If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing. Marc Chagall
Each week, I co-design and co-facilitate two meditation writing groups. The purpose of these small group sessions is to –
• relax the body and quiet the mind,
• enhance concentration and focus,
• heighten self-awareness of present moment experience,
• delve deeply into who we are (in-to-me-see),
• access our creative genius, and
• transform our fears into acts of love.
I co-facilitate the sessions so I can participate in each of the exercises. This group work is one of the ways I commit to my SPICE development. The experience of community is vital to the process of transformation — for me, from me, for all. We begin each session with a 30-minute meditation to peel away the outer layers of accumulated tension and stress. Within this stillness, the ever-chattering ‘monkey mind’ abates allowing even deeper layers of the unconscious to be peeled away. An alertness of self arises from deep within one’s core accompanied by new information and possibilities. Thus inspiration — the fodder for creation — is freed. Inspiration energizes us and combines with our experience motivating us into action.
Creation is an act of love. When we create, we give birth . . . to a child, to an idea, to a poem . . . to a physical outcome. Simply put, creativity is “the invention or origination of any new thing (a product, solution, artwork, literary work, joke, etc.) that has value.” Its added bonus: when we create, fear is not present. In the absence of fear, what remains is love. The greatest act of love we bestow upon the world and ourselves is to create.
A 2004 study recorded 12,000 “journal entries for the degree of fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, joy, and love that people were experiencing on a given day.” The finding: “creativity is positively associated with joy and love and negatively associated with anger, fear, and anxiety.” In essence, we are happiest when we are creating. Limit the opportunity for individuals to create, as was found in many organizations, significantly increased dissatisfaction and disease within workplaces. Furthermore, conformity is the nemesis of creativity.
Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you
grow up. Pablo Picasso
Another enemy of creativity is the proverbial and practical ‘To Do’ list. In coaching sessions with clients, I often witness ‘busyness’ as a coping strategy for an unfulfilled life. By busyness, I mean the cadre of tasks, musts, have-to’s that keep one absorbed in doing in order to distract from feeling unhappy or afraid. Constant meaningless ‘doing’, as we can all attest, is not creation. However, I suspect our intuition is trying to guide us back into the meaningful action at the root of all creative acts. If the only voice you hear is that of your inner critic, then do the opposite of what it wants.
If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all
means paint, and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh
Creative expression is the life-blood of humanity. As a vital ‘organ’, we must exercise it to keep it healthy and productive. There is no such thing as creative and non-creative types. Everyday, each one of us is creating something new. I have come to believe that there are no new ideas just new combinations of old ideas, and this constitutes creativity. For each of us, our unique individual experience of similar events along with our ability to see and understand their connecting patterns enables us to create.
Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. Voltaire
As you contemplate exercising your own creative genius, allow your intuition to speak to you. What calls you today to create something new from what already exists? What one action will help you to create on a daily basis?