I spent all year partnering with my creative process. What I learned was surprising and quite new. I’d love to share these lessons from my most creatively productive year ever with you.
2015 was an extraordinary year for me. When I sat down during the cold days between Christmas and New Year to take inventory of my creative pursuits for the year I was amazed. The list is varied and long.
— Completing my book: Creativity as Co-therapist: The Practitioner’s Guide to the Art of Psychotherapy (Routledge due out March 2016)
–Writing, testing, and launching my new online class: Going Beyond Words: The Art of Therapeutic Relationship
–Redecorating my private practice studio with Victorian furniture and Persian rugs (some of which needed to be refurbished by yours truly) to honor the craftsmanship that went into making furniture of that time period.
–Writing, filming, and releasing 9 videos that teach therapists how to integrate creativity into their practice: The Creative Advantage
–Attending a week long painting workshop with Jane Davies at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY
–Creating an inviting studio space of my own for painting, collaging, and napping
–Participating in an 8 week intensive art course on Abstraction with Lisa Call
I’m not here to write about the list really.
What I really want to share is what I’ve learned about the creative process during this productive year.
It’s key. It’s foundational.
It’s what will guide my creative pursuits in 2016. And maybe give you some inspiration for your creative pursuits, too.
You see, I have spent 20 years teaching people to “Trust the Process”. It’s been my mantra. It’s become my students’, my clients’, and my workshop participants’ mantra. I’ve spent countless hours helping thousands of people to finally trust that within the creative process there are twists and turns and struggles—but in the end, when they trust it, things work out.
Well, at the start of 2015, I can honestly say that I held as much trust as I feel possible to hold in my creative process. I have lived my own medicine and worked to experience the unknown and uncertainty as necessary parts of the process.
But, when I really think about my last year, it was less about trust and more about respect.
That’s right. Respecting the process is the key.
For instance, I found that “ass in chair”—a particular style of disciplined writing that many authors subscribe to—doesn’t work for me. It is disrespectful of my creative process to point my index finger straight at it and demand that it produce—even if I try to relieve the pressure by giving it the double binding message, “It really doesn’t matter what you write, just start writing.”
So, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about respecting my creative process. Perhaps, by putting it out into the InnerCanvas community, we can all begin to grow and practice the respect that our creativity actually requires in order to make amazing years happen. Read More… »