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Finding Your Muse

Lesson 7 from: Creativity, Spirituality, & Making a Buck

David Nichtern

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Lesson Info

7. Finding Your Muse

Lesson Info

Finding Your Muse

Well, just to catch up a little bit hope everybody enjoyed your lunch and wherever you are you might be in thailand eating breakfast for all we know so it's possible um but our workshop is ah, an attempt you know, to weave together topics of creativity, spirituality and livelihood business and we're looking at each one of them separately to begin with breaking apart and then put it back together again so it's interesting I heard the the dalai lama usedto even when was a kid and just have a few very few western things he used to like to take apart watches and put them back together so that's interesting to do with your life you're taking apart you look at the different elements and then look at each one separately and integrate so in a sense that's what we're doing here uh these couple of days, eh? So we looked at the overview in the morning, right? We started with him kind of big picture and then we went tio the meditation practice which hopefully if you if you miss that, you know you ...

could go back and pick that piece up or else we did a whole seminar here three days on meditation alone I called meditation in everyday life so you can pick that up now creativity throw out everything we've been talking about uh, you know this is a I started talking about this is sort of um the life force itself I think that's sort of one way to look at it it's interesting that we have the sort of light bulb coming out of this blue dude's head you know and paintbrushes and musical instruments and um this area is sort of in a sense a little bit tricky to talk about because I don't want to be too much so maybe we'll when I do this workshop live sometimes we just take out instruments we take out excuse me it's my lunch way look into it things like what makes people laugh what makes us happy what makes us feel free and the sort of central idea sort of self expression some of us I think his children you know were encouraged to be creative I don't you know well maybe go around see what the this setting context was for your life um some people their parents say look you almost like kids or like circus animals and like you learning tricks to show off to the other other adults and other people may have experienced this was repression of creative energy and you know just kind of tightening it up so we have to see where we fit into that but I'm assuming anybody watching this particular workshop and attending it has some interest in this idea of of creativity so we're gonna look at it from number different angles finding your muse whether for business or hobby and I think that some I want to talk to you all about that distinction there's huge, the drive to create his personal there is something in each of us that wants to come out and express itself. Of course, you could think of the image of the movie aliens as something inside you want to come out and express itself, hopefully it's more benevolent energy than that that wants to come out, but we don't know, right way don't know it's sort of creativity is a little bit like being pregnant on duh, you know we're going to give birth to something something is going to come out. So what is it that we're driven to express and one of the things that when I talk about this, this particular prefect there, these three topics is weirdly, creativity is the most choice lis of the three in a way, and we don't really choose, you know, to like, ah, the urge to create something is it's not really a choice, it's just sort of something that's kind of pouring out of us, and in a way, we're the guardian of it that's, the way I look at it, we spoke about that a little bit earlier, um so this idea of finding your muse it's a very interesting you mention south by southwest earlier and I being in the music business I used to go every year to south by southwest and uh neil young gave a keynote address at one of the pearson was very interesting because his basic point of view was that he serves the muse and he was pretty articulate about it um it's like taking dictation, you know? And he said he has to be around when she calls so if he's got if it's his turn to pick up the kids at school or whatever it has to take a back seat to to writing a song you know and that's choice he made you know, so the muses interesting I'm not sure I get the problems from greek mythology something like that do you think um almost as if um we're communicating you know, with creativity itself and it's coming through us and we're just sort of monitoring the flow, we're kind of we're kind of the channel through which that comes and uh uh if we try to get too tight about being creative that channel closest and if we're too loose and we're not attentive enough and we're not sort of like a present enough uh, you know, it'll go by so I myself I I you know, probably most you know, I'm a songwriter and musician I've talked to a lot of other creative people in some sense you don't really feel like the author of it I mean you can if you have that kind of he go need to put your name on it but the process itself is like just baby, you know, it's just kind of flowing out music particularly is like if you try to teach a classically trained musician to improvise it's like that channel's been tightened down you know? And you can take teach kids how to improvise so easily because it's so natural at that point but so this notion of letting things that things come through on being open to the process is usually a question with people of unloosed inning the bolts and just kind of you could say putting creating situations in which there's more freedom more support and not being afraid to make mistakes so that kind of fearful mind is really the enemy of creativity, you know, now that's one dimension of it that we're going to talk about the other dimension is the discipline of being that channel of having your instrument tuned properly to restore its even communicate what's coming through, which is where we're going to get back to, you know, things like the meditation practice having a sort of nice uh uh, clarity of presence so that when when the urge comes up you can let it come through unobstructed so creativity is the most mysterious really of anything that we're talking about and as I say it's just like a life itself um rule number one hey, if your way of being creative does not map to what we're saying here, please disregard these nuggets of wisdom and do it your way uh, so I may have just talked myself out of like, a job here, you know, but that's, the important point is that's rule number one are you really going to be the person says to albert einstein, albert einstein, you know, stop working on those equations. Are you going? Are you going to say beethoven? You know, there's a great joke about beethoven, you know that he's working on his symphony and he's four months behind in his rent he's just needing a theme, you know, for his symphony and he goes, he said his