Creativity is not just painting or writing; it is stepping outside the way we normally think and looking at a situation from different angles. Author Melissa Harris reminds us that the many small acts we perform on a daily basis can be used to view our lives in a new way.
99 Keys to a Creative Life is divided into three sections for easy reference:
33 awareness keys (mental, emotional or physical): Awareness practices deepen our ability to know what accelerates our creativity. In this section we become highly aware of subtle things that can either stifle or propel us.
33 intuitive or heart-based keys: these help to keep us on the creative path. We “tune in” and make our channel to creativity stronger.
33 spiritual or soul-based keys: ways to apply spirituality or soul-based practices to our creative process. These keys also give the reader ideas on applying spiritual principles to enhance or improve our individual connection to Spirit.
An internationally published artist and psychic, Melissa Harris has dedicated her life to the creation of imagery that celebrates life, love, beauty, nature and magic. She is a Fulbright Scholar recipient in Painting and also holds a BFA and an MFA in Painting.
Equally sought after for her intuitive and artistic abilities, Melissa travels throughout the country teaching art-making workshops, creativity workshops and classes, and composing her popular Spirit Essence Portraits—unique paintings combining her artistic proficiency and her psychic skills. Her original paintings can be found in numerous private and public collections. As an entrepreneur, she offers reproductions of her work, a full line of greeting cards and products which are produced by her publishing company, Creatrix.
It’s easy to get so lost in holding together our busy, sometimes chaotic lives—carpool, school, work, daycare, dinner, holidays, –that we end up ignoring what else is in our immediate path. If we are constantly preoccupied with the next task or busy worrying, we may not notice the landscape we just passed that might make a great painting, or the song on the radio that could inspire the creation of a new character in our novel. These gifts could be inspirations for creative ideas as well as opportunities for inner growth. That argument you just had with a co-worker could be turned on its head and become a positive experience by using your awareness to take a deep look at all sides of the situation. By doing so, you may come to an understanding of where you may need to grow and stretch to help in your personal development.
Awareness means being awake and present so that you recognize even subtle things that can either stifle or propel you. These are mental, emotional and physical keys to help you become more attentive, which can prepare you to make choices leading to greater creativity. We learn to observe how the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary and become able to fully enjoy the creations of others. Our commitment to awareness can show Spirit we have made a decision to live at a high level of personal and creative fulfillment.
I used to be guilty of daydreaming to the degree that it was detrimental to getting things accomplished. When I was in school my mind was hardly ever on my studies because I was busy thinking about getting out and going to play, and later busy thinking about what I wanted to paint. In fact, I stood a book up on my small desk and hid a drawing behind it, not even taking part in the subject of the class. Grades were low in the subjects that didn’t hold my attention, as you can imagine.
Later in life I realized that this ingrained habit of allowing my mind to wander was not serving me well and decided to address the problem. I put effort into harnessing where my awareness was at any given moment. I was surprised at how often my mind was elsewhere when I first made it a habit to do some of the exercises found in the following keys. You too should be able to notice rather quickly that your mind strays less and you are staying on task, getting things done in a more efficient manner. It may take a time period of some vigilance but soon you will notice changes. These exercises are especially helpful when we are in a period of emotional distress.
Awareness practices deepen our ability to know what enhances our creativity and fosters inner peace. Awareness forms a base, a platform, from which we can develop the keys in all of the sections. If you are functioning with maximum consciousness, things will fall into place with greater ease, and your creative faculties will soar because you are present to open to inspiration and to receiving incoming ideas.
Awareness calls us to open our eyes, ears, heart and mind. When we are alert we are available to receive creative inspiration from infinite sources. We are taking care of our health, responsibilities and relationships so that we are free from “clutter” in any of those areas. Working with these keys will help remove obstacles and clear your path to optimum flow in your creations. We take more responsibility in our relationships when we are aware of energy dynamics with others.
The awareness keys in my book ask you to focus on your surroundings, relationships or your physical health. All of these are factors in how available we are to receive creative inspiration and put it into motion. If we are walking around in a fog, we miss much of what could be integrated into a more creative life. If we surrender to participating in relationships that are no longer working, we lose life force energy. And, if we are living and/or working in surroundings that don’t make us feel good we can make use of this opportunity to create happy spaces.
Imagine beginning your day by putting on a pair of eyeglasses that sharpen everything that comes your way. Awareness is yours with a bit of effort and focus. Enjoy the benefits of having things fall into place with much less effort. Your creative endeavors will blossom with more abundance and power because you are awake and aware! Hooray!
My review of this fabulous book can be found on Birds on The Blog.