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Creativity - a way into and out of yourself

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One of the most important tools for personal and spiritual growth is our creativity. How sad that we tap into it freely and with joy as children but its use gradually becomes controlled or limited as we “grow up” or it becomes the sole territory of the arts.

Our creative side intimately connects to our emotional self (even if done unconsciously) and thus our passion also. We all have creative energy that has to be expressed somehow.

Many will deny they have any creative energy but this is because they confuse creative energy with being artistically talented. I have a lot of creative energy but cannot play an instrument well or paint a picture to save my life. I can use it to provide solutions and think laterally amongst other things. To dream, think, laugh, sing, build, shape, desire and imagine or to give to another are just some acts of creation.

Dan Millman describes creative energy as “a double-edged sword.. On the one hand, the powerful force of creative energy breaks new ground, driving past old barriers and old perspectives the way a surging river pushes obstacles out of its path. On the other hand, the river of energy has a compelling force that cannot be stopped; it must be channelled for constructive use or it turns destructive”

People are constantly tapping into their creative energy, getting out what is in them in response to an irresistible urge to express themselves and what their imagination is firing at them. Of course what comes out of us depends on the quality of things we absorb into ourselves at all levels. Even those that have difficulty expressing themselves (often men) will find a way of making or doing something that reflects something of them even if they don’t recognise it. Look at You-Tube and you will see myriad ways in which people create because they have to get it out of them.

Personal expression of our creative energy opens a door to finding more balance in our lives and helps us tap into who we are at a deeper level. It isn’t about producing masterpieces or anything that is judgement-based. The act of self-expression itself is the purpose and it is that that has the therapeutic or even cathartic effect. It can be a great opportunity to become absorbed in what we are doing and thus reduce stress levels as well as developing mindfulness and discipline.

Creative energy allows us to contact the child within us and is therefore our route back into the art of play. I heartily recommend making mud pies, or generally mucking about with goo and gunge, slapping paint about and generally letting the energy just flow through you and see what happens. Play for the hell of it. The spontaneity and flow of it all is what makes it magic. I’m sure as a child your imagination was once your creative energy’s playmate all day long – reintroduce the two and goof off with them.

Take up a hobby, make something and spend time learning a skill. Give your time and energy to another, turn an imagining into reality. Don’t confuse talent with skill. Even the talented have to practice, practice, practice so let go of judgements of your performance. Above all enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

 

© Phil Grant unless otherwise attributed