It is important to stay full. Your audience does want not the scraps of your emotional energy on a plate.
Remember, as a Christian Creative you are a life giver! The vitality of your creative output depends on one key thing.
You must take care of yourself!
As creatives, this is sometimes something we do not readily do. We are wired to keep pouring ourselves out with martyr-ish abandon until the emotional bucket runs dry. Even then we try and squeeze out a few stray drops.
But that’s not God’s best plan.
He wants your stewardship of His creative gifts to be pouring from the overflow of His life coursing through your being. His plan is for you to be a rich fountain that never runs dry.
Writers. Artists. Dancers. Singers. Film makers. Actors. Painters, Poets, Preachers, Teachers.
You are valued!
Your contribution to the world is important and should be protected. Not protected in the sense of ‘lock this away and throw away the key’, but protected as in ‘this gift that Papa has given me stewardship of is precious – it is as tender and beautiful as a baby and needs to be loved with passionate vigilance.’
Perhaps a better word than protected is nurtured.
You must diligently feed and tend to yourself and the gifts that you carry.
It is so easy to focus outwardly all the time, putting work out to the world, yet neglect the inner world of our own heart and emotions. Tiredness and burnout can quickly creep up on you if you are not careful.
Before I share three specific ways in which I refill my creative tank, let me lay a foundational truth on your doorstep…
“And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 AMPLIFIED
Love God. And let Him love you!
It all begins by going to the Source.
Being vitally united to the vine is a no-brainer. If God is the Creator, connecting in with Him is an obvious must.
But my emphasis, and one I think you may need to hear if you are an active and passionate creative in any field, is the second part of this equation. This is not about your vertical relationship with the Godhead, but your horizontal relationships with other people (and especially the man or woman in the mirror).
With our art we do our best to continually give. I am not going to comment on the quality or quantity of our love in the broad sense. With respect to our creative gifts being expended to bless and build up other people, we don’t need to be prompted. It is impossible for us not to pour ourselves out into the world. Like Jeremiah, there is something that burns within our very bones that cannot be denied expression.
But if I say, “Forget it! No more GOD Messages from me!” The words are fire in my belly, a burning in my bones. I’m worn out trying to hold it in. I can’t do it any longer!” Jeremiah 20:9 THE MESSAGE
As artists and creatives we are givers. It comes with the territory.
In that respect you may have the “love others” bit down, but for too many the “love yourself” part is often sadly neglected.
It is essential that we do not exhaust our capacity without coming to the table of the Lord to refill and refresh. The creative cycle is not just about production.
For the cycle of creativity to work in fullness it must also include receiving.
Here are three ways that I enjoy recharging my creative batteries…
1. Pray and Meditate
Prayer, and by that I simply mean spending heart-to-heart time with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is the life of the believer. It is not a duty to be performed, but a privilege to embrace. Coming and spending time with the Father and immersing yourself in His Words is essential to maintain a positive and powerful creative flow.
God’s wisdom is described as multi-faceted – it can shed light and bring life to places you least expect it to.
Ephesians 3:10 talks about the manifold wisdom of God.
The Bible in Basic English translation is not one I turn to often, but I do love the rendition of this life-charged verse. It speaks of how the Father will…
“…make clear through the church the wide-shining wisdom of God” Eph 3:10 BBE
Like a flower needs sunlight to flourish, so our spirit needs His light to nourish. His wisdom is wide-shining, and His words can speak new life into our heart in a way that nothing of this earthly realm can match.
2. Let Nature Minister To Your Soul
Right there at the beginning, the perfect environment was carefully honed for humanity.
It was a world that ministered nothing but life, and life abundant.
It was not an office, or a sports hall, or a movie theatre. It was a garden.
The Bible speaks of trees lining the banks of the river of life – trees whose leaves and fruits feed and heal the nations.
Why wait for your taste of that infilling?
As creatives there is a danger that we spend all of our time focussed only on what’s in our mind – the inner world. But Father has designed certain environments to infuse us with fresh vitality.
I am no tree hugger, but I am always amazed how loudly a silent tree can sing creative healing to your spirit.
Take time to get out of your head, away from your screen or studio, and drink in the wonder of our Father’s gallery called nature.
This is even more delightful if you share the experience with a friend.
3. Let the overflow of other’s creativity pour into you
If you are a writer. Read.
A painter or artist? Go to the gallery and view other’s work.
A musician? Attend a concert or shut out the world with noise cancelling earphones and be transported for an hour through the sounds and songs of another.
The key here is to be an open, unjudgemental receiver. Not a critic, but a child.
You are not listening or looking or reading to assess, measure, or compare.
You are doing it for sheer pleasure.
The point in all of this is simple. Tend to your soul. Take time to fill your own vessel so it can overflow to others without drying up.
Love your self a little. You will thank yourself for it if you do. 🙂
What do you do to recharge your creative batteries? Let me know in the comments below…