Sedona ARTSource is joyfully filled with stories about the creative endeavors of people working with many genres, approaches and philosophies.
My personal definition of creativity came early: I recognized both inherent talents in myself and an irresistible drive to create “something from nothing.” The overwhelming impulse to inspire others to do the same led the decision to use my creativity in all its forms to make a living and support myself.
I understand creativity as a bridge between worlds. Its energy speaks in the physical realm and also provides a connection to “Source” on the spiritual plane. Through recognizing and acting within its power, we leave a legacy on both sides.
Creativity radiates from us. It escapes from our unconscious while we do the mundane. It shows up in our doodles as we take notes. It is evident in our cooking, or how we place food on a plate. It’s visible in our rose garden and it comes up in normal, everyday sharing as we teach our children to dress for the first day of school or when we show them how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween. For many, it slips by unnoticed until an idea from deep inside begins to seek a chance to express itself.
But for others, it comes up early as a relentless, restless desire that is calmed only by freeing a vision from thought into form. For these people, these artists, it is likely that creativity is the greatest force in their life. This is how it has been for me.
Although I sometimes dreamed of being a ballerina, most of all I knew I was a visual artist. Dance and art shared the wish to cut loose, get free of gravity and express the thing within that was recognized, but had no name.
However, childhood asthma was a problem for me. When I was five, our family left Arizona with the hope of improving my health. It was a lakeside cottage and the gently sloping countryside of northern California that trained my young artistic eye and shaped my thoughts about natural environments.
Because I needed to be indoors during pollen seasons, my mother set up a walk-in closet as a painting studio for me. Thus, art was my connection to the outside world. With oils I painted landscapes and animals I had seen and enjoyed in nature where the wild things lived. A driving, inventive force from within wanted only to capture and share the vision and energy with others: “Look at this!”
Many years and many paintings later I entered an airbrushed picture of a lion into an exhibition. I had experienced a moment of extreme freedom while creating the piece but then immediately thought I had ruined it. I relegated it to the discard pile. But, as I chose images for the show, the picture was unexpectedly appealing, so I framed it.
During the exhibition, that painting spoke to me. It appeared as though I had portrayed a reflection of my own Creative Spirit. A perfect metaphor emerged; the slumbering lion, warmed by the sun. He will stir and awaken, shake out his majestic mane and wander o in one direction or another. And I will follow because that is how creativity works for me. The urge ebbs and flows and recedes again until nearly dormant and then awakens once more to create something new.
When we lived by the lake, my doctor said I should exercise my lungs with either swimming or by playing a woodwind instrument. The water was lovely to look at and great for fishing, but I ruled out swimming with turtles and crawdads on the early attempts.
We returned to Arizona that year and my father bought me a silver flute to play. I could not get a note out of it for two weeks! Then, on a boating trip to Saguaro Lake as we sat on a pier sipping strawberry sodas, my dad taught me how to blow notes on the pop bottle. That trick translated well to the flute when we got home and soon music practice occupied any available free time each day. The sleeping lion had found another form of creative expression!
I spent the summers of my childhood camping with my family at Sedona’s Oak Creek. I loved hiking up to hollowed-out areas of the canyon walls where I played my flute, allowing the sound to waft out and travel along with the owing waters below. The canyon provided excellent reverberation with which to develop a unique voice and a round, full tone on the instrument. And my lungs grew stronger.
I continued with my music training and often tell the story of how this creative outlet led to better health for me and a career as a professional flutist. My husband, guitarist Rick Cyge and I record and perform our compositions of music inspired by the beauty of natural places in our duo, “Meadowlark.” I like to think of this as my “Listen to this!” phase of expressing my creativity.
Traveling through time, my creative expression expanded from art to music to writing. I have written and published non-fiction, fiction and children’s books as I respond to that call. Writing allows me to explore life’s experiences to a greater depth and share ideas that trigger memories, meaning and understanding for others. Writing also gives a more purposeful voice to my beliefs about creativity. “Understand this!”
I have always felt a profound need to interest and uplift others with creativity in whichever direction the lion turned. My desire is to inspire! I want people to know that this creative potential is inherent in each of us and needs to be expressed. Whether we plant gardens or write symphonies, our spirit is constantly speaking to the universe of souls about what it means to be alive.
This gift brings with it our ultimate responsibility to share, in whatever ways we are able, the beautiful soul energy of creativity that nourishes love and peace whenever we allow it into our consciousness.
If I had to pick the best piece of guidance from my book, “Choosing Greatness to Change Your Life,” it is about developing greater awareness of what surrounds us. This develops other avenues to recognize and experience the oneness that we share. We realize that life’s not all about what’s happening inside of our brain every hour of the day. Through observation and with basic gratitude as we look at what’s really going on, we give our brain something positive to work on. I think that will lead away from that incessant chatter that has to do with what happened at work or what somebody said and gets us over those things that we would obsess on. It opens up our eyes, expands our minds and nourishes our creativity until we begin to see our oneness and understand how we fit, how other people fit and how life works.
In conclusion, I believe we are all co-creators of our reality.
In these times of stress, focusing on the things our heart loves changes us and can help to transform the world. I have heartfelt compassion for those whose lives are in turmoil on our planet and where creativity of the nature I’ve been talking about here is buried deep beneath daily survival. However, I am certain that when survival is at stake, creativity at its most basic forms is what will see us through.
May those who have suffered loss find new ways of life in the rubble of old lives and begin again with new spirit, zest, and hope. And may every one of us nurture that creative seed, no matter how small, and grow ourselves into the greatest version of ourselves we can be.
To learn more visit LynnTrombetta.com and MeadowlarkMusic.com.