How to be More Creative, According to Eckhart Tolle
Last night, I went to an Eckhart Tolle meetup at the Center for Remembering and Sharing in New York City. Tolle, who’s most known for his books The Power of Now, or A New Earth, doesn’t prescribe one spiritual ideology, but rather, focuses on how we can change our lives by living in the present moment and detaching from our never-ending trail of thoughts.
There were about fifteen of us at the meetup. We gathered to chat, meditate, and then watch an hour worth of Eckhart Tolle videos. All we needed was a table full of snacks, some hot chocolate, and a cozy cuddle blanket to make it a perfect night by my standards. Nonetheless, I could feel my vibration raise; as I meditated, I felt tingly sensations fill my body. During the video, I could feel a shift in myself, as I listened to a powerful message about creativity and how it relates to accepting the present moment. It changed the way I think about writing, or creating anything, really, as the elusive process of creation can feel either like an endless stream of water pouring from a faucet, or a clogged pipe we bang on helplessly wth the wrong type of wrench.
So, how do we open up the floodgates of creativity? How do we tap into the unlimited stream of wisdom, the transcendent collective from which all thoughts are born, and which we have access to in any moment?
According to Eckhart Tolle, when we stop resisting the present moment, we tune into that unseen stream of creativity that we can sometimes feel like we’re so desperately grasping for. When we stop thinking that the situation we’re in should be different, our partner should do something he’s not doing, traffic should be lighter, and it should be 80 degrees and sunny everyday, our acceptance of the present moment - our lack of resistance - makes it possible for us to tap into the flow of the universe. In other words, we experience synchronicities, we are flooded with great ideas, we receive the solutions to our problems, and we open up to the wisdom and guidance of the universe.
I like to think of it this way: Imagine life as a great river. If we allow the river to carry us, things will work out with ease, and we will feel supported by the beneficence of life itself; however, if we fight it - if we’re determined to go upstream when the river is calling us down - we get stuck; we experience mental blocks; we close our faucet to creativity, wisdom, and guidance.
In order to tap into the transcendent collective energy (think of it as what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious, if it’s helpful), we have to stop fighting what and who the universe put in front of us. Our thoughts that our life, body, and even our personalities should be better is what’s keeping us from tuning in to the wisdom and creativity of the universe. Our constant quest for an upgrade: a better relationship, a better house, more money, and more cars, is what’s keeping us from aligning with transcendent energies that are available to us all the time.
Our perpetual discontentment with the present moment means that we can’t write that book, start that blog, open that jewelry business, or work on our craft project, because our faucets are closed. We’re in an energetic state of defensiveness; we’re throwing a tantrum in our minds, like a small child telling daddy that we don’t want to sit in the car for two hours, and also, we don’t want to eat vegetables at dinner. No, we want pizza and candy. We argue with the present moment because there is some part of us - some part of our mind, our psyche - that is constantly looking for something better, something easier, something just a little bit sweeter, and it’s this fight that keeps us closed off to the creative energies available to us when we just learn to chill out.
So, what can we do to tap into this unlimited energy? Relax more. Accept people, places and circumstance. Repeat the mantra I receive all things. Erase the word should from our vocabularies. Give up the fight. Lay down our swords. Raise the white flag and declare: I’m at peace with my job. I’m at peace with my body. I’m at peace with my partner. Nothing needs to change. All is well. I receive all things with ease and grace. Write it down on Post-it notes, put it on your hand, read, rinse, and repeat. With every thought about how our commute to work sucks, our partner’s a dirty slob, and our tummy needs to jiggle less, we step out of our creative power, and we put up energetic blocks that not only make it impossible to start and complete passion projects, but that make life considerably less fun. So, what’s the takeaway here? Chill out, and watch your creativity soar.