What impressions linger as another season comes to a close? That the word ‘creativity’ does not sit comfortably with a lot of people. No surprise there, I hear you say! For most people creativity is tied into suffering and anguish. It belongs to the world of great artists, famous inventors, or those colourful and flamboyant people who flitter through our everyday world and die young.
However, there is another form of creativity that is not defined by some ground-breaking ‘product’ or revolutionary idea, nor is it the reserve of extraordinary individuals, or powered by self-destructive impulses. When ordinary people like you and I engage in an activity that leads us to discover what motivates us, what gives us joy, what pulls us out of our comfort zone, what moves us beyond our self-constructed limitations and into the great unknown, then we are being creative human beings. Allowing ourselves to be carried by this inner flow shifts us into a process of inner transformation, which the quantum physicist Amit Goswami equates with inner creativity.
How to be creative
Find what you love doing and lose yourself in the joy of doing it! It’s that simple. But simple and easy are not the same thing. We eagerly set our intentions to change: work less and live more, daydream, enjoy the simple pleasures in life, smell the roses. But we often stumble at the first hurdle – we just don’t ‘have’ the time to sit down and write, to go for a walk, to spend quality time with ourselves, our family, our friends. But what we are really saying is we don’t ‘make’ the time. We are creatures of habit and not doing what gives us joy feels more natural than making the time to do it. So, how do we create the time and the space to be creative? Make a commitment. Keep it simple. Start small. Make it a joyful, playful experience and not a duty. Let go of your expectations and go for the experience. According to Elizabeth Gilbert, you just follow your natural curiosity, because it’s easily within your reach and will eventually lead you to your creativity.
Just do it!
You’ve always wanted to write, but never found the time to begin, or you have the time but don’t know where to start? Commit to ten minutes twice a week. Buy a simple copybook, pen or pencil; or a fancy one with quality paper and a ‘special’ pen. Or use your laptop. Sit down in place that has pleasant associations for you. This could be your kitchen table, an armchair, a café or under a tree. Take a moment to observe your surroundings. Start writing! Write about what you see in front of you in the outer world. Now move to the inner world and write about how you are feeling in this moment. Write about what it feels like to actually sit and write. Just let go and follow the flow. Stop after ten minutes. Congratulations. You did it! It’s that simple.
So, who’s afraid of creativity now?