5 Ways to Live the Questions of Creative Enquiry

July 6, 2015

question-479660_350I am delighted to introduce this extract from my new book ‘Conscious Writing: Discover Your True Voice through Mindfulness and More’ published by Hay House on 7 September. Enjoy!

Connecting to our creative core is an essential component of Conscious Writing and requires us to cross the invisible threshold that separates the comfort of what we know from the uncertainty of all we don’t.

When we have the courage to let go of certainties and face the mystery fearlessly we are led directly into the unchartered waters of infinite creative potential.

Yet embracing ‘not knowing’ at the level of the everyday mind provides many of us with a real challenge. We have largely been taught that ‘knowing’ and knowledge are highly prized whereas ‘not knowing’ and ignorance are to be avoided by applying ourselves diligently to learning.

So how do we release the feeling that we should know in order for a deeper level of Knowing to arise? How do we engage consciously with the mystery and become a co-creator with it?

Living the Questions

The answer lies in learning to identify uncertainty as a product of our everyday self and accept it fully as an integral part of the creative process.

The opening that is created through genuine acceptance of not knowing enables us to ‘live the questions’ until the answers present themselves as Rainer Maria Rilke advised in his timeless book Letters to a Young Poet.

QuestionMarkLiving the questions of our individual creative endeavours as Conscious Writers requires us to prioritize being fully present to the unfolding process.

Once we have clarified the direction of our creative focus, we release the effort related to the intellectual habit of grasping for answers.

The more we’re able to let the questions be while we engage in supportive conscious actions to cultivate clarity, the faster the answers are likely to pour through the open invitation our surrender creates.

Sometimes the answers arrive as individual pieces of a jigsaw that gradually make up the creative picture we are working on. On other occasions, the whole vision arrives in an instant and we then spend time clothing the essence in forms that are congruent with the living truth the vision reflects.

Dive In

Here are some specific suggestions for conscious actions which emphasize being rather than doing to support you with living your creative questions.

Begin by identifying your creative intention such as seeking clarity on how to organize your ideas for the next chapter of your book or a blog post you want to write on a particular topic. Then give yourself permission to make time and space for the following conscious actions. Avoid intellectual analysis and allow whatever arises in your awareness to take shape gradually.

When ideas relating to your question arrive, write them down in note form without losing the spaciousness of your experience. Finally, when you feel ready, gather up your notes and use these as the basis for living your way fully into the answers you are seeking.

1. Reflection and Contemplation

Gaze softly at passing clouds or into a reflective surface like the still water of a lake. Immerse yourself in present moment awareness and enjoy an alert yet relaxed and spacious experience of being with as much mental stillness as possible.

2. Silence and Solitude

Maintain the energetic integrity of your conscious enquiry by spending time alone with your question(s) and prioritizing inner and outer silence. Avoid distractions of all kinds by turning off notifications on your phone and removing yourself from real or virtual contact with other people for the duration of this practice.

music-108916_3503. Listen to Music

Pay attention to what feels right for you at any given moment in time, and in addition to immersing yourself in silence and solitude, you may choose on another occasion to listen to music which opens your heart and inspires your soul. Although scientific opinions vary regarding the contribution music makes to creativity, if it works for you, use it!

4. Take Your Questions for a Walk

Walking has been a favoured past time of many well-known writers including Wordsworth, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. The physical activity and rhythm of walking helps to trigger new ideas and patterns of thought, especially when you’re fully present to the process of walking.

5. Dream Incubation

The surrealist painter Salvador Dali used to draw on ideas triggered by the hypnagogic state which occurs between waking and sleeping, and dreams have been used for thousands of years for spiritual and creative insight. Learning to have lucid dreams when you are aware you are dreaming can provide endless opportunities for resolving creative questions.

If nothing comes to you during or after these practices, just accept that as your reality at this time. Avoid feeling disappointed or impatient. Simply continue with the other components of your everyday life and return to one or more of the options another time until you find your way forwards.

The best rhythm to adopt over a period of days, weeks or more depending on the scale of your question(s) is to intersperse these conscious actions with your regular commitments. Continue diving in, surfacing and re-focusing until you feel you have what you need to take your next steps.

Enjoy the unfolding journey!

Q4U: What methods work for you to discover the answers to the questions you have about your creative writing projects? Share your comments and the benefit of your experience with your fellow Conscious Writers below.

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Pre-order your copy of Conscious Writing: Discover Your True Voice Through Mindfulness and More from:

© Julia McCutchen 2015. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

JuliaMcCutchen_darkpurple150Julia McCutchen is an author, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual, personal development and lifestyle subjects, Julia now teaches people to discover and express their true voice – on the page and in the world. Her holistic approach combines the inner journey of self-realization (conscious) with the outer actions required for authentic self-expression (creativity). She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication, and her new book Conscious Writing: Discover Your True Voice Through Mindfulness and More (Hay House, September 2015). ForFREE Membership and resources for writers, visit www.iaccw.com.

 

4 Comments »

  1. Quiet time for reflection and rejuvenation and listening to music – favorites of mine.

    Comment by Virginia — July 8, 2015

  2. Mine too Virginia! Thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Julia — July 9, 2015

  3. Love the synchronicity of events. Just opened and read this article as I was thinking of starting my new blog, and have just enrolled on a course to pitch my book to an agent! Early mornings are the times when I find my ideas come, I have just finished meditating and I am feeling very peaceful.

    Comment by Daphne Radenhurst — July 30, 2015

  4. Perfect! Synchronicity is an indication that you’re beautifully on track. I hope the course provides you with exactly the guidance you need. May your peace be ever on-going x

    Comment by Julia — August 12, 2015

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