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Life Coach - Creativity

| Kim Tapper


What do you feel when you read these words? What do you think about?
I think about living, what it means to be human and fully alive with purpose and passion and infinite love of all that is. The problem is, I don’t live that as fully as I’d like on an every day basis.

Most days I wake up and aim for this – for grace to radiate from me and for my ego (my fearful self) to remain in check while my soul (my higher self) gets on with the business of truly living. Meaning I aim to be kind to all, non-judgmental, deeply creative, soulful, passionate and noticing beauty all around me and in all people and things. But so often I find before I even finish my first conversation of the day that my ego has taken over again. And let me be clear in defining ego here: that’s the part of us that feels insecure, or jealous, or scared; the part that wonders what’s going to happen next and tries to control circumstances to ensure that outcome. It’s the part that says “no” faster than “yes.” My ego self spends time complaining of the temperature, of my hunger, my aches and pains, what this person thought of me, what that person said, what that other person didn’t say, what I should do or shouldn’t do, why I’m good enough or not good enough, and on it goes. It’s exhausting and energy sucking; a sure way to stay stagnant in life! Not to mention all the energy I then spend trying to bring myself back to center to clear my mind and connect back to my higher self who chooses to live in love, wonder and joy.

Quote from Kim Tapper

Much as we like to think we’re doing ourselves a favor trying to control, justify, or micromanage all the elements of our lives, it takes far more energy to fight what is rather than to just go with the flow. Followers of yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices have known about the benefits of calming the mind and opening the heart for centuries. They speak of releasing our attachments, our reactions to things, of getting out of our own way, spending more time in awe and gratitude for what shows up and letting all experiences serve as teachers along our journey. In addition to those practices, one other tool that takes me directly there, to the center of my soul, is creativity. When I’m in the flow of creating my mind is quiet and my heart is open. For me, that’s generally when writing or choreographing. At my best I am in a position of receiving that allows the art to flow through me – quite literally the feeling people describe as being a vessel for the work to pass through. At my worst, I over think it, approach it with a cluttered mind, and my ego takes over wondering what this piece will turn out like, what people will think, why bother doing it, etc. Just as it is in all life pursuits, when we get out of our own way and let things flow we achieve more, learn more, create more but when we let our mind and ego rule we squash, limit and often miss the beauty and possibilities that are present right in front of us.

We all have access to our creative selves; it is a gift given at birth. Let me say that again: we are ALL creative. I can’t tell you how often over my years as both a dancer/choreographer and as a Life Coach that people have made a huge point to tell me how uncreative they are. “Oh, I’m not an artist,” “I’m not talented,” “I am so not a creative person!” Art and creativity are not domains for professionals alone. In fact, remember in Kindergarten when you finger-painted? Or when you played make believe with your dolls or your race cars or dinosaurs? Remember in elementary school when you had to write your first poem for class? When you built something in woodworking? Or built a fort? Or when you problem solved for anything at all and got creative in thinking of a solution? As a kid you were creative all the time, drawing upon your inner unencumbered imagination. As adults that might look a little different but it is still present and can be tapped into if you give yourself a chance. If you make more space for that to find its way back into your life, it will carry forward into all that you do. Our mind is like a muscle and if we don’t give it a rest from all our worries, to-do lists and plans, then we will burn ourselves out and live only a surface life day to day. Dig deeper. Find what nurtures your soul.

Beautiful landscape

Recently while walking and looking at the glorious fall foliage I heard a faint yet distinct call inside myself to paint. I ignored it. “I don’t paint,” I said. But the voice persisted...paint. I continued to ignore it for a few weeks. “I can’t paint what I’m seeing in my head anyhow, it will look horrible.” And then the voice became an urge, a visceral feeling that I need to use my full body to express something that was trying to get out. I finally thought what do I have to lose? So I bought a canvas and some beginner kid paints laughing while I did so. What was I doing? I then let them sit there for another few weeks. But the urge grew even stronger. Finally one day I carved out the space, pulled out my paints and settled in. I had no idea what I was making but as I began to let go and let the urge drive me forward I felt my mind relax and my body sink into a sort of reverie. It didn’t matter what was on the canvas. I promise you this story doesn’t end with me finding out I can paint well – unless mud colored mess is your thing – but I did find myself smiling the whole time. And at peace. And totally relaxed. When I completed it, I was radiating. I literally felt lighter. And then these words came:

The spark that lies inside is your spark of truth
Fan it to bright flames; illuminate the blueprint of your soul
Hear what calls when you quiet your mind and listen with your full awareness
All that you need is there.
You are the builder of this house but you must follow the blueprints laid out in your soul.
Do not build someone else’s.
Notice all the special intricacies, they are yours and yours alone.
When you’re stuck or lost, return to the prints and find guidance there.
Do not worry about storms or setbacks,
This house has no deadline
Storms will come and go leaving behind lessons in their wake
As might some crewmembers too.
This is all part of the design.
Keep open your doors to all who pass through - treat each with awe and love.
And when your flame gets low again
Stop and take a breath -
Inhale all the wonders of the world - the many who came before you
Exhale into the present moment - right here, right now!
And then return to your blueprints.
See something there that you’ve been overlooking
Hear that small voice inside whispering you onwards, pointing to what’s next,
The spark that lies inside is your spark of truth
Fan it to bright flames; illuminate the blueprint of your soul
This is who you’re meant to be.

During this holiday season take time to listen to what is calling you forth. What needs to be created in your life right now? What needs to be discarded? Look to the blueprint of your soul and see what you’ve missed that begs to be expressed. What do you need to create next? Who/what is holding you back? Who/what would help you as you build? Happy building and happy holidays!