regeneration workshops I’ve been holding in Glasgow, Scotland (with the next one up in May). It’s designed to set you up for your very own intensive creative regeneration month, with exercises, inspirations, videos, a group to support you and a zoom session with me. You can find out more if you’re interested. I’m doing my best to design an optimum way to get to the root of your creative force, first by clearing the mind in meditation, then finding out what your body has to tell you about your life and the world around you, and next free writing to cast aside any internal judgements and get into the groove of letting what comes, come through. Finally, intuitive painting unblocks whatever needs unblocking in a sensual, freeing way and leaves you with something at the end to hold in your hands.
You can then carry on as you were, or you can shift things around, but whatever you do, you have a source of power and an experience of freedom to dip into whenever you need a recharge.
In fact it’s always there. The birch trees don’t need a digital course to make their sap. But we humans have got ourselves into a bit of a mess. Let’s use the Spring energy this year to try and extricate ourselves.
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by