07/11/2012 07:41 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2012

How Bold Is Your Creative Expression? Guidelines to Find Your Mojo

"Your security in life depends entirely on your recognition of your divine nature." -- Uell S. Andersen

Look around you. What uplifts your spirit? Wherein do you recognize a more beautiful nature within you, even if no one else on this earth understands? What helps you recognize your own greater nature?

Nothing uplifts your heart and soul that did not begin with yearning. Nothing exists to delight your senses without someone honoring theirs, without them trusting the power of their creative imagination. Same holds true for your joy in the yesterdays.

Consider brilliant fireworks: waterfalls of dazzling, dancing, cascading stars clothed in exploding light of gold, silver, persimmon, green and purple, bursting forth in panoramic glory across ink blue sky, brass bands playing in the background, as vocalists join the night's extravaganza. Consider, as well, the loving hands that created a special picnic hours before, that pleased your belly and warmed your heart.

Every time another human being steps out, refusing to settle for less than they are, something deep inside the human soul stirs, longing for fuller expression. That said, it is also true that creative breakthrough does not happen without serious devotion to the impossible and attention to details.

Ask little Eva. "I just can't do it!" 5-year-old Eva protested to her teacher. Directly before her frustrated whimper, I had asked the assembled tots in Taipei to paint what was in their heart. Anything would do, I told them. It was impossible to fail, I explained, as a way of encouraging the timid.

But Eva was not having it. Shyly, she looked at paint and paintbrush, shaking her head sadly. "I don't know how to do it," she sobbed. "I want to paint a mama pig, but I can't."

How like us! We may have a desire but believe we lack the wherewithal. The following guidelines offer powerful healing medicine for the soul that has forgotten it is here with purpose to express its divine nature:

1. Start small. The trick is to start small, to start with where we are. In her case, Eva began with a dot, a tiny, nearly microscopic pink mark on the bottom right corner of a large piece of paper. Before you could say "go bravely where children have never gone before," Eva's strokes got larger and larger until the pig filled up the entire page. Laughing louder and louder, this little artist entered a state of immersion into what lived beyond her way of reasoning. Bravely, she ventured beyond self-limitation into new frontiers. In her creative voyage of self expression, Eva, the shy, grey mouse, traveled away from the shores of disbelief, into a new harbor where she met an interior bold lion inside herself. Her lion loved to roar.

2. Practice letting go of self-constructions. For Eva, her lion could not be found until she found her willingness to let go of who she believed she must be to belong to the world.

Beautiful outcomes defy explanation. It does not matter what age you are. All that matters is that we muster faith in what is greater than fear, anxiety, our "cannots" and "should nots." All that matters is that we make the fundamental choice to give ourselves what one of my 68-year-old student artists called our "license to become." It is nothing short of the beloved that urges us on to bloom from the seedbed of our embedded desire and, to risk the mixed metaphor, to give a mighty roar.

3. Release fear and whatever stands in your way of focus. When the beloved calls, like Peter, we are asked to push ego aside, all thought of what is possible, stepping boldly out from our little craft smack onto turbulent waters. Our degree of success is determined, to a large extent, not only upon our faith in expressing what is desired but how persistent is our focus. When you place your awareness on whether you will sink or swim, pure intention goes underwater. We cannot have it both ways. Either we cleave to what transcends self-doubt or we waiver and lose our way.

4. Who goes there, in the night? Begin to notice what wakes you up. What calls needs your attention? What calls is the beloved pointing you in the best direction for healing the soul of who you really are.

When I was very young, during a time of loss and turbulence in the world, I awoke with a start, after the household had gone to sleep, by the impression that someone had silently called my name. Looking around the nursery, no one was in sight. This startled me. It was neither the first time nor the last this would happen. It was then that it dawned on me the call was within, from some unknown territory that Carl Jung called the self and I call the soul.

This "something other," is beyond ego, beyond our construction of ourselves, and is the seedbed of all innermost, sincere desire for our license to become. Sometimes referred to as the "2 million-year-old human," when this "being-ness" begins stirring there is no going back. We might try, but it is futile.

Today, well more than 60 years later, I have come to realize that this "other" is nothing less than the beloved, the very life force flowing through each breath, each moment of inspiration and connection with that beyond our understanding. It is the call of the beloved that alone can pierce our defenses, our games, our playing small in a world, which requires the awakening of our soul if humankind is ever to advance.

A tall order, I grant you. But what is the alternative? Staying asleep has gotten our planet into the mess it presently occupies. The clock is ticking.

5. Look around you. Listen. Just now, I heard the siren of first responders arriving at the assisted living facility across the lane. It is the second time today: the first before dawn, the present, at sunset. What message does this send for us today?

6. Leave room for your soul to make associations. I am reminded of the period when I lived overseas in a small Swiss village, Thalwil, when, at all times during day and night, whenever a person passed on, the church bells rang, just as it did when a baby was born, or a couple married. The life of its people was marked by bells, a constant reminder to choose what matters most, for life comes and goes when least expected. We get to choose what holds meaning and to invest our lives in that direction, or refuse to budge, refuse to pick up the paintbrush and start small. Becoming bold with who you are need not mean fame or fortune, although it may lead down this street. No, becoming bold in the way you express your life creatively really gets down to one thing: telling the truth about who you really are, without apology or expectation. May your mouse begin its mighty roar!

Love Letter for the Little Mouse Who Wishes to Become a Lion:

Listen here, my little friend! You did not come here, to this earth, to hide who you are in a corner, moving tentatively across the room! Yes, you are very good at listening, at waiting. There are times when this is exactly what is needed. Imagine how much kinder the world would be if more people around you took their time to really hear, to pay attention, to wait in line.

But it is also true that the time comes when it is your turn to step up, to speak up, to express yourself with bold color, words, and all that bring you joy! Do you know why?

Let me tell you a little secret. Nobody has paid attention like you have to what makes your heart happy. Nobody. You are the only one in this whole world that has a clue. You are the only one that thinks the same thoughts, who knows the deep feelings that you have, that gets inspired by what uplifts you, that comforts you when you are afraid.

What makes you think that your observations and your deepest desire do not have value, if shared boldly like a lion in the jungle? They do, you know! We need to hear from you.

Consider little Eva. When she finished her painting, she wrote something across it in words that changed my life, and her teacher's and mother's. Maybe her message would change yours, too, if you let it touch you. What do you think Eva wrote? What message would you like most to hear?

Your turn: Whose boldness has inspired you? Why? What words do you think little Eva wrote? I'm listening! Thanks for forwarding this to all you know.

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