This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Seeking Wisdom" by Julia Cameron. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What are the benefits of having faith in God? How is your creativity boosted by faith?
Julia Cameron’s book Seeking Wisdom explains how to fuel your creativity through spirituality. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have faith in God and the future.
Keep reading to learn how your creative projects can benefit from having faith in God.
In her book, Cameron says that above all, you must maintain your faith in God and the future. One of the benefits of having faith in God and believing that the future will be good is that your creative work will flourish. Cameron says that your faith will provide answers when you need them and ideas when you lack them—all you need to do is ask God and have faith in the signs you receive. Faith is the foundation of creativity, and without it, you’ll struggle.
Cameron adds that a crucial way you can show your faith is to regularly dedicate time to your creative endeavors, even if you don’t know what you want to create. If you have faith and ask for God’s help, ideas will come to you as you work. She adds that when she asks God for guidance on what to write next, she’s often directed just to write. As she begins, she feels God’s creative power flow through her and ends up satisfied with the result. So pick up your paintbrush, instrument, or tools, set to work, and listen for God’s signs.
Similarly, Cameron warns that when you’re facing a “creative block,” it’s often an issue of faith—instead of trusting the process, you believe that you lack good ideas, that ideas won’t come, or that others can do it better. If you let yourself continue down this path, you’re likely to end up in despair—the total opposite of faith.
If you reach a point of despair, you ignore the positive things in life, focus on the negative things, and see more negativity coming your way. You become resentful toward life and God and ultimately block yourself from creativity.
The Ingredients for Creative Success
In The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale agrees with Cameron that a benefit of having faith in God is creative success. However, he adds an important third ingredient to this formula that Cameron doesn’t discuss: knowing what you want.
Peale explains that while committing your faith and time will allow you to overcome obstacles and achieve tremendous things, a lack of clearly defined goals will send you in circles without a satisfactory result. For example, you may know that you want to paint, and you may put time and faith into your painting, but you should ask yourself why you want to paint in the first place—is it to acquire new skills? To overcome trauma? To open your own gallery? Without having a clear goal in mind, your work may become meaningless and unfulfilling. And in the end, these emotions can take a toll on your creativity.
The Risks of Losing Faith and How to Restore It
In The Secret, Rhonda Byrne elaborates on Cameron’s point, explaining that losing faith and wallowing in a negative mindset not only diminishes your creativity but also attracts negativity into your life. When you lack faith and start thinking thoughts like “someone else is better than me,” or “I can’t do that,” your thoughts emit a negative frequency that the universe will return to you. In other words, if you tell the universe that you can’t do it, the universe will believe you, and reality will start to reflect that belief.
Byrne also provides a few recommendations for how you can quickly turn your negative thoughts into positive ones and restore your faith:
- Close your eyes, relax, and smile for at least one minute.
- Make a list of thought lifters that you can reflect on: for example, storms on the ocean, puppies playing, and traditional dancing. When you feel down about yourself or life, reflect on a few things from the list and focus on how they make you feel.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Seeking Wisdom summary :
- How to channel your spirituality into your creative endeavors
- How to begin communicating with the divine
- The types of prayers you should practice