Today I’m celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fran Sorin’s groundbreaking book, “Digging Deep.”
I loved “Digging Deep” and can’t recommend it enough if you are searching for the roots of your own creative genius.
The updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening is a powerfully uplifting and transformative self-help book for the creatively and spiritually challenged. Overflowing with tips, exercises, and resources, Fran shares the lessons she’s learned from gardening over the past thirty years. If you’re yearning to cultivate more meaning and connection in life, the 7 Stages of Creative Awakening mapped out in the book will help you extinguish the stifling inner voice that says, “I’m not creative,” and replace it with strategies that will help you harness your instincts and live a life filled with joy and creativity.
1. What inspired you to write Digging Deep?
I was on all fours in the garden weeding one day when out of the blue, I realized that the transcendent state that I frequently experienced in the garden was similar to what I used to experience while playing the piano throughout my childhood and into adulthood. It is what Maslow calls ‘peak experience. It is this sweet spot—where you lose any self criticism or restraint, let your imagination run wild, take risks, improvise, and play – all the while being mindful of what you’re doing. This extraordinary state of being is where your creativity has an opportunity to jump in and take over.
Once I put the pieces together, the light bulb went off: I saw that this is how I had been creating my gardens for the past several years and wanted to share my passion for the creative process in the garden- and life- with others.
2. In Digging Deep you ask the question, “What does it mean to be creative?” So let me ask you, “What does it mean?”
Creativity is simply the energy of making something new where there was nothing before. We have the potential to do this in so many unmarked ways—from designing our schedules to fashioning our ‘look’, writing birthday cards, to building a business from the ground up. Lawyers create arguments, decorators create ambiance, and parents create everything from learning to a sense of wonder. Every time we get dressed, make dinner, or wrap a gift, we can be creative. In almost everything we do in life, we have the possibility of conjuring up the spirit of inspiration, imagination, innovation, and resourcefulness.
Creativity is not something we do; it’s something we embody. I believe the ultimate goal is not to be more creative, but to learn how to live creatively.
3. What would you say to someone who thinks they’re not creative?
The first thing I would do is ask them why they feel that way. And then I would listen to their story of why they are living with this ‘non-truth’.
I would then ask them to share a time with me in their childhood when they remember using their imagination and being creative. It could be acting in a play, designing their own Halloween costume, decorating an Easter egg—children are so naturally creative that when a person starts remembering wonderful times from their childhood, some awareness of the ‘playful self’ begins to break through.
Once the ice is broken and an individual opens up, there’s an opportunity for them to look at how they may already be creative in certain areas of their life that they’re not even aware of. It also allows for an opening to discuss ways that they might want to awaken their senses and learn more about living creatively.
And finally, I would leave them with the following: that even if they don’t think they’re creative, every day remind themselves that they are. Write some affirmations and place them around the house and work place about your creative essence…..something simple like “Every day I am creating a joyful and beautiful life.”
4. In Digging Deep you talk about the 7 Stages of Creative Awakening. Could you tell us a little bit about them?
Sure. The 7 Stages of Creative Awakening is a term I developed that leads someone step by step through what I consider to be the creative process. The stages are: Imagining, Envisioning, Planning, Planting, Tending, Enjoying, and Completing. Although I developed them with the garden in mind, in truth, they can be used in all areas of life.
For example, Stage One is Imagining: The Sparks of Creativity. Within the framework of that one stage are chapters on Observing, Discovering, Remembering, Exploring, Opening to Possibility, and Playing. In each chapter, I break down the behavior being discussed, share personal stories, and include hands-on-exercises so that the reader can begin practicing and integrating these new elements into their daily life. I call it exercising your ‘creativity muscles’.
5. What simple steps can someone take, right now, to be more creative in their daily life, as well as in their garden?
I would suggest that you do something new every day. I use a phrase ‘Try it new.’ If you’re used to driving to work one way, go another. If you ask your kids the same questions every day after school, come up with some new questions (believe me, they’ll be surprised). If you’re in the habit of dressing conservatively at work because you think you should—well, gosh darn it, go out and buy the purple silk scarf or bright red tie that you’ve been yearning for and wear it—with a big smile on your face.
Make a pact with yourself that you’re going to do something new every day and follow through on it. It doesn’t have to be a big thing at all. But bit by bit, day by day, the small changes add up.
FRAN SORIN is the Author of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening – Special 10th Anniversary Edition. Fran is a Renowned Gardening Expert, Passionate Gardener, Deep Ecologist, Inspirational Speaker, Ordained Interfaith Minister, Soul Tending Coach, and CBS Radio News Contributor. CONTACT INFO: For Media Queries & Event/Booking Info Email: Fran.Sorin@gmail.com Visit her website at: www.FranSorin.com