• Dr. Jill Bakke

What Are You Creating?

As creators we constantly create. We live in a world of duality and free will so our creation will lean heavily or entirely in one direction. Are you creating beauty or lack of beauty? Harmony or disharmony? Financial freedom or restraining debt? Whatever sits in our thoughts and hopes, regardless of its form, gives us the choice to create it or not.

What are you creating?

We all have self-defeating patterns from time to time, which keep us from attaining our goals. Unique solutions exist for our problems, but they are relevant to specific issues. If we are creating an unhappy marriage, for example, the answers for change lie in a slightly different direction than the answers needed to deal with a void in our artistic skills. But some of those defeating patterns have a “one size fits all” solution.

Here are some universal problems for creators. Do any of the following fit you?

• Inability to follow your Individual Heart and Intuition • Fear of Success • Fear of Failure • Fear of Criticism • Lack of Focus • Lack of Belief in Your Creativity • Need for New Skills • Need for Solitude • Habits of Impatience • Do you Self-Sabotage • Chaos and Drama Run Rampant • Give Away Your Power • Unable to Prioritize • Lack Commitment • The Wind of Creation is Silent

The above list is longer and there are sub-sets under many listed areas, but let’s look at a one from the list in a general way. And let’s start at the beginning.

Some of you realize how intent I am on being authentic. That means being true to my inner self. When I am authentic, I follow my heart’s longing, not what someone says I should do. Now this is not permission to go out and start experimenting with drugs and kinky sex. Those elements are escape mechanisms. It’s more like Dad says, “Be a doctor. They make the big bucks.” But I want to be a plumber or a fireman or even a clown in the circus. he problem is: Do I have the will power to follow my dream to be a plumber, fireman or clown, or do I give my power away?

Being authentic requires you to be aware of what you want and why you want it. Joseph Campbell calls it “following your bliss,” and following our bliss is easy to tell as opposed to those things you may want that are not good for you. One is lasting and the other is temporary.

For example, I once found a second home, which I felt fell in love with. It had a beautiful fairy like garden, a perfect master suite and charm throughout. It even had a small office off the entry. I tried everything to secure it when it was on the market, but didn’t succeed. Only later after I settled into my new condo did I realize that the responsibility of two homes would be more than I could physically manage. My bliss was to have a place for R & R where I could let my imagine roam unencumbered with household chores and yard work. I knew the place needed to be on a large body of water and while the initially desired house was near the ocean, the condo was right on the Columbia River.

Here is another example of following your heart. You want to be popular. How do you achieve this? There are two paths, joining the crowd even if it means you behave in ways you don’t enjoy, which means giving away your power, or letting your popularity come from characteristics that are authentic. In other words: do what makes you blissful.

And here is a biggie for artistic creators. As a painter do you use the popular painting techniques and subjects or those you like and find painting fun? As a writer or a musician, is your product the popular genre or the genre that talks to you? And better yet, even more creative, do you produce something that is totally YOU, something unlike what is now the rage? Picasso was a fantastic painter in the style of his day, yet his fame came in his unusual Blue and Cubist Periods Walt Whitman wrote poetry that didn’t rhyme or follow the rules of poetry writing, but his poetry will never be forgotten and his style literally changed the face of poetry. John Cage’s musical compositions and Andy Warhol’s pop art were both radically different from the then current scene, but each found followers and fame for their individuality. While you may need to learn the technical skills first, give yourself permission to experiment.

Following your heart means freely expressing yourself. You do it because it is enjoyable, not for the dividends it pays you, not because someone says you should do it, or because it is easy.

ow while doing something for the fun of it may lead you to specific fears such as the fear of criticism, failure and other risks, it’s okay. You can weigh them and take smaller steps. Following one’s heart is not for the faint-hearted. If you aren’t sure whether it is the right path, simply start and see if you find bliss in it. You may have fun with it, but not bliss. However, isn’t fun a reward in itself? It could stay that fun thing you do or it might become a business. It might even be an intermediate step to something completely different. Don’t go in with expectations. Go in with the idea of experiencing it and having fun in the experience.

When heart direction changes, we know it. We simply aren’t happy doing what we are doing.

Mine has changed several times. The latest change began with the book The Magic Theater: Your Personal Journal, which I created to help people look at themselves with awareness and to aid them in making some changes. Although I don’t consider myself a risk taker, I have always been committed to creativity, personal growth and new adventures. My financial accreditation is good for two more years, but it won’t be renewed because my heart is leading me in a different direction. Until then I am limiting my involvement to debt management and balance spending. Still as I realign my priorities and direction, I clearly see how helpful my counselor training and financial acumen will be in this new endeavor.

I am now committing to offer local courses as well as some on the web in journal writing, memoir writing and creativity. The web courses will allow download and self-pacing and, like the few correspondence undergraduate courses I took, provide access to the instructor. I will be doing workshops in mask making, a course I taught for master degree counseling students at a college in Montana. And currently my focus is on compiling sufficient photographs to complete my book Messages from the River, which is written but now won’t be out until next spring due to photography issues.

Look into your heart. What do you want to create? Remember the first step in creating is to be authentic, following that heart interest and intuition. If you are interested in some of my earlier blogs on creativity and related topics, I invite you to visit and follow my Facebook page.

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