When you free-associate with the concept of creativity, what arises? Perhaps what you connect to involves turning ideas into reality and plumbing the depths of imagination. Perhaps you think of particular artistic mediums, or of ways of being that entail risk taking, and exploration. For some, creativity is a soulful expression of self in whatever way fully reflects that person’s essence. Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow asked, “The key question isn’t ‘what fosters creativity?’ but it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost?” The birthright of the real self is creativity. How can we reclaim this?

The throat chakra, or Visuddha, is the energy center of personal truth and artistic expression. It is where we align our creative expression with our deepest self. The task of our creative identity is authentic self-expression where we let the Self speak. Go within and locate your inner voice of truth, and from that place write about who you are and how you’ve been silenced or in hiding. As you continue with your writing, defend your right to express your truth and affirmatively state what your creative goals and aspirations are. As you endeavor to define and remove the internal and external obstacles that constrict your authentic essence from being expressed, your Creative Vision reveals itself to you. When we break free of shame, critical messages and self-defeating patterns, we make room for living life authentically and creatively. It is here that we embark on the journey of opening up to our creative real self.

Share your Vision with another whom you trust, and who inspires you to actualize all that you are. It’s crucial to continue exploring and understanding why you reject that which mirrors your deepest longings and highest Self. Have the courage to face the fear and uncertainty you encounter as you step out of the comfort zone and move towards revealing yourself. We are often stymied by our simultaneous quest to actualize ourselves, and the pull towards safety. Nevertheless, as the Sufi poet Rumi wrote, “let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” Ask yourself these difficult questions. How do you feel trapped or unsafe? What are the sources of internal and external oppression, which block you from manifesting your creative vision? How does it serve you to play it safe/hidden/contained? What are you afraid of? Then, take a moment to reflect and imagine who you would be if you felt completely safe and free. Write what unique aspects of yourself you would risk revealing and expressing. How might this more complete personality relate to and engage with his/her creative expression? Staying with this mindset, write a positive glowing review, highlighting your unique capacities and strengths in manifesting your creative vision. Think big!

Again, share your rave review with the person, or people, who support your Vision. What does it feel like to experience another support your ability and right to actualize your creative potential? Do you feel deserving or is an internal insidious presence causing you to reject adulation and acceptance? If so, what are the words contained in that rejecting message? Where do those words come from? We require a foundation of healthy narcissism in order to develop the capacity for valuing one’s unique gifts. If you were inadequately cared for, rejected and inconsistently supported, it is likely that you have narcissistic wounds that hinder you from fully owning and manifesting your aspirations. All wounds require healing. It is painful to acknowledge that those who you were unconditionally dependent on may have been limited in their ability to provide you with the love and attention required so as to flourish. Internalized abuse and neglect can result in creative stagnation and repression of the life force. It is essential to shatter the illusions that keep us tied to a self-destructive belief system. If necessary, avail yourself of a seasoned clinician to guide and support you through this process. This turning within often requires a challenging descent into darkness so that ultimately integration and a new perspective can result.

Confronting subjugation is part of the journey towards liberation and freedom. Breaking out of oppression frees up creative energy and allows you to feel deserving of your power. Paradoxically, we need conflict to create. Restriction and challenge are necessary sources of tension, which potentially catalyze the release of creative energy. As you embark on this healing journey, write a personal poem of liberation. Absorb your message of personal liberation by sharing it with another(s) and reading it a few times to yourself. Begin to define the specific goals, both internal and external, that are integral to manifesting your creative vision. This could involve incorporating play, doing emotional release work, writing a pitch of your project, partaking in the arts as an audience participant or as the artist. Explore what suits where you are in your process.