wits and a landlady's knocking on the door she says, you know, ludvig, you're four months behind on your rent and you gotta he says, I got a big symphony coming here. This is really going toe this, I'll be able to pay you a year in advance once this gets published, you know? And I just need a theme I can't find a theme and she looks at me, you write a symphony so we don't know where that's going to come from you know that that idea so we gotta we gotta just uh check it out you know, miles davis used to say the whole world's music to him oh, that just the rhythm of cars on the street uh the sound of children's playground so um rule number one is um finding our own way and our way out really whatever's inside how can you get it outside and obviously there's gonna be things like overcoming too much tightness shame uh self evaluate low self esteem is is gonna be a factor and I thought maybe at this point I just throw it open a little bit have a little bit of dialogue about creativity before I say too much about it just get some fresh pressure take on it so why don't we his usual start with the folks here in the room live and then we'll go to our virtual audience too. Okay, what the heck is creativity on what's yours about what would you like to express uh what opportunities? What obstacles have you had to expressing yourself creatively and just looking at the faces and the people know it was so beautiful so take a shot anything you want to say about it and I have overcome perfection idea in order to express yourself creatively conduction system kills creativity and mike's house so you want to see a little more well I think there's a delicate balance I mean creative person has an urge to strive and continue to create and you'll make the best they can but s so there's this balance between that effort and wanting it to be absolutely perfect just never is no perfect and where did it come from? The desire for tablet perfect I think it's I think it's a desire for approval uh that's what I think is that part of your workshop when you do talk about you know I'm actually not going to be delving into the creative side so much in my in my workshop is going to be dealing with the business side and hopefully you know, watching this further okay? We'll look up the trains in a sense yeah be good idea actually. So you tell us a little more about yourself are you are you a painter of some kind of painter? Yeah so I have been for a long time I waas a painter when I was little you know, I was always a penny turn than I gave it all up and ride in paint or draw anything for over seven years and what age were you when you gave it up? I was in my mid twenties so did get serious about what exactly have you got a mortgage in a lawnmower making a book making a buck knock your creativity right out of the park it took it out completely yeah, yeah created problems uh okay for me specifically, um I deal with client's in designing their marketing material so evaluating who their target audiences and creating something that speaks to who they want to reach so um say just a little bit more about how you go about it how about your own creativity in that regard, lago about how'd you get to unleash your own creator? Well, I'm inspired by my surroundings so try to get out the house okay sometimes music conversations and just interacting with other people to action unless we get out of your own little unique shell interact I can feel I've got a psychic link with j k over here I can feel something coming through there is a something coming none just looking common such as they're coming through I've got I've got a couple great ones here. Martha maguire reflects on creativity sometimes creativity is destroyed by trying to make a business of it it's hard to marry the two and savannah with heart is echoing that and trying to bring the creative activity back into the process of making a living on then casey says when I'm most creative it feels like playing I have to go in with no exceptions, having a deep knowledge of my tools really frees me as well because then I don't have to think about how they work or what they d'oh but these are great great comic who said that one casey like csc wire case he's making some great great points there which are part of that isn't part of what we're all looking about looking at here which is uh hey, how is it possible to integrate it with livelihood that's I think that's going to be our sixty four dollars question when you wouldn't you say you can take these apart and go okay, well, um look at san francisco this place has always been a haven for people who just want to be creative but you know, many creative and homeless like I think we're just in haight ashbury the other night you know, I just was thinking about what that place representative people just being wildly creative in a certain point um but it's hard it's hard to tell um I guess that the time people might have thought they could just live like that forever but uh it seems like earth reasserts itself in certain point who else do we have anybody else way have? Actually areva she's may not read a flicker who says they have their from british columbia in canada they said they had they haven't no lack of creativity they see art everywhere they hear music everywhere they love writing and singing and the best artist in nature they need to focus on something how do they even choose so they're kind of spread out uh uh what's the name of the game is flicker flicker heip liquor that's your perfectly named there so she's flickering on and off here and there heather and young so we're going to definitely be covering that idea of like focus flicker it's going to be my mother is going river for me creativity is life simply being engaged in life and exploring what comes into my daily life that's the root of my creativity you know be interesting I want to get a little more of a feeling the obstacles because one of the ways I wanted teo proceed with this workshop is we could we could sit here and have a good time just sharing you know positive inspirations about all these things you know because when you start talking about that people are basically possibly motivated but I thought we could also look at where we're stuck each one of us individually not not to put anybody on the spot um exactly but using the time creatively to look very personally where where is a glitch on and my theory is the glitch is in one of these three systems where the relationship between one of the one of one of or two of them together for example here's a classic glitches I love what I'm doing I'm a photographer and I'm doing you know, beautiful work but I can't make a living doing that so I'm doing this other thing I mean in a way till you're years had that kind of tone to it you're being very creative your sort of bringing it into your livelihood but there's another sort of dormant area that really you know come to fruition so how do we deal with that is going to be after we lay the ground rules for all the three areas we're going to look at the integration but first I just wanted to sort of get to this idea that creativity is, um totally unpredictable you know, like we're so