Yijing Guidance For Spiritual-Creatives
How can Yijing help and guide you in your spiritual-creative journey?
In 2014, I felt lost in my life a decade after my college graduation. I was looking back, trying to grapple what I perceived was wasted years that I could have used to climb a career ladder and improve my economic state. I felt an unshakeable deep boredom and sense of meaninglessness, which I then called creative ennui. Ennui is originally French, where the word annoy came from. It easily captured the state I was in – being depressed, dissatisfied, and tired. Creativity had almost dried up. Despite years of my spiritual learning, not even spirituality can renew my enthusiasm, as I thought of it as the main culprit of me feeling lost.
Balam = Just Delayed
With the help of a friend, I meditated on characters of Baybayin (an ancient Filipino writing system), trying to listen to its oracular message, and the word balam came out. In Filipino it means something is delayed. I suffered from creative ennui all because it was temporarily a state of balam for me. I thought of it like a pupal stage, a time of incubation, a process of inner development, and soon a butterfly of creativity finally flutters away.
True enough, the following year, 2015, was a remarkable personal milestone. I started my path as a well-being facilitator – I conducted retreats, co-founded a writing group, inched my way to writing poetry, and started my serious study on Yijing.
I was introduced to Yijing in 2007, but I was less knowledgeable using it prior to 2015. I could have used its help and guidance back then. Still, an oracular help came to me in the form of Baybayin (rarely thought and used that way, yet some friends do). I was and still grateful that I received one. An oracle brings so much clarity, and it can be a life-saver for someone like me in my most downhearted year.
Now, I have been a Yijing practitioner for almost 7 years, with an exciting path behind and ahead of me. In my hands is a powerful system/method that guides me so well in my journey as a spiritual-creative. In fact, a simple Yijing reading has inspired me to return to my inner well, of which poetry is one. Later, I put up a poetry class that has transformed not just my own spiritual-creative life, but those of old and newfound friends who attended the class.
Who Is A Spiritual Creative?
The term spiritual creative is rarely used, let alone defined. (About 3 hits on Google search). Thankfully, I found this one insightful attempt by a clairvoyant named Karen Bell:
A spiritual creative is an individual whose goal is to allow their work to be guided and directed by a Higher Power (God, Source, Spirit) with the awareness that their work serves a higher purpose of bringing healing and light into the world.Karen Bell, Intuitive KB
According to Bell, we can be spiritual creatives in many forms. We can be
…visual artists, artisans, musicians, writers, photographers, dancers, teachers, designers, actors… even chefs or athletes. The form they take does not matter as much as the healing energy they channel through their creative work.Karen Bell, Intuitive KB
Bell’s clear, practical take on being a spiritual creative is completely relatable. I easily saw myself in her definition. If you do as well, then you are most likely a spiritual creative.
My poetry for instance is primarily influenced by wei wu wei, an ancient Taoist principle translated as effortless effort or doing nondoing. It is the practice of removing mental effort so one can naturally tap to the uninterrupted outflow of creative ideas. In a way, I am always in the act of surrender to the natural flow within me and beyond me, which Laozi calls the Tao. (I will write a more detailed post about this.)
This natural flow has a spiritual quality to it, as it has undeniably become a source of my personal well-being. My anxiety fades easily whenever I am in the zone writing poetry. And my poems seem to carry the same feelings of peace, lightness and joy that I felt during writing, as friends have described similar feelings right after reading them.
I always look back to my training as a facilitator with my mentor’s community called Ginhawa (well-being), whose one mission is to use spirituality and creativity in the service of well-being. I owe so much of my path and work to this Ginhawa philosophy, which has continued to shape me as a spiritual-creative. It has always influenced my facilitation work, my poetry writing and teaching, and yes, my Yijing practice.
Concerns and Challenges
As a spiritual creative, we certainly have a shared list of concerns and challenges in this path:
- Fluctuating faith in oneself: we find it hard to sustain our inner faith, because people often misunderstand and underappreciate us.
- Resisting competitiveness: we believe more in cooperation and co-existence, rather than the dog-eat-dog world out there.
- Wrestling with our mental health: we value more our psyche’s need for healing, which our society doesn’t care that much.
- Balancing between our soul and survival: we need to relax, create, play, and meditate as much as we need to go to work, pay our bills, eat, and do the laundry.
This is just a handful, and I’m sure you have more in mind. We cannot just make those problems disappear, but deep down there are at least a few things you want to do to help you ease the burden:
- To make sense of what’s going on: because understanding your situation is the first step towards resolving it.
- To nurture your calm and peace: because being at peace makes you more positive, and makes your problems less toxic.
- To renew what brings you joy: because despite the troubles, you are grateful enough to appreciate the beauty of life.
- To return to your creativity: because in all its forms, art is always an infinite source of inspiration and reason for living.
How Yijing Can Guide
Yijing primarily reveals what happens in your life around you, what you feel and think about it, and the connections between them.
When I was super anxious in my former job, I asked the Yijing what should I do next. It revealed Hexagram 48, which encouraged me to return to the source of my well-being. At the time my soul felt “dehydrated”, so I needed to “get some water” from my deep inner source, and “drink” my inner ginhawa, to finally quench my soul’s anxious thirst.
While Yijing can also reveal the what and the how, but at its deepest it reveals the why. It shows you the most pertinent image, like a master key that unlocks all doors. That image will remain enduring and indelible in your consciousness. It will always inform your decisions, give you a sense of grounding, a place and meaning to stand for.
Likewise, in my own guidance, The Well in Hexagram 48 ever since has become the timeless insight of this return to spirituality and creativity, both for me and for my entire community. Two years have passed, many of us still continue to receive creative insights and blessings of clarity from the symbol of The Well that Yijing revealed to me just once.
Your Spiritual-Creative Journey
Maybe you are just starting in this journey, still figuring out your pace, still being surprised by the newness of it, and sometimes being shocked and frustrated by the sudden shifts from your old ways, because becoming a spiritual creative is like immigrating to a new country – adjusting your way to discovery and familiarity.
Or perhaps you have walked way far from your starting point, made a series of milestones, climbed certain peaks of mystical experience, seeing the breadth and depth of life from this highest vantage point, and now trekking back down to the other side of the mountain.
Whichever point you find yourself, Yijing has a gift of clarity to offer. And because we both identify as a spiritual creative, we know that the existential questions you are asking, the sense of creative fulfilment, and the inner storms you are facing are concerns not all people totally understand, except for our kindred spirits who have gone the journey themselves.
I am deeply faithful that with Yijing’s guidance, this journey of ours is worth our lifetime.
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