Creative Process 1
Create Your Own Creative Boundary and Make it Your Sacred Space
Set Up the Right Conditions for Your Creativity
Find a place you want to visit repeatedly, where you will be able to hear and think and feel, and commit to going there to create at least once a week. Make a commitment to your Muse to be with Her and prepare for Her visit.
When Matisse would go into the natural world to paint, he would draw an outline around his feet right there on the ground. He did this so he could replace himself in the exact spot when he returned later on to complete the painting. This gave his perspective a fixed point. It allowed him to notice with precision what was different in the landscape, and what had remained the same. This approach is quite similar to developing a simple but consistent spiritual practice.We need a fixed point, a point of constant reference, in order to notice the shape and changes of our minds. The frightened part of our egos will argue against such a practice and try to convince us that it is constraining, that it restricts our freedom, that it isn’t natural. But if you look carefully at how nature really works you will see how much of its life and beauty depend upon consistency and the repetition of particular patterns in order to live and grow. Without certain fixed points in our own lives, we may become like a bird that flies around and around in a treeless land without knowing where to set down.
— Peter Levitt in Fingerpainting On the Moon
To Practice This Today: Levitt is talking about a writing discipline, but what he says about having a fixed point of reference could apply to any form of creative expression. Decide upon a place that can provide you with that kind of consistency over the remaining weeks of this course. Make the commitment to spend a certain amount of time there each week. Set up the right conditions to nurture your creativity by symbolically drawing a circle around your feet.