Let’s Build Bridges

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Let’s create a ceremonial bridge to help us go from our working mind to our creative mind.

The key to a lifelong commitment to creativity is to learn how to get from the real world where we need to put everything into boxes and order, over to the other side of our minds, where we are free and loose and able to make messes and mistakes. Building a bridge for this connection helps us cross over more easily, be more productive and break many of the lifelong avoidance habits that we’ve been using that haven’t been serving us or our creativity. A bridge helps us feel more connected to our creative self, more productive, and more accomplished. Feeling accomplished and reaching our goals helps bring more meaning and purpose to our lives.

build a bridge between between reality and your imagination

mary ann burrows

Learning how to start and stop creativity by going back and forth over the bridge is important if we want to have a sustainable creative life and reach the goals for our projects, like completing a manuscript or finishing off a painting.  

Here are a few things that have worked for me.

– Think of life as two separate realms. On one side is LIFE. This is where things are in boxes and order. This is where we need to work, think, pay bills, do chores, make money to survive, do mundane tasks, clean things up, organize and get things done. On the other side is CREATIVITY. Here sits our imagination, our looseness, unthinking, feelings, freedom, exploration. This is where we make mistakes, play, flow, take risks, have open-mindedness, expansiveness, and are free to make a mess. Get a piece of paper and a pencil. write down words to describe each side. Draw a bridge between the two. Decorate the bridge in any way that you want, with words, with flowers, with birds. This is YOUR bridge and you need to cross over it.

– Create a ceremony to get from one world to the next. Repeat the same ceremony before creating. Make it short (5-10 minutes). or long depending on your needs and time restraints.

Here are some additional ceremony activities that I have done in the past that worked for me.

a) Light a candle 

b) Altar – I have collected things that help me cross the bridge and have them placed in an altar at the entrance to my art studio or my forest where I write. ( My treasures are a tiny bronze elephant, a tiny piece of amethyst, a tiny buddha and a feather)

c) Music – I listen to classical music to help my mind cross the bridge

d) Meditation- I meditate, pray, connect to my muse while on the bridge

e) Breathing exercises, mantras, and visualizations that guide thoughts and encourage a complete stopping of life outside of creating. Tuck away all the skills needed in your life-side of the bridge (like the need to get things right) and move across the bridge, releasing and letting go so you can walk into the realm of giving yourself permission to get things messy and wrong. 

f) Once on the creative side of the bridge -do a short 2-minute imagination exercise to warm up your creative mind. We have all been so over-trained to draw inside the lines that we have lost our imagination. You need to let your mind know that you’ve arrived. Practicing a short mental exercise of connecting things that don’t usually go together is one way to acknowledge the crossing and get your creative mind to smile. For example, imagine a building in the shape of a giant shoe.  Play and have fun inside your imagination.

g) Think of your mind as a place you can go to rather than a place you think. Imagine redecorating it, redesigning it in any way that you want to.  Make it as comfortable and open as you need to on the creative side of the bridge and as organized and structured as you need it to be on the life side of the bridge. Visualize two rooms on either side of your bridge. One is your life-room where you need to think, the other is your creative-room where you need to not think. Visit each room and decorate it how you choose.

Getting from the creative room back to your life-room also takes practice. It’s hard to pull yourself away from what your heart loves. Honoring that takes practice. Your heart often gets separation anxiety and feels sad when you leave this wonderful creative side. You need to build up trust. To do this, practice going back and forth over the bridge a few times within an hour. Set a timer for yourself for 5 minutes and practice pulling yourself in and out of the creative zone.  Setting a timer also helps your mind learn how to turn it on and turn it off quickly.  This also teaches your mind to understand when it’s time to be creative and when it’s time to do the laundry and work at life. It teaches your mind to do it quickly and before you know it you can drop in and out of creativeness within seconds, once you train your mind. Being able to cross the bridge easily will also help you feel more accomplished.  Going back and forth over the bridge in short sessions is a way to help you create a sustainable creativity practice where you can build creative skills and practice your creativity daily.

This is a something that really worked for me, I hope it works for you too. Take your time, and have fun creating your own personal ceremony and building your bridge that will take you to the most amazing side of yourself, and beyond. Enjoy !

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