The Joyful Mystery Of Creativity

We do not necessarily get to choose what inspires us.

If we are dedicated to doing creative work, we must rely to some degree or another on inspiration. We do not always know where it will come from. It may be intrinsic or it may be extrinsic.

Our job is to show up, to be willing, to pay attention, to look, listen, and to act when it appears.

We must honor the process, respect the inspiration, follow it, channel it, organize it, and allow it to come to form through us.

We may want to go in one direction with our work, but inspiration may take us somewhere totally different, somewhere new, somewhere foreign, and somewhere we never could have predicted with our previous knowledge or vision.

The beauty of the creative process is in the mysteriousness of it, in the discovery of it, and in the divinity of it.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to be witness to our own creative process, to participate in it, and to experience it, we cannot help but to also be in awe of it.

This is neither pride nor vanity. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we are merely willing participants on journey we do not fully understand.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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