Showing Up vs Jumping In: The Three Steps of the Creative Process

I am by nature and occupation a self-starter. As an entrepreneur and an artist, my "work" is motivated mainly by internal rather than external forces. This is a blessing and a curse. The blessings is the freedom to move at a pace that works and to listening to the movement of the Spirit in my life. The curse... Sometimes the Spirit doesn't whisper and I'm left to my own inner motivation to get things done.  Let's just say that some days it's hard work showing up even when it's to something I enjoy!

I recently heard an interview with Delia Ephron; she was talking about the creative process and that her psychiatrist had taught her some of the how-to's writing. There were three steps. First, you just show up consistently for small amounts of time whether the writing happens or not. This requires pure self-discipline and there is nothing else done during this time. Second, in time this process becomes a habit. And third, one begins to love showing up. I have heard similar steps over the years. Except the last step. I've never heard anybody talk about how showing up leads to falling in love after it becomes a habit.

Often times there's a drive to jump immediately to the loving of the creative process, to the loving of the spiritual practice, to the loving of being an agent of change in our world. What can be forgotten is that the first step is to just show up consistently day after day whether one feels like it or not. This act of showing up produces change. Whether it's making any perceived difference or not. Every day showing up. Then as the showing up becomes a habit, something happens mystically. Somewhere in this process it becomes something bigger than ourselves and transforms into a participation with the Divine.

What part of the creative spiritual life do you feel a call to? This may be: being kind someone who's challenging, a prayer practice, or it could be cleaning out the closet. Maybe it's creating something or writing something or building something. I invite you to just show up first for a small amount of time consistently prayerfully trusting in that bigger process. See if it becomes a habit and most definitely stay with it long enough that it becomes a love.

Our world is in a place of great challenge. We need people to show up and experience that love of showing up. It may or may not produce an obvious result, yet it will add to the movement of Love in the world, and that most definitely changes everything.

Amanda PetersenComment