used to like everything being predictable if you can think about the whole universe being created or what however it got here you know that's that's unpredictable like and essence of creativity in particular is first you have nothing and then all of a sudden something's there so that's always been that a little bit of a mystery right? How that happens on dumb it was interesting you know when I went to I went to berklee college of music one point lots of thousands of you know at this point musicians, wannabe musicians, good musicians but the creative spark is not always there it's not always coming through and essentially the spark seems to come through the most when somebody's the most individuated they they're clearest about who they are and what the limitations of that are not so as long as we're still imitating somebody else and thinking well, they have the way to do it in a way that's that that is separating us from our own creative juice so when we talked about not being afraid of who we are in the meditation peace beginning uh mohr were in shambala traditional authentic presence the quality of authenticity of individual our individual you know, kind of passageway and um it's ironic you know that that is so expressing that individuality is kind of the most creative thing we do in our lives um there's a lot of opportunity to do it or not do it so that's what? We're going to get a look at that um which brings us back two I think this one resonated with a whole bunch of people spending time in the sandbox uh I chose to use that is essential image for this creativity. I think we spent time in the sandbox and then we get our heads screwed on straight and then we get old second die that's a short story in life way coming there's like a lot of possibilities and sort of opportunities to two do whatever and somehow the whole thing gets hammered into a kind of shape that you khun you abide by and get through and then the next thing you know it's like, you know you're going down and it seems like as individuals we have to activate our own um source code and you know, in the buddhist practice they so strongly included that nobody can do it for you you know that notion um we're activating something we would call um body cheetah you know and buddhism awakened heart you know, it's there's a seed you know are are sort of source code is there was a seed but if we don't if we don't activate it uh it's amazing how time just goes by and then all of a sudden you're kind of like you haven't did he didn't do it you know, on delight you lookinto life it's almost over and you know, I didn't do it um so this energy of staying on the cutting edge you know, staying on the edge of your experience even though we don't know what's gonna happen we don't know which way it's going to go it seems like there's so much energy leaning towards knowing where it's going to go being uh you know, predictable creating a comfortable, predictable outcome that's the enemy of creativity. So, um some of the people I know are the most creative they're the most, uh, unpredictable, you know? And uh yet obviously we'll get to the point where, you know, we have to figure out what to do with that in terms of the library because that's the promise of this workshop is that we're not going to become, you know, um paige ladies and street people but wildly creative you know, singing sympathies on the street so yeah, before we do that though just staying with the creative thread let's take a look at spending time in the sandbox what are we not doing when we're spending time in the sandbox? We're not creating agendas timelines and related to obligations oh my god this person's like dangerous but you know, if you look at like something like where did this company come from? You know, this wonderful creative live company here I'm sure it was just like, pure sandbox certain point wouldn't it be fun if we had did it and you start to see it visualize it you know, that's what I do with my my record label that wouldn't be fun to have that you know, um every time I start working on a recording projects like wow, it could this be, you know, and, uh I specifically recommend and I've labeled it a sandbox and that you say time like everybody here is working very efficiently and doing the thing there should be some time in the sandbox where you'll go and to me in the company vertical integration all the way up and down from the least important person to the most important person to allow time for people to get together in the sandbox because you'll be amazed who knows what about what's going on and it can be very juicy but everybody has to have the kind of the restraints have to be taken off in the sense of getting something done so timelines obligations you know, uh like you know, I got a timeline from from the company here and it says, you know the car is gonna pick you up at this time and you're gonna be there at this time and do this but what about what happens in between so our art form is sort of allowing ourselves to be schedule a ble and keep our mind sort of free at the same time it's very challenging but if we just look at the sandbox um let let me take us two ways into the sandbox I'd like to first start with just a free conversation about creativity you could say anything you want about it or your relationship to it and you could respond to what somebody else says our virtual audience could come online is because we get input from them sandbox about creativity itself what what does it mean to you? I think for me means vulnerability uh it's been a big thing for me this year you remember the first movie I made that I really felt I did something I was like seventeen he was in high school and I had was so un self conscious about the entire process I had no idea what I was revealing about myself and only lead around was like wow I would have been you know like is this dramatic story this boy falls in love not understood not at all autobiographical no but and then the scary thing about the end of the movie is the kid is so misunderstood he kills himself right so I was going out on a limb by being vulnerable and but I wasn't aware that I was doing it so it made it possible for me to do it it's very you know poetic movie was perfect for me at the time but after the hat but I and I and I was okay I wasn't suicidal at the time but it was there was a voice in me that that needed to express that angst high school but so later on I became as I became more aware of the critical eye and getting to festivals or whatever else that if the people of this thing is like so what am I what do they want to see and then what am I revealing about myself but it's been a difficult journey back to that kind of un self conscious or at this point it's more of a conscious vulnerability of like can I dare to reveal something about myself knows what who will witness it great but that's wonderful thank you for sharing that that's really could jump in were in the sandbox here past the pails past the buckets because the shovels experience it closely linked to intuition intuition, they're closely linked the sandbox and intuition well, your creativity and intuition experiencing