At the recent TED conference, Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, spoke about genius and creativity. She mused about the impossible things we expect from creatives and geniuses, then explored the origins of the word genius. Instead of a person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. That a muse expresses through us rather than it coming from us or a me.
I have talked on several occasions about being the vehicle of writing, that the words come through me rather than from me. (where me is the person) I have to stay out of the way of the process and just let it flow. I often learn things reading it over afterward. Elizabeth speaks of her own process as being more like a mule. To some extent, this variation in creative style is personal process but also reflects our relationship with our muse. How open we are to letting go of control. For example, in my own process, it’s usually the me in the way if it’s not moving or is not smooth. Sometimes the me just has to catch up to the larger vision. Then, simply acting towards it without expectation keeps the flow moving.
That is the secret to a quite amazing life. It’s not about doing but rather moving and experiencing and allowing. Then our genius is given full reign and we are showered with inspiration, bliss and love.