What do you envision when you think of creativity? An artist/writer/musician/performer of some kind? The act of making? Do you feel uncreative if you you don’t have output? Or if it isn’t “perfect”? If it doesn’t get recognition?
To me, scientists, mechanics, gardeners, teachers… anyone really, are just as creative as what is often thought of as such.
What if instead you shift your perspective to envision creativity as a state of being, rather than a state of doing? To being a continual process of making meaning in one’s life, rather than completion of a painting/novel/song/performance piece? To make for the joy of making, how it warps time and space and you get lost in it.
Being willing to seeing things differently.. to reordering routine.. having the courage to try something new… all of these can open up dimensions of reality and possibility that have remained hidden behind old perceptions.
For example, the next time you go for a walk, focus fully on the experience. The sounds around you, and of your feet, step by step. The textures, visual and felt. The smell of the air- the feel of it against your skin. How if the walk is strenuous enough, everything falls away other than the act of walking and your breath.
Do you feel other things arise? A solution? A song? A poem? A dance? Someone you’d like to visit?
All of this is creating and being creative.
We are, from birth to death, through all our experience, the embodiment of creativity.
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When I entered the consciousness of this morning’s dream, I was in a large meeting room. It seemed Craftsman in style, with open rafters and large light fixtures with amber panes of glass. The quality of light, though, was harsh.
The room was filled with women, mostly, wearing activewear and seated on their yoga mats. I was at the front of the room, and at first thought I was leading the group. Gradually though, almost as if I was being nudged away from my seat, were a man and woman clearly in charge. the woman was dressed like the other women, and the man was dressed business casual, with a very thin black belt worn a few notches too tight.
The women, one by one, were bringing up small tokens they’d made as part of an exercise. One brought up a slice of wood with writing on it. The couple asked her what it meant, she shyly muttered something, and then the couple interpreted what she’d done, and told her what to do next. She went back to her mat, looking disheartened.
And so it went, person after person. They would open up a little, then were told what they should do.
From out of no where, as it often happens in dreams, came a man dressed in full punk regalia- shaved head, black leather motorcycle jacket, all black clothing with paint splatters and patches, boots. His process art was huge, and he distinctly made the couple leading the workshop uneasy.
His art immediately brought tears to my eyes. It was a large frame of roughly hewn timbers that looked like a torture device. Suspended in it a few inches above the ground was a rectangular slab of stone. It looked like it was hewn with the same tool that shaped the wood. It had a chain wrapped around the center, but somehow he’d manage to connect the stone so it looked like it was floating. Above the stone was floating a bouquet of dried brambles and large dandelion type flowers. (If I could figure a way to make this in waking life, I would, it was so powerful!)
The couple quicky moved to conclude the workshop, but I kept pushing to hear what he had to say. Eventually they relented.
“I’m going to leave this path,” the artist said. “I’m going to pursue mathematics” and he went on to say how he didn’t want to leave art, because it was his soul, but mathematics was more practical, and he could manipulate it to make a lot of money, and someday, maybe some day, he could get back to art.
I asked him what the art represented to him. He replied that the stone was obligations weighing him down, yet somehow also his strength, and that the chain was binding his power. When I asked him about the bouquet, he responded “I just put it there”. I invited him to explore deeper. “It’s my hopes and dreams. My hopes and dreams are withering away”
I asked him to explore his desire to focus on mathematics. To consider that mathematics, once you dive in deeply, is beyond numbers. I mean.. look at the beautiful art created by fractals! That maybe if he got curious, he would see a correlation between the kind of art he did, and math. That he didn’t have to have just one life purpose. That sometimes goals can get in the way of our true heart.
And then I woke up. Thinking about the dream, but also the good old “Is the glass half full, or half empty” thing.
You know what? The glass is never empty. The space above the liquid is full of things we can’t see- air molecules, microscopic bits of plants, stardust, music. We see the glass as half full or half empty because that’s what our perception has been conditioned to see.
And what about the world outside of the glass? What potential is there? What if there were no glass at all?
What would happen if we approach other things in life with this shift in perception? I invite you to stop reading for a moment and pick up an object near you. Look at it with your ordinary vision, then begin to look at it differently. Get curious about the texture, weight, smell, perhaps taste. What are the stories behind any markings on it, or how it came to be in your possession?
When you are ready, explore something going on in your life. A goal, maybe. Sometimes when we hyper focus on a goal, we can lose sight of other corollary goals that might support it, or be a more life fulfilling way of being.Some people know from an early age what they were “meant” to do or be. Others spend their whole life seeking, aching for meaning. Or what they long to do or be doesn’t fit into every day existence.
Many of us believe that we have a life purpose, often just out of reach or perception. Or we’ve been trained to think of it as impractical, or not noble enough. What if we were to consider the possibility of having multiple life purposes, working in partnership? Or look at the deeper meaning of our goal. What basic needs are we wanting to be met with that goal? Love? Attention? Money? Appreciation?
Practice shifting your perspective, and see what unfolds. Maybe you too, will discover a way to create magic within every day life.