by | Feb 25, 2013 | Empowering, Writing | 2 comments

My friend Mary is a painter. Her art is vibrant and colorful. Her work tackles themes of spirituality and the human condition, with abstract shapes and layers upon layers of images that tell a story. Her paintings make you feel something when you look at them. She’s an Artist, yes, with a capital A.

Over lunch one day last week, our conversation steered into the realm of the very nature of creativity. I asked her what it feels like when she paints.

“Is it a transcendent experience?”

I asked this shyly, with a bit of an apology, knowing that if a stranger off the street asked such an esoteric question it might be taken as academic drivel. But we have discussed painting and writing before. She knows, coming from me, the question is sincere.

Her eyes lit up. “Yes!”

We discussed not the craft of painting, nor the work of writing, not the struggle of selling artwork, nor the mechanics of outlining a story. Over the next hour, we discussed what it “feels like” to create something absolutely new, to give birth to a piece of art or combination of written words that has never, ever, existed until you made it with your own hands.

We discussed the process of creativity itself, what it actually feels like when it’s happening. And you know what? We both agreed that when it’s really going well, it’s not really us who are doing it. How it feels to create is to be as a vessel, a conduit for something bigger moving through us.

Deepak Chopra describes this feeling as “bliss.”

Through our conversation, Mary explained, and I agreed, that it’s as if everything else falls away. Time shrinks or expands or altogether stops. There is no thinking, just doing.

I often feel, when I’m writing, that the words move through me, from above my head and out of my fingertips. I’ve tapped into a universal consciousness and the words are coming. I couldn’t stop them if I wanted to. And believe me, I don’t want to. It’s an ecstasy unlike any other.

What we discussed, too, is that one need not be an Artist with a Big A to have this kind of experience. Athletes at the top of their game feel it. Mothers filled with love for the children feel it. Dancers. Ice skaters. Teachers feel it. When the spirit moves us, we are all artists. Our work need not end up on a canvas or printed page to be transcendent. We can all be the artists of our own lives by feeling fully present, absorbed in something worthwhile. This is the true nature, the source of creativity.

So, I challenge you, as you move forward in your daily life, to pay attention to these timeless moments. Take note when you feel moved in the present to create something new in the world, be it a kind gesture or a great work of art. We all have the capacity to make our lives into a masterpiece.


If you’d like to see some of Mary’s work, visit:






  1. Andrea Carroll

    Again…a very interesting blog. I’m very happy that you also recognize that you are an Artist with a capital “A”.

  2. Kevin P. Bryce


    Your post is an excellent read.

    Creativity is a certain a unique and defining quality for many individuals. Your post draws attention that we are prone to overlook this in our daily lives. We should always look for the creative since it influences how we see and interpret our world.

    My own blog explores Creativity in this recent post – here’s the link for those who may be interested: