Channeling or Inspiration?

Dear Dr. Lisa,

I consider myself a creative person.  Part of my interests are singing, storytelling, talking, channeling to groups.  I’ve known for a past decade that I need to get more involved in these activities. It’s not the “New Age” typical channeling of a spirit guide, I’m not sure what it is.  Anyway, I need to follow it, but I’m not sure if I need some sort of spiritual protection when I do it.  This is because the flow of energy at times leaves me feeling overwhelmed and shakey. Maybe it is just the adrenals kicking in to compensate for my anxiety, but I also feel there is much more to it.  What are your impressions? 

St. Paul, MN  USA

Dear Tammy,

You have brought up an interesting question, namely “What is channeling?”  First and foremost, channeling is putting one’s mind into a state of receptivity, so one can be open to creative insight and ideas.  Where these ideas come from is a matter of some debate.  Some people consider that they come from a “creative muse.”  In ancient and even modern times, this creative muse was often thought to be a real person, existing in the spiritual realms.  In some spiritual traditions, these ideas come from “the raincloud of knowable things.” In simpler terms, they come from a general source on etheric (intangible) levels.  Anyone who can tune into the right “frequency” or “channel” where the inspiration lies, can have access to it.  The ability to tune into more rarified levels, brings about those terrific ideas that revolutionalize the thinking of human kind. 

In our enlightened era this creative muse is often thought to come from one’s own sub-conscious.  In essence, one is really channeling one’s self, and only believing the source of inspiration is out there some where.  For those who believe in reincarnation, there is even the idea that one is channeling a past life.  This is an updated version of “you” channeling “you”, only the you is really in a distant past. 

Unless one wants to be a materialist and a skeptic (who reduces everything down to “its all in your head”, or brain), channeling is most likely a mixture of one’s own sub-conscious and some real ability to tap into, or be overshadowed by, inspirational levels and beings.  

Beyond this discussion, which could get rather scientific and stodgy if pursued too long, I hear the deeper issue in your question, is how you deal with your own creative power.  What you are asking is what every great singer, author, public speaker, artist, musician, asks at some time or another.  Namely, how do we surrender to the creative flow, so inspiration can come, while keeping our egos (with all the fears, criticisms, and anxieties) out of the way?  

My suspicion is when your adrenals kick up (related to the fight and flight mechanism), you are really struggling with the overwhelming sense of what it could be like to really be seen as a powerful, creative, and vibrant human being.  Any creative act, especially one like singing, that leaves our inner core exposed to others, has an element of risk and danger in it.  When it is our creative and vital self we let out, and other reject, it can be one of the most painful experiences.  Over time, if we have experienced this often, we can close down our creative juices altogether.

Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to work in recent years with some terrific creative people who teach others healthy ways to witness and hold the creative expression of others.  What is absolutely essential is the ability to keep the judgmental and critical mind out of the way.  This was really brought home to me   in a class where we all did some work with clay.  When we were finished we went around the “art gallery” to view each other’s sculptures.  While we were observing one piece of clay, my critical mind came in and silently judged another person’s  art.  To my surprise and embarrassment, when the person shared what her intention was in creating the piece, I realized it was exactly right!  It was what it was, an expression of the individual in its purest form.  I have never forgotten that realization.

What I would wish for you then, is the ability to get to some great workshops with people who would really help you work beyond the inner critic and fear.  They would not be intent on judging or analyzing your “channeled” flow, they would hold it in their hearts, letting it be perfectly what it already is.  Overtime, with practice in being in a loving creative presence, you would build the courage it takes to allow your inner nature to be channeled into manifestation.  Then, in a sense it won’t matter what the source is, the end result will be the same.  You, will be more in touch with YOU, and more ready to be the magnificent Being you are. 

From the heart,


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