Being Creative Satisfies Our Soul

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. ― Rumi

One of my all time favorite quotes on creativity comes from Irene Claremont de Castillejo who said “Nothing is more satisfying to the human soul than creating something new. . .” I love it because it feels so true: the kind of true you know in your bones, in your soul. It also widens the field on what creativity is including big and small acts of creation that satisfy us. We can play with a new dessert recipe, figure out a more efficient way to water our garden, or write a draft of a poem and feel the satisfaction of being creative.

I just spent a few days in Reno, Nevada where every July since 1996 has been devoted to Artown, a month long arts festival. I stumbled on one of the events while on a morning walk on the path along the Truckee River which flows through the middle of the city. Bordered by grass and shade trees it’s a lovely oasis in the high sagebrush desert. As I walked I noticed what appeared to be stone shapes of human figures either sitting up or lying down on the grass. Next to each sculpture was a hand written sign saying: Hobo Art, balanced rocks, do not touch, created by Reno Hobo Cyrus.

I was amazed that these wonderful works, that looked so life like, were made by balancing river rocks together. As I continued along the walk I noticed other pieces including ducks sitting on rocks, the way they do on the river. Then I came upon a table with a placard saying Hobo Art Walk with a donation box and a man emptying out a bucket of rocks.

He turned to me saying “Good morning”. I returned the greeting and asked “are you the creator?” “Yes ma’am” he answered. “They are wonderful” I exclaimed, as a smile grew on his face and a “thank you” escaped his lips. I looked more closely at his face framed by longish dark blond hair and a baseball cap, I could see the weathered lines suggesting a life lived rough. But what struck me was the sparkle and aliveness in his eyes.

As I continue walking the awareness came to me that aliveness is one of the great gifts of creativity. It doesn’t necessarily matter if anyone else likes what we do or even if it’s seen by the world. Whether writing a poem or an article for my blog or teaching a class or taking a photograph, for me working with the creative impulse is very much it’s own reward. It brings me more into the moment feeling the flow of the universe moving with me, which is deeply satisfying.

Hobo Cyrus in Reno reminded me of all the possible ways to be creative, that our willingness to play with an inspiration or develop our creative abilities can bring us more joy and aliveness. What creative urge would you like to start playing with? Ten minutes a day can get you moving down the path, following the flow of inspiration and bring more satisfaction.

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