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Connecting with your Creative Soul
by Ami McKay

Many of us have lives filled with deadlines and daily routines. Tapping into our creative energies is often the last thing on our minds. Perhaps you think that you don’t have a creative side, perhaps your wild sense of imagination left with your childhood, perhaps you don’t even realize what’s truly within you just waiting to be set free.

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Why choose a creative path?

Fostering your sense of creativity can give you feelings of freedom, delight and passion. It can help you see your life in a new light and help you to tackle situations that you thought were hopeless. When you express yourself through creative action you find gifts such as: happiness, self worth, healing, and inner joy. Don’t let society’s picture of the ‘artist as virtuoso’ scare you into not trying. Self-expression comes in many forms and in varying degrees of ability. We all have a creative artist within. Whether or not you choose to call on these amazing gifts is up to you!

Some examples of Creative Endeavors

1. Music hath charms…
How many of us like to sing in the shower or in the car during rush hour traffic? You can take this idea a step further and use music as a way to find creativity. In this age of CD’s, we have access to any type of music we desire. Try experimenting by listening to various types of music. Find out what soothes your soul, what gives you energy, which music sets your thoughts free. Keep pen and paper nearby and write down any thoughts that come from this experience. Before long, you may find yourself writing an essay of inspiration or simply dancing around your living room with abandon.

When my son was four, I started hearing music from his bedroom after I had tucked him in. I was curious as to where this sweet music was coming from and peeked in to see what was going on. I discovered that he had started his own evening ritual. He was singing the events of his day to himself. With great passion he would sing of his disappointments, accomplishments and joys. I’ll admit that I have since tried this myself and found it to be one of the most freeing experiences I have ever had.

2. Art of Expression
You don’t have to have a professional set of oil paints or be schooled at the finest art institute to express your artistic soul. I’m talking about art that comes from the very depths of your being and isn’t meant to be pleasing to anyone else but you. ‘Dharma Art’ is a kind of artistic practice where you begin to gather things from your surrounding environment and rearrange them in a creative and artistic way. There are no rules, just simply collect what you find interesting and then create something new. An easy way to experiment with this idea is to make a collage from magazine clippings. Take an hour and create a collage that truly reflects your passions in life. Incorporate favorite quotes and sayings that inspire you. Who knows, one day you may be gluing old clock parts to a worn out straw hat as a personal commentary on time.

An old college roommate of mine recently sent me a small mixed media painting as a token of friendship and thanks. Here is what the enclosed note said: "this is what I did the night I talked with you on the phone. You were inspiring. To me, it looks like something a teenager would do but it reflects how I feel these days…whatever that means." It meant the world to me!

Creativity helps us unlock our inner selves, but it also needs to be shared.

3. The ‘Ellie’ Poem
One of my favorite poems of all time is affectionately known as the ‘Ellie’ poem in writing classes around the world. Although I have never found an accurate and detailed description of how this poetic form came about, I can say that the original ‘Ellie’ was written by a woman named Eleanor Wait in 1967. It was titled: "Ellie: An Inventory of Being." In the lines that follow she states in the fumbling eloquence of young womanhood her ideas about exactly who she is. She writes it for herself and lists her dreams alongside her fleeting thoughts. In my opinion, everyone should try to compose their own ‘Ellie’ at least once in their lives. Here is an ‘ellie’ I composed while living in Chicago as a single mother. Although I have experienced many changes since then, my deepest beliefs are the same.

A quick response from my being to yours

I am Ami (how can I keep myself from noticing how the letters are the same yet ordered differently? I-a-m A-m-i...like a deer in headlights)

yes, it's A-m-i
there are several theories as to why.
My personal favorite includes a description of my father
as a complete lunatic for the derivation of words.

Ami, as in amiable,
friend to all
And that is I,
believer in the best,
Lover of the human condition and
seeker of a way I can
help carry souls through

I have a son, Ian,
gracious gift.
I have hiked through the giant redwoods
with him inside my womb
I have climbed to the top of a Red Mountain
with him on my back
Together we climb stairways and streets

I am a bard-ess,
a mage trapped in this fast world
I sing to those who will take the time to
drown in my music.
I dream of open spaces.

how can any one say that
the main ingredient in a 'push-up'
is orange sherbet?
Everyone knows, it's
'push-up stuff'

On the coldest of days i put my clothes
in bed with me and sleep
curled around them
for 15 extra minutes
to make the day bearable.

Someday, someone will take the place
of those clothes and
sleep those moments with me
that make the day bearable.

Hands held
Eyes closed
A kiss

There are countless ways to discover and nurture your creative self. You simply need to open your soul to the possibilities and try. You may rediscover an old talent you put on the shelf years ago, or you may find solace in pursuits such as gardening, cooking, or quilting. The Universe is within you and the possibilities are as vast. As Robert Frost wrote, ‘choose something like a star!’

©Copyright 2000 Ami McKay

Who is Ami McKay?

I am a storyteller, a singer of songs, a healing harpist & an artisan. I believe in Magic - the kind which crafted the gossamer breathing wonder of the Universe.

We are all a part of that whole. Sometimes we trudge through life & lend our hearts to forget. But that is not living.....

I hope to remind others of that.


Visit Ami McKay at her website:
Ami McKay



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