Essential Principles, Practices and Panaceas, A – Z: Creativity

creativity haiku

But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career. Madeleine L’Engle

Many is the time I’ve heard someone say ‘I’m not the least bit creative’. My response is ‘Bunkum!’ Folk may not care to admit it to themselves but everybody is creative to some degree or another. We can’t all be Mailer, Michelangelo or Mozart, however we can decide that we are going to let our own unique creative force find expression, whether that be through cooking, dancing, singing, gardening… Any activity, performed in the right spirit, can be carried out creatively.

The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well. I don’t like to use the word efficiency. It’s creativity. It’s a belief that every person counts. Jack Welch. And there’s the rub – believing that you matter.

Of course you count; without your presence the world is missing a thread of its tapestry. You are unique, a one-off, never to be repeated; your life is an ongoing creation. Your life is a story – be that a soap-opera style melodrama, full of histrionics and repetitive cycles, or a heroic tale of growth, following a narrative arc that leads to fulfilment of potential. Are you creating your life from your constricted, uninspired ego, or from your expansive, imaginative essence?

Beatrix Potter said that she was glad she wasn’t sent to school as it would have robbed her of some of her originality. If you have never watched young children at play, Channel 4’s series, The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds, shows how resourceful and inventive children can be; they create spontaneously and joyfully. How different, I wonder, could the future be if, as well as being instructed in the three ‘Rs’ and tested to the limits of their endurance, children’s fertile imaginations were nourished and they were encouraged to develop their creativity all the way through school?

Would an individual whose creative impulses have been nurtured grow up needing to use their energy to destroy? Does a person whose essence is smothered inside an ego entangled in barbed wire believe that they count?

Our power can be used to both creative and destructive ends; think of some of the experiences you have had in your life – would you say they came about as a result of productive or malign influences?

The perpetrator of violence against me was clearly motivated by an impulse to cause devastation. The paradox is that his annihilation of my existence as I knew it (ego) brought about the conditions for me to shape my life anew (start living from my essence). In this way it could be said that the seemingly negative experiences we have foster creativity in our lives; making mistakes, then, incites us to innovate.

Osho says that to be creative it is necessary to reverse our conditioning; In order to build my new and improved life I certainly had to abandon the beliefs that made me an easy target for a dangerous, abusive man.

Somewhere on my personal and spiritual development odyssey I came across this saying: Creation heals destruction. Engaging in creative pursuits has been instrumental in my recovery from trauma – from creative writing to collaging to cooking – and more besides. I strive to embody creativity in everything I do, proving Deepak Chopra’s adage: What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul.

Are you delighted by life? You can be, if that’s what you desire.

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