December 19, 2013

Labyrinth Walking and Creativity

By Margaret Rappaport

Where do writers and painters find their inspiration? How are creative artists motivated to work? What’s behind the impulse to create something novel and artful? Perhaps many of us ask ourselves these and other questions about our own creativity.

I want to suggest that walking the labyrinth assists in manifesting creativity, especially when walking routinely happens. Matthew Fox, an Episcopal priest, says that creativity is the time and place “where the divine meets the human.” He suggests that “the most prayerful, most spiritually powerful act a person can undertake is to create, at his or her own level, with a consciousness of the place from which that gift arises.” Walking the labyrinth has an ambiance which encourages us to focus our attention on our personal creative impulses. It quiets the mind to make space for transformation of vague notions into potentials and beyond into actions. As the walk goes forward, the spirit of creativity can soar.

As this spirit shines, some of the time in spite of ourselves, there develops a sense that if we keep on the path maybe it’s possible to create something different from what we do in everyday living. Perhaps we contain within ourselves more and better talents than we acknowledge. We might perceive that being busy and productive isn’t the only goal in life. A realization may waft over us that other “contents” need to be worked out of ourselves. With these experiences our mood changes. We may accept that the divine, likely, is breathing on us. What a fantastic idea that is! Anything is possible. “All is well; and all manner of things shall be well” said Julian of Norwich. We may become, quite literally, part of God’s creation.

As we return along the labyrinth path, we may feel eager to share the gifts of insight the walk has facilitated. Yes, we respond, I will make beauty, I will give blessings, and I will bring my best self to my community. In thanksgiving for my creativity, I will grow my heart.