Over the past week I’ve had conversations with a few of my very creative friends about how we create. What are the essential elements that support us in being creative in our daily lives?

We are all creative. It’s in our spiritual DNA. So why do so many of us feel creatively anorexic? Why do we deny ourselves that which truly fills us?

When we feel empty — less-than, depleted, not-enough — our true selves go underground. We bury our light deep in a shanty-town of denial, contraction and fear. We barter our sacred creativity for things we hope will make us feel safe, loved, and full, but which never do.

Like relationships in which we wear false faces. Or jobs which require us to leave our souls outside the door.

We adorn our bodies and ignore the pain they are in. We muffle the cries of our hearts with iPhones and busyness.

We do our best to serve, to love, to create, to give, because this is our true nature, and it won’t be denied.

But we can only give what’s within us. If we’re empty, our giving will be empty too. Or it will be transactional — I will give you this if you will give me that — because our own needs have not been met first.

It takes spiritual maturity to know what we need, and to ask for and receive it with humility and gratitude. Yet true service always begins by serving our own needs first, so we can create and serve from fullness.

When we fill our emptiness with those qualities that support our creative hearts, we enter life’s natural flow of receiving and giving.

The pain of feeling isolated — separate from the world — dissolves as we fill our hearts with the infinite flow of abundance that circulates throughout the universe.

And once our own hearts are full, we naturally overflow with generosity. We offer the gift of ourselves — our power, radiance, love, wisdom, support, and yes, creativity — to a hungry, thirsty world.

We become living springs of sweet nourishment. The creative spirit in all of life supports our own creative being, and we in turn nurture life with the flow of our creative energy.

Every creation exists first in the spiritual and subtle energy realms, which hold the pattern for its perfect unfolding. As we partner with the creative forces of the universe, we become pattern makers.

We help mold and shape the patterns that become visible as the landscapes, cities and homes in which we live; the economies and political systems we are part of; the education and health care we provide; the ways in which we treat our most vulnerable and precious citizens — elders, children, our wise and holy fools.

As pattern makers, we are the Sacred at play in the world. Pattern making is an activity as absorbing as the play of a child, who learns about herself and her world through free play.

So much of what we do, as creative people in the business of transformation, is craft boundaries and containers within which the people we serve can freely explore and play.

Creativity always involves risk — you’re encountering the unknown, saying Yes to it at a very early stage in your relationship with it, and partnering with it to bring it to life. Our creative souls revel in the adventure of it all. And, our human hearts need boundaries, a home base of stability and safety to which we can return, after our travels to the far horizon.

That home base can be as big as your heart, your community, or your business. It can be as small as your pen, your notebook, or the miraculous tip of your finger. It’s primary qualities are welcome, safety, belonging, ease, love, holding. It is shaped as much by rhythm, repetition, and timing as by geography.

Adventurers need home. Pattern-makers need home. Figure out what constitutes home for your creative self, and then renew your relationship with it daily.