The Artist’s Guide to Connecting With Your Higher Self

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Why is connecting with your higher self the key to creative achievement? How can you go about connecting with your higher self?

Connecting with your higher self means opening yourself up to higher planes of consciousness, which you often can’t access due to external distractions. In this state of mind, you’ll experience creative inspiration and will improve your creative output.

Learn about connecting with your higher self below.

Connecting With Your Higher Self

For artistic achievement, opening yourself up to the force of the muse is helpful, but just as important is connecting with your higher self. This belief is imperative if you want to keep moving forward in your work. 

There are different planes of consciousness at play inside you. Too often, you’re distracted by the external world or the myriad of thoughts racing through your brain to notice. You can’t see past the flesh to the soul. 

Author Steven Pressfield gives an example of connecting with your higher self at work. When he finishes writing for the day, he takes a hike. Hiking clears his mind and allows other planes of consciousness to come through. He receives notes about the work, information stored in these different arenas that he could not access on his own. For instance, a voice tells him he’s written the same sentence hundreds of pages apart in his novel. Through no effort of his own, this guidance appears to help show him the way forward. 

This process happens to you all the time. It is mystical and profound when it occurs, but you must be willing to shut down your surface mind enough to receive it. This part of your consciousness knows more than you do. It’s always working alongside your surface mind, even when you’re not physically working. It processes and organizes your ideas and brings you solutions as insights when you forget to think, like when brushing your teeth or hiking. It enjoys the work and waits patiently for an opportunity to share what it’s done. 

Many artists are humble about their work because they understand that they are not wholly responsible for it. They receive help from this other conscious sphere. They become mere tools to dictate what this mystical mind tells them. They can’t explain what’s happening, but they know that it is beyond the power of their surface brain, or what is called Ego. 

The Artist’s Guide to Connecting With Your Higher Self

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  • Why creative people feel resistance when approaching their true work
  • How to break down the wall that holds you back from reaching your potential
  • How to tap into your creative power and honor the genius you were born with

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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