For this next part of the meditation, I shift to the sixth chakra, at the middle of the forehead and just above the eyebrows—or third eye—symbolized by the color indigo.
For a time in my life, considering myself creative was almost as difficult as considering myself holy.
But there was a time when every one of us knew we were creative: when we were four years old.
If you ask a four-year-old if she is creative, she might cock her head and wonder what you mean. But if you say, “Do you like to make things?” her eyes will light up and she might grab one of your fingers and haul you over to see something she made.
She is proud of it. It doesn’t even have to be a Big Thing. She is proud of all her creations.
Adults are another story. If someone asks if we are creative, we might wince. We mentally measure ourselves, using the rarified criterion of installations in museums or books on a bestseller list or a hit show on Broadway that redefines the modern musical. “Not really,” we answer.
When we say that—to the other person or just to our Self—that small ignored beansprout of creativity inside us shrivels a little more. As adults, the beansprout is so small that unless we have consciously nurtured it, we can’t tell it’s there at all.
But it is there.
Part of the problem is that school deliberately crushed our creativity because school was training us to be cogs in a machine.
Part of the problem is how we define creative work. Fine arts is creative work. Everything else doesn’t count.
We are wrong about this.
We are creative when we are engaged with work that draws us in, captures all our attention, fires our imagination, requires our best thinking, demands our care. That is creative work.
A friend is creative when she plans parties for her family, exquisitely detailed right down to the handcrafted individual place cards and place card holders, for a party where everyone already knows everyone else and it would be easy enough to say, “How ’bout you sit over there.”
Another friend is creative in business. When she worked in corporate America, she imagined and created bold new initiatives that changed the work culture. Now she’s creating bold new businesses.
Trent was a creative cook. Once, as I cooked a big pot of bland veggie soup, I asked him for advice. He looked in the fridge and pulled out a half-gone jar of grape jelly. “Try this.” Trent was right. The soup was suddenly more complex, more interesting.
We are creative, every one of us.
Using the Bible for reference, if God is the Creator, and we are made in God’s image, then we are creators as well. The essential action of a creator is to create. The essential nature of a creator is creative.
My eyes are closed, I direct them to the place above and between my eyebrows, and I say the words:
I am creative.
Chewing the Cud of Good
Thankful for nature, even in a city. Especially in a city.