Creativity & Clarity

Ahhh it’s September. I have always loved autumn best and aIthough I had a wonderful summer of adventure I am so thrilled to enter into the cool crisp season of fall. What do I love about autumn? The quiet, the slowed down pace, the chance to pull out warm scarves and cozy sweaters again, the golden quality of light, the feeling of change and most of all the enhanced creativity. I always feel most inspired in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall and find that my strongest urges to create come in the months from September to December.
And this is what I wanted to write about today. Creativity. The desire to create. I have often heard myself making the statement “I am not artistic” and I have recently realized that this is a perfect example of a self limiting belief of the type that I am always on the lookout to release. I love to create! I love to make art! It just doesn’t come out in the form of paintings, or songs, or poetry. It comes out in my kitchen as beautifully designed meals that I can’t wait to share with others. It comes out in my yoga classes and workshops as the offerings I make to my students. And recently I’ve also learned that I love to be creative in my business. And this has brought up another self limiting belief that I have been able to identify and release- “I don’t know anything about business, or business is boring, or I’m not a business person” And while it’s true that I am not interested in commerce for commerce sake I am 100% interested in pouring my energy into the type fo business that is in alignment with my interests- health, spirituality, yoga, and wellness. And this has led me to a very important an exciting realization.
My business is an extension of my creative expression and is therefore an endlessly fascinating project. My business is the vehicle that allows me to share my passion for personal growth with others . My business is what allows me to engage in the conversations I love to have with people from all over the world that I might otherwise never get the chance to meet. My business is my art.
I think the biggest hurdle I had to get over to realize this was the word business itself and all the associations that I have with it. Things like the over used “business is business” being used to excuse self serving behaviour. This is not a phrase you will ever hear me use as I believe in a different type of business that doesnt engage in cutthroat or competitive behaviour. I believe that business is best for all when we embrace an attitude of abundance- there is enough success to go around, there is enough for everyone, and if you do well, I will do well. I have always believed this and so far it hasn’t let me down. Another belief I had to get over was the belief that business is all about money. Money is an aspect of business and it is a tool that allows you to share more of what you offering with a wider audience- for instance if you don’t make any money doing what you love you will eventually have to stop offering your service and go work for someone else- what a loss. For you and for the world. So make no mistake about what I am saying, money is important. But it is not the point of business how I see it. The point is to make your offering, to share what you believe in. And to be able to share what you have created with others you need to be succesful enough for people to find you, and to have enough energy ( or product) to give them what they are looking for when they find you. So money is one tool that will come in handy here. But it is not the only tool. You are also going to need inspiration. Whether you are a chef, or a yoga teacher, or a web designer, or a massage therapist, or a landscaper, or a carpenter (etc, etc) you are going to need to be inspired, otherwise your offerings will become stale over time. One of the best ways to stay inspired is to be part of a community of people that have similar passions- see your “competition” is your community! You are also going to need time. Time to rest, time to step back, time be still-because it is out of the stillness and the spaciousness that new ideas arise. We can’t work every second of the day (even though we may want to when the passion is high) or we run the risk of burning out and losing inspiration.
Another useful tool I will mention is challenge. It is a somewhat dangerous tool but it is one I have always embraced. I believe that challenge is a great way to strengthen our desire to exceed our past expectations. I say it is dangerous because we all meet challenge in a different way, some of us become overwhelmed, some of us get angry, some of us go to despair, some of us give up. So while none of us go looking for challenge we shouldn’t be afraid of it either as from my experience challenge is what has allowed me to grow and learn new skills, skills I thought I didn’t have a talent for or were not in my nature. Challenge is what moves us to do what we thought we never could.
So just like so many other wonderfual aspects of life- parenting, spiritual practice, artistic expression, relationship, marriage, personal development, health and authenticity- business is not easy. But when it is in alignment with your highest intentions and is an expression of what you love love and believe in, it can be fun!
Thanks as always for your time and attention. Below are some of my favourite muses in the realm of conscious business.
Cate Stillman
Jessica Boylston- Fagonde www.ruyogadesign
Danielle LaPorte
Paul Jarvis
Amy Ippoliti
Ashley Pitman