History happens in cycles. There are periods that revere certain qualities over others. We can learn about an embodied, sensual, spiritual creative process from a period of art itself. Some of my favorite art is baroque because it awakens deep emotions in my soul. Baroque art engages and embraces the visitor in a way that spells love, play, joy, intensity, depth and ecstasy. I simply admire how its geometries and forms set the stage to evoke feeling and emotion, grabbing the heart of the beholder and leaving an imprint there, forever.
Have you seen the sculpture The Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini? It is in a church in Rome (Santa Maria della Vittoria), resting like a hidden gem that gleams in the darkness.
“And like all those who faint away through excess of pleasure and joy, she remains as it were unconscious in the divine arms and on the divine breast. She no longer cares for anything except to abandon herself to joy. . . this holy madness.”
~ Saint Teresa of Avila
How do you awaken creative flow?
To abandon is to withdraw, to disengage, to separate from that which you no longer care for. How different the meaning of abandoning yourself to something. To open and surrender. Yielding is no passive action; it demands courage, faith, trust, guts.
Have you ever had the experience of giving yourself fully to what you love? Love unravels flow. Flow is a force in the universe, one that you can align with and open to receive, channel, embody. It is a deeper undercurrent underneath the seemingly disparate currents that can crowd our mind, heart and culture.
Feel the pull. “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” ~ Rumi
Do you know this feeling, to abandon yourself to something deeper, truer, higher? What an oxymoron that to find yourself, to really find yourself, you might just have to abandon yourself to something first. Art allows us to discover our nature in the liberating process of surrender. This is the artistry of the spiritual experience; the spirituality of the artistic process. Art hones our center and takes us to our very edge, compresses us and stretches us like a kaleidoscopic mandala.
This is creative flow, creative intimacy. Trust and get naked, transformed, liberated in the creation of new life.
“The process of writing this novel was a process similar to making myself naked, in a way.”
~ Haruki Murakami
So, get naked. Let your art undress you, reveal yourself. Let it surprise you. Ride the waves of your own flow in touch with the flow of the universe. Allow this creative process to undo stifling layers corroding your sense of freedom. Not necessarily the most comfortable if you are used to masks that filter, edit and subdue your experience. Only when naked, can you truly give yourself to what you love.
May fear melt in the presence of love,