creativity in the metaphor of sandbox is closely linked experiencing intuition so how would you distinguish that from other types of experience when when it is intuitive when something intuitive it's happening? What does it feel different there's a confident knowing content annoying which helps with creativity? Where do you think that confident knowing is when we're not having it just not tuned in it's there you know I think it's always there when I think of the same but I think of risk taking my my my memories of being assembled jumping off a swing on and into the sand and I think I think of that when it comes to creativity is well it's just going what you believe in just four so there's an element of risk hey gandhi on risk that's great that's a good one yeah monkey monkey bars many monkey bars yeah kelly had trouble coming up with a sandbox idea I mentioned earlier like I can't picture you say say what you said at lunch break because that was so interesting in the well we were walking by said I I have no ha moment and you said, what is that? I said I didn't have a sandbox uh as a kid I was a kid I didn't so I am thinking back to the creative process of the dark room kind of being my sandbox so when digital came in my sandbox was obliterated so and a lot of my life I had to do around the darkroom so being in touch with that creativity and being with the process of it and being in a moment of creative process yeah good okay, so do you think your sandbox is in your future? I d'oh you know, I went through this digital process which I'm still in but then I recently revisited a dark room and I just smells touch the field essence everything about it so I don't have that with the computer it's just a that's a very time specific point you're raising for all of us is a digital technology, you know, creating some kind of distancing from the physical impact of the creative experience you know, so that's interesting for me it has been definitely a disconnect but it has been more of a viable oh well now I don't have to be in touch with the emotional side of it for say with the digital so I have a very divide between the two digital made it easier to make money it made it easier to take pictures it made it easier to teo be involved in it okay process was very devoted the entry bar it just literally came in and said software techniques how do you balance the need to learn new technology and the process of creativity not you that thing gets in the way of it sometimes there is a wild conversation there they're playing in a sandbox flying everywhere I actually shared with them I said, you know we're doing a lot of really great things on your hear new fun creative explorations and that's a parole and exercise of vulnerability is what everyone's pointing out on dh they embrace it and they're saying vulnerability is huge it's a willingness to river feel our soft under bellies which is vital to creativity and the knee orin says a child in the sandbox doesn't worry about the castle she just has add it on and then there's a lot of dancing your patootie off people are saying that freedom of just embodying the dance not knowing where it goes and amuse and dancing with them you're being that that same tango you know, the last time that I was here kelly was here but us where they surprised me. Um uh you know, when I when I first came out, I really didn't know much about the company, you know? Seth set up the interaction between us and I didn't know too much about the company, so I thought, you know, well, maybe I'm just going out to san francisco for wayne's world somebody in their basement who is wifi? I want to know about meditation you know I got here and we're like, oh my goodness you know, this is like a substantial set up here, so um you know, the the notion of being surprised like that not knowing what you're stepping into is kind of part of it and interestingly enough was talking about that you brought up the vulnerability and then they came up again they're so, um that's a really good that's a really good point stepping into the unknown uh, kind of exploring and uh and not really showing worth not really being sure what's going to lead what else it with tea as all shod one more it's about honor on the honor to reflect the self with another and to receive beauty and return and chris s j l is so way could you repeat that one? Sure isn't that great. D c t design says the honor to reflect the self with another and to receive beauty and return that's really cool sorry, chris s jls saying, david, I'm a painter I don't a lot I have a great time with it and people love my work but the obstacle is that I like to have balance it's my life, family meditation practice rest everything else the business aspect has always seemed to get short shrift and I don't feel inspired about it if feels like a kind of cranking myself to market myself yeah, and they're feeling that's dishonest that's so good because honestly, that really is, you know, that somebody talking about where they're stuck and I think for many creative types, this is like an issue and the thing we're going to get into is it's possible and I think for me for example, I love business and it's very creative um and some of the principles we're going to look at when we get to that part of the program, but but for us types were trying to fashion our business out of our creative life. You know, we first have to look at the what are create creative life is on dh we need to, like, push the business inside for a second to do that then what were going to say? Okay, now you're gonna take it out of the garage and that's that's the part where I get kind of lit up a very interesting part. Um so, um, spending time in the sandbox is this kind of play that we're doing right now and, you know, I just I thought open I don't know what you guys are going to say, whether it's gonna be good air or not, you know, whether it's going to be productive or not, um, but the other part is uh, connecting backto our meditation practice, which is going back to I think, you know, you had a great thing to say that was thie the primordial quality of the ground, of course, in in sophisticated meditation traditions, we do talk about primordial ground a lot, but I haven't heard many people use it in sort of everyday at a cocktail party s o you know, how's your primordial ground doing, you know, no orders, you know? So we do talk about it. We buddha slept to talk about that kind of stuff, you know, somewhat, endlessly sometimes, but, um, what is the ground and can we reconnect with it? And is that a good thing to do from point of view of expressing ourselves create creatively so sometimes my teacher trunk remember, you used to talk about him a lot of slogans, but one was called first thought, best thought and that's a really powerful slogan that we sort of get to the primary of ground and then something comes out of it and just go with it, just go that he was actually a master at doing that and teaching that, um so to do that, though, we have to, the meditation practice is probably our best shot at connecting to the ground because that's all we're doing, we're not really sort of active at that point

