Exploring Life is a gathering place for people interested in how creativity can improve the experience of being alive. We possess an innate desire to live a fulfilling life. We must also struggle through periods of hardship and loss. Creative work flourishes where inner life and the outer world coalesce into experience. A creative person turns into the full force of their own life and works with the opportunities, limitations, vulnerabilities, uncertainties, and mysteries to find meaning, identity, and purpose. These are the frontiers of deep creativity.
This site started in January 2021, and is in its early stages of development. Below is a brief overview of the work being done here. Following this are articles offering more depth for those interested.
The Vision for Exploring Life
The purpose of this site is to:
- Provide ideas, tools, and resources that encourage deep creativity.
- Provide a gathering place and community of learning for people interested in living a creative life.
- Encourage and facilitate collaborative work on creative projects.
- Explore creativity across various frontiers of subjective experience.
- Promote a lifelong and lifewide creative engagement with the mysteries and wonder of being alive.
What is a “creative life?”
Exploring Life focuses on a creative life and deep creativity as a way of life. To live a creative life is to engage with the experience of being alive just as an artist transforms raw material into an aesthetic insight. The raw material of deep creativity is directly felt experience, complete with all its joy and sorrow, happiness and grief, celebration and hardship, as well as belonging and loss.
Creativity is a remarkable human trait. Deep creativity is an essential way to engage with the situations and circumstances that conspire to become the story of our life. It encourages us to contribute something meaningful to the conversation. Deep creativity is a way to engage with the full force of life and become an active participant in shaping your own unique course in life. The focus of a creative life is to engage with the experience of being alive through the lens of curiosity, to break patterns of living that no longer serve, and to venture into new and unexpected frontiers of experience.
Why does living a creative life matter?
I am a creative. Creativity has been my orientation to living since childhood. For me, a creative life and a good life are synonymous. In one sense, creativity is an innate part of my personality. In another sense, it is an inspiring way to live. Now that I am retired and venturing toward the final frontiers of my life, approaching my experiences with a creative spirit is essential, perhaps more than any other time in my life. Deep creativity is powerful and immensely practical.
My hope is to find and build a community of creative people interested in pursuing a practice of deep creativity. Our work is to confront subjective experience in interesting and novel ways. For example, this may mean challenging and revising long-held assumptions and beliefs that have influenced and shaped our life course. Or it may mean finding novel ways to work with difficult emotional states, such as anxiety. Deep creativity is always about working with our narrative and giving it new form and direction.
What is my motivation for this work?
I’m 60 years old and feeling aging in unfamiliar ways, but my desire to live creatively is relentless. I’m retired and don’t have a career to fill my time. And I can only take so much leisure and recreation. But there has been an internal shift in my orientation to life. I’ve noticed I become more focused on embodiment as I get older, perhaps years of deterioration are revealing themselves. I have “mechanical back pain” that, as a far as I can tell, is a cluster of various problems that cannot be diagnosed in detail or resolved through a medical intervention. The pain, however, is quite real. None of this is a complaint; we all will encounter challenges like this. It is, however, a different way of feeling alive.
I’m compelled to write about these experiences through the lens of creativity. This is an entirely new and unfamiliar stage of life for me, one that holds more potential while simultaneously being more foreboding than any other. We all know that we must face mortality and use it as a faculty for living a good life. For me, deep creativity is the way to do that.
It’s a mistake to think that creativity is a solitary endeavor. The suffering artist syndrome is, to me, nonsense; suffering is not a prerequisite for being creative. I believe that creativity is, in its deepest sense, a source of enduring wellbeing, even through dark periods in our life. In it’s highest sense, creativity is about broadening and expanding the privilege of being alive in a way that is good for self and others at the same time. This the philosophical ground of deep creativity.
My intention is to make Exploring Life a gathering place for people interested in living a deeply creative life. In this sense, I am motivated by cultivating a community of interest and building connections with like-minded people. Ultimately, it would be remarkable to forge collaborative ventures from this.
Moreover, I’ve made the decision that creativity is how I am going bring my own life to culmination. There is no time for living a contingent or peripheral life. I feel my own impermanence more than ever. The directly felt experience of aging has conjured a deep sense belonging to the creative energy of nature. It is deep creativity and the pursuit of a creative life that will accompany me to my end of days.
What does Exploring Life offer?
The structure of this site reveals how I engage with creative work in my own way. I write about what I do, not what I want to do or read about. My goal is to make the design of this site congruent with my experience. I am not describing “The Way” or providing a template of self-help for how to live a creative life. There isn’t one. My intention to offer some ideas and tools that you can use, modify, and creatively apply in your life.
What should you do now?
If you are interested in this work and want to stay up to date on the progress being made here, consider signing up for the newsletter. Although the content in in early stages of development, you can explore the existing articles. Or you can contact me to propose the potential for sharing some ideas and working together.