Creating from the Spirit: Living Each Day as a Creative Act

Creating from the Spirit: Living Each Day as a Creative Act

by Dan Wakefield
     
 
"Every day is a creation—not only for us but by us . . . a moment-by-moment miracle."
Dan Wakefield recounted his own pilgrimage through the heady peaks and grim gulches of a creative life in Returning: A Spiritual Journey, which Bill Moyers called "one of the most important memoirs of the spirit I've ever read." Now, in Creating from the Spirit, this

Overview

"Every day is a creation—not only for us but by us . . . a moment-by-moment miracle."
Dan Wakefield recounted his own pilgrimage through the heady peaks and grim gulches of a creative life in Returning: A Spiritual Journey, which Bill Moyers called "one of the most important memoirs of the spirit I've ever read." Now, in Creating from the Spirit, this award-winning journalist and novelist reveals how writers, artists, musicians, and creative people of all kinds can unleash the principle of creativity within, so that it can infuse every aspect of our lives.
Wakefield explodes the many myths often associated with the mysterious creative process: that creativity is only for the artistic elite, that women's work is less creative than men's, and that to be creative means one must be tormented, alienated, neurotic, irresponsible, and a failure at relationships. The truth is that many of us are blocked by low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations, stultifying routine, or the double demons of money and artistic standing—we compartmentalize our lives into the "creative" and the "commonplace."
Drawing on examples from religion, philosophy, and literature, and exercises such as journaling and right-brain drawing, Creating from the Spirit teaches us that the key to creation is clarity of body, mind, and spirit. This book challenges the "dangerous nirvanas" of drug and alcohol as false agents of inspiration, examines the stereotype of tortured artists like Dylan Thomas, Scott Fitzgerald, Jackson Pollock, and Kurt Cobain, and contrasts them with portraits of fulfilled and healthy creators, such as Toni Morrison, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Michael Jordan, and Hildegarde ofBingen.
Creating from the Spirit guides us into the art of "emptying" ourselves of the incessant chatter that deadens both senses and soul. It teaches us the wisdom of "filling up" by accessing our natural perceptions and hidden creative resources. This cycle is brilliantly expressed in the lives and words of twenty "creators of the spirit"—from artists and writers to scientists and athletes, to CEOs and chefs—who have learned to embrace each moment as a creative act.
For those who create in solitude or in community, out of personal pain or irrepressible joy, Creating from the Spirit testifies to a luminous truth: "To access your creative powers. . . you need only be in awe of the mystery of the universe, the life force and its power, and be willing to be open to it."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Clarity of mind, body, and spirit is the key to creativity," declares Wakefield (Expect a Miracle) at the start of this sage and affirming work. To help readers understand and embrace both clarity and its radiant offspring, creativity, Wakefield follows a carefully structured "road map" that begins with the debunking of several "myths." These include the ideas that creativity depends upon suffering and that the ability to be creative fades with age. The myth that gets the author's most passionate attention, though, is the belief that alcohol or drugs awaken creativity. Here, as elsewhere, Wakefield draws upon his own experiences, investing his text with a welcome and warming personal touch. Next comes an examination of processes Wakefield deems supportive of creativitythe acts of emptying oneself of egoism and of allowing oneself to be filled with "spirit." A series of exercises designed to nurture creativity follows. The book winds up with original statements by a variety of "creators," from musician Judy Collins to writer Mark Matousek to telephone receptionist Karen Monti Lindo, on how they learned to free their own creative sparks, and concludes with commonsense advice on how to foster creativity at any moment of the day. Covering vital ground both theoretical and practical, this potentially life-changing work should appeal to the same wide readership as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Author tour. (July)
Library Journal
Contending that conventional interpretations of creativity actually limit the scope of the creative spirit, journalist Wakefield (Expect a Miracle, LJ 5/1/95) explodes the stereotypes and myths surrounding creativity, e.g., only artists possess the power of creativity as the simple act of daily living. In order for the creative spirit to develop, individuals must first clarify their spiritual goals by emptying themselves of the noisy intrusions of daily life and then fill themselves up with the power of their new visions. Through a series of wide-ranging interviews and reflections with creative spirits such as Michael Jordan and Reynolds Price, Wakefield demonstrates that the "key to creation is the clarity of body, mind, and spirit." Wakefield's lucid insights and luminous prose recommend his book for most libraries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345374301
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/18/1996
Pages:
321
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.07(d)

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