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Creativity Spirituality and Making a Buck ebook.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Simple Meditation Instruction for Ordinary People.pdf
Course Summary.pdf
Creativity Spirituality and Making a Buck Homework.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Becky Jo Pas

So good! This course blends sound business principles with the larger intention of being mindful of your contribution to the good of the Universe. David's wisdom, approach, experience, beliefs, success and authentic sense of humor is refreshing and powerful. Anyone wishing to learn how to define or redefine their personal passion with a clear offering would benefit from this course. Knowing how to make a buck while maintaining uncompromising dedication to balancing your offering with your financial goals is presented with potency, logic and depth of business and personal considerations to ponder and implement. Highly recommended.

Flagship Media

All I can say is WOW! This class is just what I needed to help my new business concept come to life. David Nichtern breaks the creative process, the business process, and personal discovery insight down into understandable and actionable ideas with valuable ways to move a concept forward. The meditation practices meld perfectly into learning how to get some forward momentum going. I'm so glad I carved out the time to watch/listen to all of the sessions over a two day period. Thank you, CreativeLive and David – this was an extremely insightful workshop!

a Creativelive Student

What an incredible class. I love how relevant this information is to the modern world. It's a wonderful combination of peacefulness, space, and drive. Huge Thanks for offering such an innovative and inspirational class.

Student Work