Creating Space: How Receptivity Transforms You and Your Creative Projects
I’ve just started singing lessons again after decade-long intermission. Once again, singing is teaching me more about living than any book ever could. Each breath makes a space in me for my authentic sound to come through. Using the instrument of my body to shape that sound has mostly to do with not doing something. There is a great and subtle work required to perfect that skill. This week’s lesson is to be the glove rather than the fist. And I am, once again, a beginner.
The act of creating follows the act of receiving. The sound follows the breath.
But What is Receptivity Really?
Receptivity is a state of being that takes in the world, from the widest sweep of evolution to the pinpoint specificity of an instant. Receptivity allows penetration, invites influence, surrenders the illusion of control. It is listening rather than the incessant speaking that surrounds us.
The Trap of Creative Consumerism
Today we find ourselves in a noisy world where attention is our most precious commodity. We’re all seeking it, but we find it difficult to give for more than a few seconds at a time. What is this costing us?
We who create long to express ourselves, and to have our creative work acknowledged. We want to be seen and heard, witnessed, received. But if all we’re doing is expressing ourselves, who is listening? Is what I have to share with the world more important than the sharing of others? Do I want to compete with them in this way?
Escaping The Productivity Cult
In a fast-paced, competitive world where productivity trumps presence, it is crucial to recognize the significance of receptivity on your creative process and its impact on your creative work. Receptivity is every bit as crucial a skill in creating as is productivity. So this post explores that connection and offers you six strategies to develop and enhance this essential skill in your creative journey.
The Profound Power of Receptivity
Receptivity takes you deeper than production or even ideation. Being receptive means opening yourself up to inspiration, insights, and ideas from the infinite wealth of sources all around you, and then allowing them to inform and shape your creative work. By cultivating receptivity, you tap into an abundant wellspring of creative energy, which I believe is the world’s greatest natural resource. Your work can reach new heights of innovation and excellence because its form is rooted in the essential and grounded in Source.
Strategies for Cultivating Receptivity
- Nurture curiosity as a mindset. Curiosity fuels receptivity by encouraging us to explore new subjects, engage with diverse perspectives, and seek out novel experiences. Embrace the unknown, ask questions, and allow yourself to be enthralled by the wonders of the world.
- Harness the power of active observation. In the midst of your busy schedule, intentionally slow down and Immerse yourself in the present moment. Take notice of the subtle details, colors, shapes, and interactions in your environment. Engage all your senses and you will uncover hidden gems and find inspiration in the seemingly mundane.
- Carve out sacred time for solitude. Carve out regular moments of solitude, away from distractions, where you can recharge and reflect. Solitude provides the necessary space for ideas to emerge, take shape, and develop. Give yourself permission to disconnect from the constant noise of the world and tap into the wisdom of your body, mind and spirit.
- Immerse yourself in Nature. Nature has an unparalleled ability to awaken your senses and ignite your creative spirit. Incorporate regular walks in natural settings to breathe in the fresh air, feel the earth beneath your feet, and embrace the sights and sounds. Let the beauty of the natural world inspire the awe that will enliven your creative projects.
- Embrace mistakes and failure as catalysts. Let go of the fear of making mistakes and embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. Receptivity thrives when we are open to learning from our missteps. See setbacks as valuable lessons and use them to refine your creative process. Even the most challenging experiences will nourish your creative spirit if you learn to receive them.
- Cultivate stillness and mindfulness. Incorporate practices of stillness and mindfulness into your daily routine. Engage in practices such as meditation, deep breathing or journaling to quiet the incessant chatter of the mind and make space for new ideas to emerge. By developing an awareness of the present moment, you enhance your receptivity to creative inspiration.
Taking The Way Home
Creativity is not a singular endeavor but a dance between producing and receiving. Your creative project's success lies not only in your ability to execute but also in your openness to receive. By embracing receptivity, you invite the world to be your muse, transforming your creative process and enriching your work with depth and authenticity.
Amidst the pressures of project deadlines and the high-tech battle for your attention, it can be easy to let the transformative power of receptivity slip by you. But within you lives a wellspring of creativity, waiting to be harnessed and amplified. Honor this gift, nurture it with intention, and cultivate receptivity to unlock your full creative potential.
If you have a creative project you’re neglecting, these six practices will pave the way for your project's success as well as your personal transformation.
It’s a path we walk together – making space to receive and produce – every month in the Virtual Studio Day co-creation sessions. Join us!