While I was working on my doctorate specializing in creative studies, we often would contemplate the question, what is creativity. Within the group meetings, we would each take turns to define our vision of what creative is, interestingly each response was as unique as creativity itself. And like consciousness, creativity is something that is largely undefined, meaning it does not have a finite definition, but is rather a subject that is still ever-expanding. This feels accurate, as creativity is a moving energy that expresses itself uniquely through each one of us.
We may consider that being creative comes more naturally to some, which does seem to be true. However, we’re each born with the capacity inherently to be creative, as consciousness itself is creative. This concept that we have a creative consciousness that is flowing through our minds, beings and spirits, delights me. It brings a consistent smile to my spirit, knowing that through this ever-present creative force the unexpected and awe-inspiring is not only possible, but probably in any given situation.
This understanding that we can choose to unleash, an untapped ability to solve any issue that might present itself is both empowering and inspiring. We can invite this by choosing to be creative. What does it mean to choose to be creative? To me, it means allowing time to think outside of the box, to encourage the unimagined field of discovery to finds a place at the table by being invited. This might look different to each of us, but it primarily looks something like giving permission to allow the realm of possible and impossible to meet.
We might take advantage of this concept by imagining the impossible as possible. What would it be like, if it were possible? What sort of advantage would be discovered or created? Sometimes, we have to assume the impossible to discovery the pathway to make it possible. We can take advantage of our immense imaginative abilities by encouraging ourselves to daydream, as if what we are imaging is already a reality.
Another way to encourage our choice to be creative comes from releasing our judgmental viewpoint, fear of being judged, or our own preoccupation with what might happen, if we were to step outside our comfort zone to explore our creativity. We can each enjoy doodling on a scrape of paper, or coloring in the blank spaces of an outline to prompt that creative aspect within us. We can activate our creativity however we feel prompted when we've given ourselves permission to do so.
Choosing to be creative opens our minds to see adjacent possibilities or opportunities that otherwise might go unnoticed due to our fixed mindsets. We can find that when we start to practice making creative an option, we find more options to choose from. If we always get dressed in a certain way, we may find we stir things up by reversing the order, even placing a different foot into our pant leg first can set off a change in our perception. We get out of our habits and open our minds to the alternative, switching the wiring of the brain from the routine into the unusual, or novel.
We can push this idea by rearranging our homes, or refrigerators, placing the milk on the bottom shelf instead of the top, or moving our chair to look out the window instead of next to it. These little tricks to shift our perception help to move us into a changed perspective in other ways, inviting creative vision to be invited. We can change our normal routine just enough to encourage a different feeling within our lives, sparking innovation and curiosity.
Another way to choose being creative is by invoking its presence and then waiting for its arrival. This is always an interesting phenomenon, because consciousness is creative, and the creativity that arrives is often a surprising discovery. It might be a conversation that directs our interests into something we hadn’t thought of ourselves, or a song, television show or synchronistic event we witness that brings us the gift of newly formed ideas.
When we encourage ourselves to embrace our creative skill set, we find we are creative beyond our own definition of creativity. We learn about creativity as an active substance within our lives, rather than an attribute we may not believe we have developed. It’s a magical experience to unleash the potential creative urge within our lives, as it opens us to possibility and the potential to tap into our unimagined joy through creative experiences.
One thing that I’ve often found is that creativity is fun, not because I enjoy it, but because it activates a special energy of child-like discovery and playfulness that is already present within creativity naturally. We can relieve our stress through a bit of creativity and reset ourselves back to a calmer equilibrium through creativity. It doesn’t necessarily need a purpose, we can use our creativity as a tool of introspection without having a reason beyond playing and exploration.
I’ve held many workshops where I’ve put out a variety of different art supplies, paints, pens, dried noodles, acorns, sea-shells, leaves, buttons, string, feathers, yarn, fabric, hot glue, paste, wasabi tape and all manner of stickers and magazines, then asked participants to make something based on a dream or what they’re imagining as important or inspirational. Magically, it doesn’t require a great deal of encouragement to see each person take off build something. I often think it’s maybe because the items are there, easily accessible with time to be creative with nothing else to do. Maybe that’s all it takes.
So, I’d like to invite you to go on a creative scavenger hunt collecting all sorts of items that attract your attention, things that spark your creativity and build a collage that expresses what’s important for you at this moment within the now. If you don’t have a specific idea, that okay just go with what you like in the moment and see what’s revealed. The practice is the reward. The process is the reason. The end result is the testimony to the act by honoring our creativity and through it, we attest to the universe that we are inviting, embracing and celebrating our creative choice. We can open unimaged doors into our new beginnings through this acknowledgement, giving ourselves the fun we deserve through our creative choice. It's time to have fun!