In this lesson, you will learn how to tap your creativity by putting yourself into a trans-like state of mind. By suspending your conscious mind and enabling your unconscious to take over, problems will seem to solve themselves, paintings will appear to paint themselves, and poems will flow without thinking from pen to paper.


LISTEN TO DIFFERENT KINDS OF MUSIC, WRITE OR DRAW IMAGES THAT COME TO YOUR MIND This exercise will elude your judgmental barriers. It combines three different steps for maximum stimulation and channels for expression. First, listen to some music. Select a song, etude, symphony, whatever exemplifies your mood, or choose music you find provocative or energizing. Then draw the first strong image that comes to your mind. It can be lines, a shape, a figure, or a scene. Allow the image to change and evolve as you draw it. Don’t criticize what you do or try to make it perfect. Go for the feeling and keep it spontaneous. Finally, free associate to what you have drawn. It can be a description, a response, a story, a series of images, feelings, or memories. Follow any new directions that present themselves. Then examine how you can use what you’ve done, in your life or in your particular area of creativity.


James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Virginia Woolf were pioneers of the method known as stream-of-consciousness writing. It came at that time in history when Freud was having a tremendous impact upon the world, and writers, artists, and others were hungry to experiment with new methods. The idea of tapping the unconscious was new and exciting. Even though these methods of self- expression may seem passe today, stream-of-consciousness writing is nevertheless an excellent tool for bringing forth the unconscious. Freud introduced the method of free association in his work with patients in order to catch them off guard and allow the unconscious to break through their defenses.

When you combine stream-of-consciousness writing with waking up first thing in the morning, you are doubling your chance of tapping the unconscious. It is during the early morning hours that you have your longest and most vivid dreams. You are still close to the dream state when you awaken. Having a pad and pencil by your bedside works well not only with recording dreams but also with doing stream-of-consciousness writing.

The purpose of this exercise is not to increase your skills as a writer, although that may be a secondary benefit, but to tap the creativity that lies within. Be sure nothing will disturb you—people, pets, ringing telephones—for the next twenty to thirty minutes.

Write down all the thoughts that come into your mind without censoring any of them. Even if you have thoughts such as “I have nothing to write,” write that too. Simply write them down, and then continue with the next thought.

THE FLOWER EXERCISE When your inspiration is at a low ebb and you feel there is no reason to continue on the creative path, try the flower exercise. This exercise offers more insights than perhaps any other. It also opens up your visual imagination and makes you aware of the awesome beauty that is uncovered when you allow yourself to truly look. The preliminary part of the exercise is enjoyable: go to the florist and select a flower that truly interests you. Take it home, put it in water in a vase, of course, and when you are ready, put the vase in front of you on a table. Allow yourself at least a half-hour of undisturbed time when you can sit and not worry about obligations or other concerns. Have a timer by your side which you can set for ten to fifteen minutes. Take a couple of deep breaths and allow yourself to completely relax. Then look at the flower. Concentrate on its size, weight, color, textures; see the drops of moisture on the petals and stem. Look at the flower, in a relaxed contemplative way, until the timer buzzes. Then set the timer again, this time for five minutes. Close your eyes and let images pass through your mind without judging or trying to change them. When the buzz tells you your time is up, write in your journal what you saw, felt and thought during the five minutes when your eyes were closed.