Creativity is your birthright. I am repeatedly reminded of the difference it makes to flow through the activities of daily life in its wake instead of just going through the motions. Even when I have to wash the dreadful dirty dishes. I will never cease to feel gratitude for the day I decided to reclaim creativity as part of my being. Of course I found it right there waiting for me in my inner landscape, a bit rusted but ready, and I am pretty confident you could have the same experience if you feel disconnected from it. I knew I had not been creativity-less for all those years. But to name it, claim it and discover how I could activate it in everything I do was a revolution, and still is. It teaches me how to be whole and it encourages me to stay enchanted with life.
We are not all born with the same facility to learn languages, and we are not all born with the same degree of creative impulse. But we are all capable of being creative, just like all of us – saved some disability – are able to learn the language of our people. Some individuals are called to apply this quality to every mundane task crossing their path. Others funnel it in their work. Many are compelled to place creativity at the centre of their life purpose and use it to produce….paintings; pieces of music; works of fiction, and so on for the benefit of all.
But what I have sadly discovered while supporting hundreds of people reach for their creative juices is that too many of us have been wounded exactly at the source of that inner river.
I didn’t really need to look very far. In my own childhood I received several almost fatal blows that convinced me I had no talent whatsoever for any fun creative pursuit. The pain, mostly inflicted by well-intended adults, was supported by a cultural definition of what art and creativity are and who therefore is entitled to claim them as part of their life. These blows were so skilfully perpetrated they kept me away from fun and rewarding activities for years.
I am not the only one to experience this disconnect. I have had many opportunities to observe the consequences of wounded creativity. Lack of motivation, a foreshortened sense of future, difficulties in discovering one’s life purpose, not to mention depression and anxiety are often rooted in the separation from one’s own creative flow experienced in childhood or adolescence.
By reclaiming creativity as a birth right we have much to gain as single individuals and as communities. Creativity is a vitalizing energy that should be encouraged and protected, that should be named and appreciated not only in “artistic” circles. Mainly we should all be taught to respect it and cultivate it.
Read this interesting blog about Einstein’s thoughts on creative thinking and imagination
A Creative Self
As if the damage mentioned above wasn’t enough, I became aware of another subtler but fairly common layer of disconnect. The vilification and/or the repression of creativity carries a condemnation. “You are NOT a creative being” is its sentence. This insidious conviction takes hold in a corner of the psyche and with alacrity it starts funnelling our creative juices deep down into our Shadow, warping our self-image. To retrieve them from the Shadow requires conscious and determined effort, which brings great rewards.
Creativity is life force, and the effort to reclaim it is amazingly therapeutic.
I can almost see you shake your head saying that this way of treating creativity is nonsense and should be visible to the naked eye. But unfortunately this is often not the case even in enlightened 2015. Most school systems do not help, the business of “art” doesn’t help, and the way our psyche is designed doesn’t help. Something needs to be done to redress this wrong. We can always tackle the best starting point: ourselves.
We need to find ways to reclaim, reignite, nourish and free our creative juices. Even the most prolific artists discuss creativity in ways that reveal their need to keep their creative fire going. Wouldn’t then anyone need to learn ways to preserve this precious, useful and uplifting gift in every day life?
Some individuals are like bubbling furnaces and this unique energy seems to flow over-abundantly. Other people might have ideas but these do not translate into inspiration and even less into action. Some other individuals might face some sort of endemic scarcity and consider themselves totally deprived of creativity. And then some might feel it in spurts but are not able to access it whenever they wish.
But how? You can see some suggestions in the blog linked above. One time I was invited to remember what I loved to do as a child. During deep relaxation I was asked to “see” and feel myself engaged in activities that made me lose sense of time. I was then asked how did I spend the long winter afternoons? How did I feel as I was absorbed in those activities? What did I mark repeatedly in my birthday gifts wish list?
Try, and see if something comes alive. Or, as I did, discover that what stimulates your creativity now is not very far from what did so then.
I look forward to hearing your comments and personal experiences.