Written By Benjamin Paradis
1. What Is Creativity?
What if we, humans, all have that enormous potential, this magnificent creative energy lying somewhere inside of us? I’ve put the label of “innate creativity” for the sake of simplicity. For me, state of flow, innate creativity, intuition, etc, all points to that same thing: “unrestricted energy expression”.
According to Oxford dictionary: Creativity, n: "The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness”.
From my understanding, creativity is an integrative exercise. It brings what you already know, already experienced, categorized (left brained) into a more abstract, out of the box (right brained) expression of self.
It can also be an expression of the unconscious mind, a medium to arise feelings in others, etc.
2. How Do I Access It?
Being creative for me is part of “getting myself out of the way”. What do I mean by that is by doing something from this “emptiness” is allowing the true Self to seize the day. Holding no expectations or no outcomes in mind while doing something creative may be the easiest way to access your biggest potential.
For example, in this very moment, I’m writing from a place of emptiness. My beliefs, values, past experiences are set aside and this creative energy is just flowing out of my body to this page. From my experience, it is when magic happens.
Of course, we have to learn some skills, knowledge in order for us to have a certain structure in the works we are creating, but the point is to trust yourself in that you have everything you need to deal with what’s coming.
That concept is called “basic trust” and is part of “self-efficacy”.
For example: I’m learning to become a developmental coach. I have certain knowledges to acquire in order to perform well in this regard. By embodying that knowledge and understanding with practice, I’m able to let that knowledge sit somewhere in my unconscious while knowing it is there for me to access it whenever I want. I don’t have to hold it in my conscious awareness in order to perform well, this is just going to limit my true potentiality.
Allowing ourselves to be clumsy, imperfect and making mistakes is the way to go. Mistakes are just feedback of informations. The more you go out and make what you consider to be mistakes, the more efficient you can turn that knowledge into embodied skill. For me, this is what being creative is, sitting at the edge of our comfort zone, feeling confused and not being afraid of showing ourselves to the world.
3. What Do I Have To Gain?
By practicing to be creative, may it be by doodling something on a piece of paper, writing, speaking, dancing, you strengthen that « creative muscle ». As I said earlier, creativity is an integrative capacity, so by devoting yourself into practice, there’s a lot to gain. First, there’s the expression of self. Have you ever seen someone dance with passion? It’s like looking at a northern light, I see pure energy in motion. You ask that person afterward and she/he says things like: “I’m not my body”, “There’s nothing going on in my head”, “I feel like I’m the most powerful person while doing this”, “There’s a sensation of lightness, spaciousness in my body”. These all point out to this innate creativity, that flowing energy, that unbounded potential, etc.
By practicing and strengthening this “creative muscle”, you develop a very important part of your brain: the pre-frontal cortex, which I will develop more on later. By developing the pre-frontal cortex, we can, for example, gain more self-awareness, more emotional intelligence, more empathy, more inter-personal skills, etc.
4. The Difference That Makes The Difference
Make creativity part of your lifestyle. That’s it.
From my perspective, if someone is trying to force creativity for a certain work or end goal in mind, it will work, but not as much as if it is embodied. By embodying it I mean to practice it on a regular basis for it to become second nature. Aligning yourself with your purpose is another way to dig into that creative energy more easily because you operate from an inside out perspective.
Meaning that you have everything you are looking for already in you, no need to look elsewhere.
By finding your deepest intention in life, may it be by inquiring into it, by journaling, by experimenting different things, (ie: finding your big WHY). You don’t need to motivate yourself anymore because motivation is required only if you do something you don’t really want to do (and get de-motivated by it).
5. A Bit Of Neuroscience
I really love Daniel Seigel’s model of the brain, which is well explained in that short video: ...
|Mindfulness. Brain Hand Model. Dan Siegel. Empathy and Cognition.|
The pre-frontal cortex is where integrative capacities mostly come from. It is where working memory, decision making, emotional intelligence, etc. originate from.
6. How To Practice It So It Grows Like A Muscle
Well, if what I’ve written so far is exciting to you, here is some things you can bring into your daily life to grow that “creative muscle”.
What does meditation have to do with creativity you might ask? Well that’s a good question!
It is one of the fastest known ways to accessing our “real Self”. What we usually refer to as “awakening” or “enlightenment” is, from my understanding, a way of getting the ego out of the way. We, humans, are already fully enlightened and awake. The question is: how are we stopping ourselves from Being it? Part of the answer is the ego or sense of self or identity.
The point is, if you get “yourself out of the way”, it is way easier to be creative, since you don’t have a voice in your head that reminds you of the billions of struggles that need attention.
Whether it be by doodling, journaling, writing poem, dancing, etc. By making it part of your daily life, it’s gonna become easier and easier to access it.
I love this quote from NLP: “Practice is underrated, talent is overrated”. Allow yourself to be clumsy for a while, it is absolutely normal, nobody was born with amazing talent, they ALL practice a lot. The problem is that we don’t see the thousands of hours when we look at a “talented” or “skilled” person, we see an fix image of this talent in action forgetting to consider the practice that comes with it. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule, but I’m sure you’ll agree that with practice, one can achieve everything.
7. Any Side Effect With That Prescription?
Fears = Opportunities
One of the positive side effect of integrating creativity into your lifestyle can be the change in perspective in regard to your fears. I’ve seen it happening a lot of times in my life and in others. Sometimes, the big fears that are holding us back is just this: “We (our egos) are afraid to see our real potential”. That’s right, because in order to accept these fears, sometimes we have to let go of what we take ourselves to be take and that leap of faith. Our biggest fears can be our biggest opportunities, it is a very good indicator of where our true potential lies.
Conclusion - Be The Model Of Change You Want To See In The World
Being creative is a really clever way to express one’s self. You know, when someone tells you that he/she is “in the zone”, one of the descriptions that often come with this feeling is: freedom from thoughts. Isn’t it wonderful to be in that “zone” of freedom and lightness, that “Flow” as described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi? If you think so, well you now have the key to it.
And you now know that the more you practice it, the easier it becomes to access it.
At the same time, it is a really good place to make changes for yourself that you wish to see in the world around you.