Writer Henry Miller wrote, “We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation; all kings, all poets, all musicians. We have only to open up to what is already there”. As you take in your poem of liberation and give form and movement to the goals integral to your creative vision, you are opening up to the personal power Miller refers to. As we move through the oppressive messages and shame based beliefs and fears that stymie our creative expression we begin to make room for the authentic creative parts of the self, seeking release. Our transcendent goals are awakened and ready to be reclaimed. Take the opportunity to ask yourself what personal power means to you. What makes you powerful? Reflect on a time in your life when you did something powerful. Write about it. Extrapolate from that memory and imagine a future scenario in which you triumphantly and bravely face the feared consequences of assuming full responsibility for your personal power. Continue to stay with your established goals and consider if it’s time to construct another goal to add to the mix. Inform your network of support of these latest steps. Their encouragement is critical to your ongoing momentum.

Swiss psychiatrist Carol Jung referred to innate unconscious psychological imprints as archetypes. These universal archetypes are found within world myths. In the Greek myth of King Minos & The Bull the archetype of the mythic beast the Minotaur embodies the archetypal aspects of power corrupted and misused. In this myth King Minos’ greed and arrogance cause him to cheat the God Poseidon of a promised sacrifice. Poseidon sent from the sea a wondrous bull as a sign to the world that the Gods favored Minos’ right to rule. King Minos was to sacrifice this bull as a show of his gratitude and loyalty to Poseidon. His failure to do so resulted in punishment. Accordingly, Minos’ wife was made to fall in love and consummate her love with the bull from the sea. From this union came the Minotaur; a savage ruthless beast who eats the flesh of the vulnerable. Here we meet the ruthless, bestial side of power that potentially exists in all of us. We are challenged to responsibly handle our power with integrity, so that greed, vanity, and arrogance are managed so that one’s highest intention supporting your creative power prevails.

To sustain your higher vision, consider developing a mythic archetype that reflects the positive polarity of your powerful creative self. Write about yourself as a God/Goddess/Hero/Heroine. Give him/her a name. Does he/she have a super power? What are his/her gifts and talents? How does he/she uphold the purpose and intention of your creative vision? Write a personal prayer, or mantra, or vow honoring this archetype. Creating a symbolic ritual that commemorates the quest and meaning of this spiritual part of yourself, can be a very effective way of reinforcing your commitment to your creative vision. Find an object that reflects the heroic creative intention of your mythic archetype. Develop an alter- a sacred shrine where you can raise your consciousness to an abstract place of worship and surrender. This sacred space can offer you the experience of connecting to that part of yourself which inspires creation. When we allow ourselves to connect from a place of depth, deep meaning and humility, our sense of intrinsic purpose is felt. Each one of us has an innate drive to transcend our animal instincts, so as to bring into the world our deepest imaginings in a manifest form. We are meant to inspire. In our courageous efforts to strip away and transform that which blocks our true expression, we discover the expression of our Divinity. We discover our creative vision.

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW is a New York State licensed clinical social worker, certified addiction specialist, Ericksonian hypnotist, and interfaith minister. She is a seasoned psychotherapist with 20+ years experience in the addiction and mental health fields. Rev. Heller’s areas of specialization encompass comprehensive treatment of addictive disorders, eating disorders, sexual abuse trauma, ACOA/codependency issues, and other diagnostic categories, such as character disorders, depression, and anxiety disorders. Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW is also the Founder/Visionary of the philanthropic Theater Group Sistah Tribe. The Sistah Tribe theater group has authored "Let the Phoenix Rise", a dynamic multi-media production to be brought to disenfranchised young women in NY residential group care.

Rev. Heller's treatment approach is both traditional and holistic as she incorporates a psychoanalytic and behaviorally oriented knowledge base with 12-step philosophy, hypnosis, Gestalt techniques, Jungian psychology, and other diverse spiritual and creative vehicles.

“I believe intrinsic change and healing is contingent on the individual’s commitment to truth and the courage to uphold one’s truth at all cost. The symptoms or illnesses one presents with are often metaphorical displays of the concealed or repressed ‘Self’ which seeks expression. Accordingly, the patient’s challenge is to reveal the ‘truths’ behind the symptoms or illness and to thereby experience the entire range of emotions inherent in reclaiming oneself.”

Rev. Heller has a private practice in Midtown Manhattan. Feel free to visit her website at sheritherapist.com. for contact information and further information about Rev. Heller's work.