Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What I am learning about creativity: some practicalities

My niece and nephews in time and space.
No one is an expert in creativity. It is something that emerges when you are open to learning.

The creative genie (or whatever you want to call it) can start busting out of its bottle at any age. It doesn't care how old you are.

Creativity requires you to somehow offer it time and space.

Sometimes, it requires you to create dedicated time and space where you feel you can experiment freely.

If that seems too hard because you have kids, or you have parents, or you don't have spare cash, or your work drains all of your energy, or, or ... this may actually be an opportunity to shift your perspective and see new options you hadn't considered before. It may open up a whole new field where you can meander through questions such as, is this job right for me? Am I getting enough support from my loved ones and if not, what can I / we actually do about it? Do I really need more money to create the time and space and if I really really do (which maybe I don't), is there some clever way that I can make it, is there some opportunity I'm not seeing (which is possibly staring me in the face)?

If any or all of those questions are too hard, be patient with yourself.

Once you have created time and space, it helps to step into it with an intention. For instance, I will sit down and write; I will sit down and play a guitar; I will sit down and sketch a leaf; I will sit down and study a leaf; I will sit down and flesh out this song into something more than a couple of lines; I will do a little dance sequence to a phrase of music; I will paint; I will dream, read etc.

It also may help to set yourself a duration of time that feels really easy, eg. 10 or 20 minutes, and see if the wave of creation takes you beyond that.

Also, you can create time and space among the happenings of everyday life. Whatever is happening at any given moment can be the source of inspiration, if you choose to pay attention and grab a snippet of time and space which, if you look for it, you might just find. For instance, 20 seconds, 20 minutes. Let's see it as a nutritious snack for the hungry genie. It just requires a slight shift in perception, a way of listening for listening's sake.

Once you have begun to enter this space, finding your creativity can involve some pain or discomfort. This can arise from various things.

Breaching blocks that have been in the way can set forth some grief you've been suppressing while you've been simultaneously suppressing / neglecting your genie, keeping it locked in its bottle. That's just unblocking. That's healthy. Tears relieve stress.

Showing your genie / soul to others can make you feel exposed and open to judgement / criticism. This may be an inevitable part of the process. However, it would seem, it's a matter of just doing your thing, doing your thing, doing your thing, until you keep finding more and more what your thing is, and the criticism becomes silent to you.

Creativity can draw you to other people who also have started a conversation with their genie, who have given into the force of uncorking the bottle. At first, it can be daunting to be around such people; you may get into comparing. They may seem further along the journey of meeting their genie than you are. They may have found more time and space than you have. That's ok. As long as you're all open to learning, you're likely to find some common ground. *This, to be honest, is an area that is difficult when (like me) you have a story about being behind the 8-ball! Myths such as the "brilliance of youth" and the "degeneration of age" and "it's too late" can get people stuck forever and ever amen. Just remember the youth/age myth comes from things like the covers of gossip magazines, and get over it.

I've probably learnt more about creativity than that. But that's all I can remember right now. Thank you to Helen Franzmann for today's insights xx

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